On This Day in History January 8

January 8 – Events:

  • 871 – Battle of Ashdown – Ethelred of Wessex defeats a Danish invasion army.
  • 1297 – Monaco gains its independence.
  • 1499 – Louis XII of France marries Anne of Brittany.
  • 1734 – Premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
  • 1746 – Bonnie Prince Charlie occupies Stirling.
  • 1790 – George Washington delivers the first State of the Union Address address in New York City.
  • 1800 Austrians defeat French in 2nd battle of Novi.
  • 1800 Wild Boy of Aveyron discovered in southern France.
  • 1806 – Cape Colony becomes a British colony.
  • 1811 – A unsuccessful slave revolt was led by Charles Deslandes in St. Charles and St. James, Louisiana.
  • 1815 – War of 1812: Battle of New Orleans – Andrew Jackson leads American forces in victory over the British.
  • 1835 – The United States national debt is 0 for the first and only time.
  • 1838 – Alfred Vail demonstrates a telegraph using dots and dashes (this is the forerunner of Morse code).
  • 1856 Dr. John A. Veatch discovers borax, Tuscan Springs CA.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Springfield
  • 1867 – African American men granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
  • 1877 – Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).
  • 1900 – President William McKinley places Alaska under military rule.
  • 1902 First National Bowling Championship held (Chicago IL).
  • 1906 – A landslide in Haverstraw, New York, caused by the excavation of clay along the Hudson River, kills 20 people.
  • 1912 – The African National Congress is founded.
  • 1916 – World War I: Allied forces withdraw from Gallipoli.
  • 1918 Mississippi becomes first state to ratify 18th amendment (Prohibition).
  • 1918 – President Woodrow Wilson announces his “Fourteen Points” for the aftermath of World War I.
  • 1926 – Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud becomes the King of Hejaz and renames it Saudi Arabia.
  • 1940 – World War II: Britain introduces food rationing (bacon, butter, and sugar).
  • 1955 Georgia Tech ends Kentucky’s 130-game home basketball win streak.
  • 1956 Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog,” single goes to #1 & stays #1 for a record 11 weeks.
  • 1956 – Operation Auca: Five U.S. missionaries are killed by the Huaorani of Ecuador shortly after making contact with them.
  • 1959 – Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution is completed with the take over of Santiago de Cuba.
  • 1959 Charles de Gaulle inaugurated as president of France’s 5th Republic.
  • 1961 – In France, a referendum supports Charles de Gaulle’s policies in Algeria.
  • 1962 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
  • 1962 – The Harmelen train disaster kills 93 people in The Netherlands.
  • 1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a “War on Poverty” in the United States.
  • 1965 Senator Dirksen proposes marigold as national flower (didn’t pass).
  • 1965 Star of India returned to American Museum of Natural History.
  • 1968 Jacques Cousteau’s first undersea special on US network TV.
  • 1971 Voyageurs National Park (MN) established.
  • 1973 Secret peace talks between US & North Vietnam resumed near Paris
  • 1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 is launched.
  • 1973 – Watergate scandal: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate begins.
  • 1974 Gold hits record $126.50 an ounce in London.
  • 1974 Silver hits record $3.40 an ounce in New York.
  • 1975 – Ella Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, becoming the first woman to serve as a Governor in the United States who did not succeed her husband.
  • 1979 – The tanker Betelgeuse explodes in Bantry Bay, Ireland (512 people die).
  • 1982 – AT&T agrees to divest itself of twenty-two subdivisions.
  • 1986 President Reagan freezes Libyan assets in the US.
  • 1987 First time, Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 2,000, closing at 2,002.25
  • 1987 Jack Sikma (Milwaukee) begins NBA free throw streak of 51 games.
  • 1988 Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP-28S Advanced Scientific Calculator.
  • 1989 Soviet Union promises to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons
  • 1989 – The Kegworth air disaster kills 47 people in Leicestershire, England.
  • 1989 – Beginning of Japanese Heisei era.
  • 1992 US President George Bush gets ill & vomits on Japanese prime minister’s lap during Japanese tour.
  • 1994 – Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 leaves for Mir. He would stay on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.
  • 1996 – An Antonov 32 cargo turboprop powered plane crashes into the central market in Kinshasa, Zaire killing more than 350 people.
  • 2002 – President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • 2004 – The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake’s granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 2006 – A magnitude 6.9 earthquake with its epicenter just off the Greek island of Kythira hits much of the country and is felt throughout the entire eastern Mediterranean Sea.

January 8 – Birthdays:

  • 1556 – Uesugi Kagekatsu, Japanese samurai and warlord (d. 1623)
  • 1583 – Simon Episcopius, Dutch theologian (d. 1643)
  • 1587 – Johannes Fabricius, German astronomer (d. 1616)
  • 1601 – Baltasar Gracián y Morales, Spanish writer (d. 1658)
  • 1628 – François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, duc de Luxembourg, French general (d. 1695)
  • 1632 – Samuel Pufendorf, German jurist (d. 1694)
  • 1635 – Luis Manuel Fernández de Portocarrero, Spanish Archbishop of Toledo (d. 1709)
  • 1735 – John Carroll, American Roman Catholic archbishop (d. 1815)
  • 1763 – Edmond Charles Genêt, French diplomat (d. 1834)
  • 1786 – Nicholas Biddle, American banking executive (d. 1844)
  • 1788 – Archduke Rudolph of Austria, patron of Beethoven (d. 1831)
  • 1788 – Pavel Kiselyov, Russian general and politician (d. 1874)
  • 1792 – Lowell Mason, American composer (d. 1872)
  • 1805 – John Bigler, American politician (d. 1871)
  • 1805 – Orson Hyde, American religious leader (d. 1878)
  • 1812 – Sigismond Thalberg, French pianist and composer (d. 1871)
  • 1817 – Sir Theophilus Shepstone, South African statesman (d. 1893)
  • 1821 – James Longstreet, American Confederate general (d. 1904)
  • 1821 – W.H.L. Wallace, American Union general (d. 1862)
  • 1823 – Alfred Russel Wallace, British naturalist and biologist (d. 1913)
  • 1824 – Francisco González Bocanegra, Mexican poet (d. 1861)
  • 1824 – Wilkie Collins, British novelist (d. 1889)
  • 1830 – Hans von Bülow, German pianist and composer (d. 1894)
  • 1836 – Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Dutch artist (d. 1912)
  • 1843 – Frederick Abberline, British police investigator (d. 1929)
  • 1843 – John H. Moffitt, American politician (d. 1926)
  • 1852 – James Milton Carroll, American pastor and author (d. 1931)
  • 1860 – Emma Booth, daughter of William and Catherine Booth (d. 1903)
  • 1862 – Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher (d. 1934)
  • 1864 – Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, second-in-line to the United Kingdom throne (d. 1892)
  • 1866 – William G. Conley, American politician (d. 1940)
  • 1867 – Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate (d. 1961)
  • 1870 – Miguel Primo de Rivera, Spanish politician (d. 1930)
  • 1871 – James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon, Irish politician (d. 1940)
  • 1873 – Iuliu Maniu, Romanian politician (d. 1953)
  • 1873 – Elena of Montenegro, queen of Italy (d. 1956)
  • 1881 – Henrik Shipstead, American politician (d. 1960)
  • 1883 – Pavel Filonov, Russian painter (d. 1941)
  • 1883 – Patrick J. Hurley, United States Secretary of War (d. 1963)
  • 1885 – John Curtin, Australian politician (d. 1945)
  • 1885 – A. J. Muste, Dutch activist and pacifist (d. 1967)
  • 1888 – Richard Courant, German-American mathematician (d. 1972)
  • 1888 – Matthew Moore, Irish-American actor (d. 1960)
  • 1891 – Walther Bothe, German physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics laureate (d. 1957)
  • 1891 – Storm Jameson, English writer (d. 1986)
  • 1891 – Bronislava Nijinska, Russian choreographer (d. 1972)
  • 1894 – St Maximilian Kolbe, Polish martyr, Patron Saint of the 20th Century (d. 1941)
  • 1896 – Arthur Ford, American psychic (d. 1971)
  • 1896 – Jaromir Weinberger, Czech-American composer (d. 1967)
  • 1897 – Dennis Wheatley, British author (d. 1977)
  • 1899 – Solomon Bandaranaike, Ceylonese Prime Minister (assassinated 1959)
  • 1900 – Dame Merlyn Myer, Australian philanthropist (d. 1982)
  • 1902 – Georgy Malenkov, Soviet politician (d. 1988)
  • 1902 – Carl Rogers, American psychologist (d. 1987)
  • 1903 – Igor Kurchatov, Russian physicist (d. 1960)
  • 1904 – Karl Brandt, Nazi war criminal (d. 1948)
  • 1905 – Giacinto Scelsi, Italian composer (d. 1988)
  • 1905 – Franjo Cardinal Seper, Croatian Catholic cardinal (d. 1981)
  • 1908 – William Hartnell, British actor (d. 1975)
  • 1909 – José Ferrer, Puerto Rican actor (d. 1992)
  • 1909 – Willy Millowitsch, German actor (d. 1999)
  • 1909 – Evelyn Wood, American educator (d. 1995)
  • 1910 – Galina Sergeyevna Ulanova, Russian ballerina (d. 1988)
  • 1911 – Tom Delaney, British racing driver (d. 2006)
  • 1915 – Walker Cooper, American baseball player (d. 1991)
  • 1921 – Herta Bothe, Nazi concentration camp guard
  • 1922 – Abbey Simon, U.S. pianist
  • 1923 – Larry Storch, American actor
  • 1923 – Giorgio Tozzi, American bass
  • 1923 – Johnny Wardle, English cricketer (d. 1985)
  • 1923 – Joseph Weizenbaum, German-born computer scientist
  • 1924 – Benjamin Lees, U.S. composer
  • 1924 – Ron Moody, English actor
  • 1925 – Helmuth Hubener, German anti-Hitler activist (d. 1942)
  • 1926 – Evelyn Lear, American soprano
  • 1926 – Kelucharan Mohapatra, Indian Odissi dancer (d. 2004)
  • 1926 – Hanae Mori, Japanese fashion designer
  • 1926 – Soupy Sales, American comedian
  • 1927 – Charles Tomlinson, British poet and translator
  • 1928 – Gaston Miron, Quebec poet and editor (d. 1996)
  • 1929 – Saeed Jaffrey, Indian actor
  • 1931 – Bill Graham, German-born American music promoter (d. 1991)
  • 1933 – Charles Osgood, American journalist and commentator
  • 1933 – Jean-Marie Straub, French film director
  • 1933 – Ko Un, Korean poet
  • 1934 – Jacques Anquetil, French cyclist (d. 1987)
  • 1934 – Gene Freese, American baseball player
  • 1934 – Roy Kinnear, English actor (d. 1988)
  • 1934 – Alexandra Ripley, American writer (d. 2004)
  • 1935 – Elvis Presley, American singer and guitarist (d. 1977)
  • 1936 – Zdenek Mácal, Czech conductor
  • 1936 – Robert May, Baron May of Oxford, Australian-born British scientist
  • 1937 – Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer
  • 1938 – Bob Eubanks, American game show host
  • 1938 – Yevgeny Nesterenko, Russian bass-baritone
  • 1941 – Graham Chapman, British comedian (d. 1989)
  • 1941 – Boris Vallejo, Peruvian illustrator
  • 1942 – Valya Balkanska, Bulgarian folk singer
  • 1942 – Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist and author
  • 1942 – Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese politician
  • 1942 – Yvette Mimieux, American actress
  • 1944 – Terry Brooks, American writer
  • 1945 – Jeannie Lewis, Australian actress, singer
  • 1945 – Kojo Nnamdi, Guyanese-born American radio host
  • 1945 – Kathleen Noone, American actress
  • 1946 – Robby Krieger, American musician (The Doors)
  • 1947 – Don Bendell, American author & karate master
  • 1947 – David Bowie, English musician
  • 1947 – Samuel Schmid, Swiss politician
  • 1947 – Terry Sylvester, British singer and musician (The Hollies)
  • 1948 – Gillies MacKinnon, Scottish film director
  • 1951 – Kenny Anthony, Saint Lucian politician
  • 1951 – John McTiernan, American film director
  • 1952 – Vladimir Feltsman, Russian-American pianist
  • 1953 – Bruce Sutter, American baseball player
  • 1955 – Spiros Livathinos, Greek footballer
  • 1955 – Mike Reno, Canadian musician (Loverboy)
  • 1957 – Nacho Duato, Spanish classical dancer and choreographer
  • 1958 – Rey Misterio, Sr., Mexican professional wrestler
  • 1959 – Paul Hester, Australian drummer (Crowded House) (d. 2005)
  • 1961 – Calvin Smith, American athlete
  • 1961 – Kazuki Takahashi, Japanese creator of Yu-Gi-Oh
  • 1962 – Chris Marion, American musician (Little River Band)
  • 1965 – Michelle Forbes, American actress
  • 1966 – Igor Vyazmikin, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1966 – Andrew Wood, American musician (Mother Love Bone) (d. 1990)
  • 1967 – R. Kelly, American singer
  • 1968 – Keith Mullings, American boxer
  • 1969 – Jeff Abercrombie, American musician (Fuel)
  • 1969 – Ami Dolenz, American actress
  • 1970 – Rachel Friend, Australian actress
  • 1971 – Jason Giambi, American baseball player
  • 1971 – Pascal Zuberbühler, Swiss footballer
  • 1973 – Mark Knight, English sound designer
  • 1973 – Sean Paul, Jamaican singer
  • 1973 – Jason Stevens, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1975 – DJ Clue, American DJ and producer
  • 1975 – Harris Jayaraj, Indian music composer
  • 1976 – Jenny Lewis, American actress and musician (Rilo Kiley)
  • 1976 – Josh Meyers, American actor
  • 1976 – Carl Pavano, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Amber Benson, American actress
  • 1977 – Lee Yoo-jin, Korean actress
  • 1978 – Boris Avrukh, Israeli chess grandmaster
  • 1978 – Marco Fu, Hong Kong snooker player
  • 1979 – Seol Ki-Hyeon, South Korean footballer
  • 1979 – Adrian Mutu, Romanian footballer
  • 1979 – Sarah Polley, Canadian actress
  • 1980 – Rachel Nichols, American actress
  • 1981 – Jeff Francis, Canadian baseball player
  • 1981 – Xie Xingfang, Chinese badminton player
  • 1982 – Emanuele Calaiò, Italian footballer
  • 1982 – Gaby Hoffmann, American actress
  • 1982 – John Utaka, Nigerian footballer
  • 1983 – Chris Mordetzky, American professional wrestler
  • 1983 – Felipe Colombo, Argentine-Mexican actor and singer
  • 1984 – Jeff Francoeur, American baseball player
  • 1985 – Rachael Lampa, American singer
  • 1986 – Jaclyn Linetsky, Canadian actress (d. 2003)
  • 1986 – David Silva, Spanish footballer
  • 1988 – Adam T. Siska, American Musician
  • 1990 – Maci Wainwright, American singer
  • 1991 – Asuka Hinoi, Japanese singer

January 8 – Deaths:

  • 482 – Saint Severinus of Noricum
  • 1100 – Antipope Clement III (b. 1029)
  • 1107 – Edgar of Scotland (b. 1074)
  • 1198 – Pope Celestine III (bc. 1106)
  • 1324 – Marco Polo, Italian explorer (b. 1254)
  • 1337 – Giotto di Bondone, Italian artist (b. 1267)
  • 1456 – St Lawrence Justinian, Italian bishop and first Patriarch of Venice (b. 1381)
  • 1464 – Thomas Ebendorfer, Austrian historian (b. 1385)
  • 1557 – Albert the Warlike, Prince of Bayreuth (b. 1522)
  • 1570 – Philibert de l’Orme, French architect (b. 1510)
  • 1598 – John George, Elector of Brandenburg (b. 1525)
  • 1642 – Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and scientist (b. 1564)
  • 1707 – John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of Stair, Scottish politician (b. 1648)
  • 1713 – Arcangelo Corelli, Italian composer (b. 1653)
  • 1775 – John Baskerville, English printer (b. 1706)
  • 1789 – Jack Broughton, English boxer (bc. 1703)
  • 1794 – Justus Möser, German statesman (b. 1720)
  • 1815 – Edward Pakenham, British general (b. 1778)
  • 1825 – Eli Whitney, American inventor (b. 1765)
  • 1854 – William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, British general and politician (b. 1768)
  • 1865 – Aimé, duc de Clermont-Tonnerre, French general (b. 1779)
  • 1874 – Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, French writer and historian (b. 1814)
  • 1878 – Nikolai Alekseevich Nekrasov, Russian poet (b. 1821)
  • 1880 – Joshua A. Norton, American eccentric (b. 1811)
  • 1896 – William Rainey Marshall, Governor of Minnesota (b. 1825)
  • 1896 – Paul Verlaine, French poet (b. 1844)
  • 1901 – John Barry, Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross (b. 1873)
  • 1916 – Ada Rehan, Irish-born American actress (b. 1860)
  • 1918 – Ellis H. Roberts, American politician (b. 1827)
  • 1932 – Eurosia Fabris, Italian Catholic (b. 1866)
  • 1934 – Andrei Bely, Russian writer (b. 1880)
  • 1934 – Serge Stavisky, French financier and embezzler (b. 1886)
  • 1938 – Johnny Gruelle, Creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy (b. 1880)
  • 1941 – Robert Baden-Powell, English founder of scouting (b. 1857)
  • 1942 – Joseph Franklin Rutherford, American religious publisher (b. 1869)
  • 1943 – Richard Hillary, Australian Spitfire pilot and author (b. 1919)
  • 1944 – William Kissam Vanderbilt II, member of the Vanderbilt family (b. 1878)
  • 1945 – Karl Krafft, Swiss astrologer who was manipulated by the Nazi regime (b. 1900)
  • 1948 – Kurt Schwitters, German painter (b. 1887)
  • 1948 – Richard Tauber, Austrian tenor (b. 1891)
  • 1950 – Joseph Schumpeter, Austrian economist (b. 1883)
  • 1953 – Admiral Sir Hugh Binney, British naval commander and Governor of Tasmania (b. 1883)
  • 1956 – Jim Elliot, American Christian missionary (b. 1928)
  • 1958 – Paul Pilgrim, American athlete (b. 1883)
  • 1963 – Kay Sage, American artist and poet (b. 1898)
  • 1967 – Zbigniew Cybulski, Polish actor (b. 1927)
  • 1969 – Albert Hill, British athlete (b. 1889)
  • 1970 – Georges Guibourg, French performer (b. 1891)
  • 1972 – Kenneth Patchen, American poet (b. 1911)
  • 1975 – John Gregson, English actor (b. 1919)
  • 1975 – Richard Tucker, American tenor (b. 1913)
  • 1976 – Zhou Enlai, Premier of the People’s Republic of China (b. 1898)
  • 1976 – Robert Forgan, British fascist (b. 1891)
  • 1979 – Sara Carter, American country musician (b. 1898)
  • 1980 – John Mauchly, American physicist (b. 1907)
  • 1981 – Matthew “Stymie” Beard, American actor (b. 1925)
  • 1982 – Grégoire Aslan, Armenian actor (b. 1908)
  • 1983 – Gerhard Barkhorn, German fighter pilot (b. 1919)
  • 1983 – Ron Frazer, Australian actor (b. 1924)
  • 1983 – Tom McCall, Governor of Oregon (b. 1913)
  • 1986 – Pierre Fournier, French cellist (b. 1906)
  • 1990 – Terry-Thomas, British actor, comedian (b. 1911)
  • 1991 – Steve Clark, English guitarist (Def Leppard) (b. 1960)
  • 1994 – Pat Buttram, American actor (b. 1915)
  • 1994 – Harvey Haddix, American baseball player (b. 1925)
  • 1995 – Carlos Monzon, Argentinian boxer (b. 1942)
  • 1996 – John Hargreaves, Australian actor (b. 1945)
  • 1996 – François Mitterrand, President of France (b. 1916)
  • 1996 – Howard Taubman, American music and theater critic (b. 1907)
  • 1997 – Melvin Calvin, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1911)
  • 1998 – Michael Tippett, English composer (b. 1905)
  • 2000 – Fritz Thiedemann, German equestrianist (b. 1918)
  • 2002 – Alexander Prochorow, Nobel Prize in Physics laureate (b. 1916)
  • 2002 – Dave Thomas, American fast food entrepreneur (b. 1932)
  • 2003 – Ron Goodwin, British composer and conductor (b. 1925)
  • 2004 – John A. Gambling, American radio talk-show host (b. 1930)
  • 2005 – Campbell McComas, Australian impersonator and broadcaster (b. 1952)
  • 2005 – Warren Spears, American choreographer and dancer
  • 2005 – Michel Thomas, Polish linguist (b. 1914)
  • 2006 – Tony Banks, British politician (b. 1943)
  • 2007 – Jane Bolin, first African American female judge (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – Yvonne De Carlo, Canadian-born actress (b. 1922)
  • 2007 – Francis Cockfield, British politician (b. 1916)
  • 2007 – David Ervine, Northern Irish politician (b. 1953)
  • 2007 – Iwao Takamoto, American animator (b. 1925)
  • 2008 – George Moore, Australian champion jockey (b. 1923)
  • 2008 – Clyde Otis, American song writer and music producer (b. c. 1924)

January 8 – Holidays:

  • Commonwealth Day is celebrated in the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • The feast day of Our Lady of Prompt Succor in the Roman Catholic Church.
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