Today in History  July 8
July 7July 9


The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was given in Philadelphia, Pa.


Vermont became the first colony to abolish slavery.


The Wall Street Journal began publication.


General Douglas MacArthur was named commander-in-chief of the United Nations forces in Korea.


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awarded the first official gold album. It was for the Oklahoma soundtrack.


Kurt Waldheim was inaugurated as president of Austria.


The space shuttle Atlantis launches into space for the last time from the Kennedy Space Center. It is the 135th and final flight of the space shuttle program, which started in 1981. For its final mission, the Atlantis is carrying 8,000 lbs of spare parts and supplies to the International Space Station. The space shuttle program officially ends when the Atlantis returns two weeks later.

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