On This Day … 08 January


  • 871 – Æthelred I and Alfred the Great lead a West Saxon army to repel an invasion by Danelaw Vikings.
  • 1297 – François Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, leads his men to capture the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco, establishing his family as the rulers of Monaco.
  • 1454 – The papal bull Romanus Pontifex awards the Kingdom of Portugal exclusive trade and colonisation rights to all of Africa south of Cape Bojador.
  • 1746 – Second Jacobite rising: Bonnie Prince Charlie occupies Stirling.
  • 1806 – The Dutch Cape Colony in southern Africa becomes the British Cape Colony as a result of the Battle of Blaauwberg.
  • 1811 – Charles Deslondes leads an unsuccessful slave revolt in the North American settlements of St. Charles and St. James, Louisiana.
  • 1815 – War of 1812: Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson leads American forces in victory over the British.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Springfield.
  • 1877 – Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle against the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain, Montana Territory.
  • 1900 – President William McKinley places Alaska under military rule.
  • 1918 – US President Woodrow Wilson announces his “Fourteen Points” for the aftermath of World War I.
  • 1940 – World War II: Britain introduces food rationing.
  • 1945 – World War II: Philippine Commonwealth troops under the Philippine Commonwealth Army units enter the province of Ilocos Sur in Northern Luzon and attack invading Japanese Imperial forces.
  • 1946 – Andrei Zhdanov, Chairman of the Finnish Allied Commission, submitted to the Finnish War Criminal Court an interrogation report by General Erich Buschenhagen, a German prisoner of war, on the contacts between Finnish and German military personnel before the Continuation War and a copy of Hitler’s Barbarossa plan.
  • 1959 – Charles de Gaulle is proclaimed as the first President of the French Fifth Republic.
  • 1972 – Bowing to international pressure, President of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto releases Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from prison, who had been arrested after declaring the independence of Bangladesh.
  • 1981 – A local farmer reports a UFO sighting in Trans-en-Provence, France, claimed to be “perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time”.
  • 2005 – The nuclear sub USS San Francisco collides at full speed with an undersea mountain south of Guam. One man is killed, but the sub surfaces and is repaired.
  • 2010 – Gunmen from an offshoot of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda attack a bus carrying the Togo national football team on its way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, killing three people and injuring another nine.

People (Births)

  • 1628 – François-Henri de Montmorency, duc de Luxembourg, French general (d. 1695).
  • 1821 – James Longstreet, American general and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Turkey (d. 1904).
  • 1870 – Miguel Primo de Rivera, Spanish general and politician, Prime Minister of Spain (d. 1930).
  • 1883 – Patrick J. Hurley, American general, politician, and diplomat, 51st United States Secretary of War (d. 1963).
  • 1897 – Dennis Wheatley, English soldier and author (d. 1977).
  • 1904 – Karl Brandt, German physician and SS officer (d. 1948).
  • 1924 – Benjamin Lees, Chinese-American soldier and composer (d. 2010).
  • 1928 – Slade Gorton, American colonel, lawyer, and politician, 14th Attorney General of Washington (d. 2020).
  • 1933 – Charles Osgood, American soldier and journalist.
  • 1934 – Jacques Anquetil, French cyclist (d. 1987).
  • 1961 – Calvin Smith, American sprinter.
  • 1982 – Kim Jong-un, North Korean soldier and politician, 3rd Supreme Leader of North Korea (probable).
  • 1993 – Sophie Pascoe, New Zealand swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 871 – Bagsecg, Viking warrior and leader.
  • 1707 – John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of Stair, Scottish soldier and politician, Scottish Secretary of State (b. 1648).
  • 1815 – Edward Pakenham, Anglo-Irish general and politician (b. 1778).
  • 1825 – Eli Whitney, American engineer and theorist, invented the cotton gin (b. 1765).
  • 1854 – William Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, English field marshal and politician, Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance (b. 1768).
  • 1865 – Aimé, duc de Clermont-Tonnerre, French general and politician, French Minister of Defence (b. 1779).
  • 1914 – Simon Bolivar Buckner, American general and 30th Governor of Kentucky (b. 1823).
  • 1941 – Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, English general and founder of the Scout movement (b. 1857).
  • 1943 – Andres Larka, Estonian general and politician, 1st Estonian Minister of War (b. 1879).
  • 1953 – Hugh Binney, English admiral and politician, 16th Governor of Tasmania (b. 1883).
  • 1976 – Zhou Enlai, Chinese soldier and politician, 1st Premier of the People’s Republic of China (b. 1898).
  • 1983 – Gerhard Barkhorn, German general and pilot (b. 1919).
  • 1996 – François Mitterrand, French sergeant and politician, 21st President of France (b. 1916).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.