On This Day … 08 June


  • 218 – Battle of Antioch: With the support of the Syrian legions, Elagabalus defeats the forces of emperor Macrinus.
  • 793 – Vikings raid the abbey at Lindisfarne in Northumbria, commonly accepted as the beginning of Norse activity in the British Isles.
  • 1042 – Edward the Confessor becomes King of England – the country’s penultimate Anglo-Saxon king.
  • 1191 – Richard I arrives in Acre, beginning his crusade.
  • 1663 – Portuguese victory at the Battle of Ameixial ensures Portugal’s independence from Spain.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: American attackers are driven back at the Battle of Trois-Rivières.
  • 1794 – Robespierre inaugurates the French Revolution’s new state religion, the Cult of the Supreme Being, with large organized festivals all across France.
  • 1856 – A group of 194 Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the mutineers of HMS Bounty, arrives at Norfolk Island, commencing the Third Settlement of the Island.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Tennessee secedes from the Union.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Cross Keys: Confederate forces under General Stonewall Jackson save the Army of Northern Virginia from a Union assault on the James Peninsula led by General George B. McClellan.
  • 1887 – Herman Hollerith applies for US patent #395,781 for the ‘Art of Compiling Statistics’, which was his punched card calculator.
  • 1918 – A solar eclipse is observed at Baker City, Oregon by scientists and an artist hired by the United States Navy.
  • 1928 – Second Northern Expedition: The National Revolutionary Army captures Peking, whose name is changed to Beijing (“Northern Capital”).
  • 1940 – World War II: The completion of Operation Alphabet, the evacuation of Allied forces from Narvik at the end of the Norwegian Campaign.
  • 1941 – World War II: The Allies commence the Syria-Lebanon Campaign against the possessions of Vichy France in the Levant.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Japanese imperial submarines I-21 and I-24 shell the Australian cities of Sydney and Newcastle.
  • 1949 – George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is published.
  • 1959 – USS Barbero and the United States Postal Service attempt the delivery of mail via Missile Mail.
  • 1966 – An F-104 Starfighter collides with XB-70 Valkyrie prototype no.2, destroying both aircraft during a photo shoot near Edwards Air Force Base. Joseph A. Walker, a NASA test pilot, and Carl Cross, a US Air Force test pilot, are both killed.
  • 1967 – Six-Day War: The USS Liberty incident occurs, killing 34 and wounding 171.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: Nine-year-old Phan Thị Kim Phúc is burned by napalm, an event captured by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut moments later while the young girl is seen running down a road, in what would become an iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winning photo.
  • 1982 – Bluff Cove Air Attacks during the Falklands War: Fifty-six British servicemen are killed by an Argentine air attack on two landing ships, RFA Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram.
  • 1987 – New Zealand’s Labour government establishes a national nuclear-free zone under the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987.
  • 1995 – Downed US Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady is rescued by US Marines in Bosnia.
  • 2014 – At least 28 people are killed in an attack at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Earliest day on which Queen’s Birthday can fall, while June 14 is the latest; celebrated on the second Monday in June. (Australia, except Western Australia and Queensland).
  • Bounty Day (Norfolk Island).

People (Births)

  • 1831 – Thomas J. Higgins, Canadian-American sergeant, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1917).
  • 1903 – Ralph Yarborough, American colonel and politician (d. 1996).
  • 1918 – Robert Preston, American captain, actor, and singer (d. 1987).
  • 1918 – John H. Ross, American captain and pilot (d. 2013).
  • 1919 – John R. Deane, Jr., American general (d. 2013).
  • 1921 – LeRoy Neiman, American soldier and painter (d. 2012).
  • 1921 – Suharto, Indonesian soldier and politician, 2nd President of Indonesia (d. 2008).
  • 1943 – William Calley, American military officer.
  • 1943 – Willie Davenport, American hurdler (d. 2002).
  • 1949 – Hildegard Falck, German runner.
  • 1955 – Tim Berners-Lee, English computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.
  • 1964 – Butch Reynolds, American runner and coach.

People (Deaths)

  • 1651 – Tokugawa Iemitsu, Japanese shōgun (b. 1604).
  • 1845 – Andrew Jackson, American general, judge, and politician, 7th President of the United States (b. 1767).
  • 1924 – George Mallory, English lieutenant and mountaineer (b. 1886).
  • 1945 – Karl Hanke, Polish-German soldier and politician (b. 1903).
  • 1951 – Eugène Fiset, Canadian physician, general, and politician, 18th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec (b. 1874).
  • 1951 – Oswald Pohl, German SS officer (b. 1892).
  • 1998 – Sani Abacha, Nigerian general and politician, 10th President of Nigeria (b. 1943).
  • 2009 – Omar Bongo, Gabonese captain and politician, President of Gabon (b. 1935).
  • 2013 – Paul Cellucci, American soldier and politician, 69th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1948).
  • 2015 – Chea Sim, Cambodian commander and politician (b. 1932).

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