What Happened On This Day – July 8
2011 Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched for the last time
It was also the last flight of NASA's 30-year long and successful Space Shuttle program. STS-135, as this final mission was called, was the program's 135th flight.
1994 Kim Jong-il takes office as the Supreme Leader of North Korea
Popularly known as "Dear Leader" in his country, Kim Jong-il took North Korea's highest office after the death of his father, Kim Il-sung. He ruled the country with an iron fist until his death in 2011, when his son, Kim Jong-un took his place. Kim Jong-il's tenure was marred by widespread human rights violations and severe famine in the country.
1889 Wall Street Journal published for the first time
Three financial reporters named Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser created The Wall Street Journal to supersede a previous periodical called the Customers' Afternoon Letter.
1777 Vermont abolishes slavery
Vermont adopted its constitution that abolished slavery, becoming the first region in the now United States to abolish slavery. The constitution was adopted after Vermont declared independence from the British empire.
1497 Vasco da Gama sets off on a voyage to India from Lisbon with 4 ships
A year later, he reached the city of Calicut in southern India and became the first European to set foot in India by way of the sea.
Births On This Day – July 8
1908 Nelson Rockefeller
American politician, 41st Vice President of the United States
1907 George W. Romney
American businessman, politician
1839 John D. Rockefeller
American businessman, philanthropist, founded the Standard Oil Company
1838 Ferdinand von Zeppelin
German general, businessman
1836 Joseph Chamberlain
Deaths On This Day – July 8
2011 Betty Ford
American wife of Gerald R. Ford, 40th First Lady of the United States
1973 Wilfred Rhodes
1967 Vivien Leigh
1822 Percy Bysshe Shelley
1695 Christiaan Huygens
Dutch mathematician, astronomer, physicist