On This Day in History February 8

February 8 – Events:

  • 421 – Constantius III becomes co-Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
  • 1575 – Universiteit Leiden founded, and given the motto “Praesidium Libertatis.”
  • 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded due to suspicion of having been involved in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.
  • 1601 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, rebels against Elizabeth I of England – revolt is quickly crushed.
  • 1622 – King James I of England disbands the English Parliament.
  • 1692 – A doctor in Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony suggests that two girls in the family of the village minister may be suffering from bewitchment, leading to the Salem witch trials.
  • 1693 – The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia is granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.
  • 1726 – The Supreme Privy Council is established in Russia.
  • 1807 – Battle of Eylau – Napoleon defeats Russians under General Benigssen.
  • 1817 – Las Heras crosses the Andes with an army to join San Martín and liberate Chile from Spain.
  • 1837 – Richard Johnson becomes the first Vice President of the United States chosen by the United States Senate.
  • 1849 – New Roman Republic established.
  • 1855 – The Devil’s Footprints mysteriously appear in southern Devon.
  • 1865 – In the U.S., Delaware voters reject the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and vote to continue the practice of slavery. (Delaware finally ratifies the amendment on February 12, 1901.)
  • 1867 – The Ausgleich results in the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.
  • 1879 – Sandford Fleming first proposes adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute.
  • 1887 – The Dawes Act authorized the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments.
  • 1900 – British troops are defeated by Boers at Ladysmith, South Africa.
  • 1904 – Battle of Port Arthur: A surprise torpedo attack by the Japanese at Port Arthur, China starts the Russo-Japanese War.
  • 1910 – The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated by William D. Boyce.
  • 1915 – D.W. Griffith’s controversial film The Birth of a Nation premieres in Los Angeles.
  • 1918 – The Stars and Stripes newspaper publishes for the first time.
  • 1922 – President Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio in the White House.
  • 1924 – Capital punishment: The first state execution using gas in the United States takes place in Nevada.
  • 1935 – First NFL draft; Jay Berwanger of University of Chicago is first pick (by Eagles). He never plays in the league
  • 1943 – World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal ends after the Japanese Imperial Army evacuated their remaining forces with a United States victory.
  • 1949 – Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary sentenced for treason.
  • 1952 – Elizabeth II is proclaimed Queen of the UK.
  • 1955 – The Government of Sindh abolished Jagirdari system in the province. One million acres (4000 km²) of land thus acquired is to be distributed among the landless peasants.
  • 1960 – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants will take the name “Mountbatten-Windsor.”
  • 1962 – Charonne massacre. 9 trade unionists are killed by French police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Paris Prefecture of Police.
  • 1963 – Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba are made illegal by the John F. Kennedy administration.
  • 1963 – Dallas Texans become Kansas City Chiefs.
  • 1965 – Supremes release “Stop In the Name of Love.”
  • 1968 – American civil rights movement: A civil rights protest staged at a white-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina is broken-up by highway patrolmen leading to the deaths of three college students.
  • 1969 – Allende meteorite falls near Pueblito de Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico.
  • 1971 – The Nasdaq stock market index debuts.
  • 1974 – After 84 days in space, the crew of the first American space station Skylab return to Earth.
  • 1974 – Military coup in Upper Volta.
  • 1978 – Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcast on radio for the first time.
  • 1979 – Denis Sassou-Nguesso became the President of the Republic of the Congo for the first time.
  • 1983 – The Melbourne dust storm hits Australia’s second largest city. The result of the worst drought on record and a day of severe weather conditions, the 320m deep dust cloud envelops the city, turning day to night.
  • 1984 – 14th Winter Olympic games opens in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
  • 1986 – 5′ 7″ Spud Webb of Atlanta Hawks wins NBA Slam Dunk Competition.
  • 1989 – Jockey Chris Antley begins record of 64 consecutive winning days.
  • 1989 – An Independent Air Boeing 707 crashes into Santa Maria mountain in Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal, killing 144.
  • 1991 – Roger Clemens signs record $5,380,250 per year Red Sox contract.
  • 1992 – 16th Olympic Winter games opens in Albertville, France.
  • 1992 – Ulysses spacecraft passes Jupiter.
  • 1993 – General Motors sues NBC after Dateline NBC allegedly rigs two crashes intended to demonstrate that some GM pickups can easily catch fire if hit in certain places. NBC settles the lawsuit the next day.
  • 1996 – The U.S. Congress passes the Communications Decency Act.
  • 1996 – The massive Internet collaboration “24 Hours in Cyberspace” takes place.
  • 1998 – First female ice hockey game in Olympic history: Finland beats Sweden 6-0.
  • 2005 – Israel and Palestinians agree to cease-fire.

February 8 – Birthdays:

  • 412 – Proclus, Greek philosopher (d. 487)
  • 1191 – Yaroslav II of Russia (d. 1246)
  • 1291 – King Afonso IV of Portugal (d. 1357)
  • 1405 – Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last reigning Emperor of the Byzantine Empire (d. 1453)
  • 1487 – Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg (d. 1550)
  • 1552 – Agrippa d’Aubigné, French poet and soldier (d. 1630)
  • 1577 – Robert Burton, English cleric and writer (d. 1640)
  • 1586 – Jacob Praetorius, German composer (d. 1651)
  • 1649 – Gabriel Daniel, French Jesuit historian (d. 1728)
  • 1677 – Jacques Cassini, French astronomer (d. 1756)
  • 1685 – Charles-Jean-François Hénault, French historian (d. 1770)
  • 1700 – Daniel Bernoulli, Dutch-born mathematician (d. 1782)
  • 1720 – Emperor Sakuramachi of Japan (d. 1750)
  • 1792 – Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, queen of Hungary and Bohemia (d. 1873)
  • 1804 – Richard Lemon Lander, British explorer (d. 1834)
  • 1807 – Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, English sculptor and naturalist (d. 1889)
  • 1819 – John Ruskin, English author (d. 1900)
  • 1820 – William Tecumseh Sherman, American Union general (d. 1891)
  • 1822 – Maxime Du Camp, French photographer and journalist (d. 1894)
  • 1828 – Jules Verne, French author (d. 1905)
  • 1834 – Dmitri Mendeleev, Russian chemist (d. 1907)
  • 1847 – Hugh Price Hughes, English social reformer (d. 1902)
  • 1850 – Kate Chopin, American author (d. 1904)
  • 1878 – Martin Buber, German philosopher (d. 1965)
  • 1880 – Franz Marc, German painter (d. 1916)
  • 1882 – Thomas Selfridge, First person to die in an airplane crash (d. 1908).
  • 1883 – Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Austrian economist (d. 1950)
  • 1886 – Charles Ruggles, American actor (d. 1970)
  • 1888 – Dame Edith Evans, British actress (d. 1976)
  • 1890 – Claro M. Recto, Filipino nationalist (d. 1960)
  • 1893 – Ba Maw, Burmese politician (d. 1977)
  • 1894 – Ludwig Marcuse, German author and philosopher (d. 1971)
  • 1894 – King Vidor, American film director (d. 1982)
  • 1895 – Hermann Florstedt, Nazi leader (d. 1945)
  • 1900 – Ivan Ivanov-Vano Soviet animator and Russian animation director (d. 1987)
  • 1902 – Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician (d. 1966)
  • 1903 – Greta Keller, Austrian-born cabaret singer and actress (d. 1977)
  • 1906 – Chester Carlson, American physicist and inventor (d. 1968)
  • 1911 – Elizabeth Bishop, American poet (d. 1979)
  • 1913 – Betty Field, American actress (d. 1973)
  • 1918 – Fred Blassie, American professional wrestler (d. 2003)
  • 1921 – Lana Turner, American actress (d. 1995)
  • 1922 – Audrey Meadows, American actress (d. 1996)
  • 1925 – Jack Lemmon, American actor and film director (d. 2001)
  • 1926 – Neal Cassady, American writer (d. 1968)
  • 1930 – James Deetz, American anthropologist (d. 2000)
  • 1930 – Alejandro Rey, Argentine actor (d. 1987)
  • 1931 – James Dean, American actor (d. 1955)
  • 1932 – Cliff Allison, British racing driver (d. 2005)
  • 1932 – John Williams, American composer and conductor
  • 1933 – Elly Ameling, Dutch soprano
  • 1933 – Jack Larson, American actor
  • 1936 – Larry Verne, American singer
  • 1937 – Manfred Krug, German actor
  • 1939 – José Maria Sison, Filipino communist
  • 1940 – Ted Koppel, American journalist
  • 1941 – Nick Nolte, American actor
  • 1941 – Tom Rush, American singer and songwriter
  • 1942 – Robert Klein, American comedian
  • 1942 – Terry Melcher, American musician and record producer (d. 2004)
  • 1943 – Creed Bratton, American actor and musician
  • 1943 – Pirzada Qasim, Pakistani poet and VC of Karachi University
  • 1944 – Roger Lloyd-Pack, English actor
  • 1944 – Sebastião Salgado, Brazilian documentary photographer
  • 1948 – Lynda Lyon Block, American convicted murderer (d. 2002)
  • 1948 – Dan Seals, American singer (d. 2009)
  • 1948 – Ron Tyson, American singer (The Temptations)
  • 1949 – Brooke Adams, American actress
  • 1950 – Cristina Ferrare, American former supermodel and actress
  • 1951 – Z’EV, American text/sound artist (born Stefan Weisser)
  • 1953 – Roger Clavet, Quebecois politician
  • 1953 – Mary Steenburgen, American actress
  • 1955 – John Grisham, American writer
  • 1955 – Nancy Oliver, American playwright and television writer
  • 1960 – Dino Ciccarelli, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1961 – Vince Neil, American singer (Mötley Crüe)
  • 1961 – Bruce Timm,TV Producer (DC Animated Universe)
  • 1963 – Mohammad Azharuddin, Indian cricketer
  • 1963 – Joshua Kadison, American pianist and songwriter
  • 1964 – Trinny Woodall, British fashion guru
  • 1966 – Kirk Muller, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1966 – Hristo Stoichkov, Bulgarian footballer
  • 1968 – Gary Coleman, American actor
  • 1968 – Claudette Pace, Maltese singer
  • 1969 – Mary McCormack, American actress
  • 1969 – Shiva Rose, American actress
  • 1970 – John Filan, Australian footballer
  • 1970 – Alonzo Mourning, American basketball player
  • 1971 – Mika “Gas” Karppinen, Finnish drummer for the band HIM
  • 1971 – Andrus Veerpalu, Estonian cross-country skier
  • 1972 – Paul Wight, American professional wrestler
  • 1973 – Keith McDonald, American baseball player
  • 1974 – Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, French disc jockey (Daft Punk)
  • 1974 – Ulises de la Cruz, Ecuadorian footballer
  • 1974 – Seth Green, American actor
  • 1976 – Khaled Mashud, Bangladeshi cricketer
  • 1976 – Adam Piatt, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Dave Farrell, American musician (Linkin Park)
  • 1977 – Barry Hall, Australian rules footballer
  • 1977 – Bridgette Kerkove, American actress
  • 1977 – Yucef Merhi, Venezuelan artist
  • 1977 – Mathieu Turcotte, Canadian short-track speed skater
  • 1979 – Aaron Cook, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Josh Keaton, American actor and singer
  • 1980 – Ralf Little, English actor/comedian
  • 1980 – Cameron Muncey, Australian guitarist (Jet)
  • 1980 – Stephen Wright, English footballer
  • 1981 – Myriam Montemayor Cruz, Mexican singer
  • 1982 – Eric Alexander, American football player
  • 1982 – Satomi Korogi, Japanese voice actress
  • 1982 – Sousuke Takaoka, Japanese actor
  • 1983 – Jim Verraros, American singer
  • 1984 – Panagiotis Vasilopoulos, Greek basketball player
  • 1987 – Carolina Kostner, Italian European champion figure skater
  • 1988 – Keegan Meth, Zimbabwean cricketer
  • 1989 – Danielle Harmer, English actress
  • 1995 – Jordan Todosey, Canadian actress

February 8 – Deaths:

  • 1204 – Alexius IV Angelus, deposed Eastern Roman Emperor (b. circa 1182)
  • 1250 – Robert I of Artois, French crusader (b. 1216)
  • 1250 – William II Longespee
  • 1265 – Hulagu Khan, Mongol ruler (b. 1217)
  • 1296 – King Przemysl II of Poland (b. 1257)
  • 1529 – Baldassare Castiglione, Italian writer and diplomat (b. 1478)
  • 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1542)
  • 1599 – Robert Rollock, Scottish educator
  • 1623 – Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, English politician (b. 1546)
  • 1696 – Tsar Ivan V of Russia (b. 1666)
  • 1709 – Giuseppe Torelli, Italian composer (b. 1658)
  • 1725 – Tsar Peter I of Russia (b. 1672)
  • 1749 – Jan van Huysum, Dutch painter (b. 1682)
  • 1750 – Aaron Hill, English writer (b. 1685)
  • 1768 – George Dance the Elder, English architect (b. 1695)
  • 1772 – Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Princess of Wales (b. 1719)
  • 1849 – France Prešeren, Slovenian poet (b. 1800)
  • 1849 – François Antoine Habeneck, French violinist (b. 1781)
  • 1856 – Agostino Bassi, Italian entomologist (b. 1773)
  • 1907 – Hendrik Willem Bakhuis Roozeboom, Dutch chemist (b. 1854)
  • 1910 – Hans Jæger, Norwegian writer and political activist (b. 1854)
  • 1921 – Peter Kropotkin, Russian anarchist (b. 1842)
  • 1921 – George Formby (Senior), English entertainer (b. 1876)
  • 1929 – Maria Christina, Queen Regent of Spain (b. 1858)
  • 1932 – Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll, New York City gangster from County Donegal in Ireland (b. 1908)
  • 1956 – Connie Mack, American baseball manager and executive (b. 1862)
  • 1957 – Walther Bothe, German physicist and inventor, Nobel laureate (b. 1891)
  • 1957 – John von Neumann, Hungarian-born mathematician and physicist (b. 1903)
  • 1960 – Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, English architect (b. 1880)
  • 1963 – George Dolenz, American actor, father of Micky Dolenz (b. 1908)
  • 1964 – Ernst Kretschmer, German psychiatrist (b. 1888)
  • 1972 – Markos Vamvakaris, Greek musician and songwriter (b. 1905)
  • 1975 – Robert Robinson, British chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1886)
  • 1977 – Eivind Groven, Norwegian composer and ethnomusicologist (b. 1901)
  • 1980 – Nikos Xilouris, Greek singer (b. 1936)
  • 1982 – John Hay Whitney, American financier (b. 1904)
  • 1984 – Karel Miljon, Dutch boxer (b. 1903)
  • 1985 – William Lyons, British automobile manufacturer (b. 1901)
  • 1987 – Harriet E. MacGibbon, American actress (b. 1905)
  • 1990 – Del Shannon, American entertainer (suicide) (b. 1934)
  • 1992 – Denny Wright, British jazz guitarist (b. 1924)
  • 1993 – N. Shanmugathasan, Sri Lankan communist leader
  • 1994 – Raymond Scott, American composer (b. 1908)
  • 1996 – Del Ennis, American baseball player (b. 1925)
  • 1998 – Halldór Laxness, Icelandic author, Nobel laureate (b. 1902)
  • 1998 – Julian Lincoln Simon, American economist and author (b. 1932)
  • 1999 – Iris Murdoch, Irish author (b. 1919)
  • 2000 – Sid Abel, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1918)
  • 2000 – Bob Collins, American radio broadcaster (b.1942)
  • 2000 – Derrick Thomas, American football player (b. 1967)
  • 2001 – Ivo Caprino, Norwegian animated film director (b. 1920)
  • 2002 – Joachim Hoffmann, German historian (b. 1930)
  • 2002 – Ong Teng Cheong, President of Singapore (b. 1936)
  • 2004 – Julius Schwartz, American comic book and science fiction editor (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – Jimmy Smith, American jazz musician (b. 1925)
  • 2005 – Keith Knudsen, American drummer, vocalist and songwriter (The Doobie Brothers) (b. 1948)
  • 2006 – Elton Dean, English musician (Soft Machine) (b. 1945)
  • 2006 – Akira Ifukube, Japanese composer (b. 1914)
  • 2007 – Anna Nicole Smith, American model, actress, and entertainer (b. 1967)
  • 2007 – Ian Stevenson, Canadian-American professor and reincarnation expert (b. 1918)
  • 2008 – Chua Ek Kay, Singaporean painter (b. 1947)

February 8 – Holidays:

  • Slovenia – Prešeren Day, the Slovenian cultural holiday.
  • Nirvana Day – an annual Buddhist festival.
  • Boy Scouts of America – Scout Sunday; The Sunday preceding February 8 is designated as Scout Sunday and the following Saturday is designated as Scout Sabbath.
  • Saint Jerome Emiliani
  • Saint Juventius
  • Saint Meingold of Huy
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