Today in History
August 8

1306   King Wenceslas of Poland is murdered.
1570   Charles IX of France signs the Treaty of St. Germain, ending the third war of religion and giving religious freedom to the Huguenots.
1636   The invading armies of Spain, Austria and Bavaria are stopped at the village of St.-Jean-de-Losne, only 50 miles from France.
1648   Ibrahim, the sultan of Istanbul, is thrown into prison, then assassinated.
1786   Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard become the first men to climb Mont Blanc in France.
1844   Brigham Young is chosen to head the Mormon Church, succeeding Joseph Smith.
1876   Thomas Edison patents the mimeograph.
1899   The first household refrigerating machine is patented.
1925   The first national congress of the Ku Klux Klan opens.
1937   The Japanese Army occupies Beijing.
1940   The German Luftwaffe attacks Great Britain for the first time, beginning the Battle of Britain.
1942   U.S. Marines capture the Japanese airstrip on Guadalcanal.
1944   U.S. forces complete the capture of the Marianas Islands.
1945   The Soviet Union declares war on Japan.
1950   U.S. troops repel the first North Korean attempt to overrun them at the Battle of Naktong Bulge, which continued for 10 days.
1963   England’s “Great Train Robbery;” 2.6 million pounds ($7.3 million) is stolen
1974   President Richard Nixon resigns from the presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal.
1978   Pioneer-Venus 2 is launched to probe the atmosphere of Venus.
1979   Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein executes 22 political opponents.
1983   Brigadier General Efrain Rios Montt is deposed as president of Guatemala in the country’s second military coup in 17 months.
1988   Angola, Cuba and South Africa sign a cease-fire treaty in the border war that began in 1966.
1989   NASA Space Shuttle Columbia begins its eighth flight, NASA’s 30th shuttle mission.
1990   Iraq annexes the state of Kuwait as its 19th province, six days after Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait.
2000   The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to surface, 136 years after it sank following its successful attack on USS Housatonic in the outer harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.
2007   An EF2 tornado hits Brooklyn, New York, the first in that borough since 1889.
2008   Georgia invades South Ossetia, touching off a five-day war between Georgia and Russia.
Born on August 8
1865   Matthew A. Henson, explorer with Robert Peary who first reached the North Pole (though some recent scholarship disputes this claim).
1883   Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary leader.
1896   Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling.
1901   Ernest Orlando Lawrence, inventor of the cyclotron and winner of the 1939 Nobel Prize for physics.
1908   Arthur J. Goldberg, labor lawyer instrumental in the merger of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
1937   Dustin Hoffman, American actor.
1948   Svetlana Y Savitskaya, Soviet cosmonaut, the first woman to walk in space (July 25, 1984).
1964    M. Ashman, author, co-editor of Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey, and a founding member of TED Global, the international organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.


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