On This Day … 08 April


  • 217 – Roman Emperor Caracalla is assassinated. He is succeeded by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.
  • 632 – King Charibert II is assassinated at Blaye (Gironde), along with his infant son Chilperic.
  • 876 – The Battle of Dayr al-‘Aqul saves Baghdad from the Saffarids.
  • 1232 – Mongol–Jin War: The Mongols begin their siege on Kaifeng, the capital of the Jin dynasty.
  • 1271 – In Syria, sultan Baibars conquers the Krak des Chevaliers.
  • 1665 – English colonial patents are granted for the establishment of the Monmouth Tract, for what would eventually become Monmouth County in northeastern New Jersey.
  • 1740 – War of Jenkins’ Ear: Three British ships capture the Spanish third-rate Princesa, taken into service as HMS Princess.
  • 1832 – Black Hawk War: Around three-hundred United States 6th Infantry troops leave St. Louis, Missouri to fight the Sauk Native Americans.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield: Union forces are thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana.
  • 1866 – Italy and Prussia ally against the Austrian Empire.
  • 1886 – William Ewart Gladstone introduces the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.
  • 1904 – The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland sign the Entente cordiale.
  • 1918 – World War I: Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin sell war bonds on the streets of New York City’s financial district.
  • 1929 – Indian independence movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt throw handouts and bombs to court arrest.
  • 1942 – World War II: Siege of Leningrad: Soviet forces open a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Japanese take Bataan in the Philippines.
  • 1943 – US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, freezes wages and prices, prohibits workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and bars rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.
  • 1943 – Otto and Elise Hampel are executed in Berlin for their anti-Nazi activities.
  • 1945 – World War II: After an air raid accidentally destroys a train carrying about 4,000 Nazi concentration camp internees in Prussian Hanover, the survivors are massacred by Nazis.
  • 1946 – Électricité de France, the world’s largest utility company, is formed as a result of the nationalisation of a number of electricity producers, transporters and distributors.
  • 1950 – India and Pakistan sign the Liaquat–Nehru Pact.
  • 1953 – Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta is convicted by British Kenya’s rulers.
  • 1954 – A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collides with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.
  • 1960 – The Netherlands and West Germany sign an agreement to negotiate the return of German land annexed by the Dutch in return for 280 million German marks as Wiedergutmachung.
  • 1968 – BOAC Flight 712 catches fire shortly after takeoff. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison is awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.
  • 1970 – Bahr El-Baqar primary school bombing: Israeli bombers strike an Egyptian school. Forty-six children are killed.
  • 2004 – War in Darfur: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.
  • 2013 – The Islamic State of Iraq enters the Syrian Civil War and begins by declaring a merger with the Al-Nusra Front under the name Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham.

People (Births)

  • 1641 – Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney, English general and politician, Secretary of State for the Northern Department (d. 1704).
  • 1826 – Pancha Carrasco, Costa Rican soldier (d. 1890).
  • 1874 – Stanisław Taczak, Polish general (d. 1960).
  • 1885 – Dimitrios Levidis, Greek-French soldier, composer, and educator (d. 1951).
  • 1912 – Alois Brunner, Austrian-German SS officer (d. 2001 or 2010).
  • 1919 – Ian Smith, Zimbabwean lieutenant and politician, 1st Prime Minister of Rhodesia (d. 2007).
  • 1924 – Anthony Farrar-Hockley, English general and historian (d. 2006).
  • 1935 – Albert Bustamante, American soldier, educator, and politician.

People (Deaths)

  • 217 – Caracalla, Roman emperor (b. 188).
  • 1551 – Oda Nobuhide, Japanese warlord (b. 1510).
  • 1697 – Niels Juel, Norwegian-Danish admiral (b. 1629).
  • 1704 – Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney, English colonel and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (b. 1641).
  • 1981 – Omar Bradley, American general (b. 1893).
  • 2012 – Janusz K. Zawodny, Polish-American soldier, historian, and political scientist (b. 1921).

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