Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 51 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy, in response to the continued alliance between the government of Cuba under Fidel Castro and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, ordered $33 million in Cuban bank deposits in the United States frozen.
This action by the President followed an embargo set in February 1962 which provided for trade restrictions with Cuba and travel restrictions added to that in February 1963.
The action was supported by the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917.
FRANCIS GARY POWERS CHARGED AS SPY
Moscow, USSR (JFK+50) 54 years ago today, July 8, 1960, U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, who was shot down two months earlier over the Soviet Union, was charged with espionage.
A month after being charged, Powers was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison.
Powers was released after only two years, however, in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolph Abel.
COMMODORE PERRY SAILS INTO TOKYO BAY
Tokyo, Japan (JFK+50) Commodore Matthew C. Perry sailed his fleet of four ships into Tokyo Harbor 161 years ago today, July 8, 1853, in hopes of gaining an audience with Japanese officials.
After some behind the scene negotiations, the Japanese government agreed to meet with Commodore Perry.
This marked the 1st time in 200 years that the Japanese opened up a relationship with a western nation.
LIBERTY BELL RINGS FOR 1ST READING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (JFK+50) 238 years ago today, July 8, 1776, citizens here in Philadelphia were called to the Pennsylvania State House by the ringing of the Liberty Bell which signaled the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
The Liberty Bell was built in 1751 to proclaim the 50th anniversary of Pennsylvania's constitution.
The 2000 pound bell, made of copper and tin, was given the name "Liberty Bell" in a poem published in an abolitionist pamphlet.