July 8, 1776
LIBERTY BELL RINGS FOR 1ST READING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
The citizens of Philadelphia were called to the Pennsylvania State House today by the ringing of the Liberty Bell which signaled the 1st public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
The Liberty Bell was built in 1751 to proclaim the 50th anniversary of Pennsylvania’s constitution.
The 2000 pound bell, made of copper & tin, was given the name “Liberty Bell” in a poem published in an abolitionist pamphlet.
Liberty Bell Center
Photo by Bev Sykes (2004)*
*WC Fields liked to say “I’d rather be in Philadelphia” but I am sad to say, I have never had the opportunity to visit. Certainly, the “City of Brotherly Love” should be seen by all Americans & I hope to get there soon.
July 8, 1853
COMMODORE PERRY SAILS INTO TOKYO BAY
US Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry sailed his fleet of 4 ships into Tokyo Harbor today in hopes of gaining an audience with Japanese officials.
After some behind the scene negotiations, the Japanese government agreed to meet with Commodore Perry.*
*This marked the 1st time in 200 years that the Japanese opened up a relationship with a western nation.
July 8, 1938
AMBASSADOR KENNEDY HONORED IN IRELAND
Ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., was given a banquet in his honor today at Dublin Castle in Ireland.
Prime Minister Eamon de Valera welcomed Mr. Kennedy & praised both the ambassador & the United States.
July 8, 1941
BOSTON’S TED WILLIAMS LEADS AL TO VICTORY IN ALL STAR CLASSIC
With the American League All-Stars down by a run in the 9th inning, Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams belted a 3 run home run to lead his team to a 7-5 victory over the National League All-Stars.
Ted Williams Plaque
Fenway Park, Boston
Photo by Bernard Gagnon (2007)
July 8, 1951
PARIS CELEBRATES 2000th BIRTHDAY
Paris, France is 2000 years old today.*
*Paris, center of commerce, culture, fashion & food, boasts a population of 2 million today with 10 million in the metro area.
Photo by Taxiarchos228
July 8, 1960
FRANCIS GARY POWERS CHARGED AS SPY
Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot who was shot down 2 months ago over the Soviet Union, was charged today with espionage by the USSR.*
*In August 1960, Powers would be sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was released in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolph Abel after 2 years.
Kelly Johnson, U2 designer & Powers
July 8, 1962
JFK UPSET BY NEWS FROM COUNCIL ON YOUTH FITNESS
President John F. Kennedy, who has championed a call for physical fitness & vigor, was upset today by the results of a report from the Council on Youth Fitness.
The report says that 60% of American children do not participate in a daily program of physical activity.
July 8, 1963
JFK FREEZES CUBAN BANK DEPOSITS
In response to the continued alliance by Fidel Castro’s Cuban government & the Soviet Union, the Kennedy Administration today froze $33 million in Cuban bank deposits.
The action follows the embargo set in February of last year which provided for trade restrictions with Cuba & the travel restrictions added to that in February of this year.*
*The basis for the action is the 1917 Trading With the Enemy Act.