Today is Wednesday, July 8, the 189th day of 2009. There are 176 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 8, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles Peace Conference in France; Wilson then headed back to Washington, arriving around midnight.
On this date:
In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.
In 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, in Philadelphia.
In 1853, an expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Yedo Bay, Japan, on a mission to seek diplomatic and trade relations with the Japanese.
In 1889, The Wall Street Journal was first published.
In 1907, Florenz Ziegfeld staged his first "Follies," on the roof of the New York Theater.
In 1947, demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman named Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander in chief of U.N. forces in Korea.
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower began a visit to Canada, where he conferred with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and addressed the Canadian Parliament.
In 1989, Carlos Saul Menem was inaugurated as president of Argentina in the country's first transfer of power from one democratically elected civilian leader to another in six decades.
In 1994, Kim Il Sung, North Korea's communist leader since 1948, died at age 82.
Ten years ago: An Air Force cargo jet took off from McChord Air Force Base in Washington on a dangerous mission to Antarctica to drop medicine for Dr. Jerri Nielsen, a physician at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Center who had discovered a lump in her breast. (The mission was successful; Nielsen was evacuated in October 1999.) Astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr., the third man to walk on the moon, died after a motorcycle accident near Ojai, Calif.; he was 69.
Five years ago: Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas and his son Timothy were convicted in New York of looting the cable company and deceiving investors. (John Rigas was sentenced to 12 years in prison; Timothy Rigas, 17.) A Swedish appeals court threw out a life prison sentence for the convicted killer of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, ruling that Mijailo Mijailovic should receive treatment for his "significant psychiatric problems."
One year ago: A bipartisan group chaired by former secretaries of state James Baker III and Warren Christopher released a study saying the next time the president goes to war, Congress should be consulted and vote on whether it agrees. A well-organized assault by gunmen on horseback on a U.N.-African Union patrol in Darfur left seven peacekeepers dead and 22 wounded.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Jerry Vale is 77. Singer Steve Lawrence is 74. Actor Jeffrey Tambor is 65. Ballerina Cynthia Gregory is 63. Actress Kim Darby is 62. Children's performer Raffi is 61. Actress Anjelica Huston is 58. News columnist Anna Quindlen is 57. Actor Kevin Bacon is 51. Rock musician Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode) is 48. Country singer Toby Keith is 48. Rock musician Graham Jones (Haircut 100) is 48. Rock singer Joan Osborne is 47. Writer-producer Rob Burnett is 47. Actor Corey Parker is 44. Actor Billy Crudup is 41. Actor Michael Weatherly is 41. Singer Beck is 39. Country singer Drew Womack (Sons of the Desert) is 39. Christian rock musician Stephen Mason (Jars of Clay) is 34. Actor Milo Ventimiglia is 32. Rock musician Tavis Werts is 32. Singer Ben Jelen is 30. Actor Lance Gross is 28. Actress Sophia Bush is 27. Rock musician Jamie Cook (Arctic Monkeys) is 24. Actor Jake McDorman is 23. Actor Jaden Smith is 11.
Thought for Today: "Fools are more to be feared than the wicked." — Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689).