Today in History: It’s Friday, July 8 and day 189 of 2022. The year has 176 days remaining.
Today’s Historical Highlight
The Nixon administration announced a contract to sell the Soviet Union grain worth 750 million dollars on July 8, 1972. (However, the Soviet Union was also surreptitiously purchasing American grain that had been subsidized, leading to what critics called “The Great Grain Robbery.”)
On this time
Col. John Nixon performed the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776 in front of the State House, which is now Independence Hall.
In order to establish diplomatic and commercial ties with the Japanese, an expedition under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Yedo Bay, Japan, in 1853.
Florenz Ziegfeld performed his first “Follies” performance on the roof of the New York Theater in 1907.
Officials at Roswell Army Air Field claimed to have retrieved a “flying saucer” that had crashed onto a ranch in 1947, according to the Roswell Daily Record of New Mexico; officials later clarified that it was merely a weather balloon. Some people still hold the belief that what crashed onto Earth was an alien spacecraft containing extraterrestrial creatures.
General Douglas MacArthur was appointed commander-in-chief of the United Nations forces in Korea by President Harry S. Truman in 1950. (Nine months later, Truman fired MacArthur for disobedience.)
The 53-year-old Oscar-winning performer Vivien Leigh passed away in London in 1967.
In 1989, Carlos Saul Menem became Argentina’s first democratically elected civilian president, marking the nation’s first such transition in more than 60 years.
Kim Il Sung, the communist ruler of North Korea since 1948, passed away in 1994 at the age of 82.
Venus Williams, the first Black woman to win Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957–1958, won her first Grand Slam in 2000 after defeating Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-6 (3).
In exchange for the release of four prisoners suspected of espionage for the West, 10 people accused of spying in suburban America pled guilty to conspiracy and were ordered deported to Russia in 2010, resulting in the greatest spy exchange between the United States and Russia since the Cold War.
Betty Ford, a former first lady, passed away in Rancho Mirage, California, in 2011 at the age of 93.
NATO leaders prepared for a protracted standoff with Russia in 2016, on the opening day of a two-day summit in Warsaw. They sent multinational troops to Poland and the three Baltic nations as Moscow pressed ahead with its own plans to deploy two new divisions along its western borders.
Ten years ago: On a day when 29 people died as a result of roadside bombings and insurgent strikes, an explosion in eastern Afghanistan killed six NATO soldiers. At the All England Club, Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to win his 17th Grand Slam championship overall and tie Pete Sampras’ record of seven men’s singles victories. Ernest Borgnine, an Oscar-winning actor, passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 95.
Five years ago: World leaders sided against President Donald Trump on climate change at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, and reaffirmed their support for global initiatives to combat global warming. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, said he felt Trump believed his denials of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election following their first face-to-face encounter.
One year ago: In a speech delivered in the White House East Room, President Joe Biden announced that the United States’ military mission in Afghanistan would come to an end on August 31.
While acknowledging that there would be no “mission accomplished” moment to celebrate, Biden made a passionate case for ending the nearly 20-year conflict without losing any more American lives.
The governor of Tokyo said that spectators would not be permitted inside stadiums and arenas in the Tokyo area for the upcoming Olympics due to an increase in coronavirus infections.
Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa, surrendered to police so that he could start serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt.
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who rose to popularity by defending porn star Stormy Daniels in legal proceedings against Donald Trump, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail for attempting to extort up to $25 million from Nike.
The first African American champion, 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde of Louisiana, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by properly spelling “murraya.”
Birthdays today: Singer Steve Lawrence is 87 years old. Age 78 for actor Jeffrey Tambor. 77-year-old rock guitarist Jaimoe Johanson.
Cynthia Gregory, a ballerina, is 75. Kim Darby, an actor, is 75. 74-year-old actor Jonelle Allen. Raffi, an entertainer for kids, is 74. Wolfgang Puck, a well-known chef, is 73.
Anjelica Huston, an actor, is 71. 70-year-old author Anna Quindlen. Kevin Bacon, an actor, is 64. Robert Knepper, an actor, is 63.
Toby Keith, a country artist, is 61.
60-year-old rock vocalist Joan Osborne Rob Burnett, a writer and producer, is 60.
Rocky Carroll, an actor, is 59. Corey Parker, an actor, is 57. The age of the actor is 57.
Michael B. Silver, an actor, is 55. Billy Crudup, an actor, is 54. Michael Weatherly, an actor, is 54.
Beck, a singer, is 52. Sebastian Maniscalco is a 49-year-old comic. Robertson, an actor, is 49 years old. Stephen Mason, a 47-year-old Christian rock performer with Jars of Clay.
Milo Ventimiglia, an actor, is 45 years old (MEE’-loh vehn-tih-MEEL’-yuh). Ben Jelen is a 43-year-old singer. Lance Gross, an actor, is 41. Sophia Bush, an actress, is 40.
Arctic Monkeys’ rock musician Jamie Cook is 37 years old. Jake McDorman, an actor, is 36. Maya Hawke, an actress, is 24. Jaden Smith, an actor, is 24.