On This Day

Historical Events on April 8


217 Roman Emperor Caracalla is assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus

  • 1093 The new Winchester Cathedral is dedicated by bishop Walkelin in Winchester, England
  • 1139 Roger II of Sicily is excommunicated
  • 1149 Pope Eugene III takes refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum
  • 1195 Alexius III Angelus drives out brother Isaak II as Byzantine emperor
  • 1232 Mongol army under General Subedei begins the siege of Chinese Jin capital of Kaifeng - 1st occasion gunpowder used in a major engagement
  • 1271 Krak des Chevaliers, the greatest fortress built by medieval crusaders in the Levant, is finally taken by the forces of Mamlūk sultan Baybars I
  • 1341 Petrarch crowned a poet on the Capitoline Hill in Rome
  • 1378 Bartolomeo Prignano elected as Pope Urban VI

Election of Interest

1455 Alfonso de Borgia elected as Pope Callistus III

Victory in Battle

1500 Battle at Novara: King Louis XII of France defeats Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan

  • 1530 Holy Roman Emperor convenes Imperial Diet in German city of Augsburg to address Protestant tensions
  • 1730 Congregation Shearith Israel opens the 1st North American synagogue in New York City on Mill Street in Lower Manhattan
  • 1759 British troops chase French out of Masulipatam, India
  • 1766 1st fire escape patented, wicker basket on a pulley & chain
  • 1767 Ayutthaya kingdom falls to Burmese invaders

Music Premiere

1781 Premiere of Mozart's violin sonata K379

Historic Event

1783 Catherine II of Russia annexes the Crimea

Historic Event

1796 Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, proves the quadratic reciprocity law (the ability to determine the solvability of any quadratic equation in modular arithmetic)

  • 1801 Soldiers riot in Bucharest, kill 128 Jews
  • 1802 French Protestant church becomes state-supported & -controlled

Historic Event

1808 Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore promoted to an archdiocese by Pope Pius VII, with the founding of the dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville)

Venus de Milo

1820 The famous ancient Greek statue, Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos

  • 1838 Steamship "Great Western" makes her maiden voyage from Bristol, England, to New York
  • 1848 1st battle at Gioto: Sardinia-Piemonte beats Austrians
  • 1848 Battle at Xaquixaguana, Peru: Pedro de la Gasca beats Gonzalo Pizarro
  • 1861 US mint at Dahlonega, Georgia, seized by Confederacy (US Civil War)
  • 1862 John D. Lynde patents aerosol dispenser
  • 1864 Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana; Federals routed by General Richard Taylor
  • 1866 Italy and Prussia ally against Austria-Hungary.
  • 1869 American Museum of Natural History opens in New York City
  • 1876 Amiliare Ponchielli's opera "La Gioconda" premieres in Milan
  • 1879 Khedive Ismael of Egypt fires French and British ministers
  • 1879 Milk sold in glass bottles for 1st time

Historic Event

1886 William Ewart Gladstone introduces the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.

  • 1893 The Critic reports that ice cream soda is America's national drink
  • 1898 Battle of Atbara River, Anglo-Egyptian forces crush 6,000 Sudanese
  • 1902 Russia and China sign the Convention of Evacuation under which Russia agrees to evacuate Manchuria within 18 months
  • 1902 Demonstration organised by socialists in Belgium as people demand better education, living conditions, the right to strike and universal male suffrage result in a riot and some deaths
  • 1904 Great Britain and France establish their Entente Cordiale, a technical treaty settling long-standing disagreements over Morocco, Egypt, Africa, and the Pacific
  • 1904 British mystic Aleister Crowley transcribes the first chapter of the Book of the Law
  • 1904 Entente Cordiale between Britain and France
  • 1904 New York City changes the name of Longacre Square to Times Square, in honor of The New York Times’s move to the area
  • 1910 1st race at the Playa Del Ray Motordrome near Los Angeles begins (1st US auto speedway)
  • 1912 Steamers collide on the Nile, drowning 200
  • 1913 Opening of China's 1st parliament takes place in Peking (now Beijing)
  • 1913 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified by Congress, providing for election of senators by popular vote
  • 1914 US & Colombia sign a treaty concerning Panama Canal Zone
  • 1916 Norway approves active & passive female suffrage
  • 1924 South African State pass the Industrial Conciliation Act No 11: provides for job reservation, excluded blacks from membership of registered trade unions, prohibited registration of black trade unions

Historic Event

1929 Indian Independence Movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt throw handouts and bombs to court arrest

  • 1931 "White Horse Inn" opens in London

Music History

1931 Dmitri Shostakovich's ballet "The Arrow" premieres

  • 1933 Manchester Guardian warns of unknown Nazi terror
  • 1935 2nd Augusta National Invitation Tournament (Masters) Golf: Gene Sarazen wins Monday playoff with Craig Wood by 5 strokes

Music History

1935 Béla Bartók's 5th String quartet premieres in Washington, D.C.

  • 1935 Works Progress Administration approved by Congress

Music Premiere

1938 Walter Piston's 1st Symphony in E, premieres in Boston, by the Boston Symphony, conducted by the composer

  • 1939 King Zog I of Albania flees after Italy invades
  • 1940 German battle cruisers sink British aircraft carrier Glorious

Boxing Title Fight

1941 In his 4th title defence in 9 weeks Joe Louis beats Tony Musto by TKO in the 9th round at the Arena, Saint Louis, Missouri to retain NYSAC heavyweight boxing crown

Music History

1942 Arnold Schoenberg & Tudor's ballet "Pillar of Fire" premieres in NYC

  • 1943 Hakuun Yasutani Roshi, founder of Sanbo Kyodan, receives dharma
  • 1943 Stanley Cup Final, Boston Garden, Boston, MA: Detroit Red Wings beat Boston Bruins, 2-0 for a 4-0 series sweep and their 3rd SC Championship

Historic Event

1943 U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, freezes wages and prices, prohibits workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and bars rate increases to common carriers and public utilities.

  • 1943 1943 NFL Draft: Frank Sinkwich from University of Georgia first pick by Detroit Lions
  • 1945 Dutch Nazi occupiers executed, Nazi general Christiansen flees Netherlands
  • 1945 1945 NFL Draft: Charley Trippi from University of Georgia first pick by Chicago Cardinals
  • 1946 League of Nations assembles for the last time
  • 1947 Largest recorded sunspot ever observed at 40 times the diameter of Earth
  • 1948 Soen Nakagawa & Nyogen Senzaki (Zen teachers) meet in San Francisco
  • 1950 "Miss Liberty" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 308 performances
  • 1952 US President Harry Truman seizes steel mills to avert a strike

Historic Event

1953 Jomo Kenyatta convicted of involvement with the Mau Mau rebellion and sentenced to 7 years jail in Kenya

  • 1954 "By the Beautiful Sea" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 270 performances
  • 1956 20th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Jack Burke Jr. wins his first major title, 1 stroke ahead of amateur Ken Venturi; final Masters played without a 36-hole cut
  • 1956 6 US Marine Corps recruits drown during a night "marsh march" in Ribbon Creek at Parris Island, South Carolina; drill instructor Staff Sergeant Matthew McKeon is court-martialed
  • 1960 Netherlands and Germany sign accord concerning war casualties
  • 1960 US Senate passes Civil Rights Bill with measures against discriminatory voting practices
  • 1961 "Show Girl" closes at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC after 100 performances
  • 1961 British liner "Dara" explodes in Persian Gulf, kills 236
  • 1962 Accords of Evian (Algeria) accepted by referendum in France

Sports History

1963 Detroit Tigers claim young pitcher Denny McLain on waivers from the Chicago White Sox; McLain goes on the win Cy Young Award 1968, 69 and AL MVP 1968

  • 1964 Unmanned Gemini 1 launched
  • 1965 India & Pakistan forces engage in a border fight

Sports History

1966 American Football League votes in 36 year old Al Davis as commissioner after Joe Foss resigns; appointment lasts 3 months when AFL merges with NFL

  • 1966 OAO 1, 1st orbiting astronomical observatory, launched
  • 1966 Time publishes its "Is God Dead" issue - its first issue without an image
  • 1967 121st Grand National: John Buckingham aboard rank 100/1 outsider Foinavon avoids famous carnage to win by 15 lengths from favourite Honey End
  • 1967 12th Eurovision Song Contest: Sandie Shaw for United Kingdom wins singing "Puppet on a String" in Vienna
  • 1968 40th Academy Awards postponed to Apr 10th due to death of Martin Luther King
  • 1968 Major League Baseball decides to postpone Opening Day because of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr
  • 1968 Czechoslovakia Oldřich Černík government forms
  • 1968 New socialist constitution of East Germany takes effect
  • 1968 WKPI TV channel 22 in Pikeville, Kentucky (PBS) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

1968 Gangsters Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke commit the Air France robbery, stealing $420,000 from cargo terminal at New York City's JFK International Airport

  • 1969 First Major League Baseball game featuring a Canadian team; Montréal Expos beats NY Mets, 11-10 at Shea Stadium; KC Royals, SD Padres and Seattle Pilots also win on debut
  • 1969 Expansion teams Royals, Expos, Padres & Pilots win their 1st games
  • 1970 "Cry for Us All" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 8 performances
  • 1970 Senate rejects Nixon's nomination of Judge G. Harrold Carswell to US Supreme Court
  • 1971 1st legal off-track betting system begins (OTB-New York)
  • 1972 Alvin Kallicharran scores 100* in his 1st Test Cricket innings v NZ
  • 1972 126th Grand National: Graham Thorner aboard 14/1 bet Well To Do wins from 1970 winner Gay Trip; Black Secret & General Symons dead heat for 3rd
  • 1973 Thirty-two terrorist bombings in Cyprus
  • 1974 Discovery Island opens at Walt Disney World, Florida

Sports History

1974 Hammerin' Hank Aaron hits 715th HR, off of L.A. Dodger Al Downing, breaking Babe Ruth's record in Atlanta

Music Single

1974 Paul McCartney & Wings release single "Band on the Run" in the US

Sports History

1975 Frank Robinson debuts as 1st African American baseball manager (Cleveland Indians beat New York Yankees, 5-3)

  • 1976 1976 NFL Draft: Lee Roy Selmon from University of Oklahoma first pick by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Historic Event

1977 Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin resigns

  • 1979 "Carmelina" opens at St James Theater NYC for 17 performances
  • 1979 205th & final episode of "All in the Family"; followed by "Archie Bunker's Place" for 4 seasons
  • 1979 People's Republic of China joins IOC
  • 1980 Islander Potvin's 2 shorthanded goals tie NHL record vs Kings & set NHL rec of 2 shorthanded playoff goals in 1 period
  • 1981 Islanders scored 9 goals against Toronto in playoffs
  • 1982 Tracy Caulkins, 19, wins her 36th US swimming title

Statue of Liberty

1983 In front of a live audience of 20 tourists, David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty disappear

  • 1984 U.S. Census Bureau estimates rank Los Angeles as second most populated city, displacing Chicago which held the position since 1890; New York City remains the top
  • 1984 4th Golden Raspberry Awards: "Lonely Lady" wins

Golf Major

1984 Nabisco Dinah Shore Women's Golf, Mission Hills CC: Juli Inkster wins the first of her 7 major titles in a sudden-death playoff with Pat Bradley, with a par on the 1st extra hole

  • 1985 "Leader of the Pack" opens at Ambassador Theater NYC for 120 performances
  • 1985 Amdahl releases UTS/V, 1st mainframe Unix
  • 1985 India files suit against Union Carbide over Bhopal disaster

Election of Interest

1986 Clint Eastwood elected mayor of Carmel, California. Makes his day.

  • 1989 1-handed pitcher Jim Abbott debut but lasts only 4 2/3 inn
  • 1989 143rd Grand National: Irish 12-year-old Little Polveir, ridden by jockey Jimmy Frost wins by 7 lengths from West Tip
  • 1990 "Aspects of Love" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 377 performances

Television Premiere

1990 "Twin Peaks" created by David Lynch and starring Kyle MacLachlan premieres on ABC-TV

US Masters Golf

1990 54th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Nick Faldo of England goes back-to-back with a par on the 2nd sudden-death playoff hole with Raymond Floyd

  • 1990 King Birendra of Nepal lifts 30-year ban on political parties
  • 1990 Norwegian ferry Scandinavian Star catches fire; 159 people die
  • 1990 New Democracy wins the national election in Greece.
  • 1991 "I Hate Hamlet" opens at Walter Kerr Theater NYC for 88 performances

Sports History

1991 Jockey Bill Shoemaker paralyzed in a car accident

  • 1991 Major league umpires & baseball reach a 4-year agreement
  • 1991 Michael Landon announces he has inoperable cancer of the pancreas
  • 1991 Oakland A's stadium becomes 1st outdoor arena in USA to ban smoking
  • 1992 "5 Guys Named Moe" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 445 performances
  • 1992 After 151 years Britain's "Punch Magazine" publishes its final issue
  • 1993 Indians' Carlos Baerga is 1st to switch hit HRs in same inn (vs Yanks)
  • 1993 STS-56 (Discovery) launches into orbit
  • 1994 Atlanta Brave Kent Mercker no-hits Dodgers, 6-0

Sports History

1994 Darryl Strawberry enters Betty Ford clinic

  • 1994 Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa resigns
  • 1994 Smoking banned in Pentagon & all US military bases
  • 1995 BPAA US Open won by Dave Husted

Boxing Title Fight

1995 Oliver McCall beats Larry Holmes in 12 for heavyweight boxing title

  • 1995 American Bruce Seldon defeats by RTD over Tony Tucker in 7 rounds to win vacated WBA boxing title
  • 1995 148th Grand National: Irish rider Jason Titley wins aboard 40/1 outsider Royal Athlete; trainer Jenny Pitman's second GN victory
  • 1997 Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4 Beta
  • 1997 STS 83 (Columbia 22) lands
  • 1999 Haryana Gana Parishad, a political party in the Indian state of Haryana, merges with the Indian National Congress.
  • 2000 Nineteen US Marines are killed when a V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crashes near Marana, Arizona
  • 2000 153rd Grand National: Irish 10/1 shot Papillon, ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh and trained by his father Ted Walsh wins by 1¼ lengths from Mely Moss
  • 2001 65th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Tiger Woods wins his 2nd Masters and 6th major title, 2 strokes ahead of David Duval

Sports History

2003 22nd NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Connecticut beats Tennessee, 73-68; UConn guard Diana Taurasi is named Most Outstanding Player

  • 2004 Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups
  • 2006 Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, are found in a field in Ontario, Canada. The murders are soon linked to the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
  • 2006 159th Grand National: 11–1 Irish shot Numbersixvalverde, ridden by Niall Madden wins by 6 lengths from defending champion Hedgehunter
  • 2007 71st US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Zach Johnson wins his first major title, 2 strokes ahead of Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini and Tiger Woods
  • 2008 The construction of the world's first building to integrate wind turbines completes, in Bahrain.
  • 2008 27th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Tennessee beats Stanford, 64-48; Volunteers' back-to-back titles; coach Pat Summitt, 8 national championships

Historic Event

2012 German writer Günter Grass labelled 'persona non grata' by Israeli internal affairs minister Eli Yishai, due to his poem "What Must Be Said"

Easter Message

2012 Pope Benedict XVI calls for an end to Syrian blood shed in papal Easter message

  • 2012 76th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Bubba Watson wins on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff with South African Louis Oosthuizen
  • 2013 15 people are killed and 53 are wounded by a car bombing in Damascus
  • 2013 163 people are killed and 50,000 are displaced after tribal violence erupts in Darfur, Sudan
  • 2013 Filip Vujanović’s election as President of Montenegro is confirmed by the electoral commission
  • 2013 75th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Louisville beats Michigan, 82-76; Cardinals' forward Luke Hancock hits 22 points

Sports History

2014 Mike Babcock wins his 414th career game as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, becoming the winningest coach in Red Wings history (passing Jack Adams)

  • 2014 33rd NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Connecticut beats Notre Dame, 79-58; 2nd time a school has won both men's & women's Div I national titles in same year
  • 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Steve Miller, and N.W.A
  • 2017 Fifth day of protests by thousands in Caracas, Venezuela against the government
  • 2017 170th Grand National: Derek Fox wins aboard 14/1 One For Arthur; second ever Scottish-trained winner of the event

Election of Interest

2018 Hungarian parliamentary election won by right-wing Fidesz–KDNP alliance with Viktor Orbán remaining Prime Minister

  • 2018 82nd US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Patrick Reed wins his first major title, 1 stroke ahead of fellow American Rickie Fowler


2018 WrestleMania XXXIV, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA: Ronda Rousey makes WWE debut, teaming with Kurt Angle to beat Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a mixed tag team match

  • 2019 1 in 4 Japanese adults a virgin aged 18-39 according to new research by Tokyo University
  • 2019 81st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Virginia beats Texas Tech, 85-77 OT; Cavaliers first ever National title; forward De'Andre Hunter, 27 points
  • 2019 600 million birds die each year in the US after striking tall buildings with Chicago the worst city, according to Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • 2019 14 tons of black market Pangolin scales from 36,000 animals discovered in Singapore, one of largest ever found worldwide
  • 2019 Record 17ft (5.2M) invasive Burmese python pregnant with 73 eggs captured in Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve
  • 2019 Actress Allison Mack pleads guilty to sex-trafficking charges for her involvement in sex cult NXIVM

Anti Omar al-Bashir Protest

2019 Protests in Sudan against the government of Omar al-Bashir continue with seven killed and 2,500 arrested in Khartoum

Historic Event

2020 Bernie Sanders drops out of the Democratic race for US president

  • 2020 Saudi-backed coalition fighting Houthi fighters in Yemen calls for a ceasefire after five years to stop the spread of COVID-19
  • 2020 World Trade organization predicts a drop in global trade greater than the 2008 financial crisis, between 13% and 32% for 2020

Historic Event

2021 US President Joe Biden says "Gun violence in this country is an epidemic" as he unveils package of executive actions including restrictions on "ghost guns"

Historic Event

2021 Dr. Anthony Fauci thanks American health workers for their sacrifice during the pandemic, acknowledging their more than 3,600 deaths

  • 2021 Seventh night of unrest in Belfast, Northern Ireland even after joint call for calm by UK PM and Irish Premier
  • 2021 Egyptian archaeologists announce their most important find since Tutankhamun's tomb - discovery of a lost 'golden city' the 3,000-years-old ancient city of Aten near Luxor [1]

Film & TV History

2022 US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bans Will Smith from attending the Oscars for 10 years after he slapped host Chris Rock on stage during the 2022 ceremony [1]

  • 2022 First all-private space flight, Axiom-1 launches to the International Space Station [1]