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This day in history
July 08, 2014, 05:00 AM

In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.

In 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, outside the State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.

In 1853, an expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Yedo Bay, Japan, on a mission to seek diplomatic and trade relations with the Japanese.

In 1907, Florenz Ziegfeld staged his first “Follies,” on the roof of the New York Theater.

In 1914, jazz singer and bandleader Billy Eckstine was born in Pittsburgh.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles (vehr-SY’) Peace Conference in France.

In 1947, demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman named Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea. (Truman ended up sacking MacArthur for insubordination nine months later.)

In 1962, just after midnight local time, Alitalia Flight 771, a DC-8, crashed as it was approaching Bombay (Mumbai), India, killing all 94 people on board.

In 1972, the Nixon administration announced a deal to sell $750 million in grain to the Soviet Union. (However, the Soviets were also engaged in secretly buying subsidized American grain, resulting in what critics dubbed “The Great Grain Robbery.”)



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