On This Day … 08 August


  • 870 – Treaty of Meerssen: King Louis the German and his half-brother Charles the Bald partition the Middle Frankish Kingdom into two larger east and west divisions.
  • 1220 – Sweden is defeated by Estonian tribes in the Battle of Lihula.
  • 1264 – Mudéjar revolt: Muslim rebel forces took the Alcázar of Jerez de la Frontera after defeating the Castilian garrison.
  • 1585 – John Davis enters Cumberland Sound in search of the Northwest Passage.
  • 1588 – Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines: The naval engagement ends, ending the Spanish Armada’s attempt to invade England.
  • 1605 – The city of Oulu, Finland, is founded by Charles IX of Sweden.
  • 1647 – The Irish Confederate Wars and Wars of the Three Kingdoms: Battle of Dungan’s Hill: English Parliamentary forces defeat Irish forces.
  • 1709 – Bartolomeu de Gusmão demonstrates the lifting power of hot air in an audience before the king of Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • 1793 – The insurrection of Lyon occurs during the French Revolution.
  • 1794 – Joseph Whidbey leads an expedition to search for the Northwest Passage near Juneau, Alaska.
  • 1831 – Four hundred Shawnee people agree to relinquish their lands in Ohio in exchange for land west of the Mississippi River in the Treaty of Wapakoneta.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Following his defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis (which is refused upon receipt).
  • 1870 – The Republic of Ploiești, a failed Radical-Liberal rising against Domnitor Carol of Romania.
  • 1876 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.
  • 1908 – Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France.
    • It is the Wright Brothers’ first public flight.
  • 1918 – World War I: The Battle of Amiens begins a string of almost continuous Allied victories with a push through the German front lines (Hundred Days Offensive).
  • 1919 – The Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 is signed. It establishes peaceful relations between Afghanistan and the UK, and confirms the Durand line as the mutual border.
    • In return, the UK is no longer obligated to subsidise the Afghan government.
  • 1940 – The “Aufbau Ost” directive is signed by Wilhelm Keitel.
  • 1942 – Quit India Movement is launched in India against the British rule in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for swaraj or complete independence.
  • 1945 – The London Charter is signed by France, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States, establishing the laws and procedures for the Nuremberg trials.
  • 1946 – First flight of the Convair B-36, the world’s first mass-produced nuclear weapon delivery vehicle, the heaviest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft, with the longest wingspan of any military aircraft, and the first bomber with intercontinental range.
  • 1967 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is founded by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • 1988 – The 8888 Uprising begins in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar). Led by students, hundreds of thousands join in nationwide protests against the one-party regime. On September 18, the demonstrations end in a military crackdown, killing thousands.
  • 1989 – Space Shuttle programme: STS-28 Mission: Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a secret five-day military mission.
  • 1990 – Iraq occupies Kuwait and the state is annexed to Iraq.
    • This would lead to the Gulf War shortly afterward.
  • 1998 – Iranian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan is raided by Taliban leading to the deaths of ten Iranian diplomats and a journalist.
  • 2000 – Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor and 30 years after its discovery by undersea explorer E. Lee Spence.
  • Ceasefire Day (end of Iran-Iraq War)[14] (Iraqi Kurdistan).
  • Earliest day on which Defence Forces Day can fall, while 14 August is the latest; celebrated on the second Tuesday in August. (Zimbabwe).
  • Signal Troops Day (Ukraine).

People (Births)

  • 1720 – Carl Fredrik Pechlin, Swedish general and politician (d. 1796).
  • 1779 – Louis de Freycinet, French navigator and explorer (d. 1842).
  • 1822 – George Stoneman, Jr., United States Army cavalry officer (d. 1894).
  • 1839 – Nelson A. Miles, American general (d. 1925).
  • 1879 – Emiliano Zapata, Mexican general and politician (d. 1919).
  • 1881 – Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist, German field marshal (d. 1954).
  • 1929 – Luis García Meza Tejada, Bolivian general and politician, 68th President of Bolivia (d. 2018).

People (Deaths)

  • 1604 – Horio Tadauji, Japanese daimyō (b. 1578).
  • 1747 – Madeleine de Verchères, Canadian raid leader (b. 1678).
  • 1887 – Alexander William Doniphan, American colonel, lawyer, and politician (b. 1808).
  • 1944 – Erwin von Witzleben, German field marshal (b. 1881).
  • 1944 – Michael Wittmann, German commander (b. 1914).
  • 1947 – Anton Denikin, Russian general (b. 1872).
  • 1971 – Freddie Spencer Chapman, English lieutenant (b. 1907).
  • 1974 – Elisabeth Abegg, German anti-Nazi resistance fighter (b. 1882).
  • 1979 – Nicholas Monsarrat, English lieutenant and author (b. 1910).
  • 1980 – Paul Triquet, Canadian general, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1910).
  • 1981 – Thomas McElwee, Irish republican and PIRA volunteer (b. 1957).
  • 1991 – James Irwin, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930).
  • 2003 – Dirk Hoogendam, Dutch-German SS officer (b. 1922).
  • 2005 – Dean Rockwell, American commander, wrestler, and coach (b. 1912).
  • 2015 – Sam S. Walker, American general (b. 1925).

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