It happened today – this day in history – August 8

1549: Henry II of France declares war on England and orders the siege of Boulogne.

1609: The Venetian senate examines Galileo’s telescope (NOT a euphemism).

1647: English Parliamentary forces defeat Irish forces at the Battle of Dungan’s Hill.

1758: British troops occupy and plunder Cherbourg.

1786: US Congress unanimously chooses the dollar as the monetary unit for the United States of America. On the same day, Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard are the first to reach the top of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe.

1793: The insurrection of Lyon occurs during the French Revolution.

1794: Joseph Whidbey and George Vancouver lead an expedition to search for the Northwest Passage near Juneau, Alaska.

1827: Prime Minister George Canning dies in office aged 57.

1843: Natal is made a British colony.

1844: Brigham Young is chosen as head of the Mormon Church following the death of Joseph Smith.

1853: The Russian fleet appears at Nagasaki, Japan.

1868: An earthquake destroys Arica, Chile.

1898: Will Kellogg invents Corn Flakes.

1914: Montenegro declares war on Germany.

1918: The Allies launch the Hundred Days Offensive, beginning with the Battle of Amiens where 500 tanks and 10 Allied divisions attacked German lines.

1925: The first national march of the Ku Klux Klan (between 25,000 and 40,000 marchers) in Washington, D.C.

1945: The USSR declares war against Japan.

1949: Bhutan becomes an independent monarchy.

1950: Florence Chadwick swims the English Channel (13:23).

1953: Russia admits is has a hydrogen bomb.

1955: Fidel Castro forms the “26th of July Movement”, a Cuban vanguard revolutionary organization.

1960: Decca Records scrapped 25,000 copies of Ray Peterson’s ‘Tell Laura I Lover Her’ because they felt the song, which recounts the last thoughts of a teenager dying in a car accident, was “too tasteless and vulgar”. A cover version by Ricky Valance, went to No.1 on the UK chart a month later.

1963: The Great Train Robbery: Thieves ambush the Glasgow to Euston mail train and steal up to £2million in the biggest raid ever on a British train.

1966: The South African Broadcasting Corporation banned all Beatles records following the reaction in the US to a comment taken out of context in an old John Lennon interview where he had told reporter Maureen Cleeve that the band were bigger than Jesus.

1968: Race riot in Miami, Florida.

1969: The photo session for the cover of The Beatles album Abbey Road took place on the zebra crossing outside the studio. Photographer Iain McMillan took just six shots of the band while a policeman stopped traffic, then they went back inside to record overdubs on ‘The End’, ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ and ‘Oh! Darling’.

1970: Janis Joplin bought a headstone for the grave of her greatest influence Bessie Smith at the Mont Lawn Cemetery in Philadelphia.

1971: A British soldier is shot dead by the IRA in Belfast.

Album chart:

  1. Every Good Boy Deserves Favour – The Moody Blues
  2. Hot Hits 6 – Various Artists
  3. Top Of The Pops Volume 18 – Various Artists
  4. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  5. Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones
  6. C’mon Everybody – Elvis Presley
  7. Ram – Paul McCartney
  8. Mud Slide Slim and The Blue Horizon – James Taylor
  9. Tarkus – Emerson Lake & Palmer
  10. Split – The Groundhogs

1973: US Vice President Spiro Agnew says reports he took kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland are “damned lies” and vows not to resign.

1974: In the wake of the Watergate scandal and facing impeachment, Richard Nixon announces he is to step down as president of the United States – the first ever to do so.

1975: Jazz alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley dies from a stroke aged 46.

1979: Iraqi president Saddam Hussein executes 22 political opponents.

1981: South African Trade Unions resolve to defy apartheid and labour laws.

TV on this day –

LONDON WEEKEND
08.45Sesame Street
09.45Joe 90
10.10The Beachcombers
10.35Thunderbirds
12.00Lost Islands
12.30World of Sport
17.05Worzel Gummidge Jon Pertwee as the comical scarecrow
17.40Chips Cop series starring Erik Estrada
18.35Mind Your Language Un-pc sit com which could never be shown today
19.05Happy Days
19.35Cry of the Innocent TV movie starring Rod Taylor
21.20Seagull Island
22.20ITN News and Sport
22.35House on the Hill
23.35Let’s Rock
BBC ONE
07.15Open University
09.05Play Golf
09.30Get Set for Summer
11.00Tender Warrior
11.55Tom and Jerry
12.10Film: Treasure Hunt (1952) Comedy film starring Jimmy Edwards
13.27Weather
13.30Grandstand
17.10Alias Smith and Jones Western adventure
18.00News
18.10Sport/Regional News
18.15Pop Quiz Mike Read hosts as Phil Lynott, Paul Nicholas and Gary Tibbs take on Chas Chandler, Hazel O’Connor and Nicky Tesco
18.45The Saturday Film: Gambit (1966) Comedy heist starring Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine
20.30Summertime Special Holiday entertainment from Brighton. Starring The Bachelors, Rod Hull and Emu and Shakin’ Stevens
21.15News and Sport
21.30Roots Dramatisation of Alex Haley’s award winning book
23.00My Kind of Music starring Moira Anderson with special guest Tony Hatch
23.35House Calls
BBC TWO
07.40Open University
15.15Saturday Cinema Alastair Sim Double Bill: Innocents in Paris (1953) Laughter In Paradise (1951)
18.15Colonel Culpeper’s Flying Circus Reporter: Ian Wooldridge
19.05European Community Youth Orchestra Concert
19.50News and Sport
20.10European Community Youth Orchestra Concert from the ancient open-air theatre of Herodes Atticus near the Acropolis in Athens
21.00Spirit of Asia Narrated by David Attenborough
22.00Yours Sincerely
22.40News on 2
22.50Horror Double Bill: The Leopard Man (1943) The Shuttered Room (1967)

1985: Death of dancer and silent film star Louise Brooks at 78.

1986: David Crosby of Crosby, Stills and Nash was released from prison after serving three years for drug and weapons possession. His conviction would be overturned by a Texas appeals court in November 1987.

1988: The Duke and Duchess of York announce the birth of their first child, Princess Beatrice. On the same day, Russian troops begin to pull out of Afghanistan after nine years.

1991: The Warsaw radio mast, at one time the tallest construction ever built, collapses.

1992: Metallica’s James Hetfield suffers second and third-degree burns during a pyrotechnics explosion on stage at the Olympic Stadium, Montreal. On the same day, the original US ‘Dream Team’, including Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, wins the basketball gold at the Barcelona Olympics 117-85 over Croatia.

1993: Singles chart:

  1. Living On My Own – Freddie Mercury
  2. The Key The Secret – Urban Cookie Colective
  3. Pray – Take That
  4. What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes
  5. It Keeps Rainin’ (Tears From My Eyes) – Betty McLean
  6. The River Of Dreams – Billy Joel
  7. Tease Me – Chaka Demus and Pliers
  8. Nuff Vibes EP – Apache Indian
  9. Dreams – Gabrielle
  10. Rain – Madonna

2001: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman divorce after 10 years.

2004: Actress Fay Wray dies aged 96.

2007: The US National Musical Publishers’ Association joined other businesses in seeking to sue YouTube claiming songwriters were not being properly compensated when their music appeared on the site.

2008: The Olympic Games open in Beijing.

2014: The West African Ebola outbreak is categorized as an international concern by the World Health Organisation.

2017: Singer/guitarist Glen Campbell died in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 81. He became a patient at an Alzheimer’s long-term care and treatment facility in 2014.

2018: Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, is declared 100% in drought. On the same day, Chelsea sign Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletico Bilbao for £72 million, a world-record fee for a goalkeeper.

2019: An accident at a Russian nuclear-weapon testing site at the closed city of Sarov kills five scientists in mysterious circumstances.

BIRTHDAYS: Dustin Hoffman, actor, 83; Keith Carradine, actor, 71; Liberty DeVitto, drummer, 70; Nigel Mansell, racing driver, 66; Ali Score, drummer, (A Flock Of Seagulls) 64; David Grant, vocal coach, 64; Chris Foreman, guitarist (Madness) 62; Rikki Rockett, drummer, (Poison) 61; Paul Jackson, bass, (T’Pau) 59; The Edge (Dave Evans), guitarist/songwriter (U2) 59; Chris Eubank, boxer, 54; Scott Stapp, singer-songwriter (Creed) 47; Brian Harvey, singer (East 17) 46; Joshua Chasez, singer, (NSYNC) 44; Bradley McIntosh, singer (S Club 7) 39; Roger Federer, tennis champion, 39; Shawn Mendes, singer-songwriter, 22.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]