On July 8:
1099 First Crusade: 15,000 starving Christian soldiers marched in a religious procession around Jerusalem as its Muslim defenders looked on.
1283 War of the Sicilian Vespers: Battle of Malta
1497 Vasco da Gama set sail on first direct European voyage to India.
1579 Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, was discovered underground in the city of Kazan.
1663 Charles II of England granted John Clarke a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.
1680 The first confirmed tornado in America killed a servant at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1709 Great Northern War: Battle of Poltava: Peter I of Russia defeated Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava, effectively ending Sweden’s role as a major power in Europe.
1716 Great Northern War: Battle of Dynekilen.
1758 French forces held Fort Carillon against the British at Ticonderoga, New York.
1760 French and Indian War: Battle of Restigouche – British defeated French forces in last naval battle in New France.
1775 The Olive Branch Petition signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies.
1776 The Declaration of Independence was read aloud in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Liberty Bell was rung.
1822 Chippewas turned over huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom.
1838 Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German inventor, was born (d. 1917).
1839 John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist, was born (d. 1937).
1853 Commodore Perry sailedinto Tokyo Bay.
1859 King Charles XV/Carl IV acceded to the throne of Sweden-Norway.
1864 Ikedaya Jiken: the Shinsengumi sabotaged the Choshu-han shishi’s planned attack on Kyoto, Japan at Ikedaya.
1874 The Mounties began their March West.
1876 White supremacists killed five Black Republicans in Hamburg, SC.
1882 Percy Grainger, Australian composer, was born (d. 1961).
1889 The first issue of the Wall Street Journal was published.
1892 St. John’s, Newfoundland was devastated in the Great Fire of 1892.
1893 The New Zealand Racing Conference was formed to control the thoroughbred horseracing industry.
1898 The shooting death of crime boss Soapy Smith released Skagway, Alaska from his iron grip.
1908 Nelson A. Rockefeller, 41st Vice President of the United States, was born (d. 1979).
1920 Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, Danish industrialist (Lego Group), was born (d. 1995).
1926 Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-born psychiatrist, was born (d. 2004).
1932 The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level of the Great Depression, bottoming out at 41.22.
1933 Marty Feldman, English comedian and actor, was born (d. 1982).
1948 The United States Air Force accepts its first female recruits into a programme called Women in the Air Force (WAF).
1960 Mal Meninga, Australian rugby league footballer, was born.
1960 Francis Gary Powers was charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union.
1961 Andrew Fletcher, English musician (Depeche Mode), was born.
1962 Ne Win besieged and dynamited the Ragoon University Student Union building to crash the Student Movement.
1965 Train robber Ronald Biggs escaped from Wandsworth Prison, London.
1966 King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi was deposed by his son Prince Charles Ndizi.
1928 Shane Howarth, New Zealand/Wales rugby player, was born.
1969 IBM CICS was made generally available for the 360 mainframe computer.
1970 Richard Nixon delivered a special congressional message enunciating Native American Self-Determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination Act.
1977 The ashes of Ahn Eak-tai, a Korean conductor and the composer of the national anthem Aegukga, were transferred from the island of Majorca to the Korean National Cemetery.
1982 Assassination attempt against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Dujail.
1982 – Senegalese Trotskyist political party LCT was legally recognised.
1992 Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe created the office of High Commissioner on National Minorities.
1996 A man armed with a machete wounded three children and four adults at a primary school in Wolverhampton. Teacher Lisa Potts received the George medal for protecting her pupils, despite being severely injured.
1997 NATO invited the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance in 1999.
1999 Allen Lee Davis was executed by electric chair by the state of Florida, that state’s last use of the electric chair for capital punishment.
2003 Sudan Airways Flight 39, with 116 people on board, crashed in Sudan; the only survivor was a two-year-old boy who subsequently died as a result of his injuries.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia