On This Day … 08 March


  • 1262 – Battle of Hausbergen between bourgeois militias and the army of the bishop of Strasbourg.
  • 1658 – Treaty of Roskilde: After a devastating defeat in the Northern Wars (1655-1661), Frederick III, the King of Denmark-Norway is forced to give up nearly half his territory to Sweden.
  • 1702 – Queen Anne, the younger sister of Mary II, becomes Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
  • 1722 – The Safavid Empire of Iran is defeated by an army from Afghanistan at the Battle of Gulnabad.
  • 1775 – An anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes “African Slavery in America”, the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.
  • 1782 – Gnadenhutten massacre: Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity, are killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indian tribes.
  • 1801 – War of the Second Coalition: At the Battle of Abukir, a British force under Sir Ralph Abercromby lands in Egypt with the aim of ending the French campaign in Egypt and Syria.
  • 1844 – King Oscar I ascends to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.
  • 1868 – Sakai incident: Japanese samurai kill 11 French sailors in the port of Sakai, Osaka.
  • 1916 – World War I: A British force unsuccessfully attempts to relieve the siege of Kut (present-day Iraq) in the Battle of Dujaila.
  • 1917 – International Women’s Day protests in Petrograd mark the beginning of the February Revolution (February 23 in the Julian calendar).
  • 1937 – Spanish Civil War: The Battle of Guadalajara begins.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Dutch East Indies surrender Java to the Imperial Japanese Army.
  • 1942 – World War II: Imperial Japanese Army forces captured Rangoon, Burma from British.
  • 1963 – The Ba’ath Party comes to power in Syria in a coup d’état.
  • 1966 – Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin, Ireland, destroyed by a bomb.
  • 1979 – Philips demonstrates the compact disc publicly for the first time.

People (Births)

  • 1726 – Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, English admiral and politician, Treasurer of the Navy (d. 1799).
  • 1799 – Simon Cameron, American journalist and politician, United States Secretary of War (d. 1889).
  • 1942 – Ann Packer, English sprinter, hurdler, and long jumper.
  • 1947 – Michael S. Hart, American author, founded Project Gutenberg (d. 2011).
  • 1954 – David Wilkie, Sri Lankan-Scottish swimmer.
  • 1998 – Tali Darsigny, Canadian weightlifter.

People (Deaths)

  • 1917 – Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and businessman (b. 1838).
  • 1944 – Fredy Hirsch, German Jewish athlete who helped thousands of Jewish children in the Holocaust (b. 1916).
  • 1983 – Alan Lennox-Boyd, 1st Viscount Boyd of Merton, English lieutenant and politician (b. 1904).
  • 1996 – Jack Churchill, British colonel (b. 1906).
  • 2004 – Muhammad Zaidan, Syrian terrorist, founded the Palestine Liberation Front.
  • 2005 – Aslan Maskhadov, Chechen commander and politician, President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (b. 1951).
  • 2013 – Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin, German soldier and publisher (b. 1922).
  • 2014 – Leo Bretholz, Austrian-American Holocaust survivor and author (b. 1921).
  • 2014 – William Guarnere, American sergeant (b. 1923).

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