Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Monday, July 8, the 189th day of 2019. There are 176 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 8, 1947, a New Mexico newspaper, the Roswell Daily Record, quoted officials at Roswell Army Air Field as saying they had recovered a “flying saucer” that crashed onto a ranch; officials then said it was actually a weather balloon. (To this day, there are those who believe what fell to Earth was an alien spaceship carrying extra-terrestrial beings.)
On this date:
In 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, outside the State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.
In 1911, cowgirl “Two-Gun Nan” Aspinwall became the first woman to make a solo trip by horse across the United States, arriving in New York 10 months after departing San Francisco.
In 1947, demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman named Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea. (Truman ended up sacking MacArthur for insubordination nine months later.)
In 1965, Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 21, a Douglas DC-6B, crashed in British Columbia after the tail separated from the fuselage; all 52 people on board were killed in what authorities said was the result of an apparent bombing.
In 1972, the Nixon administration announced a deal to sell $750 million in grain to the Soviet Union. (However, the Soviets were also engaged in secretly buying subsidized American grain, resulting in what critics dubbed “The Great Grain Robbery.”)
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford announced he would seek a second term of office.
In 1986, Kurt Waldheim was inaugurated as president of Austria despite controversy over his alleged ties to Nazi war crimes. Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, widely regarded as father of the nuclear navy, died in Arlington, Virginia.
In 1994, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s communist leader since 1948, died at age 82.
In 2000, Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-6 (3) for her first Grand Slam title, becoming the first black female champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957-58.
In 2011, former first lady Betty Ford died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 93. Atlantis thundered into orbit on a cargo run that would close out the three-decade U.S. space shuttle program.
In 2017, at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, world powers lined up against President Donald Trump on climate change, reaffirming their support for international efforts to fight global warming. On trade, the U.S. and international partners endorsed open markets while acknowledging that countries had a right to put up barriers to block unfair practices. After their first face-to-face meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he thought Trump believed his denials of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential vote.
Ten years ago: Group of Eight leaders, including President Barack Obama, pledged to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as they met in L’Aquila, Italy. South Korea blamed North Korea for cyberattacks targeting its websites as well as those in the U.S.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama appealed to Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency spending to deal with the immigration crisis on the nation’s southern border, where unaccompanied children were showing up by the thousands (Republican lawmakers rejected the request). Washington became the second state to allow people to buy marijuana legally in the U.S. without a doctor’s note. Germany handed Brazil its heaviest World Cup loss ever with a 7-1 rout in the semifinals that stunned the host nation.
One year ago: A woman who was poisoned in southwest England died, eight days after she may have touched a contaminated item containing the same type of military-grade nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter in the area in March. Divers rescued four of the 12 boys who’d been trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand with their soccer coach for more than two weeks. (The remaining eight boys and their coach were rescued over the next two days.) Actor and singer Tab Hunter died at the age of 86.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Steve Lawrence is 84. Actor Jeffrey Tambor is 75. Rock musician Jaimoe Johanson is 75. Ballerina Cynthia Gregory is 73. Actress Kim Darby is 72. Actress Jonelle Allen is 71. Children’s performer Raffi is 71. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is 70. Actress Anjelica Huston is 68. Writer Anna Quindlen is 67. Actor Kevin Bacon is 61. Actor Robert Knepper is 60. Rock musician Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode) is 58. Country singer Toby Keith is 58. Rock musician Graham Jones (Haircut 100) is 58. Rock singer Joan Osborne is 57. Writer-producer Rob Burnett is 57. Actor Rocky Carroll is 56. Actor Corey Parker is 54. Actor Lee Tergesen is 54. Actor Michael B. Silver is 52. Actor Billy Crudup is 51. Actor Michael Weatherly is 51. Singer Beck is 49. Country singer Drew Womack (Sons of the Desert) is 49. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco is 46. Actress Kathleen Robertson is 46. Christian rock musician Stephen Mason (Jars of Clay) is 44. Actor Milo Ventimiglia is 42. Rock musician Tavis Werts is 42. Singer Ben Jelen is 40. Actor Lance Gross is 38. Actress Sophia Bush is 37. Rock musician Jamie Cook (Arctic Monkeys) is 34. Actor Jake McDorman is 33. Actress Maya Hawke is 21. Actor Jaden Smith is 21.
Thought for Today: “History must stay open, it is all humanity.” — William Carlos Williams, American author and poet (1883-1963)