On this Day July 8
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1776 – The Liberty Bell rings out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
1947 – Reports are broadcast that a “flying disc” has crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico, however U.S. Air Force officials claim it is a weather balloon. The incident triggers conspiracy theories about a government coverup and accounts of aliens and UFOs that are still debated today.
1960 – An emerging Cold War détente between the United States and Soviet Union suffers a setback when the Soviets charge U.S. Air Force and CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers with espionage. The move comes two months after the Soviets shoot Powers down while flying a secret spy mission.
1994 – Kim Il-Sung, the communist dictator of North Korea since 1948, dies of a heart attack at the age of 82. Hoping to reunify Korea by force, Kim launched an invasion of South Korea in 1950, igniting the Korean War, which ended in a stalemate in 1953.
1957 – “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” by Elvis Presley begins a seven-week run on top of the singles chart. Two months earlier, Elvis was king of the pop chart with “All Shook Up,” which spent eight weeks at No. 1.
1958 – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awards the first official Gold album (for achieving sales of $1 million). It goes to the cast album for the stage production of “Oklahoma!” featuring Gordon MacRae.
1967 – The Monkees begin a 29-date concert tour with The Jimi Hendrix Experience as the opening act. However, Hendrix is dropped after eight performances because the producers felt his act was not suitable for their “teeny-bopper” audiences.
1989 – “Good Thing,” by Fine Young Cannibals, begins a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track is the second chart-topper from the band’s “The Raw & The Cooked” album. Three months earlier, “She Drives Me Crazy” claimed the top spot.