On This Day in History May 8

May 8 – Events:

  • 589 – Reccared summons the Third Council of Toledo
  • 1450 – Jack Cade’s Rebellion: Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI.
  • 1541 – Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River and names it Río de Espíritu Santo.
  • 1794 – Branded a traitor during the Reign of Terror by revolutionists, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a tax collector with the Ferme Générale, was tried, convicted, and guillotined all on one day in Paris.
  • 1821 – Greek War of Independence: The Greeks defeat the Turks in Gravia.
  • 1846 – Mexican-American War: The Battle of Palo Alto – Zachary Taylor defeats a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia, is named the capital of the Confederate States of America.
  • 1877 – At Gilmore’s Gardens in New York City, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens.
  • 1886 – Pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invents a carbonated beverage that would later be named “Coca-Cola.”
  • 1898 – The first games of the Italian Football League are played.
  • 1899 – The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin opens.
  • 1902 – In Martinique, Mount Pelée erupts, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing over 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survive the blast.
  • 1914 – Paramount Pictures is formed.
  • 1919 – Edward George Honey first proposed the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate The Armistice of World War I, which later resulted in the creation of Remembrance Day.
  • 1933 – Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast in protest of British oppression in India.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end. This is the first time in the naval history where two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.
  • 1942 – World War II: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebelled in the Cocos Islands Mutiny. Their mutiny was crushed and three of them were executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.
  • 1945 – Hundreds of Algerian civilians are killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.
  • 1945 – Combat in Europe ends in World War II: VE Day. German forces agree to an unconditional surrender.
  • 1945 – End of the Prague uprising, today still celebrated as national holiday in the Czech Republic
  • 1946 – The Estonian school girls Aili Jõgi and Ageeda Paavel blow up the Soviet memorial that preceded the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn.
  • 1965 – Theta Chi Fraternity was established at California State University, Long Beach, Zeta Epsilon Chapter.
  • 1967 – The Philippine province of Davao is split into three: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental.
  • 1970 – The Hard Hat riot occurs in the Wall Street area of New York City as blue-collar construction workers clash with anti-war demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon announces his order to place mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.
  • 1973 – A 71-day standoff, between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, ends with the surrender of the militants.
  • 1982 – Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve dies in a crash during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder.
  • 1984 – The Soviet Union announces that it will boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1984 – Cpl. Denis Lortie enters the Quebec National Assembly and opens fire, killing three and wounding 13. René Jalbert, sergeant-at-arms of the assembly, succeeds in calming him, for which he will later receive the Cross of Valour.
  • 1987 – The SAS carries out the Loughgall ambush.
  • 1988 – A fire at Illinois Bell’s Hinsdale Central Office triggered an extended 1AESS outage once considered the ‘worst telecommunications disaster in US telephone industry history’ is still the worst to occur on Mother’s Day.
  • 1997 – A China Southern Airlines Boeing 737 crashes on approach into Shenzhen’s Huangtian Airport, killing 35 people.
  • 1999 – Nancy Mace becomes the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel military college.
  • 2005 – The new Canadian War Museum opens, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of V-E Day.
  • 2007 – A new Northern Ireland Executive is formed under the leadership of Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party as First Minister and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin as Deputy First Minister.

May 8 – Birthdays:

  • 1326 – Joanna I of Auvergne, queen of France (d. 1360)
  • 1460 – Frederick I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (d. 1536)
  • 1521 – Petrus Canisius, Dutch Jesuit (d. 1597)
  • 1587 – Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy (d. 1637)
  • 1622 – Claes Rålamb, Swedish statesman (d. 1698)
  • 1629 – Niels Juel, Danish admiral (d. 1697)
  • 1632 – Heino Heinrich Graf von Flemming, German marshal (d. 1706)
  • 1653 – Claude-Louis-Hector de Villars, Marshall of France (d. 1734)
  • 1668 – Alain-René Lesage, French writer (d. 1747)
  • 1670 – Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans, English soldier (d. 1726)
  • 1735 – Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, English painter (d. 1811)
  • 1738 – Mikhail Kamensky, Russian general (d. 1809)
  • 1753 – Miguel Hidalgo Mexican revolutionary (d. 1811)
  • 1786 – Jean Vianney, French Catholic priest (d. 1859)
  • 1819 – King Kamehameha I, King of Hawaii (b. 1738)
  • 1821 – William Henry Vanderbilt, member of the Vanderbilt family (d. 1885)
  • 1825 – George Bruce Malleson, Indian officer (d. 1898)
  • 1828 – Jean Henri Dunant, Founder of the Red Cross; Nobel laureate (d. 1910)
  • 1828 – Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese monk (d. 1898)
  • 1829 – Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American musician (d. 1869)
  • 1839 – Adolphe-Basile Routhier, French Canadian lyricist (O Canada) (d. 1920)
  • 1842 – Emil Christian Hansen, Danish physiologist (d. 1909)
  • 1847 – Oscar Hammerstein I, American theater producer and impresario (d. 1919)
  • 1850 – Ross Barnes, baseball player (d. 1915)
  • 1853 – Dan Brouthers, baseball player (d. 1932)
  • 1858 – John Meade Falkner, English novelist (d. 1932)
  • 1859 – Johan Jensen, Danish mathematician (d. 1925)
  • 1884 – Harry S. Truman, President of the United States (d. 1972)
  • 1893 – Edd Roush, baseball player (d. 1988)
  • 1893 – Teddy Wakelam, English sports broadcaster and rugby union player (d. 1963)
  • 1895 – James H. “Dutch” Kindelberger, American aerospace pioneer (d. 1962)
  • 1895 – Fulton J. Sheen, American bishop (d. 1979)
  • 1895 – Edmund Wilson, American writer (d. 1972)
  • 1899 – Arthur Q. Bryan, American voice actor (d. 1959)
  • 1899 – Friedrich Hayek, Nobel laureate (d. 1992)
  • 1901 – Turkey Stearnes, baseball player (d. 1979)
  • 1902 – Andre Michael Lwoff, Nobel laureate (d. 1994)
  • 1903 – Fernandel, French actor (d. 1971)
  • 1904 – John Snagge, British radio personality (d. 1996)
  • 1905 – Red Nichols, American musician (d. 1965)
  • 1906 – Roberto Rossellini, Italian director (d. 1977)
  • 1910 – Andrew E. Svenson, American children’s book author and publisher (d. 1975)
  • 1911 – Robert Johnson, American blues musician (d. 1938)
  • 1913 – Bob Clampett, American animator (d. 1984)
  • 1914 – Romain Gary, Polish writer (d. 1980)
  • 1916 – João Havelange, Brazilian industrialist
  • 1916 – Swami Chinmayananda, Indian spiritualist (d. 1993)
  • 1919 – Lex Barker, American actor (d. 1973)
  • 1920 – Saul Bass, American graphic designer (d. 1996)
  • 1920 – Tom of Finland, Finnish fetish artist (d. 1991)
  • 1920 – Sloan Wilson, American author (d. 2003)
  • 1925 – Ali Hassan Mwinyi, President of Tanzania
  • 1926 – David Attenborough, British producer
  • 1926 – Don Rickles, American comedian
  • 1927 – Chumy Chúmez, Spanish film director (d. 2003)
  • 1928 – Theodore Sorenson, American writer
  • 1929 – Claude Castonguay, Quebec politician
  • 1929 – Miyoshi Umeki, Japanese-born Academy Award-winning actress (d. 2007)
  • 1930 – Heather Harper, Irish singer
  • 1930 – Gary Snyder, American poet
  • 1932 – Julieta Campos, Cuban-Mexican writer (d. 2007)
  • 1932 – Phyllida Law, Scottish actress
  • 1932 – Sonny Liston, American boxer (d. 1970)
  • 1935 – Princess Elisabeth of Denmark, 7th in the Line of succession to the Danish Throne
  • 1935 – Jack Charlton, English footballer
  • 1937 – Carlos Gaviria Díaz, Colombian politician
  • 1937 – Thomas Pynchon, American novelist
  • 1937 – Mike Cuellar, baseball player
  • 1940 – Peter Benchley, American author (d. 2006)
  • 1940 – Ricky Nelson, American singer (d. 1985)
  • 1940 – Irwin Cotler, Canadian politician
  • 1941 – Mahmoud Ahmed, Ethiopian singer
  • 1941 – John Fred, American singer (d. 2005)
  • 1941 – Bill Lockyer, American politician
  • 1942 – Terry Neill, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1943 – Toni Tennille, American singer
  • 1943 – Paul Samwell-Smith, British bassist (The Yardbirds)
  • 1944 – Gary Glitter, English singer
  • 1945 – Keith Jarrett, American musician
  • 1946 – André Boulerice, Quebec politician
  • 1947 – H. Robert Horvitz, Nobel laureate
  • 1948 – Felicity Lott, English singer
  • 1948 – Steve Braun, baseball player
  • 1948 – Stephen Stohn, Canadian television producer (Degrassi)
  • 1950 – Robert Mugge, American music documentary film maker
  • 1951 – Philip Bailey, American singer (Earth, Wind & Fire)
  • 1951 – Chris Frantz, American musician (Talking Heads)
  • 1953 – Alex Van Halen, Dutch drummer (Van Halen)
  • 1953 – Billy Burnette, American singer and guitarist (Fleetwood Mac)
  • 1954 – David Keith, American actor
  • 1957 – Bill Cowher, American football coach
  • 1957 – Marie Myriam, French singer
  • 1960 – Franco Baresi, Italian footballer
  • 1960 – Eric Brittingham, American bassist
  • 1961 – Janet McTeer, British actress
  • 1961 – David Winning, Canadian film director
  • 1963 – Terry Christian, British radio presenter
  • 1963 – Sylvain Cossette, Quebec singer and songwriter
  • 1963 – Anthony Field, Australian musician and actor
  • 1963 – Robin Jarvis, British writer
  • 1963 – Izabela Kloc, Polish politician
  • 1964 – Melissa Gilbert, American actress
  • 1964 – Bobby Labonte, American race car driver
  • 1964 – Dave Rowntree, British musician (Blur)
  • 1966 – Claudio Taffarel, Brazilian footballer
  • 1966 – Marta Sánchez, Spanish singer
  • 1968 – Jamie Summers, American porn star
  • 1968 – Johan Pehrson, Swedish politician
  • 1968 – Nathalie Normandeau, Quebec politician
  • 1969 – Akebono Taro, sumo wrestler
  • 1970 – Luis Enrique, Spanish football player
  • 1972 – Darren Hayes, Australian singer
  • 1972 – Ray Whitney, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Hiromu Arakawa, Japanese artist
  • 1974 – Jon Tickle, English entertainer
  • 1974 – Korey Stringer, American football player (d. 2001)
  • 1975 – Enrique Iglesias, Spanish singer
  • 1975 – Jussi Markkanen, Finnish ice hockey player
  • 1975 – Gastón Mazzacane, Argentine racing driver
  • 1976 – Martha Wainwright, Canadian musician and songwriter
  • 1976 – Ian “H” Watkins, pop singer (Steps)
  • 1976 – Jeff Simmons, IRL racing driver
  • 1978 – Jang Woo Hyuk, Korean singer
  • 1978 – Lúcio, Brazilian footballer
  • 1978 – Josie Maran, American model
  • 1980 – Michelle McManus, Scottish singer
  • 1980 – Benny Yau, Canadian entertainer
  • 1981 – Andrea Barzagli, Italian footballer
  • 1981 – Björn Dixgård, Swedish guitarist
  • 1981 – Yasuko Tajima, Japanese swimmer
  • 1982 – Adrian Gonzalez, American baseball player
  • 1983 – Matt Willis, British singer
  • 1984 – Nadine Chandrawinata, 2006 Miss Universe Pageant (Indonesia)
  • 1985 – Mashio Miyazaki, Japanese actress
  • 1986 – Marvell Wynne, American soccer player

May 8 – Deaths:

  • 1192 – Duke Ottokar IV of Styria (b. 1163)
  • 1278 – Emperor Duanzong of China (b. 1268)
  • 1319 – King Haakon V of Norway (b. 1270)
  • 1473 – John Stafford, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, English politician (b. 1420)
  • 1538 – Edward Fox, English bishop
  • 1672 – Jean-Armand du Peyrer, Comte de Tréville and French Officer (b. 1598)
  • 1766 – Samuel Chandler, English non-conformist minister (b. 1693)
  • 1773 – Ali Bey Al-Kabir, Mamluk Sultan of Egypt (b. 1728)
  • 1781 – Richard Jago, English poet (b. 1715)
  • 1785 – Étienne François, duc de Choiseul, French statesman (b. 1719)
  • 1785 – Pietro Longhi, Venetian painter (b. 1701)
  • 1788 – Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, Italian-born physician and naturalist (b. 1723)
  • 1794 – Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist (executed) (b. 1743)
  • 1819 – Kamehameha I, King of Hawaii
  • 1828 – Mauro Giuliani, Italian composer (b. 1781)
  • 1837 – Alexander Balashov, Russian general and statesman (b. 1770)
  • 1842 – Jules Dumont d’Urville, French explorer (b. 1790)
  • 1853 – Jan Roothaan, Dutch priest (b. 1785)
  • 1873 – John Stuart Mill, English philosopher (b. 1806)
  • 1880 – Gustave Flaubert, French novelist (b. 1821)
  • 1891 – Helena Blavatsky, Russian-born author (b. 1831)
  • 1903 – Paul Gauguin, French painter (b. 1848)
  • 1936 – Oswald Spengler, German historian and philosopher (b. 1880)
  • 1943 – Mordechaj Anielewicz, Polish Resistance Fighter (b. 1919)
  • 1945 – Bernhard Rust, Nazi education minister (b. 1883)
  • 1947 – Harry Gordon Selfridge, American-born department store founder (b. 1858)
  • 1948 – U Saw, Burmese politician (b. 1900)
  • 1950 – Vital Brazil, Brazilian physician (b. 1865)
  • 1952 – William Fox, Austrian-born film producer (b. 1879)
  • 1960 – J. H. C. Whitehead, British mathematician (b. 1904)
  • 1967 – LaVerne Andrews, American singer (The Andrews Sisters) (b. 1911)
  • 1969 – Remington Kellogg, American naturalist (b. 1892)
  • 1975 – Avery Brundage, President of the International Olympic Committee (b. 1887)
  • 1982 – Neil Bogart, American record executive (b. 1943)
  • 1982 – Gilles Villeneuve, Canadian race car driver (b. 1950)
  • 1984 – Lila Bell Wallace, American magazine publisher (Reader’s Digest) (b. 1890)
  • 1984 – Gino Bianco, Brazilian racing driver (b. 1916)
  • 1985 – Theodore Sturgeon, American science fiction writer (b. 1918)
  • 1985 – Dolph Sweet, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 1987 – Doris Stokes, British psychic medium (b. 1920)
  • 1988 – Robert A. Heinlein, American science fiction writer (b. 1907)
  • 1990 – Luigi Nono, Italian composer (b. 1924)
  • 1991 – Jean Langlais, French composer and pianist (b. 1907)
  • 1991 – Rudolf Serkin, Austrian pianist (b. 1903)
  • 1993 – Avram Davidson, American writer (b. 1923)
  • 1994 – George Peppard, American actor (b. 1928)
  • 1995 – Teresa Teng, Asian superstar (b. 1953)
  • 1996 – Beryl Burton, English cyclist (b. 1937)
  • 1996 – Dominguín, Spanish bullfighter (b. 1926)
  • 1996 – Garth Williams, American illustrator (b. 1912)
  • 1998 – Bebe Rebozo, American banker and Watergate figure (b. 1912)
  • 1999 – Dirk Bogarde, British actor (b. 1921)
  • 1999 – Ed Gilbert, American actor (b. 1931)
  • 1999 – Dana Plato, American actress (b. 1964)
  • 2000 – Guadalupe “Pita” Amor, Mexican poet (b. 1918)
  • 2000 – Alexander Chislenko, Russian-American transhumanist (b. 1959)
  • 2000 – Henry Nicols, AIDS activist (b. 1973)
  • 2005 – Nicolás Vuyovich, Argentine racing driver (b. 1981)
  • 2006 – Iain MacMillan, Abbey Road photographer (b. 1938)

May 8-Holidays

  • VE Day
  • Parents’ Day in South Korea
  • Arsenius the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Apparition of Saint Michael
  • Saint Desideratus of Soissons (d. 550)
  • Saints Wiro, Plechelmus and Otger
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