On this day, July 8 …
1947: The Roswell Daily Record, a New Mexico newspaper, quotes officials at Roswell Army Air Field as saying they had recovered a "flying saucer" that crashed onto a ranch; officials then say it was actually a weather balloon. (To this day, there are those who believe what fell to Earth was an alien spaceship carrying extraterrestrial beings.)
Also on this day:
- 1776: Col. John Nixon gives the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, outside the State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.
- 1796: The first American passport is issued.
- 1889: The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published.
- 1947: Demolition work begins in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.
- 1950: President Harry S Truman names Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea. (Truman would fire MacArthur for insubordination nine months later.)
- 1972: The Nixon administration announces a deal to sell $750 million in grain to the Soviet Union. (However, the Soviets also were engaged in buying subsidized American grain in secret, resulting in what critics dubbed "The Great Grain Robbery.")
- 1975: President Gerald R. Ford announces he would seek a second term in office.
- 1994: Kim Il Sung, North Korea's communist leader since 1948, dies at age 82.
- 2011: Former first lady Betty Ford dies in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 93.
- 2011: Atlantis thunders into orbit on a cargo run that would close out the three-decade U.S. space shuttle program.
- 2014: President Barack Obama appeals to Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency spending to deal with the immigration crisis on the nation's southern border, where unaccompanied children are showing up by the thousands (Republican lawmakers reject the request).
- 2015: A technical glitch causes the New York Stock Exchange to stop trading for nearly four hours.
- 2017: After their first face-to-face meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin says he thinks President Donald Trump believes his denials of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential vote.
- 2019: A 1-year-old girl apparently slips from her grandfather's hands and falls to her death from the 11th floor of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico, police say.