This Day in History - April 8

April 8

563 BC – Founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha is born

1513 – Ponce de Leon claims Florida for Spain

1605 – Philip IV, King of Spain and Portugal, is born

1726 – Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Lewis Morris, is born

1767 – The Ayutthaya kingdom falls to Burmese invaders

1778 – Future President John Adams arrives in Paris, France to replace former Continental Congress member Silas Deane as a member of the American Commission

1789 – The US House of Representatives holds its first meeting

1827 – Puerto Rican doctor and politician Ramon Emeterio Betances is born

1832 – Some 300 American troops leave Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, to fight in the Black Hawk War

1842 – Chronicler of the West, wife of George Custer, Elizabeth Bacon Custer, is born

1857 – Indian freedom fighter Mangal Pandey dies

1959 – Austrian mathematician and philosopher Edmund Husserl is born

1864 – The Union is routed by Confederate General Richard Taylor in the Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana

1865 – General Robert E Lee’s retreat is cut off near Appomattox Court House

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

1893 – Film actress Mary Pickford, aka Gladys Smith, is born

1893 – Lyricist Edgar “Yip” Harburg is born

1898 – British General Horatio Kitchener defeats the Khalifa, leader of the dervishes in Sudan, during the Battle of Atbara

1904 – Britain and France sign the Entente Cordiale, solving colonial disputes in North Africa and establishing diplomatic relations

1913 – The 17th Amendment is ratified, requiring direct election of senators

1913 – Opening of China’s first parliament takes place in Peking aka Beijing

1918 – Wife of Gerald Ford and 40th First Lady, Betty Ford is born

1920 – Jazz vocalist and pianist Carmen McRae is born

1921 – Wife of Gerald Ford, first lady Betty Bloomer is born

1929 – Singer, songwriter, and actor Jacques Brel is born

1935 – The Works Progress Administration is approved by Congress

1935 – President Franklin Roosevelt authorizes almost $5 million to implement work-relief programs in an effort to lift the nation out from under the Great Depression

1938 – 7th Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan is born

1939 – Italy invades Albania

1942 – The Soviets open a rail link to the besieged city of Leningrad

1944 – Russian forces attack the German army in an attempt to win back Crimea in southern Ukraine

1945 – Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is hanged at Flossenburg, days before the American liberation of the POW camp. Bonhoeffer spoke out against the Nazi Fuhrerprinzip, a synonym for dictatorship

1946 – The League of Nations assembles for the last time

1950 – Senator John McCarthy labels Professor Owen Lattimore “extremely dangerous so far as the American people are concerned” in a carefully worded speech

1950 – Russian dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky dies

1952 – President Truman orders the seizure of US steel mills to prevent a strike

1953 – Leader of the Kenya Independence movement, Jomo Kenyatta is convicted by Kenya’s British rulers of leading the extremist group Mau Mau in their violence against white settlers and the colonial government, despite having had a limited role. He served nine years in prison

1955 – Novelist Barbara Kingsolver is born

1959 – The Common Business-Oriented Language or COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages is created by Grace Hopper

1962 – The Bay of Pigs invaders get thirty years imprisonment in Cuba

1972 – North Vietnamese 2nd Division troops open a third front of their offensive in the Central Highlands

1973 – Painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso dies

1974 – Hank Aaron hits his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s record

1975 – Frank Robinson of the Cleveland Indians becomes the first black manager of a major league baseball team

1975 – General Frederick Weyand, US Army Chief of Staff, reports to Congress that South Vietnam cannot survive without additional military aid

1977 – The Clash release their debut album of the same name

1979 – Drivers Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty swap leads four times in a last-lap showdown during the Rebel 500 event at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. Waltrip finally wins the race

1981 – Commander of the 12th Army Group, General Omar Bradley, dies

1986 – Actor Clint Eastwood is elected mayor of Carmel, California

1992 – Tennis star Arthur Ashe announces he has AIDS

2004 – The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups

2005 – Olympic Park bomber, Eric Rudolph, agrees to plead guilty to a series of bombings, including the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, to avoid the death penalty. Rudolph had set off bombs at abortion clinics, a lesbian nightclub as well as the Olympics, citing his anti-abortion and anti-gay sentiments. He was able to successfully elude law enforcement for quite some time, and it is suspected that he was receiving help from locals in the Appalachian Mountains, where he was believed to be hiding

2005 – Over four million pay their last respects to Pope John Paul II

2013 – Britain’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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