This Day in History: July 8

The Roswell Daily Record quotes officials at Roswell Army Air Field as saying they had recovered a 'flying saucer'

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.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur (left) and President Truman.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur (left) and President Truman. (Associated Press, File)

  • 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.