Today In History July 8

1497: Vasco da Gama's first voyage to India

Before you study something it’s always a good idea to think about why it is important.

One reason history is important is just that it is great fun and sometimes very exciting. It is like being a time-detective, hunting through the historical records and the archaeological artifacts, looking for clues that might help build up a picture of what happened long ago.

Another reason to study history is that it is our story. By understanding the past and where we came from we hope to better understand where we are now and even decide about what might happen in the future.

The way things are now is a consequence of the things that happened in the past. The way things will be tomorrow will be a consequence of the way things are now.

History is the richest of all stories that can be told as it is the story of all people, in all places, at all times. It is a beautiful story. It can be a sad or shocking story, too. But it is the most exciting story there’s because we can decide what will happen in the next chapter!

Let’s take a look at what happened on July 8 in world history:

1497: Vasco da Gama’s first voyage to India

Vasco Da Gama sailed from Lisbon with a fleet of four vessels, and he ultimately opened a sea route from Western Europe to Asia by way of the Cape of Good Hope, ushering in a new era in the world history.

Da Gama sailed from Lisbon on 8th July 1497, with a fleet of four vessels; two medium-sized three-masted sailing ships, each of about 120 tons, named the “São Gabriel” and the “São Rafael” a 50-ton caravel, named the “Berrio”; and a 200-ton storeship. With da Gama’s fleet went three interpreter’s two Arabic speakers and one who spoke several Bantu dialects. The fleet also carried padrões (stone pillars) to set up as marks of discovery.

1932: French Submarine Prominthee

The French submarine Prominthee (Q-153) was lost in an accident with 62 hands, 7 miles off Cap Levi, Fermanville, France. Promethee was on the surface, testing her diesel engines, when all of a sudden, her ballast tanks were very quickly filled. She sank almost vertically by the stern and the only survivors were 7 from the 15 crew who were on the bridge at the time. Two Italian salvage vessels and divers were sent to their rescue, but there was no reply from the Crew. Refloating the submarine was considered impossible in those days, as she lay in 75 meters depth and water with strong currents. The real cause of the accident was never clarified.

1947: U.S.A. Mysterious Flying Disc

There were several reports of a mysterious flying disc (spaceship) landing in Roswell, New Mexico. At first, reports were denied by the U.S. military, then a report appeared which stated they had been lucky enough to obtain one of the DISCS which was later denied. The debate about whether an alien spacecraft landed in Roswell, New Mexico, continues today with many believing it was a government cover-up.