On This Day … 08 January


  • 871: Alfred the Great leads a West Saxon army to repel an invasion by Danelaw Vikings.
  • 1297: François Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, leads his men to capture the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco, establishing his family as the rulers of Monaco.
  • 1746: Second Jacobite rising: Bonnie Prince Charlie occupies Stirling.
  • 1790: George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address in New York City.
  • 1806: Cape Colony becomes a British colony.
  • 1811: An unsuccessful slave revolt is led by Charles Deslondes in St. Charles and St. James, Louisiana.
  • 1815: War of 1812: Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson leads American forces in victory over the British.
  • 1863: American Civil War: Second Battle of Springfield.
  • 1867: African American men are granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
  • 1877: Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle against the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain, Montana Territory.
  • 1918: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson announces his “Fourteen Points” for the aftermath of World War I.
  • 1940: World War II: Britain introduces food rationing.
  • 1945: World War II: Philippine Commonwealth troops under the Philippine Commonwealth Army units enter the province of Ilocos Sur in Northern Luzon and attack Japanese Imperial forces.
  • 1972: Bowing to international pressure, President of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto releases Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from prison, who had been arrested after declaring the independence of Bangladesh.
  • 2005: The nuclear sub USS San Francisco collides at full speed with an undersea mountain south of Guam. One man is killed, but the sub surfaces and is repaired.

People (Births)

  • 1360: Ulrich von Jungingen, German Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights (d. 1410).
  • 1556: Uesugi Kagekatsu, Japanese daimyō (d. 1623).
  • 1628: François-Henri de Montmorency, duc de Luxembourg, French general (d. 1695).
  • 1821: James Longstreet, American general and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Turkey (d. 1904).
  • 1843: Karl Eduard Heusner, German admiral (d. 1891).
  • 1843: John H. Moffitt, American sergeant and politician, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1926).
  • 1870: Miguel Primo de Rivera, Spanish general and politician, Prime Minister of Spain (d. 1930).
  • 1871: James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon, Irish captain and politician, 1st Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (d. 1940).
  • 1883: Patrick J. Hurley, American general, politician, and diplomat, 51st United States Secretary of War (d. 1963).
  • 1897: Dennis Wheatley, English soldier and author (d. 1977).
  • 1904: Karl Brandt, German physician and SS officer (d. 1948).
  • 1907: Keizō Hayashi, Japanese general and civil servant (d. 1991).
  • 1924: Benjamin Lees, Chinese-American soldier and composer (d. 2010).
  • 1933: Charles Osgood, American soldier and journalist.
  • 1984: Kim Jong-un, North Korean soldier and politician, 3rd Supreme Leader of North Korea.

People (Deaths)

  • 871: Bagsecg, Viking warrior and leader.
  • 1707: John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of Stair, Scottish soldier and politician, Scottish Secretary of State (b. 1648).
  • 1815: Edward Pakenham, Anglo-Irish general and politician (b. 1778).
  • 1854: William Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, English field marshal and politician, Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance (b. 1768).
  • 1901: John Barry, Irish soldier, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1873).
  • 1914: Simon Bolivar Buckner, American general and 30th Governor of Kentucky (b. 1823).
  • 1941: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, British general (b. 1857).
  • 1944: William Kissam Vanderbilt II, American lieutenant and sailor (b. 1878).
  • 1953: Hugh Binney, British admiral and politician, 16th Governor of Tasmania (b. 1883).
  • 1976: Zhou Enlai, Chinese soldier and politician, 1st Premier of the People’s Republic of China (b. 1898).
  • 1983: Gerhard Barkhorn, German general and pilot (b. 1919).
  • 1996: François Mitterrand, French sergeant and politician, 21st President of France (b. 1916).
  • 2014: Vicente T. Blaz, American general and politician (b. 1928).

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