It happened today – this day in history – April 8

217AD: Roman Emperor Caracalla is assassinated.

1455: Alfonso de Borgia is elected Pope Callistus III.

1759: British troops chase the French out of Masulipatam, India.

1781: Premiere of Mozart’s violin sonata

1783: Catherine II of Russia annexes the Crimea.

1820: The Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos.

1838: The steamship “Great Western” makes her maiden voyage from Bristol to New York.

1866: Italy and Prussia become allies against Austria-Hungary.

1879: Milk is sold in glass bottles for the first time.

1886: Gladstone introduces the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the House of Commons.

1898: Anglo-Egyptian forces crush 6,000 Sudanese at the Battle of Atbara River.

1904: Britain and France establish their Entente Cordiale, a technical treaty settling long-standing disagreements over Morocco, Egypt, Africa, and the Pacific.

1908: Herbert Asquith succeeds Henry Campbell-Bannerman as Prime Minister.

1935: Bartok’s 5th String quartet premieres in Washington D.C.

1940: German battle cruisers sink British aircraft carrier Glorious.

1941: Joe Louis TKOs Tony Musto in Round 9 for the heavyweight boxing title

1946: The League of Nations assembles for the last time.

1953: Jomo Kenyatta, chairman of the Kenya African Union, is sentenced to seven years hard labour accused of playing a leading role in the Mau Mau movement.

1964: The Supremes record Where Did Our Love Go at Motown studios in Detroit.

1967: Sandie Shaw becomes the first British woman to win the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Puppet On A String in Vienna. On the same day, John Buckingham aboard rank 100/1 outsider Foinavon avoids a famous pile up at Beachers Brook to win the Grand National.

1973: Artist Pablo Picasso dies from a heart attack.

1977: Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin resigns.

1979: Singles chart:


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  1. Bright Eyes – Art Garfunkel
  2. Cool For Cats – Squeeze
  3. Some Girls – Racey
  4. In The Navy – The Village People
  5. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  6. He’s The Greatest Dancer – Sister Sledge
  7. Who Killed Bambi – The Sex Pistols
  8. Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits
  9. Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) – The Jacksons
  10. The Runner – The Three Degrees
1979: Blondie – Parallel Lines

Album chart:

  1. Greatest Hits Volume 2 – Barbra Streisand
  2. The Very Best Of – Leo Sayer
  3. C’est Chic – Chic
  4. Spirits Having Flown – The Bee Gees
  5. Manilow Magic – Barry Manilow
  6. Breakfast In America – Superrtramp
  7. Dire Straits – Dire Straits
  8. Parallel Lines – Blondie
  9. Armed Forces – Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  10. A Collection Of Their 20 Greatest Hits – The Three Degrees

1983: Illusionist David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty “disappear”.

1985: India files suit against Union Carbide over the Bhopal disaster.

1986: Residents of the Californian town of Carmel overwhelmingly vote for actor Clint Eastwood as their mayor.

1988: Alan Shearer makes his starting debut for Southampton against Arsenal and at 17 years 240 days becomes the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the top flight.

1994: The body of Kurt Cobain is found at his home in Seattle by an electrician.

1995: British-born Nicholas Ingram is executed in the electric chair at Jackson State Prison, Atlanta, Georgia, for the 1983 murder of a man during a robbery. On the same day, Oliver McCall defeats Larry Holmes for the heavyweight boxing title.

1997: Veteran war reporter Martin Bell vows to defeat disgraced Conservative MP Neil Hamilton standing as an independent in the battle for the Tatton constituency. On the same day, singer-songwriter Laura Nyro dies from ovarian cancer.

1998: Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood is rescued, along with 11 other passengers from a boat which caught fire while exploring islands south of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

2000: Papillon, ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh and trained by his father Ted Walsh wins the Grand National.

2001: Tiger Woods wins his second US Masters title.

2006: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, are found in a field in Ontario, Canada. The murders are soon linked to the Bandidos motorcycle gang.

2008: Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty is jailed for 14 weeks for violating his probation.

2010: Malcolm McLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols, dies from cancer aged 64.

2013: Death of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher aged 87.

2017: Death of disc jockey Brian Matthew aged 88.

2019: Actress Allison Mack pleads guilty to sex-trafficking charges for her involvement in suspected sex cult Nxivm.

2020: Bernie Sanders drops out of the Democratic race for US president.

2021: Egyptian archaeologists announce their most important find since Tutankhamun’s tomb – the discovery of a lost ‘golden city’ the 3,000-years-old ancient city of Aten near Luxor.

2022: The US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bans Will Smith from attending the Oscars ceremony for 10 years after he slapped presenter Chris Rock.

2023: Veteran film actor Michael Lerner dies aged 81.

Julian Lennon

BIRTHDAYS: Roger Chapman, singer (Family) 82; Steve Howe, guitarist (Yes) 77; Joe Royle, footballer/manager, 75; Izzy Stradlin, guitarist/songwriter (Guns n Roses) 62; Donita Sparks, singer/guitarist (L7) 61; Julian Lennon, singer-songwriter, 61; Robin Wright, actress, 58; Patricia Arquette, actress, 56; Katee Sackhoff, actress, 44; Taylor Kitsch, actor, 43; Ezra Koenig, singer/guitarist (Vampire Weekend), 40; Matthew Healy, vocalist (The 1975) 35; Keira Walsh, footballer, 27; Isaac Hempstead-Wright, actor, 25.