On This Day in History December 8

December 8 – Events:

  • 1609 – Biblioteca Ambrosiana opens its reading room, the second public library of Europe.
  • 1659 – Mexican border town Ciudad Juárez is founded by Fray García de San Francisco.
  • 1854 – Pope Pius IX proclaims the dogma of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was born free of original sin.
  • 1864 – The Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon is officially opened.
  • 1869 – Timothy Eaton founds T. Eaton Co. Limited in Toronto, Canada.
  • 1886 – The American Federation of Labor is founded in Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1904 – Konservativ Ungdom (Young Conservatives) in Denmark is founded by Carl F. Herman von Rosen. Still existing today, it is the oldest political youth organization in Denmark and believed to be one of the oldest in the world.
  • 1907 – King Gustaf V of Sweden accedes to the Swedish throne.
  • 1912 – First Balkan War: The Greek army captures Korçë that had been under Ottoman rule.
  • 1914 – World War I: Battle of the Falkland Islands – The Kaiserliche Marine under the command of Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee is engaged by the Royal Navy.
  • 1935 – The Japanese military police launches a violent suppression of the religious sect Oomoto, beginning with a crackdown on the sect’s operational bases of Ayabe and Kameoka in Kyoto Prefecture and the arrest of its leader Onisaburo Deguchi.
  • 1941 – World War II: The Japanese invade the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. They also invade the portions of Shanghai administered by European powers and bomb American bases in the Philippines.  Because of the time difference, these events – which took place west of the International Date Line – happened while it was still December 7 to the east of this line.
  • 1941 – World War II: Pacific War – After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the U.S. Congress passes a declaration of war against Japan.
  • 1941 – World War II: Pacific War – the Republic of China officially declares war against Japan.
  • 1941 – World War II: Pacific War – The Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in China issues a proclamation which declared war against Japan and Germany on behalf of Korean people, who were under Japanese occupation since 1910.
  • 1941 – World War II: First Japanese attack on Wake Island.
  • 1941 – Holocaust: Gas vans are first used as a means of execution, at the Chelmno extermination camp near Lódz in Poland.
  • 1942 – Holocaust: in Ternopil, Ukraine, the German SS organizes the deportation of the last 1,400 Ternopil Jews to the death camp in Belzec. The chief of the Gestapo,  SS Sturmbannführer Hermann Müller, bore overall responsibility for the mass murder of the Jews of Ternopil and Berezhany county.
  • 1949 – Chinese Civil War: The capital of the Republic of China is moved from Nanjing to Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 1953 – Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the Atoms for Peace speech.
  • 1966 – The Greek SS Heraklion sinks in a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200.
  • 1969 – An Olympic Airways Douglas DC-6 crashes in Keratea during a storm, killing 93 people.
  • 1972 – United Airlines Flight 553 crashes near Chicago Midway Airport, killing 45 people.
  • 1974 – A plebiscite results in the abolition of monarchy in Greece.
  • 1980 – Mark David Chapman shoots and kills John Lennon in front of The Dakota apartment building with five bullets.
  • 1982 – Activist Norman Mayer threatens to blow up the Washington Monument, before being killed by United States Park Police.
  • 1982 – In Suriname several opponents of the military government are killed.
  • 1987 – The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed.
  • 1987 – The Queen Street Massacre: Frank Vitkovic shoots and kills 8 people at the offices of Australia Post in Melbourne, Australia before being killed himself.
  • 1987 – The Alianza Lima air disaster.
  • 1991 – The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine sign an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • 1991 – The Romanian Constitution is adopted in a referendum.
  • 1993 – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed into law by US President Bill Clinton.
  • 1998 – Tadjena massacre: 81 people are killed by armed groups in Algeria.
  • 2002 – The Caribbean Community Heads of Government meet with the Government of Cuba and declare the date to be “CARICOM-Cuba Day” – To celebrate diplomatic ties between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba.
  • 2004 – The Cuzco Declaration is signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations.
  • 2005 – Ante Gotovina, Croatian army general accused of war crimes, is captured in the Playa de las Américas, Tenerife by the Spanish police.

December 8 – Birthdays:

  • 65 BC – Horace, Roman poet (d. 8 BC)
  • 1542 – Mary Queen of Scots (d. 1587)
  • 1574 – Maria Anna of Bavaria, Empress consort of the Holy Roman Empire (d. 1616)
  • 1626 – Queen Christina of Sweden (d. 1689)
  • 1678 – Horatio Walpole, 1st Baron Walpole of Wolterton, English diplomat (d. 1757)
  • 1699 – Maria Josepha of Austria, queen of Poland (d. 1757)
  • 1708 – Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1765)
  • 1730 – Jan Ingenhousz, Dutch-born British physiologist and botanist (d. 1799)
  • 1765 – Eli Whitney, American inventor (d. 1825)
  • 1795 – Peter Andreas Hansen, Danish astronomer (d. 1874)
  • 1815 – Adolph Menzel, German painter and graphic artist (d. 1905)
  • 1816 – August Belmont, Sr., Prussian-born American financier (d. 1890)
  • 1817 – Christian Emil Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs, Danish nobleman and politician (d. 1896)
  • 1832 – Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Norwegian author and Nobel laureate (d. 1910)
  • 1848 – Joel Chandler Harris, American author and folklorist (d. 1908)
  • 1861 – William C. Durant, American automobile pioneer (d. 1947)
  • 1861 – Aristide Maillol, French sculptor (d. 1944)
  • 1861 – Georges Méliès, French filmmaker (d. 1938)
  • 1862 – Georges Feydeau, French playwright (d. 1921)
  • 1864 – Camille Claudel, French graphic artist and sculptor (d. 1943)
  • 1865 – Jacques Hadamard, French mathematician (d. 1963)
  • 1865 – Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer (d. 1957)
  • 1874 – Ernst Moro, Austrian physician (d. 1951)
  • 1886 – Diego Rivera, Mexican painter (d. 1957)
  • 1890 – Bohuslav Martinu, Czech composer (d. 1959)
  • 1894 – E.C. Segar, American cartoonist (Popeye) (d. 1938)
  • 1894 – James Thurber, American humorist and cartoonist (d. 1961)
  • 1899 – John Qualen, Canadian actor (d. 1987)
  • 1900 – Sun Li-jen, Chinese general (d. 1990)
  • 1902 – Wifredo Lam, Cuban artist (d. 1982)
  • 1908 – John A. Volpe, 61 and 63 Governor of Massachusetts, 2 United States Secretary of Transportation (d. 1994)
  • 1909 – Gratien Gélinas, French Canadian playwright, actor, director and producer (d. 1999)
  • 1911 – Lee J. Cobb, American actor (d. 1976)
  • 1911 – Nikos Gatsos, Greek poet and lyricist (d. 1992)
  • 1913 – Delmore Schwartz, American poet (d. 1966)
  • 1915 – Ernest Lehman, American screenwriter (d. 2005)
  • 1916 – Richard Fleischer, American film director (d. 2006)
  • 1918 – Gérard Souzay, French baritone (d. 2004)
  • 1919 – Peter Tali Coleman, American politician (d. 1997)
  • 1922 – Lucian Freud, English painter
  • 1922 – Jean Ritchie, American folk singer
  • 1923 – Rudolph Pariser, Chinese-born American chemist
  • 1925 – Sammy Davis Jr., American actor and singer (d. 1990)
  • 1925 – Carmen Martín Gaite, Spanish author (d. 2000)
  • 1925 – Jimmy Smith, American jazz organist (d. 2005)
  • 1927 – Ferdie Pacheco, the “Fight Doctor”
  • 1927 – Vladimir Shatalov, Soviet cosmonaut
  • 1930 – Julian Critchley, British politician (d. 2000)
  • 1930 – Maximilian Schell, Austrian-born Swiss actor, film director, and author
  • 1931 – Bob Arum, American boxing promoter
  • 1933 – Flip Wilson, American comedian (d. 1998)
  • 1935 – Dharmendra, Indian actor
  • 1935 – Tatiana Zatulovskaya, Israeli chess player
  • 1936 – David Carradine, American actor
  • 1937 – James MacArthur, American actor
  • 1937 – Arne Næss Jr., Norwegian mountain climber and businessman (d. 2004)
  • 1939 – Red Berenson, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1939 – Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, American soul singer
  • 1939 – Sir James Galway, Northern Irish flautist
  • 1939 – Soko Richardson, American rhythm and blues drummer. (d. 2004)
  • 1940 – Brant Alyea, American baseball player
  • 1941 – Ed Brinkman, American baseball player
  • 1941 – Bob Brown, American football player
  • 1941 – Randall “Duke” Cunningham, US Navy fighter pilot and Congressman
  • 1941 – Sir Geoff Hurst, English footballer
  • 1943 – Jim Morrison, American singer (The Doors) (d. 1971)
  • 1943 – Mary Woronov, American actress
  • 1945 – John Banville, Irish novelist and journalist
  • 1946 – John Rubinstein, American actor, composer, director
  • 1946 – Sharmila Tagore, Indian Actress
  • 1947 – Gregg Allman, American musician
  • 1947 – Thomas R. Cech, American chemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1947 – Kati-Claudia Fofonoff, Skolt Sámi writer
  • 1949 – Mary Gordon, American writer
  • 1949 – Nancy Meyers, American film director, producer and screenwriter
  • 1949 – Ray Shulman, English musician
  • 1949 – Robert Sternberg, Proposed the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
  • 1950 – Rick Baker, American film makeup artist
  • 1950 – Tim Foli, American baseball player
  • 1950 – Dan Hartman, American musician (Edgar Winter Group) (d. 1994)
  • 1951 – Bill Bryson, American author
  • 1951 – Jan Eggum, Norwegian singer-songwriter
  • 1952 – Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore Health Minister
  • 1953 – Kim Basinger, American actress
  • 1953 – Roy Firestone, American sports announcer
  • 1953 – Sam Kinison, American comedian (d. 1992)
  • 1954 – Harold Hongju Koh, Korean-American Dean of Yale Law School
  • 1956 – Warren Cuccurullo, American musician
  • 1957 – Phil Collen, English guitarist (Def Leppard)
  • 1958 – Bird McIntyre, Thai pop singer, musician
  • 1961 – Ann Coulter, American author, political commentator, and attorney
  • 1962 – Marty Friedman, American guitarist
  • 1963 – Toshiaki Kawada, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1964 – James Blundell, Australian country singer
  • 1964 – Sandy Burnett, English record producer
  • 1964 – Teri Hatcher, American actress
  • 1965 – Carina Lau, Hong Kong actress
  • 1966 – Sinéad O’Connor, Irish musician
  • 1967 – Jeff George, American football player
  • 1967 – Kotono Mitsuishi, Japanese seiyu (voice actress)
  • 1968 – Michael Cole, American professional wrestling commentator
  • 1968 – Mike Mussina, American baseball player
  • 1969 – Jeff Tremaine, American television and film director
  • 1972 – Marco Abreu, Angolan footballer
  • 1972 – Frank Shamrock, American mixed martial artist
  • 1973 – Doron Bell Jr., Canadian actor
  • 1973 – Corey Taylor, American singer (Slipknot, Stone Sour)
  • 1974 – Cristian Castro, Mexican singer
  • 1974 – Tony Simmons, American football player
  • 1974 – Nick Zinner, American guitarist (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
  • 1975 – Kevin Harvick, American NASCAR driver
  • 1976 – Naimee Coleman, Irish singer and songwriter
  • 1976 – Reed Johnson, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Dominic Monaghan, English actor
  • 1977 – Elsa Benítez, Mexican supermodel
  • 1977 – Sébastien Chabal, French rugby union footballer
  • 1977 – Ryan Newman, American NASCAR driver
  • 1978 – John Oster, Welsh footballer
  • 1978 – Anwar Siraj, Ethiopian footballer
  • 1978 – Ian Somerhalder, American actor
  • 1978 – Vernon Wells, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Daniel Fitzhenry, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1979 – Johan Forssell, Swedish politician
  • 1979 – Adam Russell, American Musician
  • 1979 – Christian Wilhelmsson, Swedish footballer
  • 1981 – Jeremy Accardo, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Philip Rivers, American football player
  • 1982 – Noelle Pikus-Pace, American skeleton racer
  • 1982 – Dee Dee Trotter, American athlete
  • 1983 – Neel Jani, Swiss racing driver
  • 1983 – Liu Song, Chinese snooker player
  • 1984 – Greg Halford, English footballer
  • 1984 – Badr Hari, Dutch kickboxer, Niall Brennan, Irish Legend.
  • 1985 – Dwight Howard, American basketball player
  • 1986 – Amir Khan, English boxer
  • 1986 – Kate Voegele, American musician
  • 1989 – Drew Doughty, Canadian hockey player
  • 1993 – AnnaSophia Robb, American actress and singer

December 8 – Deaths:

  • 899 – Arnulf of Carinthia (b. 850)
  • 1626 – John Davies, English poet (b. 1569)
  • 1632 – Philippe van Lansberge, Flemish astronomer (b. 1561)
  • 1638 – Ivan Gundulic, Croatian poet (b. 1589)
  • 1643 – John Pym, English statesman (b. 1583)
  • 1649 – Noël Chabanel, French Jesuit missionary (b. 1613)
  • 1680 – Henry Pierrepont, 1st Marquess of Dorchester, English politician (b. 1606)
  • 1691 – Richard Baxter, English clergyman (b. 1615)
  • 1695 – Barthélemy d’Herbelot de Molainville, French orientalist (b. 1625)
  • 1709 – Thomas Corneille, French dramatist (b. 1625)
  • 1722 – Liselotte von der Pfalz, Duchess of Orléans (b. 1652)
  • 1744 – Marie-Anne de Mailly-Nesle duchess de Châteauroux, mistress of King Louis XV of France (b. 1717)
  • 1745 – Etienne Fourmont, French orientalist (b. 1683)
  • 1746 – Charles Radclyffe, British politician (b. 1693)
  • 1756 – William Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington, British statesman and diplomat
  • 1768 – Jean Denis Attiret, French Jesuit missionary (b. 1702)
  • 1779 – Nathan Alcock, English physician (b. 1707)
  • 1830 – Benjamin Constant, Swiss writer (b. 1767)
  • 1859 – Thomas de Quincey, English author (b. 1785)
  • 1864 – George Boole, British inventor of Boolean algebra (b. 1815)
  • 1885 – William Henry Vanderbilt, member of the Vanderbilt family (b. 1821)
  • 1894 – Pafnuty Chebyshev, Russian mathematician (b. 1821)
  • 1907 – Oscar II of Sweden (b. 1829)
  • 1914 – Maximilian von Spee, German naval officer (b. 1861)
  • 1917 – Mendele Moykher Sforim, Russian writer (b. 1836)
  • 1938 – Friedrich Glauser, German-language Swiss writer (b. 1896)
  • 1940 – George Exton Lloyd, Anglican Bishop and theologian (b. 1861)
  • 1952 – Charles Lightoller, English second officer on the Titanic (b. 1874)
  • 1958 – Tris Speaker, American baseball player (b. 1888)
  • 1963 – Field Marshal Sarit Dhanarajata, Prime Minister of Thailand (b. 1908)
  • 1966 – Ward Morehouse, American theater critic and newspaper columnist (b. 1899)
  • 1967 – John Mills, Sr., American singer (Mills Brothers) (b. 1889)
  • 1975 – Gary Thain, New Zealand bassist (Uriah Heep) (b. 1948)
  • 1978 – Golda Meir, Russian-born Prime Minister of Israel (b. 1898)
  • 1980 – John Lennon, English musician and peace activist (b. 1940)
  • 1982 – Bram Behr, Surinamese journalist (b. 1951)
  • 1982 – Marty Robbins, American singer (b. 1925)
  • 1983 – Slim Pickens, American actor (b. 1919)
  • 1984 – Luther Adler, American actor (b. 1903)
  • 1984 – Robert Jay Mathews, White Nationalist (b. 1953)
  • 1991 – Kimberly Bergalis, claimed to have contracted HIV from her dentist (b. 1968)
  • 1991 – Buck Clayton, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1911)
  • 1992 – William Shawn, American magazine editor (b. 1917)
  • 1994 – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Brazilian composer and arranger (b. 1927)
  • 1996 – Howard Rollins, American actor (b. 1950)
  • 1997 – Bob Bell, played Bozo the Clown (b. 1922)
  • 1999 – Péter Kuczka, Hungarian writer (b. 1923)
  • 2001 – Don Tennant, American advertising executive (b. 1922)
  • 2003 – Rubén González, Cuban pianist (Buena Vista Social Club) (b. 1919)
  • 2004 – Dimebag Darrell (Darrell Abbott), American guitarist (Pantera, Damageplan) (b. 1966)
  • 2005 – Georgiy Zhzhonov, Russian actor and author (b. 1915)
  • 2006 – Martha Tilton, American singer (b. 1915)
  • 2006 – José Uribe, Dominican baseball player (b. 1959)
  • 2007 – Gerardo García Pimentel, Mexican journalist

December 8 – Holidays:

  • R.C. Saints – The solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary (Holy Day of Obligation in Ireland, U.S.); Saint Eucharius, first bishop of Trier
  • Eastern Christianity – Conception of the Theotokos (Mother of God) by Anna – Major Feast Day
  • Buddhism – The Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha (Bodhi Day)
  • Bulgaria – Day of the Student
  • Italy – Public holiday
  • Austria – Public Holiday
  • Malta – Public Holiday
  • Romania – Constitution Day
  • Panama – Mother’s Day
  • Spain – Immaculate Conception – Day of the National Army
  • Portugal – Immaculate Conception – Day of the national Patron Saint
  • France – Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights) held in Lyon to honor the Virgin Mary
  • Republic of Macedonia – St Kliment Day, National holiday

 

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