On This Day

Historical Events on December 8

  • 1326 Daitokuji temple, Rinzai line, established in Kyoto by Daito Kokushi
  • 1609 Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan opens its reading room, second public library in Europe
  • 1659 Mexican border town Ciudad Juárez is founded by Fray García de San Francisco.
  • 1710 Battle of Brihuega in the War of the Spanish Succession: British General James Stanhope captured by French & Spanish forces

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1776 George Washington's retreating army crosses Delaware River from NJ

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1777 Captain James Cook leaves Society Islands

Explorer James Cook
James Cook
  • 1792 1st cremation in US: Henry Laurens
  • 1794 1st issue of Herald of Rutland, VT published

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1813 Ludwig van Beethoven's 7th Symphony in A, premieres in Vienna with Beethoven conducting

  • 1846 Hector Berlioz's "La Damnation de Faust" premieres

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1849 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Luisa Miller" premieres in Naples

Composer Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
  • 1852 Gustav Freytag's "Die Journalisten" premieres in Breslau
  • 1854 Pope Pius IX proclaims Immaculate Conception, makes Mary, free of Original Sin
  • 1857 1st production of Dion Boucicault's "Poor of New York"
  • 1863 2,500 reported killed as result of fire at Jesuit Church of La Compana, Santiago, Chile

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1863 Abraham Lincoln issues his Amnesty Proclamation and plan for Reconstruction of the South

16th US President Abraham Lincoln
16th US President
Abraham Lincoln

  • 1864 Pope Pius IX publishes encyclical Quanta cura ("Syllabus errorum")

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1864 The Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is finally opened in Bristol, England, 5 years after his death

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1864 James Clerk Maxwell's paper "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" is 1st read by the Royal Society in London (published by the Royal Society 1865)

  • 1869 20th Roman Catholic ecumenical council, Vatican I, opens in Rome
  • 1869 Timothy Eaton founds T. Eaton Co. Limited in Toronto, Canada.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1874 Jesse James gang takes train at Muncie Kansas

Outlaw Jesse James
Jesse James
  • 1875 Aleksandr Ostrovsky's "Volki i Ovsty" premieres in St Petersburg
  • 1876 Suriname begins compulsory education for 7-12 years
  • 1880 5,000 armed Boers gather in Paardekraal, South Africa
  • 1881 Vienna's Ring Theater destroyed by fire, kills between 640-850

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1886 American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed by 26 craft unions Samuel Gompers elected AFL president

Founder of the American Federation of Labor Samuel Gompers
Founder of the American Federation of Labor
Samuel Gompers

BattleBattle of Interest

1895 Battle at Amba Alagi: Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II drives Italian General Baratieri out

Emperor of Ethiopia Menelik II
Emperor of Ethiopia
Menelik II

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1902 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr became Associate Justice on US Supreme Court

  • 1907 King Gustaf V of Sweden accedes to the Swedish throne.
  • 1909 Bird banding society found

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1912 Wilhelm II of Germany calls 'War Council'

German Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II
German Emperor and King of Prussia
Wilhelm II
  • 1913 Construction starts on Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco
  • 1914 Battle of the Falkland Island: British Royal Navy destroys a German battle squadron

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1914 Irving Berlin's musical "Watch your Step" premieres in NYC

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin
  • 1914 Boers rebelling against the British have recently suffered several defeats; today, one of their leaders, General Beyers, accidently drowns

  • 1915 Jean Sibelius' 5th Symphony in E premieres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1915 John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields" appears anonymously in "Punch" magazine

World War I Soldier & Poet John McCrae
World War I Soldier & Poet
John McCrae

IrelandAnglo-Irish Treaty

1921 Eamon de Valera publicly repudiates Anglo-Irish Treaty
Learn More >>

Signature page of the Anglo-Irish Treaty
Signature page of the Anglo-Irish Treaty
  • 1923 German-US friendship treaty signed
  • 1923 Labour/Liberals win British parliament
  • 1923 Salary & price freeze in Germany
  • 1930 Broadway Theater opens at 1681 Broadway NYC
  • 1930 Cole Porter's musical "NYCers" premieres in NYC
  • 1931 Coaxial cable patented
  • 1934 Friedrich Wolf's "Professor Mamlock" premieres in Zurich
  • 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.
  • 1936 Anastasio Somoza García elected President of Nicaragua
  • 1936 NAACP files suit to equalize salaries of black & white teachers
  • 1938 Highest temperature for December in US recorded in La Mesa Calif
  • 1940 National Football League Championship, Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.: Chicago Bears beat Washington Redskins, 73-0; most one-sided victory in NFL history; first NFL title game broadcast on national radio
  • 1941 Chełmno extermination camp opens, 50 kilometres from Łódź, Poland
  • 1941 London: Dutch government-in-exile declares war on Japan
  • 1941 Russian 16th army recaptures Krijukovo
  • 1941 San Francisco 1st blackout, at 6:15 PM
  • 1941 US and Britain declare war on Japan, US enters World War II

'Infamy' as Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor'Infamy' as Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor

1941 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers "Day of Infamy" speech to US Congress a day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor
Read the Article >>

The USS Shaw explodes after taking a direct hit at Pearl Harbor. © Everett Historical/Shutterstock.com
The USS Shaw explodes after taking a direct hit at Pearl Harbor. © Everett Historical/Shutterstock.com
  • 1942 8th Heisman Trophy Award: Frank Sinkwich, Georgia (HB)
  • 1943 John Van Druten's "Voice of the Turtle" premieres in NYC
  • 1946 US Army rocket plane XS-1 makes 1st powered flight
  • 1947 "Caribbean Carnival" opens at International Theater NYC for 11 performances
  • 1948 "Marinka" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 168 performances
  • 1948 14th Heisman Trophy Award: Doak Walker, SMU (HB)
  • 1948 Jordan annexs Arabic Palestine
  • 1949 Jule Styne's "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" opens at Ziegfeld Theater NYC for 740 performances
  • 1949 Chinese Nationalist government moves from Chinese mainland to Formosa

Film release premierFilm Release

1949 "On the Town", the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen, is released

Actress Vera-Ellen
Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra
Actor and Dancer Gene Kelly
Actor and Dancer
Gene Kelly
  • 1951 "Tree Grows in Brooklyn" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 267 performances
  • 1951 AL alters its restrictions on night games, adopting NL's suspended game rule & lifting its ban on lights for Sunday games
  • 1952 1st TV acknowledgement of pregnancy (I Love Lucy)
  • 1952 French troops shoot on demonstrators at Casablanca, 50 die
  • 1952 Isaak Ben-Zwi elected president of Israel
  • 1953 19th Heisman Trophy Award: Johnny Lattner, Notre Dame (HB)

United Nations <b>Speech</b>United Nations Speech

1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his "Atoms for Peace" speech at the United Nations in New York

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1954 Maxwell Anderson's "Bad Seed" premieres in NYC
  • 1954 WPTZ TV channel 5 in Plattsburgh, NY (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1955 21st Heisman Trophy Award: Howard Cassady, Ohio State (HB)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1955 Brooklyn catcher Roy Campanella wins his 3rd MVP Award

MLB Catcher Roy Campanella
MLB Catcher
Roy Campanella
  • 1955 Turkish government of Menderes forms

Film release premierFilm Release

1955 Black Ealing comedy "The Ladykillers", directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Alec Guinness is released in the UK

  • 1956 1st test firing of Vanguard satellite program, TV-0
  • 1956 Guy Mitchell's "Singing the Blues" single goes #1 for 10 weeks
  • 1956 XVI Summer Olympic Games close in Melbourne, Australia; start of an Olympic tradition - amidst international tensions, athletes mingle together, parade into and around MCG arena for final appearance to close the Games
  • 1959 Dom Mintoff demands independence for Malta
  • 1959 President Eisenhower watches Pakistan v Aust Test Cricket at Karachi
  • 1960 Expansion LA Angels sign a 4 year lease to use Dodger Stadium
  • 1961 Antwerp Belgium diocese forms
  • 1961 Larry Costello scores 32 consecutive pts without a miss (NBA rec)
  • 1961 South Africa v NZ, Durban debuts for Eddie Barlow & Peter Pollock

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961 Wilt Chamberlain scores the 2nd highest total in the NBA - 78

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • 1962 "I Can Get It For You Wholesale" closes at Shubert NYC after 300 performances

  • 1962 114-day newspaper strike begins in NYC
  • 1962 Attempted coup in British-controlled Brunei
  • 1962 Funeral for Queen Wilhelmina of Holland (New Kerk, Delft)
  • 1963 "Girl Who Came to Supper" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 112 performances
  • 1963 Frank Sinatra Jr is kidnapped
  • 1963 Pan Am Flight 214 crashes outside Elkton, Maryland with 81 killed
  • 1965 Abe Burrows' "Cactus Flower" premieres in NYC
  • 1965 Nikolai Podgorny succeeds Mikojan as president of USSR

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1965 Pope Paul VI signs 2nd Vatican council

Pope Paul VI
Paul VI

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966 A terrible Yankee trade, Roger Maris for Card's Charlie Smith

Baseball Player Roger Maris
Baseball Player
Roger Maris
  • 1966 US and USSR sign treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space
  • 1967 The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" album is released in UK
  • 1967 NHL California Seals change name to Oakland Seals
  • 1969 Greek DC-6B crashes in storm at Athens, 93 killed
  • 1969 Police surprise attack on Black-Panthers in LA
  • 1970 Head of the Catholic Church in Ireland Cardinal William Conway publishes a pamphlet on the topic of segregation in education in Northern Ireland
  • 1972 United Airlines crashes at Chicago's Midway Airport killing 45
  • 1973 "Seesaw" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 296 performances
  • 1973 39th Heisman Trophy Award: John Cappelletti, Penn State (RB)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase wins his 3rd consecutive season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–3, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3 win over Dutchman Tom Okker in Boston, Massachusetts

Tennis Champion Ilie Năstase
Tennis Champion
Ilie Năstase
  • 1974 Greek monarchy rejected by referendum
  • 1974 Irish Republican Socialist Party forms
  • 1974 Soyuz 16 returns to Earth
  • 1975 "Raisin" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 847 performances
  • 1976 UN General Assembly re-elects Kurt Waldheim Secretary-General
  • 1976 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1977 43rd Heisman Trophy Award: Earl Campbell, Texas (RB)
  • 1978 Commencement of the 1st day/night World Series Cricket supertest at VFL Park, Melbourne

Film release premierFilm Premier

1978 "The Deer Hunter", directed by Michael Cimino and starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep, premieres in Los Angeles (Academy Awards Best Picture 1979)

  • 1980 "Bravo" network premieres on cable TV

CameraFamous Photo

1980 Annie Leibovitz has a photo-shoot with John Lennon, the last person to professionally photograph him before he is murdered on the same day

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
Photographer Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz
  • 1981 France performs nuclear test
  • 1982 "Herman Van Veen: All of Him" opens at Ambassador NYC for 6 performances
  • 1982 Clark Gilles fails in 7th Islander penalty shot
  • 1982 Suriname army leader Bouterse murders 15 opponents
  • 1982 Norman Mayer holds Washington Monument hostage, demanding an end to nuclear weapons. Is killed by police after 10 hrs (he had no explosives)

Nobel prizeNobel Prize

1982 Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez receives the Nobel Prize for Literature

Colombian Writer Gabriel García Márquez
Colombian Writer
Gabriel García Márquez

Film release premierFilm Release

1982 "Sophie's Choice", directed by Alan J. Pakula and based on William Styton's 1979 novel of the same name, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, is released (Academy Awards Best Actress 1983)

  • 1983 9th Space Shuttle Mission, Columbia 6, lands at Edwards AFB
  • 1983 Richard Baker, Zen teacher, steps down from abbotship of San Francisco Zen Center
  • 1984 Europe & 64 developing countries sign Lome III treaty

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 Ringo Starr appears on "Saturday Night Live"

Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
Television Producer Lorne Michaels
Television Producer
Lorne Michaels

Sport awardAustralian Open Women's Tennis

1984 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Chris Evert-Lloyd beats Helena Suková 6-7, 6-1, 6-3; continues streak of winning at least 1 major per year since 1973

Tennis Legend Chris Evert
Tennis Legend
Chris Evert
  • 1985 Ken O'Brien's 96 yard TD pass (NY Jet record) to Wesley Walker

Sport awardAustralian Men's Tennis Open

1985 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Stefan Edberg wins 1st career Grand Slam singles title; beats defending champion & fellow Swede Mats Wilander 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Tennis Player and Seven-Time Major Champion Mats Wilander
Tennis Player and Seven-Time Major Champion
Mats Wilander
  • 1985 NBC premiere of thriller "Final Jeopardy", starring Richard Thomas and Mary Crosby
  • 1986 House Dems select majority leader Jim Wright as 48th speaker
  • 1986 NBC premiere of miniseries "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna" (Part 2)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 Flyers' Ron Hextall becomes 1st goalie to actually score a goal

NHL Goalie Ron Hextall
NHL Goalie
Ron Hextall
  • 1987 Occupied Palestinians start "intefadeh" (uprising) against Israel

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1987 US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty eliminating medium range nuclear missiles

Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev
Soviet General Secretary
Mikhail Gorbachev
US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1987 The Alianza Lima air disaster.
  • 1988 Knick's set NBA record of 11 3-pointers & sink Bucks, 113-109
  • 1989 Great Britain performs nuclear test
  • 1990 Galileo Earth-1 Flyby
  • 1990 Indians agree to a lease new ballpark in Gateway (Jacobs Field)
  • 1991 "Homecoming" closes at Criterion Theater NYC after 49 performances
  • 1991 "Nick & Nora" opens at Marquis Theater NYC for 9 performances
  • 1991 Russia, Belorussia & Ukraine form Commonwealth of Ind States
  • 1991 The Romanian Constitution is adopted in a referendum.

  • 1992 Galileo's nearest approach to Jupiter (303 km)
  • 1992 NBC announces that "Cheers" will go off the air in May 1993
  • 1993 30 killed at religious rebellion in Algeria

Music awardsMusic Awards

1993 4th Billboard Music Awards: Whitney Houston, The Bodyguard Soundtrack win

  • 1993 Dow-Jones hits record 3734.53
  • 1993 Storm hits western Europe, 11 killed in England
  • 1994 "What's Wrong With this Picture?" opens at Circle in Sq NYC for 12 per

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Darryl Strawberry indicted on tax evasion charges

Baseball Player Darryl Strawberry
Baseball Player
Darryl Strawberry
  • 1994 Fire in cinema in Karamay China, 310 killed
  • 1996 "God Said, Ha!" closes at Lyceum Theater NYC after 22 performances

Music awardsMusic Awards

1997 8th Billboard Music Awards: LeAnn Rimes & Spice Girls win

Pop Star Emma Bunton
Pop Star
Emma Bunton
Singer and Fashion Designer Victoria Beckham
Singer and Fashion Designer
Victoria Beckham
Singer Melanie Brown
Melanie Brown
  • 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 Cuzco Declaration is signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the Union of South American Nations
  • 2005 Ante Gotovina, Croatian army general accused of war crimes, is captured in the Playa de las Américas, Tenerife by the Spanish police.
  • 2007 73rd Heisman Trophy Award: Tim Tebow, Florida (QB)
  • 2008 Kirsty Williams elected as Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The first female leader of a political party in Wales.
  • 2009 Bombings in Baghdad, Iraq kill 127 and injure 448.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2010 With the second launch of the SpaceX Dragon, SpaceX becomes the first privately held company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk
Elon Musk
  • 2011 The NBA and players union reach financial agreement to end a 161-day lockout, shortening the season by 16 games
  • 2012 UN climate conference agrees to extend the Kyoto Protocol to 2020

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018 US President Donald Trump announces John Kelly will be stepping down as White House Chief of Staff at the end of the year

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2018 84th Heisman Trophy Award: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma (QB)
  • 2019 Fire in an illegal bag factory in Delhi, India, kills 43
  • 2019 Polar explorers Mike Horn and Børge Ousland complete 1,800 km (1,120 mile) journey on drifting ice in darkness in the Arctic
  • 2019 Vienna State Opera stages its first show by a female composer in 150 years - Olga Neuwirth’s opera, “Orlando”
  • 2019 South African Zozibini Tunzi crowned Miss Universe in Atlanta