This Day in History July 8th


  • 2014 Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, in response to kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers.
  • 2006 Died: Catherine Leroy, French-American photojournalist and war photographer best remembered for her coverage of the Vietnam War.
  • 2003 Sudan Airways Flight 139 crashed at Port Sudan, killing all 117 people on board, due to a loss of power it experienced some 15 minutes after takeoff.
  • 2001 The Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched in the 135th and final mission of the American Space Shuttle program. It landed on July 21, 2011.
  • 1994 Died: Kim Il-sung (born Kim Sŏng-ju), North Korean statesman who was the leader and architect of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
  • 1994 Died: Christian-Jaque (pseudonym of Christian Maudet), French filmmaker whose best known work is the 1952 film Fanfan la Tulipe.
  • 1982 Up to a dozen gunman attempted to assassinate Iraqi president Saddam Hussein during his visit to the small Shi’a town of Dujail.
  • 1979 Died: Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Japanese physicist who was awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing it with two other scientists.
  • 1979 Died: Robert Burns Woodward, American organic chemist who was awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his outstanding achievements.
  • 1968 Born: Billy Crudup, American actor best known for his roles as Russell Hammond in Almost Famous and Will Bloom in Big Fish.
  • 1966 King Mwambutsa IV Bangiricenge of Burundi was deposed by Michel Micombero in favor of his son, Crown Prince Charles Ndizeye.
  • 1961 Born: Andy Fletcher, English musician best known as a keyboardist and founding member of the electronic band Depeche Mode.
  • 1958 Born: Tzipi Livni, Israeli politician who served as a minister in the Israeli cabinet more then once. She also was the Leader of the Opposition.
  • 1958 Born: Kevin Bacon, American actor and musician known for his roles in Footloose, JFK, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, Mystic River and many others.
  • 1957 Died: Grace Coolidge, the wife of the 306th President of the United States Calvin Coolidge and First Lady of the U.S. from 1923 to 1929.
  • 1917 Born: Pamela Brown, English stage and film actress known for her roles in Personal Affair, Richard III, Lust for Life, Lady Caroline Lamb.
  • 1895 Died: Johann Josef Loschmidt, Austrian scientist known for his ground-breaking work in chemistry and various branches of physics.
  • 1894 Born: Pyotr Kapitsa, Soviet physicist who was awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics for his inventions in the area of low-temperature physics.
  • 1889 The Wall Street Journal was published for the first time. It was founded by Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser.
  • 1885 Born: Ernst Bloch, German Marxist philosopher whose best known works include The Principle of Hope and Atheism in Christianity.
  • 1839 Born: John D. Rockefeller, American business magnate and philanthropist primarily remembered as a co-founder of the Standard Oil Company.
  • 1838 Born: Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and aircraft manufacture best known as the founder of the Zeppelin airship company.
  • 1822 Died: Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the major English Romantic poets who is widely regarded as one of the best lyric poets in the English language.
  • 1808 Joseph Bonaparte, the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, approved the Bayonne Statute as the intended basis for his rule as King of Spain.
  • 1730 An estimated magnitude 8.7 earthquake occurred in Valparaíso. It triggered a major tsunami and caused severe damage from Chillan to La Serena.
  • 1721 Died: Elihu Yale, Welsh merchant and philanthropist. Yale University was named in his honor because he was a benefactor of the original college.
  • 1709 The Battle of Poltava was fought between Russia and Sweden during the Great Northern War. It resulted in decisive Russian victory.
  • 1695 Died: Christiaan Huygens, Dutch polymath. His work included discovery of Saturn’s moon Titan and the invention of the pendulum clock.
  • 1621 Born: Jean de La Fontaine, French fabulist and poet. His Fables are classics of French literature, they provided a model for many subsequent fabulists.
  • 1497 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama set sail on his first voyage. His fleet consisting of four ships traveled around Africa to India and back.

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