Today in History: Feb. 8
by Robert Joseph Baker | February 8, 2019 12:00 am
Last Updated: February 3, 2018 at 5:32 am
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.
1347 – The Byzantine civil war of 1341–47 ends with a power-sharing agreement between John VI Kantakouzenos and John V Palaiologos.
1575 – Leiden University 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.
1590 – Luis de Carabajal the younger is tortured by the Inquisition in Mexico City.
1601 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, rebels against Queen Elizabeth I and the revolt is quickly crushed.
1693 – The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, is granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.
1807 – After two days of bitter fighting, the Russians under Bennigsen and the Prussians under L’Estocq concede the Battle of Eylau to Napoleon.
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.
1865 – Delaware refuses to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Slavery was outlawed in the United States, including Delaware, when the Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states on December 6, 1865. Delaware ratified the Thirteenth Amendment on February 12, 1901, which was the ninety-second anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.
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.
1885 – The first government-approved Japanese immigrants arrived in Hawaii.
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.
1904 – Aceh War: Dutch Colonial Army’s Marechaussee regiment led by General G.C.E. van Daalen launch military campaign to capture Gayo Highland, Alas Highland, and Batak Highland in Dutch East Indies’ Northern Sumatra region, which ends with genocide to Acehnese and Bataks people.
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 – United States President Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio set 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.
1942 – World War II: Dutch Colonial Army General Destruction Unit (AVC, Algemene Vernielings Corps) burns Banjarmasin, South Borneo to avoid Japanese capture.
1945 – World War II: The United Kingdom and Canada commence Operation Veritable to occupy the west bank of the Rhine.
1945 – World War II: Mikhail Devyataev escapes with nine other Soviet inmates from a Nazi concentration camp in Peenemünde on the island of Usedom by hijacking the camp commandant’s Heinkel He 111.
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.
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, Pakistan, 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.
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 Abd al-Karim Qasim is overthrown by the Ba’ath Party.
1965 – 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.
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.
1978 – Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcast on radio 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 F.C.
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.
1986 – Hinton train collision: Twenty-three people are killed when a VIA Rail passenger train collides with a 118-car Canadian National freight train near the town of Hinton, Alberta, west of Edmonton. It is the worst rail accident in Canada until the Lac-Mégantic, Quebec derailment in 2013 which killed forty-seven people.
1989 – Independent Air Flight 1851 strikes Pico Alto mountain while on approach to Santa Maria Airport (Azores) killing all 144 passengers on board.
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.
2005 – Sri Lankan Civil War: Sri Lankan Tamil politician and former MP A. Chandranehru dies of injuries sustained in an ambush the previous day.
2010 – A freak storm in the Hindu Kush 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 travelers.
2013 – A blizzard disrupts transportation and leaves hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada.
2014 – A hotel fire in Medina, Saudi Arabia kills 15 Egyptian pilgrims with 130 others injured.