On This Day

Birthdays in History on May 8

  • 1326 Joan I, Countess of Auvergne, queen of France (1350-60) (d. 1360)
  • 1460 Frederick I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1486-1536), born in Ansbach, Bavaria, Germany (d. 1536)
  • 1492 Andrea Alciato, Italian lawyer and writer, born in Alzate Brianza, Milan, Italy (d. 1550)
  • 1521 Saint Peter Canisius, Dutch Jesuit Catholic priest, born in Nijmegen, Netherlands (d. 1597)
  • 1587 Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy (1630-37), born in Turin, Piedmont, Savoy (d. 1637)
  • 1592 Francis Quarles, English poet (Argalus & Parthenia, Emblems), born in Romford, Essex (d. 1644)
  • 1622 Claes Rålamb, Swedish statesman, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1698)
  • 1629 Niels Juel, Danish-Norwegian admiral, born in Christiania, Norway (d. 1697)
  • 1632 Heino Heinrich Graf von Flemming, German field marshal and Governor of Berlin, born in Mierzęcin, Poland (d. 1706)
  • 1641 Nicolaas Witsen, Dutch statesman and mayor of Amsterdam, born in Amsterdam (d. 1717)
  • 1653 Claude-Louis-Hector de Villars, Marshal of France, born in Moulins, France (d. 1734)
  • 1670 Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans, English soldier (d. 1726)
  • 1720 William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, 5th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1756-57), born in Hardwicke, England (d. 1764)
  • 1735 Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, English painter, born in London (d. 1811)

Person of interestEdward Gibbon

1737 Edward Gibbon, English historian (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), born in Putney, England (d. 1794)

Historian Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
  • 1738 Mikhail Kamensky, Russian field marshal, born in Russian Empire (d. 1809)
  • 1753 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Spanish Catholic priest, and leader of Mexican independence, born in Pénjamo, Guanajuato, Viceroyalty of New Spain (d. 1811)

Person of interestPhillis Wheatley

1753 Phillis Wheatley, American poet who was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman, born in West Africa (d. 1784)

  • 1763 John Goldberg, Dutch patriot/statesman
  • 1786 Thomas Hancock, British engineer, founded British rubber industry, born in Malborough, Wilshire (d. 1865)
  • 1786 Jean Vianney, French Catholic priest, born in Dardilly, Lyonnais, Kingdom of France (d. 1859)
  • 1803 Joseph Napoleon Ney, French politician, born in Paris (d. 1857)
  • 1810 James Cooper, American lawyer, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Frederick County, Maryland (d. 1863)
  • 1814 Thomas Green, American soldier & lawyer (Confederate Army), born in Buckingham County, Virginia (d. 1864)
  • 1814 Mikhail Bakunin, Russian revolutionary anarchist, born in Pryamukhino, Tver Governorate of the Russian Empire (d. 1876)
  • 1821 William Henry Vanderbilt, American businessman, member of the Vanderbilt family, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey (d. 1885)
  • 1824 William Walker, American physician and president of Nicaragua (1856-57), born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 1860)
  • 1825 George Bruce Malleson, English officer in India and author, born in Wimbledon, London (d. 1898)
  • 1828 Henri Dunant, Swiss humanitarian, Founder of Red Cross (Nobel 1901), born in Geneva, Switzerland (d. 1910)
  • 1828 Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese Maronite monk, born in Bekaa Kafra, North Governorate, Lebanon (d. 1898)
  • 1833 Frank Wheaton, Bvt Major General (Union Army), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1903)
  • 1836 Bryan Morel Thomas, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Milledgeville, Georgia (d. 1905)
  • 1839 Francis Warre-Cornish, English scholar and writer (d. 1916)
  • 1842 Emil Christian Hansen, Danish physiologist, born in Ribe, Denmark (d. 1909)
  • 1855 John Gates ("Bet-a-million" Gates), American inventor and industrialist who established the market for barbed wire fencing, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1858 John Meade Falkner, English novelist (Moonfleet), born in Manningford, England (d. 1932)
  • 1859 Johan Jensen, Danish mathematician (d. 1925)
  • 1882 Philips C Visser, Dutch explorer/diplomat

Person of interestHarry Truman

1884 Harry Truman, 33rd US President (Democrat: 1945-53), born in Lamar, Missouri (d. 1972)

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1895 Edmund Wilson, American critic/writer (Patriotic Gore)
  • 1895 Fulton J Sheen, America bishop (Life is Worth Living), born in El Paso, Illinois
  • 1895 Jose Gomez [Joselito el Gallo], bullfighter
  • 1895 James H. "Dutch" Kindelberger, American aerospace pioneer (d. 1962)
  • 1898 Vera Chapman, English writer and Tolkien Society founder, born in Bournemouth, England (d. 1996)
  • 1899 Jan F van Hall, Dutch sculptor/resistance fighter
  • 1899 [Friedrich] August von Hayek, Aust/British economist (Road to Serfdom)
  • 1902 Andre Michel Lwoff, physiologist
  • 1911 Wilhelm F de Gaay Fortman, Dutch lawyer/foreign minister
  • 1912 George Woodcock, Canadian writer of political biography and history (Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 1995)
  • 1912 Gertrud Fussenegger [Dorn], Austrian writer (Mohrenlegende)
  • 1914 Lord Murton, of Lindisfrarne, deputy chairman (Comm House of Lords)
  • 1914 Romain Gary, Polish writer (d. 1980)
  • 1916 João Havelange, Brazilian industrialist and FIFA President 1974-98, born in Rio de Janeiro (d. 2016)
  • 1916 Swami Chinmayananda, Indian spiritualist (d. 1993)

Person of interestMordecai Anielewicz

1919 Mordecai Anielewicz, Jewish commander of Warsaw ghetto uprising, born in Wyszków, Second Polish Republic (d. 1943)

Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Mordecai Anielewicz
Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Mordecai Anielewicz
  • 1919 Leon Festinger, American psychologist, born in New York (d. 1989)
  • 1920 Maurice Cranston, English philosopher and political scientist (John Locke biographies), born in Harringay, England (d. 1993)
  • 1920 Sloan Wilson, novelist (Man in the Gray Flannal, born in Norwalk, Connecticut
  • 1920 Tom of Finland [Touko Laaksonen], Finnish fetish artist, born in Helsinki (d. 1991)
  • 1921 Graham Leonard, Bishop of London, most senior Anglican to convert to Catholicism since the reformation (d. 2010)
  • 1922 Brian Kellett, CEO (Port of London Authority)
  • 1924 Tristan Jones, British sailor and author, born off Tristan da Cunha (d. 1995)
  • 1925 Ali Hassan Mwinyi, 2nd President of Tanzania (1985-1995) and the 3rd President of Zanzibar (1984-85), born in Kivure, Pwani Region, British Tanganyika
  • 1925 Charles Jauncey, Baron Jauncey of Tullichettle, Scottish judge and advocate, born in Edinburgh (d. 2007)
  • 1926 Ronald Waterhouse, British high court judge (d. 2011)
  • 1927 Ian Denholm, CEO (Murray Investment Trust)
  • 1927 Philip Wilkinson, deputy chairman (National Westminster Bank)
  • 1928 Theodore Sorenson, American presidential advisor to JFK and author (Kennedy), born in Lincoln, Nebraska (d. 2010)
  • 1929 Miyoshi Umeki, Japanese-American actress (Katsumi-Sayonara, Mrs Livingston-Courtship of Eddie's Father), born in Otaru, Japan (d. 2007)
  • 1929 V N M Korte-van Hemel, Dutch Secretary of Justice (CDA)
  • 1929 Claude Castonguay, Quebec politician
  • 1930 Alex L. Shigo, Duquesne Pennsylvania, American Biologist and Plant Pathologist known for his study of tree decay and contributions to modern arboricultural practices
  • 1930 Gary Snyder, American beat poet (Turtle Island - Pulitzer Prize, 1975; Rip Rap and Cold Mountain Poems), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1932 Julieta Campos, Cuban-Mexican writer (d. 2007)
  • 1933 Alistair Service, writer/publisher
  • 1934 Leonard Hoffmann, high court judge
  • 1934 Roger Kendrick, governor (Dartmoor Prison)
  • 1935 Viscount Falkland, British peer (Lib-Dem)
  • 1936 Neville Purvis, British vice admiral (Chief of Fleet Support)
  • 1936 James R. Thompson, American politician (longest serving Governor of Illinois, 1977-91), born in Chicago Illinois (d. 2020)
  • 1937 Daniel Robberechts, Belgian writer (Labia Majora)
  • 1937 Dennis DeConcini, (Sen-D-AZ, 1977- )
  • 1937 Michael Simmons, Air Marshal (British Ministry of Defense)
  • 1937 Thomas Pynchon, American novelist (V, Gravity's Rainbow), born in Glen Cove, New York
  • 1937 Carlos Gaviria Díaz, Colombian politician
  • 1938 Pierre Lucien Claverie, bishop of Oran
  • 1938 Jean Giraud, French comic artist (Alien, Tron), born in Val-de-Marne, French (d. 2012)
  • 1940 James Blyth, CEO (Boots)

Person of interestPeter Benchley

1940 Peter Benchley, American novelist (Jaws, The Deep), born in NYC, New York (d. 2006)

Jaws Novelist Peter Benchley
Jaws Novelist
Peter Benchley
  • 1940 Irwin Cotler, Canadian politician
  • 1941 James A Traficant Jr, American politician (Rep-D-OH, 1985-2002), born in Youngstown, Ohio, (d. 2014)
  • 1941 John Fred [Gourrier], American performer (Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (d. 2005)
  • 1942 Norman Lamont, MP/Chancellor of Exchequer
  • 1942 Ruth Holland, journalist
  • 1944 Gary Glitter [Paul Gadd], England, rocker (Rock & Roll Part II)
  • 1945 Arthur Docters van Leeuwen, jurist (Holland's secret service)
  • 1946 André Boulerice, Quebec politician
  • 1947 Phil Sawyer, rocker (Spencer Davis Group)
  • 1947 H. Robert Horvitz, Nobel laureate
  • 1948 John Reid, British politician (L), born in Bellshill, Scotland
  • 1952 Charles J Camarda, American PhD/astronaut, born in NYC, New York
  • 1961 Bill de Blasio, American politician and NYC Mayor (2013-), born in Manhattan, New York
  • 1963 Clemens Lothaller, Austrian physician cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-13 backup), born in Vienna, Austria
  • 1963 Izabela Kloc, Polish politician, born in Mikołów, Poland
  • 1963 Robin Jarvis, British young adult fication, and fantasy writer (The Witching Legacy), born in Liverpool, England
  • 1968 Johan Pehrson, Swedish politician
  • 1973 Hiromu Arakawa, Japanese artist
  • 1974 Jon Tickle, English entertainer
  • 1980 Benny Yau, Canadian entertainer