This Week In History, July 8


by Dianne Hermann 

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

– Winston Churchill           


Week of July 8-14, 2013


July 8

1776 – Col. John Nixon gives the first public reading of Declaration of Independence. (It is read aloud at the State House in Philadelphia).

1932 – The lowest close of Dow Jones Industrial Average during the Depression (41.22). The all time record high close is on May 28, 2013 (15,409.39)

1948 – The Milton Berle Show (“Texaco Star Theater”) premieres on NBC TV. The show runs under various names on various TV networks until 1956. Berle dies in 2002.

1950 – Gen. Douglas MacArthur becomes commander-in-chief of UN forces in Korea by order of President Truman. MacArthur is relieved of his command by Truman in April of 1951. MacArthur later tells Congress, “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”


July 9

1868 – The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, granting citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed. In addition, it forbids states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law.”

1956 – Dick Clark’s makes his first appearance as host of “American Bandstand.” The show runs until 1989. Dick Clark dies in 2012 at age 82.

1973 – Secretariat becomes first Triple Crown winner in 25 years by winning horse racing’s Belmont Stakes. (The previous winner is Citation – see July 14, 1951.) Secretariat is inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1974. He is euthanized in 1989 at age 19 because of Laminitis, a painful inflammation of the sensitive tissue beneath the hoof wall.


July 10

1913 – The highest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. is 134° F in Death Valley, CA. (100 years ago today.)

1962 – The Telstar I Communications satellite is launched. Later that same day it transmits the first live television images from the United States to France.

1998 – The U.S. military delivers the remains of Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Blassie to his family in St. Louis, MO. Blassie is shot down over South Vietnam in 1972. He had been placed in Arlington Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown in 1984. His identity is confirmed with DNA tests.


July 11

1798 – President John Adams signs the bill establishing the U.S. Marine Corps as a permanent military force under the jurisdiction of the Department of Navy.

1804 – Vice President Aaron Burr kills Alex Hamilton in a pistol duel near Weehawken, NJ. Burr is indicted for murder, but the charges are later dropped.

1977 – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN.


July 12

1909 – The resolution proposing the 16th Amendment (income tax) is passed by the 61st Congress and submitted to the state legislatures. The resolution reads simply “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” The proposed 16th Amendment was voted on by each state legislature and subsequently ratified on February 3, 1913.

1958 – US performs the 60th of 67 atmospheric nuclear tests at Bikini Island.

1968 – U.S.S.R. performs the 3rd of 8 nuclear tests in one year at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan.

1978 – US performs a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site. Underground testing of weapons continues until September of 1992.

1984 – U.S. Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-NY) is chosen by Democrat presidential candidate Walter Mondale to be his running mate. Ferraro becomes the first woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket. Ferraro dies in 2011 at age 75.


July 13

1836 – US patent #1 is issued for locomotive wheels (after 9,957 unnumbered patents were issued!). Patent #8,000,000 (8 million!) is issued in 2011.

1923 – The Hollywood Sign is officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, Los Angeles. It originally reads “Hollywoodland ” but the four last letters are dropped after renovation in 1949.

1978 – Lee Iacocca is fired as Ford Motor President by chairman Henry Ford II. The following year, Iacocca is hired as president of the Chrysler Corporation.


July 14

1951 – Triple Crown champion Citation (1948) runs his final race, winning The Hollywood Gold Cup, making him the first horse to earn over $1,000,000 in winnings. Citation is inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1959 and dies in 1970 at the age of 25.

1951 – The George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, MO, becomes the first national park to honor an African American.

1965 – American space probe Mariner 4 flies within 6,118 miles of Mars after an eight-month journey. This mission provides the first close-up images of the red planet. The mission launches November 28, 1964.

2008 – The iTunes Music Store reaches 10 million applications downloaded. The following year the number of applications downloaded reaches 1.5 billion.