Today in History – Saturday, July 8, 2017


Today is Saturday, July 8, the 189th day of 2017. 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 1663, King Charles II of England granted a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.

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 1891, Warren G. Harding married Florence Kling DeWolfe in Marion, Ohio.

In 1907, Florenz Ziegfeld staged his first “Follies,” on the roof of the New York Theater.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles (vehr-SY’) Peace Conference in France.

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 1967, Academy Award-winning actress Vivien Leigh, 53, died in London.

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 2011, former first lady Betty Ford died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 93.

Ten years ago: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell ordered a range of state government services shut down and placed about a third of the state work force on indefinite unpaid furlough after last-minute negotiations failed to break a budget stalemate. (A budget deal was hammered out the following night.) Roger Federer won his fifth straight Wimbledon championship, beating Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2.

Five years ago: A bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed six NATO service members on a day in which a total of 29 people died from roadside bombs and insurgent attacks. In a show of force, Syria began large-scale military exercises to simulate defending the country against outside “aggression.” Roger Federer equaled Pete Sampras’ record of seven men’s singles titles at the All England Club and won his 17th Grand Slam title overall, beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. Na Yeon Choi of South Korea won the U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin. Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine, 95, died in Los Angeles.

One year ago: On the first day of a two-day summit in Warsaw, NATO leaders geared up for a long-term standoff with Russia, ordering multinational troops to Poland and the three Baltic states as Moscow moved forward with its own plans to station two new divisions along its western borders. Ten states (Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming) sued the federal government over rules requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms conforming to their gender identity, joining a dozen other states in the latest fight over LGBT rights. (Nebraska, which led the effort, later asked to drop the lawsuit after the Trump administration ended the protection.)

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Steve Lawrence is 82. Actor Jeffrey Tambor is 73. Ballerina Cynthia Gregory is 71. Actress Kim Darby is 70. Actress Jonelle Allen is 69. Children’s performer Raffi is 69. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is 68. Actress Anjelica Huston is 66. Writer Anna Quindlen is 65. Actor Kevin Bacon is 59. Actor Robert Knepper is 58. Rock musician Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode) is 56. Country singer Toby Keith is 56. Rock musician Graham Jones (Haircut 100) is 56. Rock singer Joan Osborne is 55. Writer-producer Rob Burnett is 55. Actor Rocky Carroll is 54. Actor Corey Parker is 52. Actor Lee Tergesen is 52. Actor Billy Crudup is 49. Actor Michael Weatherly is 49. Singer Beck is 47. Country singer Drew Womack (Sons of the Desert) is 47. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalo is 44. Actress Kathleen Robertson is 44. Christian rock musician Stephen Mason (Jars of Clay) is 42. Actor Milo Ventimiglia (MEE’-loh vehn-tih-MEEL’-yuh) is 40. Rock musician Tavis Werts is 40. Singer Ben Jelen (YEL’-in) is 38. Actor Lance Gross is 36. Actress Sophia Bush is 35. Rock musician Jamie Cook (Arctic Monkeys) is 32. Actor Jake McDorman is 31. Actor Jaden Smith is 19.

Thought for Today: “Fools are more to be feared than the wicked.” — Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689).