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This Day in History: July 9


1755 – French and Indian War: Braddock Expedition: British troops and colonial militiamen are ambushed and suffer a devastating defeat by French and Native American forces.

1776 – George Washington orders the Declaration of Independence to be read out loud to members of the Continental Army in New York, New York, for the first time.

1811 – Explorer David Thompson posts a sign at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers (in modern Washington state, US), claiming the land for the United Kingdom.

1850 – U.S. President Zachary Taylor dies; Vice President Millard Fillmore, becomes President upon Taylor's death.

1863 – American Civil War: The Siege of Port Hudson ends.

1868 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.

1896 – William Jennings Bryan delivers his Cross of Gold speech advocating bimetallism at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

1918 – Great Train Wreck of 1918: In Nashville, Tennessee, an inbound local train collides with an outbound express killing 101 and injuring 171 people, making it the deadliest rail accident in United States history.

1922 – Johnny Weissmuller swims the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds breaking the world swimming record and the 'minute barrier'.

1937 – The silent film archives of Fox Film Corporation are destroyed by the 1937 Fox vault fire.

1943 – World War II: Operation Husky: Allied forces perform an amphibious invasion of Sicily.

1944 – World War II: Battle of Normandy: British and Canadian forces capture Caen, France.

1944 – World War II: Battle of Saipan: American forces take Saipan in the Mariana Islands.

1962 – Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans exhibition opens at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

1981 – Donkey Kong, a video game created by Nintendo, is released. The game marks the debut of Nintendo's future mascot, Mario.

1982 – Pan Am Flight 759 crashes in Kenner, Louisiana killing all 145 people on board and eight others on the ground.


1686 – Philip Livingston, American merchant and politician (d. 1749)

1819 – Elias Howe, American inventor, invented the sewing machine (d. 1867)

1927 – Ed Ames, American singer and actor (Ames Brothers)

1947 – O. J. Simpson, American football player and actor

1956 – Tom Hanks, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter

1964 – Courtney Love, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress

1976 – Fred Savage, American actor, director, and producer


1850 – Zachary Taylor, American general and politician, 12th President of the United States (b. 1784)

1852 – Thomas McKean Thompson McKennan, American lawyer and politician, 2nd United States Secretary of the Interior (b. 1794)

1932 – King Camp Gillette, American businessman, founded the Gillette Company (b. 1855)

1938 – Benjamin N. Cardozo, American lawyer and jurist (b. 1870)

1974 – Earl Warren, American jurist and politician, 14th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1891)

1977 – Alice Paul, American activist (b. 1885)

1992 – Eric Sevareid, American journalist (b. 1912)