History: July 8

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July 8

Death: Pepin, son of Charlemagne, King of Italy.

1099 Onward: Christian soldiers on the First Crusade march around Jerusalem.

da Gama

1497 Navigator Vasco da Gama departs Portugal in search of a sea route to India. His fleet sails along the coast of Africa, the Middle East, and eventually reaches India almost a year later. As reward, Portuguese King Emmanuel I confers on him the title of Admiral of the Indian Ocean.

1608 The first French settlement at Quebec is established by Samuel de Champlain.

1630 The Massachusetts Bay Colony celebrates Thanksgiving Day.

1663 Following restoration of King Charles II to the English monarchy, a new charter is granted to the American colony of Rhode Island guaranteeing religious freedom regardless of 'differences in opinion in matters of religion.'  (Click For Full Text)

1686 The Austrians take Budapest from the Turks and annex Hungary.

1693 Uniforms for police in New York City are authorized.

1709 The End of the Swedish Empire: Peter the Great defeats Charles XII at Poltava, in the Ukraine.


1741 The Great Awakening: Influential Colonial American theologian Jonathan Edwards preaches his classic sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,' at Enfield, Connecticut.

1755 French and Indian War: Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with France as their disputes in the New World intensify.

1758 French and Indian War: The British attack on Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga, New York, is foiled by the French.

1776 American Revolution: The Declaration of Independence is proclaimed (read aloud) by Col. John Nixon of the Philadelphia Committee of Safety at the State House in Philadelphia. It is also read again that evening before the militia on the Commons. Throughout the city bells ring all day. The Declaration is publicly read in Easton, Pennsylvania, and Trenton, New Jersey, as well. It is these first public readings which constitute America's first celebrations of the Fourth of July. Typically, in towns and cities across the nation, the oral declarations are accompanied by loud shouts, huzzas, the firing of muskets, and the tearing down of British emblems.

1777 Vermont becomes the first US state to abolish slavery. Using Pennsylvania's constitution as a model, Vermont delegates go even further and, along with prohibiting slavery, the new constitution establishes universal voting rights for all males.

1792 President George 'Dollar Bill' Washington signs an act that authorizes the mint of the first US copper coins. Individuals involved in using coins other than the legal cents and half-cents will henceforth be penalized with a $10 fine.

1794 French troops capture Brussels, Belgium.

1795 Kent County Free School changes its name to Washington College. It is the first of many colleges to be named after U.S. President George Washington. The school is established by an act of the Maryland Assembly in 1723.


1797 The First US Senator Expelled by Impeachment: William Blount, of Tennessee. William Blount, 1790-1795, Democrat (territorial governor). Born in North Carolina in 1749, Blount served in the Continental Congress 1783-1784 and 1786-1787. In 1790, President Washington appointed him governor of the newly formed Territory South of the River Ohio, formerly part of North Carolina. While governor, Blount was also Indian affairs superintendent and negotiated, among others, the Treaty of the Holston with the Cherokees. His new government faced formidable problems, intensified by conflicts created by European/Indian contact. In 1795, Blount called a constitutional convention to organize the state, and Tennessee entered the Union the next year. Blount represented the new state in the U.S. Senate, but suffered expulsion from that body on a conspiracy charge, for plotting with the British to attack Spanish Florida and Louisiana, in the hope of gaining new land for Tennessee. He died in 1800.

1815 Louis XVIII returns to Paris after the defeat of Napoleon.

1835 The Liberty Bell cracks (again), while being rung during the funeral of US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in Philadelphia.


1838 Birth: Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was the inventor of the rigid airship, or dirigible balloon. He was born July 8, 1838, in Konstanz, Prussia, and educated at the Ludwigsburg Military Academy and the University of Tubingen. He entered the Prussian army in 1858. Zeppelin went to the United States in 1863 to work as a military observer for the Union army in the American Civil War and later explored the headwaters of the Mississippi River, making his first balloon flight while he was in Minnesota. He served in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and retired in 1891 with the rank of brigadier general. Zeppelin spent nearly a decade developing the dirigible. The first of many rigid dirigibles, called zeppelins in his honor, was completed in 1900. He made the first directed flight on July 2, 1900. In 1910, a zeppelin provided the first commercial air service for passengers. By his death in 1917, he had built a zeppelin fleet, some of which were used to bomb London during World War I. However, they were too slow and explosive a target in wartime and too fragile to withstand bad weather. They were found to be vulnerable to antiaircraft fire, and about 40 were shot down over London.

1839 Birth: John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937), millionaire businessman, monopolist, financier, philanthropist, and the founder of Standard Oil.


1853 Kicking Open Doors: Commodore Matthew Perry, representing the US government, sails without Japanese permission into Tokyo Bay with the Great White Fleet, to begin 'negotiations' that lead to the United States becoming the first Western nation to establish diplomatic relations with isolationist Japan in two centuries.

1859 The Italian Campaign of 1859: The Truce at Villafranca, Austria, cedes Lombardy to France.

1863 US Civil War: Demoralized by the surrender of Vicksburg, Confederates in Port Hudson, Louisiana, surrender to Union forces.

1864 US Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston retreats to Atlanta to prevent being flanked by Union General William T. Sherman.

1865 C.E. Barnes patents the machine gun.

1870 The US Congress authorizes the registration of trademarks.

1870 Governor Holden of North Carolina declares Casswell County to be in a state of insurrection.

1876 White terrorists attack Black Republicans in Hamburg, South Carolina, killing five people.

1884 The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is founded.

1889 Capitalist Bible: The Wall Street Journal is first published.

1891 Little Ice Age: A temperature of only 61 degrees F, the highest temp for July in Baltimore & Philadelphia, is recorded.

1892 President of Clark University, psychologist G. Stanley Hall, founds the American Psychological Association in Worcester, Massachusetts. Hall is a pioneer in studies regarding childhood and adolescence, which he considers the human analog of Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory.

1905 The mutinous crew of the battleship Potemkin surrender to Rumanian authorities

1908 Birth: Nelson Rockefeller, (Gov-R-New York), 41st US Vice President (1974-77-appointed) under Gerald R. Ford (appointed). Died in 1979.

1915 Birth: Charles Hard Townes, in Greenville, South Carolina, American physicist, developed lasers. Professor of physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1961-67), he will then become professor-at-large at California University.

1916 July 8 - 18 Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler endures trench warfare as a dispatch runner in Flanders with 3 Company, 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment. (Maser)

1918 Birth: Nelson Mandela.


1918 Ernest Hemingway is wounded in Italy while working as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross.

1919 President Woodrow 'Sign Here' Wilson receives a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles Peace Conference in France. From witnessing the welcome he receives, one could be forgiven for assuming that he'd actually accomplished something.

1923 President Harding becomes the first sitting president to visit Metlakahtla. Question: Can anyone tell me what Metlakahtla is?

1933 Church and Reich: In the late hours of the evening, Ambassador Bergen informs the Foreign Ministry by telegram, "Concordat was initialed this evening at 6 o'clock by the Vice Chancellor (Papen) and the Cardinal Secretary of State."

1934 Sixty people are killed during an anti-Communist uprising in Amsterdam.

1936 Prophetic: The Polish government declares that the German-sponsored movement for Danzig independence is a belligerent act (causa belli) that could lead to war.

1936 Arabs send a memorandum to the British government demanding an end to Jewish immigration to Palestine.

1936 Hitler The Peacelover guarantees Austrian independence.

1938 Holocaust: The main synagogue in Munich is demolished on Hitler's orders. (See June 9)


1938 Holocaust: Alfred Rosenberg proposes a plan for establishing a reservation for 15 million Jews on the island of Madagascar. "It was Alfred Rosenberg's tragedy that he really believed in National Socialism. The pedantic certainty with which he saw himself as the scribe of a new gospel of salvation made him something of an oddity among the top leadership of the NSDAP, an object of covert smiles - the 'philosopher' of a movement whose philosophy almost always boiled down to power. Rosenberg himself never realized and certainly never admitted this, and so in the course of the years, as the idea of power itself visibly outweighed its ideological drapings, he came to be the forgotten disciple: scarcely taken seriously any longer, insolently overlooked and pushed around, a prop from the party's recruiting phase when ideology determined action. For a long time he failed to realize that the philosophy he so fervently advocated carried no weight, at least at the centres of power. With heavy consistency he treated the fool's paradise of his faith to the last as the political, social and religious answer to the problems of the time and saw in National Socialism, as he wrote in his 'confession' in the Nuremberg cell, 'the noblest idea to which a German could devote the strength he has been given..."

1939 Holocaust: Italian companies dealing with the government are prohibited from employing Jews. (Edelheit)

Hitler and Frank

1940 The German Fuehrer accepts Hans 'Hitler's A Jew' Franks proposal that the Government General formally become part of the German Reich. (Architect)

1940 WW2: General de Gaulle criticizes the numerous British attacks on French ships during the past week.

1941 WW2: Twenty B-17s fly on their first mission with the Royal Air Force over Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

1943 WW2: American B-24 bombers make a strike on Japanese-held Wake Island for the first time.

1941 WW2: 'Smokin' Joe Stalin announces a scorched earth policy.

1944 Holocaust: The Hungarian government, reading the writing clearly on the wall, orders an immediate halt to the deportation of Hungarian Jews. The Germans give way, and 300,000 Jews, most of them in Budapest awaiting deportation, are saved. 437,000 Hungarian Jews had already been deported. (Atlas)

1947 Demolition work begins in New York City for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.

1948 The Moscow Conference convenes to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from control of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople.

1950 Korea: General Douglas 'Not Ready To Fade Away Yet' MacArthur is named commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea.

1955 If They Were Smart, They Wouldn't Be Criminals: John McElroy is arrested in Miami, Florida for appearing stark-naked in public. McElroy explains to the police that he had disrobed in public because the prison uniform he was wearing was 'too conspicuous!'

1959 Death: Major Dale R. Buis and Master Sergeant Chester M. Ovnand, the first of many young Americans killed in the Vietnam War.


1960 Cold War: The Soviet Union charges Francis Gary Powers with espionage. His U-2 spy plane was shot down over Soviet airspace.

1963 Cold War: All Cuban-owned assets in the United States are frozen.

1975 But Jerry, That's An Elective Office: President Gerald 'Pardon Me' Ford announces he will seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1976.


1986 Kurt Waldheim is inaugurated as president of Austria, despite controversy over his alleged ties to Nazi war crimes.

1990 Numerological Treat: On this date, 7/8/90, at 12:34:56, the numbers on your digital clock read 1234567890.

1991 Yugoslav leaders sign an accord calling for an internationally observed cease-fire in Slovenia and Croatia.

1991 Iraq admits to the United Nations that it has, indeed, produced enriched uranium, but claims it is not enough to make nuclear weapons. One wonders what it WAS enough for?

1994 Death: Kim Il Sung, North Korea's communist leader since 1948, at the age of 82.

1996 Mosque and State: Turkey chooses, for the first time, a prime minister who belongs to an Islamic party. Later in the year, Necmettin Erbakan confirms his desire to make Turkey less of a Western-affiliated nation when he refuses the United States permission to use a Turkish military base to bomb Iraq.

1997 The Senate begins hearings on potentially illegal campaign fundraising practices. Among the allegations is that China, through illegal contributions, sought to influence the outcome of the 1996 elections.

1997 Old War: NATO invites Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to join the alliance in 1999.

1998 Four leaders of the Montana Freemen are convicted in federal court in Billings, Montana, of conspiring to defraud banks. The antigovernment, anti-tax group gained fame in 1996 during an 81-day standoff at its ranch. Note: In addition to maintaining they are not subject to federal or state laws, the Freemen also claim that God intended white people to rule the Earth, that blacks are animals and Jews are descendants of Satan.

2001 Police chiefs urge people to stay off the streets of Bradford in a bid to prevent further rioting.


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