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This Day in History: July 8


1663 – Charles II of England grants John Clarke a Royal charter to Rhode Island.

1760 – French and Indian War: Battle of Restigouche: British forces defeat French forces in last naval battle in New France.

1775 – The Olive Branch Petition is signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies of North America.

1776 – Liberty Bell is rung with reading of Declaration of Independence of the United States.

1853 – U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Edo bay with a treaty requesting trade.

1876 – White supremacists kill five Black Republicans in Hamburg, South Carolina.

1879 – Sailing ship USS Jeannette departs San Francisco carrying an ill-fated expedition to the North Pole.

1889 – The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published.

1898 – The death of crime boss Soapy Smith, killed in the Shootout on Juneau Wharf, releases Skagway, Alaska from his iron grip.

1932 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22.

1947 – Reports are broadcast that a UFO crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico in what became known as the Roswell UFO incident.

1948 – The United States Air Force accepts its first female recruits into a program called Women in the Air Force (WAF).

1960 – Francis Gary Powers is charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union.

1968 – The Chrysler wildcat strike begins in Detroit, Michigan.

1970 – Richard Nixon delivers a special congressional message enunciating Native American self-determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975.

2011 – Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program.


1830 – Frederick W. Seward, American lawyer and politician, 6th United States Assistant Secretary of State (d. 1915)

1831 – John Pemberton, American chemist and pharmacist, invented Coca-Cola (d. 1888)

1838 – Eli Lilly, American soldier, chemist, and businessman, founded Eli Lilly and Company (d. 1898)

1838 – Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and businessman, founded the Zeppelin Airship Company (d. 1917)

1839 – John D. Rockefeller, American businessman and philanthropist, founded the Standard Oil Company (d. 1937)

1893 – R. Carlyle Buley, American historian and author (d. 1968)

1906 – Philip Johnson, American architect, designed the IDS Center and PPG Place (d. 2005)

1908 – Nelson Rockefeller, American businessman and politician, 41st Vice President of the United States (d. 1979)

1917 – J. F. Powers American author and academic (d. 1999)

1951 – Anjelica Huston, American actress and director


1689 – Edward Wooster, English-American settler (b. 1622)

1957 – Grace Coolidge, American wife of Calvin Coolidge, 37th First Lady of the United States (b. 1879)

1979 – Robert Burns Woodward, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1917)

2011 – Betty Ford, American wife of Gerald Ford, 40th First Lady of the United States (b. 1918)

2012 – Ernest Borgnine, American actor and singer (b. 1917)