#TodayInHistory – July 84 min read
July 8 – Some important events on this day.
1099 👉🏼 First Crusade: 15,000 starving Christian soldiers march in religious procession around Jerusalem as its Muslim defenders look on
1497 👉🏼 Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama departs on his first voyage, becoming the 1st European to reach India by sea
1579 👉🏼 Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, was discovered underground in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan
1777 👉🏼 Independent Vermont introduces a new constitution, prohibiting slavery
1800 👉🏼 Dr Benjamin Waterhouse gives 1st cowpox vaccination in the US to his son to prevent smallpox
1853 👉🏼 Commodore Matthew C. Perry sails his frigate Susquehanna into Tokyo Bay, opening Japan to Western influence and trade
1874 👉🏼 The Mounties (North West Mounted Police) begin their March West from Fort Dufferin
1896 👉🏼 Charles Tupper resigns as Prime Minister of Canada after losing the June 23rd election, his 69-day term the shortest in Canadian history
1909 👉🏼 1st pro baseball game (minor league) played under lights ⚾️
1913 👉🏼 Alfred Carlton Gilbert’s patent for the Erector Set is issued, the construction toy that eventually became one of the most popular toys of all time. When the US considered a ban on toy production during World War I in 1918, Gilbert successfully argued against it, becoming known as “the man who saved Christmas.” Best known for the Erector Set, Gilbert had more than 150 patents to his name.
1948 👉🏼 500th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated in Moscow
1951 👉🏼 Paris celebrates 2,000th birthday
However, a few more candles would’ve technically been required on the birthday cake, as the capital of France was most likely founded around 250 B.C.
The history of Paris can be traced back to a Gallic tribe known as the Parisii, who sometime around 250 B.C. settled an island (known today as Ile de la Cite) in the Seine River, which runs through present-day Paris. By 52 B.C., Julius Caesar and the Romans had taken over the area, which eventually became Christianized and known as Lutetia, Latin for “midwater dwelling.” The settlement later spread to both the left and right banks of the Seine and the name Lutetia was replaced with “Paris.” In 987 A.D., Paris became the capital of France. As the city grew, the Left Bank earned a reputation as the intellectual district while the Right Bank became known for business.
Today, Paris is home to some 2 million residents, with an additional 10 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area. The city retains its reputation as a center for food, fashion, commerce and culture. Paris also continues to be one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, renowned for such sights as the Eiffel Tower (built in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution), the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame Cathedral (built in 1163), Luxembourg Gardens and the Louvre Museum, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Mona Lisa.”
1979 👉🏼 Voyager 2 takes 1st ever photo of Jupiter’s satellite Adrastea (J14).
NASA’s Voyager program began after it was discovered a ‘once in a lifetime alignment’ would allow a spacecraft to fly past some of the solar system’s planets using their gravity.
The mission, managed by California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, launched Voyager 2, the first of two spacecrafts, from the Kennedy Space Center in 1977. Although launched second, it was calculated that Voyager 1 would reach Jupiter and Saturn first, which it did in March 1979. Voyager 2 followed in July 1979. Their findings include the discovery of a number of new moons, with evidence of volcanic activity on Jupiter’s moon Io and the storm at the center of Jupiter’s red spot.
Voyager 1 passed by Saturn in November 1980, Voyager 2 in August 1981. Voyager 2 went on to become the first spacecraft to fly close to four planets, flying by Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989. After this their cameras were turned off to preserve power.
In 2004 Voyager 1 crossed the termination shock, where the solar and interstellar winds meet before becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space in 2012. Voyager 2 followed and reached interstellar space in 2018.
1996 👉🏼 British girls group the Spice Girls release their debut single “Wannabe” in the UK 🎵
2013 👉🏼 A dozen people are killed and injured after a hotel collapses in Hyderabad, India 🇮🇳