Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 8 in History

* 421 – Constantius III becomes co-Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
* 1238 – The Mongols burn the Russian city of Vladimir.
* 1250 – Seventh Crusade: Crusaders engage Ayyubid forces in the Battle of Al Mansurah.
* 1575 – Universiteit Leiden is founded, and given the motto Praesidium Libertatis.
* 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is executed on suspicion of having been involved in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
* 1601 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, rebels against Queen Elizabeth I – the revolt is quickly crushed.
* 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.
* 1855 – The Devil's Footprints mysteriously appear in southern Devon.
* 1856 – Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei abolishes slavery in Wallachia.
* 1865 – In the United States, 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.)
* 1879 – Sandford Fleming first proposes adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute.
* 1879 – The England cricket team led by Lord Harris is attacked during a riot during a match in Sydney.
* 1887 – The Dawes Act authorizes the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments.
* 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.
* 1922 – President Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio in the White House.
* 1924 – Capital punishment: The first state execution in the United States by gas chamber takes place in Nevada.
* 1942 – World War II: Japan invades Singapore.
* 1945 – World War II: The United Kingdom and Canada commence Operation Veritable to occupy the west bank of the Rhine.
* 1946 – The first portion of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, the first serious challenge to the popularity of the Authorized King James Version, is published.
* 1948 – The formal creation of the Korean People's Army of North Korea is announced.
* 1949 – Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary is sentenced for treason.
* 1950 – The Stasi, the secret police of East Germany, is established.
* 1952 – Elizabeth II is proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom.
* 1955 – The Government of Sindh abolishes the 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 issues 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".
* 1960 – The first eight brass star plaques are installed in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
* 1962 – Charonne massacre. Nine 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 – The regime of Prime Minister of Iraq, Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Qassem is overthrown by the Ba'ath Party.
* 1965 – After taking evasive maneuvers to avoid a mid-air collision immediately after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Eastern Air Lines Flight 663 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean and explodes, killing everyone aboard.
* 1968 – American civil rights movement: The Orangeburg massacre: An attack on black students from South Carolina State University who are protesting racial segregation at the town's only bowling alley, leaves three or four dead in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
* 1969 – Allende meteorite falls near Pueblito de Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico.
* 1971 – The NASDAQ stock market index opens for the first time.
* 1971 – South Vietnamese ground troops launch an incursion into Laos to try to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail and stop communist infiltration.
* 1974 – After 84 days in space, the crew of Skylab 4, the last crew to visit American space station Skylab, returns 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 becomes the President of the Republic of the Congo for the first time.
* 1981 – Twenty-one association football spectators are trampled to death at Karaiskakis Stadium in Neo Faliro, Greece, after a football match between Olympiacos F.C. and AEK Athens FC.
* 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, a 320 metres (1,050 ft) deep dust cloud envelops the city, turning day to night.
* 1989 – An Independent Air Boeing 707 crashes into Santa Maria mountain in the Azores, killing 144.
* 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.
* 2001 – Disney California Adventure Park opens to the public as part of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
* 2010 – A freak storm in the Hindukush mountains of Afghanistan triggers a series of at least 36 avalanches, burying over two miles of road, killing at least 172 people and trapping over 2,000 travellers.

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