Today in History
July 8

1099   Christian Crusaders march around Jerusalem as Muslims watch from within the city.
1608   The first French settlement at Quebec is established by Samuel de Champlain.
1663   The British crown grants Rhode Island a charter guaranteeing freedom of worship.
1686   The Austrians take Budapest from the Turks and annex Hungary.
1709   Peter the Great defeats Charles XII at Poltava, in the Ukraine, effectively ending the Swedish empire.
1755   Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with France as their disputes in the New World intensify.
1758   The British attack on Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga, New York, is foiled by the French.
1794   French troops capture Brussels, Belgium.
1815   With Napoleon defeated, Louis XVIII returns to Paris.
1822   29-year old poet Percy Bysshe Shelley drowns while sailing in Italy.
1859   The truce at Villafranca Austria cedes Lombardy to France.
1863   Demoralized by the surrender of Vicksburg, Confederates in Port Hudson, Louisiana, surrender to Union forces.
1864   Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston retreats into Atlanta to prevent being flanked by Union General William T. Sherman.
1865   Four of the conspirators in President Abraham Lincoln‘s assassination are hanged in Washington, D.C.
1879   The first ship to use electric lights departs from San Francisco, California.
1905   The mutinous crew of the battleship Potemkin surrenders to Romanian authorities.
1918   Ernest Hemingway is wounded in Italy while working as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross.
1941   20 B-17s fly in their first mission with the Royal Air Force over Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
1943   American B-24 bombers strike Japanese-held Wake Island for the first time.
1948   The U.S. Air Force accepts its first female recruits into the new Women in the Air Force (WAF) program.
President Harry S. Truman paved the way for WAF earlier in 1948 in signing the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which allows women to serve directly in the military. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1960   The Soviet Union charges American pilot Francis Gary Powers with espionage.
Born on July 8
1621   Jean de La Fontaine, poet and author (Fables).
1838   Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German designer and manufacturer of airships.
1839   John D. Rockefeller, financier, philanthropist, founder of Standard Oil.
1869   William Vaughn Moody, poet and playwright (The Great Divide).
1906   Philip C. Johnson, architect.
1908   Nelson Rockefeller, U.S. vice president to Gerald Ford.
1943   Faye Wattleton, women’s rights advocate.
1953   Anna Quindlen, novelist.

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