On This Day … 08 November


  • 960 – Battle of Andrassos: Byzantines under Leo Phokas the Younger score a crushing victory over the Hamdanid Emir of Aleppo, Sayf al-Dawla.
  • 1519 – Hernán Cortés enters Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomes him with a great celebration.
  • 1520 – Stockholm Bloodbath begins: A successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces results in the execution of around 100 people mostly noblemen.
  • 1576 – Eighty Years’ War: Pacification of Ghent: The States General of the Netherlands meet and unite to oppose Spanish occupation.
  • 1605 – Robert Catesby, ringleader of the Gunpowder Plotters, is killed.
  • 1614 – Japanese daimyō Dom Justo Takayama is exiled to the Philippines by shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu for being Christian.
  • 1620 – The Battle of White Mountain takes place near Prague, ending in a decisive Catholic victory in only two hours.
  • 1644 – The Shunzhi Emperor, the third emperor of the Qing dynasty, is enthroned in Beijing after the collapse of the Ming dynasty as the first Qing emperor to rule over China.
  • 1745 – Charles Edward Stuart invades England with an army of ~5000 that would later participate in the Battle of Culloden.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: The “Trent Affair“: The USS San Jacinto stops the British mail ship Trent and arrests two Confederate envoys, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US.
  • 1895 – While experimenting with electricity, Wilhelm Röntgen discovers the X-ray.
  • 1917 – The first Council of People’s Commissars is formed, including Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.
  • 1923 – Beer Hall Putsch: In Munich, Adolf Hitler leads the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.
  • 1932 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected as the 32nd President of the United States, defeating incumbent president Herbert Hoover.
  • 1936 – Spanish Civil War: Francoist troops fail in their effort to capture Madrid, but begin the 3-year Siege of Madrid afterwards.
  • 1939 – Venlo Incident: Two British agents of SIS are captured by the Germans.
  • 1939 – In Munich, Adolf Hitler narrowly escapes the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.
  • 1940 – Greco-Italian War: The Italian invasion of Greece fails as outnumbered Greek units repulse the Italians in the Battle of Elaia–Kalamas.
  • 1942 – World War II: French Resistance coup in Algiers, in which 400 civilian French patriots neutralize Vichyist XIXth Army Corps after 15 hours of fighting, and arrest several Vichyist generals, allowing the immediate success of Operation Torch in Algiers.
  • 1950 – Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown, while piloting an F-80 Shooting Star, shoots down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfight in history.
  • 1957 – Operation Grapple X, Round C1: The United Kingdom conducts its first successful hydrogen bomb test over Kiritimati in the Pacific.
  • 1965 – The 173rd Airborne is ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong in Operation Hump during the Vietnam War, while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fight one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Viet Cong at the Battle of Gang Toi.
  • 1987 – Remembrance Day bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb explodes in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during a ceremony honouring those who had died in wars involving British forces.
    • Twelve people are killed and sixty-three wounded.
  • 2002 – Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approves a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences”.
  • 2004 – Iraq War: More than 10,000 US troops and a small number of Iraqi army units participate in a siege on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
  • 2006 – Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Israeli Defence Force kill 19 Palestinian civilians in their homes during the shelling of Beit Hanoun.
  • National Aboriginal Veterans Day (Canada).

People (Births)

  • 1885 – Tomoyuki Yamashita, Japanese general and politician, 4th Japanese Military Governors of the Philippines (d. 1946).
  • 1910 – James McCormack, American general (d. 1975).
  • 1912 – Stylianos Pattakos, Greek general and politician, Deputy Prime Minister of Greece (d. 2016).
  • 1918 – Kazuo Sakamaki, Japanese soldier (d. 1999).
  • 1924 – Dmitry Yazov, Marshal of the Soviet Union (d. 2020).
  • 1927 – Nguyễn Khánh, Vietnamese general and politician, 4th President of the Republic of Vietnam (d. 2013).
  • 1948 – Dale Gardner, American captain and astronaut (d. 2014).
  • 1951 – Alfredo Astiz, Argentinian captain.
  • 1952 – Jan Raas, Dutch cyclist.
  • 1957 – Tim Shaw, American swimmer.
  • 1972 – Chris Fydler, Australian swimmer.
  • 1973 – Sven Mikser, Estonian politician, 22nd Estonian Minister of Defence.
  • 1974 – Penelope Heyns, South African swimmer.
  • 1988 – Lucia Slaničková, Slovak heptathlete.

People (Deaths)

  • 928 – Duan Ning, Chinese general.
  • 1600 – Natsuka Masaie, Japanese daimyō (b. 1562).
  • 1605 – Robert Catesby, English conspirator, leader of the Gunpowder Plot (b. 1573).
  • 1773 – Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz, Prussian general (b. 1721).
  • 1917 – Colin Blythe, English cricketer and soldier (b. 1879).
  • 1944 – Walter Nowotny, Austrian-German soldier and pilot (b. 1920).
  • 1945 – August von Mackensen, German field marshal (b. 1849).
  • 1960 – Subroto Mukerjee, Indian soldier; Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force (b. 1911).
  • 1985 – Nicolas Frantz, Luxembourger cyclist (b. 1899).
  • 1998 – John Hunt, Baron Hunt, English colonel, mountaineer, and academic (b. 1910).
  • 2005 – David Westheimer, American soldier and author (b. 1917).
  • 2010 – Jack Levine, American soldier and painter (b. 1915).
  • 2010 – Emilio Eduardo Massera, Argentinian admiral (b. 1925).
  • 2014 – Luigi Gorrini, Italian soldier and pilot (b. 1917).
  • 2015 – Om Prakash Mehra, Indian air marshal and politician (b. 1919).

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