Tuesday, July 8, 2008


This Day in History, July 8
On July 8th, 1776, the Liberty Bell was rung to gather people to the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Other Notable Events, July 8 In 1497, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon on a voyage that would lead to discovery of a sea route to India around the southern tip of Africa.

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read in public for the first time, to people gathered at Philadelphia's Independence Square.

In 1835, the Liberty Bell cracked while being rung during the funeral of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in Philadelphia.

In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry, representing the U.S. government, sailed into Tokyo Bay to begin negotiations that led to the United States becoming the first Western nation to establish diplomatic relations with Japan in two centuries.

In 1950, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur was designated commander of U.N. forces in Korea.

In 1969, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam began.

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

Also in 1991, Iraq admitted to the United Nations that it had produced enriched uranium, but not enough to make nuclear weapons.

In 1994, North Korean President Kim Il Sung died at age 82. He had led the country since its founding in 1948.

Also in 1994, O.J. Simpson was ordered to stand trial on two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend.

In 1996, Turkey's first Islamic prime minister confirmed he wanted a less-Western-affiliated nation when he refused the United States permission to use a Turkish military base to bomb Iraq.

In 1997, the U.S. Senate began hearings on potentially illegal campaign fund-raising practices. Among the allegations was that China, through illegal contributions, sought to influence the outcome of the 1996 elections.

Also in 1997, NATO invited three Eastern European nations -- the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland -- to join the organization.

In 1998, a tentative settlement was reported between Dow Corning Corp. and lawyers for 170,000 women who claimed they had become ill from the company's silicone breast implants.

Also in 1998, four leaders of the Montana Freemen were convicted in federal court in Billings, Mont., of conspiring to defraud banks. The anti-government, anti-tax group gained fame in 1996 during an 81-day standoff at its ranch.

In 2003, North Korea said work had begun on nuclear weapons with enough plutonium on hand to build six bombs.

Also in 2003, doctors in Singapore separated two 29-year-old Iranian sisters who had been joined at the head since birth but the women died during the 54-hour operation.

In 2004, a U.S. Marine once reported to have been beheaded by Iraqi captors showed up alive and well at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, 24, was turned over to military authorities.

In 2005, Hurricane Dennis killed an estimated 57 people in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica before thundering toward the Florida coast where residents prepared for a major storm.

In 2006, Atlantic City's 12 casinos reopened after being forced to shut down for three days, as were a number of New Jersey state offices, in a political dispute that virtually closed government over a proposed 1-cent raise in the sales tax. The state, which employs inspectors at the casinos, lost about $4 million in gambling taxes.

In 2007, Israeli officials approved the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners to boost the administration of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli and Palestinian officials also said talks were under way to set up a meeting between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Notable Birthdays for July 8
Those born on this date include:
- Dirigible inventor Ferdinand von Zeppelin in 1838
- French psychologist Alfred Binet in 1857
- Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller in 1839 and his grandson, U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in 1908
- Band leader Louis Jordan, also in 1908
- White House journalist Sarah Newcomb McClendon in 1910
- Drama critic Walter Kerr in 1913
- Jazz singer Billy Eckstine in 1914
- TV executive Roone Arledge in 1931
- Singer Jerry Vale in 1932 (age 76)
- Singer Steve Lawrence in 1935 (age 73)
- Actor Jeffrey Tambor in 1944 (age 64)
- Ballet dancer Cynthia Gregory in 1946 (age 62)
- Children's singer Raffi (Cavoukian) in 1948 (age 60)
- Chef Wolfgang Puck in 1949 (age 59)
- Actress Kim Darby in 1947 (age 61)
- Actress Anjelica Huston in 1951 (age 57)
- Actor Kevin Bacon in 1958 (age 50)
- Actor Billy Crudup in 1968 (age 40)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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