TODAY IN HISTORY
By The Associated Press
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 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, outside the State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.
In 1911, cowgirl “Two-Gun Nan” Aspinwall became the first woman to make a solo trip by horse across the United States, arriving in New York 10 months after departing San Francisco.
In 1947, demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.
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 1972, the Nixon administration announced a deal to sell $750 million in grain to the Soviet Union. (However, the Soviets were also engaged in secretly buying subsidized American grain, resulting in what critics dubbed “The Great Grain Robbery.”)
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 2000, Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-6 (3) for her first Grand Slam title, becoming the first black female champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957-58.
In 2011, former first lady Betty Ford died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 93. Atlantis thundered into orbit on a cargo run that would close out the three-decade U.S. space shuttle program.
In 2017, at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, world powers lined up against President Donald Trump on climate change, reaffirming their support for international efforts to fight global warming. On trade, the U.S. and international partners endorsed open markets while acknowledging that countries had a right to put up barriers to block unfair practices. After their first face-to-face meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he thought Trump believed his denials of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential vote.
Ten years ago: Group of Eight leaders, including President Barack Obama, pledged to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as they met in L’Aquila, Italy. South Korea blamed North Korea for cyberattacks targeting its websites as well as those in the U.S.
Thought for Today: “History must stay open, it is all humanity.” – William Carlos Williams, American author and poet (1883-1963).