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Today in History: July 8, Thai cave rescue

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Today in History

Today is Monday, July 8, the 190th day of 2024. There are 176 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 8, 2018, divers rescued four of the 12 boys who’d been trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand with their soccer coach for more than two weeks. (The remaining eight boys and their coach were rescued over the next two days.)

Also on this date:

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 Edo Bay, Japan, on a mission to seek diplomatic and trade relations with the Japanese.

In 1889, the first issue of The Wall Street Journal was published.

In 1947, a New Mexico newspaper, the Roswell Daily Record, quoted officials at Roswell Army Air Field as saying they had recovered a “flying saucer” that crashed onto a ranch; officials then said it was actually a weather balloon.

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

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.”)

In 1994, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s communist leader since 1948, died at age 82.

In 2000, Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport for her first Grand Slam title, becoming the first Black female champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1958.

In 2010, the largest spy swap between the U.S. and Russia since the Cold War unfolded as 10 people accused of spying in suburban America pleaded guilty to conspiracy and were ordered deported to Russia in exchange for the release of four prisoners accused of spying for the West.

In 2011, the 135th and final space shuttle mission began when space shuttle Atlantis launched from Kennedy Space Center.

In 2021, President Joe Biden said the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan would end on Aug. 31; in a speech in the White House East Room, Biden made an impassioned argument for exiting the nearly 20-year war without sacrificing more America lives, but acknowledged that there would be no “mission accomplished” moment to celebrate.

In 2022, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jeffrey Tambor is 80. Drummer Jaimoe Johanson (The Allman Brothers Band) is 80. Actor Kim Darby is 77. Children’s musician Raffi is 76. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is 75. Actor Anjelica Huston is 73. Writer Anna Quindlen is 72. Author and politician Marianne Williamson is 72. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Lambert is 72. Actor Kevin Bacon is 66. Singer Joan Osborne is 62. Actor Rocky Carroll (TV: “Roc”) is 61. Actor Lee Tergesen (TV: “Oz”) is 59. Actor Billy Crudup is 56. Actor Michael Weatherly (TV: “NCIS”) is 56. Musician Beck is 54. Actor Kathleen Robertson is 51. Christian rock musician Stephen Mason (Jars of Clay) is 49. Actor Milo Ventimiglia (MEE’-loh vehn-tih-MEEL’-yuh) is 47. Actor Lance Gross (TV: “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”) is 43. Actor Sophia Bush is 42. Actor Maya Hawke is 26. Actor Jaden Smith is 26.

By The Associated Press

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