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On this day in history - July 8

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.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

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

    British politician

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

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

    English cricketer

  • 1967 Vivien Leigh

    English actress

  • 1822 Percy Bysshe Shelley

    English poet

  • 1695 Christiaan Huygens

    Dutch mathematician, astronomer, physicist