Today in History – July 8

1099 – Some 15,000 starving Christian soldiers began the siege of Jerusalem by marching in a religious procession around the city as its Muslim defenders watched.

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

1758 – French forces held Fort Carillon against the British at Ticonderoga, New York.

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

1776 – Church bells (possibly including the Liberty Bell) were rung after John Nixon delivered the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

1876 – The Hamburg massacre prior to the 1876 United States presidential election resulted in the deaths of six African-Americans of the Republican Party, along with one white assailant.

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

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

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

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

1947 – Reports were 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 accepted its first female recruits into a program called Women in the Air Force (WAF).

1958 – The first gold record album was presented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The award went to the soundtrack “Oklahoma!”

1960 – American U2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union.

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

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

1970 – “The Everly Brothers Show” was launched on ABC as a summer series.

1972 – The Who’s “Join Together” was released in the U.S.

1978 – Exile’s “Kiss You All Over” was released.

1982 – A failed assassination attempt against Iraqi president Saddam Hussein resulted in the Dujail Massacre over the next several months.

1994 – Kim Jong-il began to assume supreme leadership of North Korea upon the death of his father, Kim Il-sung.

1996 – The Spice Girls debut single “Wannabe” was released in Great Britain.

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

2021 – President Joe Biden announced that the official conclusion of the U.S. involvement in the War in Afghanistan will be on August 31, 2021.

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