On This Day

Historical Events on February 8

  • 421 Flavius Constantine becomes Co-Emperor as Emperor Constantius III of the Western Roman Empire with Honorius
  • 1526 Heavy storm strikes Dutch coast, many die
  • 1575 University Leiden founded, and given the motto "Praesidium Libertatis"

ScotlandExecution of Mary Queen of Scots

1587 Mary, Queen of Scots, is beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle aged 44 after being convicted of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth I in the Babington Plot

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Depiction of the execution on Mary, Queen of Scots at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire
Depiction of the execution on Mary, Queen of Scots at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire
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  • 1600 Vatican convicts scholar Giordano Bruno to death
  • 1601 Earl Robert Devereux of Essex armies draws into London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1622 King James I disbands the English parliament

King of Great Britain James I and VI
King of Great Britain
James I and VI
  • 1627 Gunpowder is used in a mining operation instead of mechanical tools in present-day Slovakia, reportedly the first time explosives had been used in mining

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1672 Isaac Newton reads 1st optics paper before Royal Society in London

Physicist & Mathematician Isaac Newton
Physicist & Mathematician
Isaac Newton
  • 1690 French and Native American troops set Schenectady settlement New York on fire
  • 1690 Lord Halifax resigns as Lord Privy Seal
  • 1693 William & Mary College is chartered in Williamsburg in the Dominion and Colony of Virginia (second in North America)
  • 1726 The Supreme Privy Council is established in Russia
  • 1735 First opera in North American colonies "Flora" opens in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1743 Comet C/1743 C1 approaches within 0.0390 AUs of Earth
  • 1744 French and Spanish fleet leave Toulon

  • 1750 Minor earthquake in London

Music releaseTheater Premiere

1776 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's play "Stella" premieres in Hamburg

Social Philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Social Philosopher
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • 1802 Simon Willard patents banjo clock

BattleBattle of Interest

1807 Battle of Eylau ends inconclusively between Napoleon's forces and Russian Empire - 1st battle Napoleon isn't victorious

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1809 Franz I of Austria declares war on France
  • 1837 1st US Vice-President chosen by Senate, Richard Johnson (Van Buren admin)
  • 1849 New Roman Republic established in Italy
  • 1855 The Devil's Footprints, hoof-like marks mysteriously appear for over 60km after a snowfall in southern Devon, England
  • 1861 Confederate States of America organizes in Montgomery, Alabama (US Civil War)
  • 1862 Battle of Roanoke Island NC, Federals gain control of Pamlico Sound
  • 1862 Opera "Lily of Killarney" premieres in London
  • 1865 Martin Robison Delany, 1st black major in US Army appointed during US Civil war
  • 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.
  • 1883 Louis Waterman begins experiment to invent the fountain pen
  • 1887 Aurora Ski Club of Red Wing, Minn became the 1st US ski club
  • 1887 The Dawes Act authorizes the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments. Those who accepted allotments and lived separately from the tribe were granted United States citizenship.
  • 1889 Flood ravages Dutch coast
  • 1894 Enforcement Act repealed, making it easier to disenfranchise blacks
  • 1896 Georges Feydeau's "Le Dindon" premieres in Paris

  • 1896 Western Conference forms of Midwestern U, later renamed Big 10 Conf
  • 1898 John Ames Sherman patents 1st envelope folding & gumming mach (Mass)
  • 1905 Cyclone hit Tahiti & adjacent islands, killing some 10,000 people
  • 1906 Without warning, Japanese torpedo boats make a night attack on Russian ships near naval base at Port Arthur, Manchuria; confusion because no declaration of war given
  • 1908 Wilhelmina '08 soccer team forms in Weert, Netherlands
  • 1909 France & Germany sign treaty about Morocco
  • 1910 The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated by William D. Boyce
  • 1911 US helps overthrow President Miguel Devila of Honduras
  • 1912 1st eastbound US transcontinental flight lands in Jacksonville, Florida
  • 1912 British Emissary journeys to Berlin to suggest that Britain might support German colonial aspirations in Africa if Germany agrees to hold her current naval strength
  • 1914 General Zamon becomes President of Haiti

Film release premierFilm Release

1915 "The Birth of a Nation" the first 12-reel film in America, directed by D. W. Griffith, starring Lillian Gish and Mae Marsh, opens at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles

Film Director D. W. Griffith
Film Director
D. W. Griffith
  • 1916 French cruiser "Admiral Charner" torpedoed off Syrian coast, kills 374
  • 1916 NL votes down Charlie Ebbets proposal to limit 25 cent seats
  • 1918 "Stars & Stripes,", weekly US armed forces newspaper, 1st published
  • 1920 Swiss men vote against women's suffrage
  • 1920 Bolshevik troops capture Odessa, bringing an end to foreign involvement in the resistance against Bolshevik rule
  • 1922 Radio arrives at the White House
  • 1923 Coal mine explosion at Dawson, New Mexico kills 120
  • 1923 German NSDAP Volkischer Beobachter newspaper becomes a daily
  • 1924 1st US coast-to-coast radio hookup: General John Joseph Carty speech in Chicago
  • 1925 Kaufman & Berlin's musical "cocoanuts" premieres in New York City

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1925 Marcus Garvey enters federal prison in Atlanta

Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey
Black Nationalist
Marcus Garvey
  • 1926 German Reichstag decides to apply for League of Nations membership
  • 1926 Sean O'Casey's "Plough & Stars" opens at Abbey Theater Dublin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1926 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio becomes Walt Disney Studios

Animator Walt Disney
Walt Disney
  • 1927 Belgian-Swiss treaty signed
  • 1928 1st transatlantic TV image received, Hartsdale, NY
  • 1929 KOY-AM in Phoenix Arizona begins radio transmissions
  • 1930 "Happy Days Are Here Again" by Benny Mereoff hits #1
  • 1931 Gas explosion Fire in Fushun-coal mine, Manchuria kills 3,000
  • 1932 American speed skater Irving Jaffee wins the 10,000m at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics; clinches distance double after also taking out the 5,000m
  • 1933 -23°F (-31°C), Seminole, Texas (state record)
  • 1933 1st flight of all-metal Boeing 247
  • 1934 Export-Import Bank organizes in Washington, D.C.
  • 1934 Gaston Doumergue forms new French government
  • 1936 1936 NFL Draft (first ever): Jay Berwanger from University of Chicago first pick by Philadelphia Eagles
  • 1936 1st ski jumping tournament, Red Wing, Minnesota
  • 1936 1st successful Toronto Maple Leaf penalty shot, Conacher vs Rangers
  • 1936 Pandit Jawaharlal succeeds Mahatma Gandhi as chairman of India Congress Party
  • 1936 German alpine skier Christi Cranz wins the inaugural Olympic women’s combined gold medal at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games ahead of teammate Käthe Grasegger

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1937 Maxwell Anderson's "Masque of Kings" premieres in NYC

Playwright and Dramatist Maxwell Anderson
Playwright and Dramatist
Maxwell Anderson
  • 1940 Lewis & Hamilton's musical "Two for the Show" premieres in NYC
  • 1940 Lodtz, 1st large ghetto established by Nazis in Poland
  • 1941 NSB'er Max Blokzijl begins nazi propaganda on Dutch radio
  • 1942 Japanese armored barges cross Strait of Johore to attack Singapore (WWII)
  • 1942 Stravinsky's "Danses Concertantes" premieres in Los Angeles

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942 Congress advises FDR that, Americans of Japanese descent should be locked up en masse so they wouldn't oppose the US war effort

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942 Nazi architect Albert Speer appointed Minister of Armaments by Adolf Hitler after death of Fritz Todt in a plane crash

Nazi Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer
Nazi Minister of Armaments and War Production
Albert Speer
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1943 Red Army recaptures Kursk
  • 1944 1st African American reporter accredited to White House, Harry McAlpin
  • 1944 U-762 sunk off Ireland
  • 1945 Allied air attack on Goch, Kleef, Kalkar and Reichswald

AgreementAgreement of Interest

1945 Paul Brown agrees to coach the new American football expansion team in Cleveland, which would later be named the Cleveland Browns after their coach

American Football Coach Paul Brown
American Football Coach
Paul Brown

Music concertMusic Concert

1946 Béla Bartók's 3rd Concert for piano/orchestra premieres in Philadelphia, PA

Composer and Pianist Béla Bartok
Composer and Pianist
Béla Bartok

  • 1946 Premier Salazar of Portugal forbids opposition parties
  • 1947 Jan van der Hoorn wins 8th Dutch 11-cities skating race (10:51)
  • 1947 KSD (now KSDK) TV channel 5 in St Louis, MO (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1948 V Winter Olympic Games close at St Moritz, Switzerland
  • 1948 Canada beats Switzerland 3-0, to regain the Olympic ice hockey title at the St. Moritz Winter Games; forward Walter Halder top scores with 29 points in Canada’s 5th Olympic title
  • 1949 Hungarian cardinal József Mindszenty sentenced to life in prison
  • 1952 "RCA Victor Show Starring Dennis Day" debuts on NBC TV
  • 1953 WLVA (now WSET) TV channel 13 in Lynchburg-Roanoke, VA (ABC) begins

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1955 Malenkov resigns as USSR premier, Bulganin replaces him

Soviet Leader Georgy Malenkov
Soviet Leader
Georgy Malenkov
  • 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.
  • 1956 Mine disaster in Quaregnon Belgium, 8 die
  • 1958 Edgar Whitehead succeeds Garfield Todd as premier of South Rhodesia
  • 1958 French planes bomb Sakiet Tunisia, 75 die
  • 1958 KIRO TV channel 7 in Seattle, WA (CBS) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960 Boston Celtic Bill Russell becomes 1st NBAer with 50 rebounds (51)

Basketball Player Bill Russell
Basketball Player
Bill Russell
  • 1960 Congress opens hearings looking into payola

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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".

Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II
  • 1962 KACB TV channel 3 in San Angelo, TX (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1962 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1962 In Paris, 8 people killed at a protest against independence for the French colony Algeria
  • 1963 1st transmission of Clandestine Voice of Iraqi People (Communist)
  • 1963 AFL's Dallas Texans become KC Chiefs
  • 1963 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1964 Peter Shaffer's musical "Royal Hunt of the Sun" premieres in London

Playwright Peter Shaffer
Peter Shaffer
  • 1964 US Rep Martha Griffiths address gets civil rights protection for women being added to the 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • 1965 Eastern DC-7B crashes into Atlantic off Jones Beach NJ, kills 84

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1965 The Supremes release "Stop In the Name of Love"

Singer and Actress Diana Ross
Singer and Actress
Diana Ross
  • 1965 President Johnson deploys 1st US combat troops to South Vietnam, with 3500 marines sent to protect key US airbase near Da Nang

Film tv awardsGolden Globes

1965 22nd Golden Globes: "Becket", Peter O'Toole, & Anne Bancroft win

  • 1967 Longest losing streak in Toronto Maple Leaf history (10 games)

  • 1967 Peter (Asher) & Gordon (Waller) discontinue their singing partnership
  • 1967 Pirate Radio UKGM (England) closes down
  • 1967 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1968 Orangeburg Massacre: highway patrol officers kill 3 students and injure 27 others demonstrating at South Carolina State University, 1st student killing by law enforcement in the US
  • 1968 "Planet of the Apes" premieres in New York City
  • 1969 Last edition of Saturday Evening Post
  • 1969 Meteorite weighing over 1 ton falls in Chihuahua, Mexico
  • 1971 Pedro Morales beats Ivan Koloff in NY, to become WWF wrestling champ
  • 1971 Operation Lam Son 719 begins, a limited South Vietnamese incursion into Laos
  • 1971 Nasdaq Composite stock market index debuts with 50 companies and a starting value of 100
  • 1972 Josh Gibson & Buck Leonard selected to Hall of Fame
  • 1973 Jean Kerrs "Finishing Touches" premieres in NYC
  • 1973 Mushtaq & Asif Iqbal make 350 stand for 4th wicket v NZ
  • 1973 Senate names 7 members to investigate Watergate scandal
  • 1974 "Good Times" (spinoff from "Maude") premieres on CBS TV

Music releaseMusic Single

1974 Ringo Starr releases the single "You're 16" in the UK

Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr
Beatles Drummer
Ringo Starr
  • 1974 Soap opera "Secret Storm" ends a 20 year run
  • 1974 3 US astronauts return to Earth after a 85 days in the US space station, Skylab

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1975 Pete Maravich scores 47 points as the New Orleans Jazz end a 28 game NBA road losing streak with a 106-102 win over the Hawks in Atlanta

NBA Guard Pete Maravich
NBA Guard
Pete Maravich
  • 1975 1800 Unification church couples wed in Korea
  • 1975 Caps only got one shot in a period against Islanders
  • 1976 Largest crowd at Cleveland Coliseum (Cavs vs Wash-21,130)

Film release premierFilm Release

1976 "Taxi Driver" directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster, is released (Palme d'Or 1976)

Film Director Martin Scorsese
Film Director
Martin Scorsese
Actor Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Actress Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
  • 1977 Earthquake in San Francisco, at 5.0, strongest since 1966

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1977 Hustler publisher Larry Flynt sentenced on obscenity charges

Magazine Publisher Larry Flynt
Magazine Publisher
Larry Flynt
  • 1978 Crown Prince Sad Abdallah al-Salim Al Sabah becomes Prime Minister of Kuwait
  • 1978 Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcast on radio for the first time.
  • 1979 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1979 Denis Sassou-Nguesso becomes the President of the Republic of the Congo for the first time
  • 1981 "5 O'Clock Girl" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 12 performances

  • 1981 "Brigadoon" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 133 performances
  • 1981 US female Figure Skating championship won by Elaine Zayak

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1981 US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton

Figure Skater Scott Hamilton
Figure Skater
Scott Hamilton
  • 1982 Dodgers trade Davey Lopes to A's breaking up the longest-playing infield (Cey-Russell-Lopes-Garvey)

Sport awardNHL All-Star Game

1983 35th NHL All-Star Game, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale: Campbell Conference beats Wales Conference, 9-3; MVP: Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers, C

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983 Baseball orders Mickey Mantle to sever ties with Claridge Casino

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • 1983 Eric Peters sets transatlantic sailboat record (E-W)-46 days
  • 1983 Tina Howe's "Painting Churches" premieres in NYC
  • 1983 Wayne Gretzky sets NHL all star record of 4 goals in 1 period
  • 1983 Prize stallion and Derby winner Shergar kidnapped in Ireland, never to be found causing Lloyd's of London to payout $10.6 million insurance
  • 1983 Ariel Sharon resigns from Israeli government after an inquiry shows he was indirectly responsible for the killings of hundreds of people in 1982
  • 1984 XIV Winter Olympic Games open in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
  • 1984 1st time 8 people in space
  • 1984 A's take Yankees pitcher Tim Belcher as Type A free agent compensation
  • 1984 Soyuz T-10 launches with crew of 3 to Salyut 7
  • 1985 1st-class cricket debut of Jimmy Adams (age 17), Jamaica v Barbados
  • 1985 Bruce Morris, Marshall Univ, makes a 92' 5½" basketball shot
  • 1985 Michael Gross swims world record 800m freestyle (7:38.75)
  • 1985 Opposition leader Kim Dae Jung returns to South-Korea
  • 1986 5' 7" Spud Webb of Atlanta Hawks wins NBA Slam Dunk Competition
  • 1986 US male Figure Skating championship won by Brian Boitano
  • 1986 1984 Summer Olympics LAPD bomb squad chief Arleigh McCree, and his partner Officer Ronald Ball of the Firearms and explosives unit are killed while trying to dismantle two pipe bombs

Film release premierFilm Premier

1986 The crime film "A Better Tomorrow", starring Yun Fat Chow, premieres in Hong Kong

  • 1987 37th NBA All-Star Game, Kingdome, Seattle, WA: West beats East, 154-149 (OT); MVP: Tom Chambers, Seattle SuperSonics, C
  • 1988 NASA launches DOD-2
  • 1989 5 cm of snow falls in outskirts of Los Angeles
  • 1989 American jockey Chris Antley begins record 64-day consecutive winning streak; ends 1 May and includes 147 winners from 486 mounts
  • 1989 US Boeing 707 crashes into Santa Maria mountain, 145 die
  • 1990 David Hares "Racing Demon" premieres in London
  • 1990 "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney suspended by CBS for racial remarks attributed to him by a gay magazine

AgreementContract of Interest

1991 Roger Clemens signs record $5,380,250 per year Red Sox contract

MLB Pitching Legend Roger Clemens
MLB Pitching Legend
Roger Clemens
  • 1992 "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred peaks at #1
  • 1992 XVI Winter Olympic Games opens in Albertville, France
  • 1992 Ulysses spacecraft passes Jupiter
  • 1993 Suchoi-24 crashes into Tupolev passenger flight, 134 die
  • 1993 GM sues NBC, alleging that "Dateline NBC" program had rigged 2 car-truck crashes to show that 1973-87 GM pickups were prone to fires

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Jack Nicholson uses a golf club to attack a car

Sports record brokenWorld Record

1994 Kapil Dev sets world record for Test Cricket wickets with 432

Cricketer Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee charge with possession of loaded firearm

Rock Star and Drummer Tommy Lee
Rock Star and Drummer
Tommy Lee
  • 1994 "Sátántangó", Hungarian film directed by Béla Tarr, starring Mihály Víg, Putyi Horváth, is released
  • 1995 6.4 earthquake at Trujillo, Colombia (46+ killed)
  • 1996 NFL & Cleveland allows Art Modell to move his NFL franchise to Balt but he had to leave the Browns' name behind
  • 1996 The U.S. Congress passes the Communications Decency Act.
  • 1996 The massive Internet collaboration "24 Hours in Cyberspace" takes place
  • 1997 28th NAACP Image Awards: "A Time to Kill" wins Outstanding Motion Picture
  • 1998 Finland beats Sweden, 6-0 at the Aqua Wing Arena in Nagano, Japan in the first female ice hockey game played in Olympic history

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

1998 48th NBA All-Star Game, Madison Square Garden, NYC: East beats West, 135-114; MVP: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, F

Basketball Superstar Michael Jordan
Basketball Superstar
Michael Jordan
  • 1998 NHL stops season stops to accommodate the Nagano Winter Olympics; returns February 24
  • 2002 IXX Winter Olympic Games open in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States