It happened today – this day in history – December 8

1542: Mary, Queen of Scots is born in Linlithgow Palace, Scotland.

1710: General James Stanhope is captured by French and Spanish forces at the Battle of Brihuega in the War of Spanish Succession.

1813: Ludwig van Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in A, premieres in Vienna with the composer conducting.

1846: Premiere of Hector Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust”.

1849: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Luisa Miller” premieres in Naples.

1854: Pope Pius IX proclaims Immaculate Conception and makes the Virgin Mary free of Original Sin.

1863: US President Abraham Lincoln issues his Amnesty Proclamation and plan for reconstruction of the South.

1864: The Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdon Brunel, is finally opened in Bristol, five years after his death.

1865: Composer Jean Sibelius is born in Tavastehus, Finland.

1907: King Gustaf V accedes to the Swedish throne.

1914: The Royal Navy destroys a German battle squadron in the Battle of the Falkland Islands. On the same day, Boers rebelling against the British in South Africa suffer several defeats, with one of their leaders, General Beyers, accidentally drowning.

1915: Premiere of Jean Sibelius’ 5th Symphony in E. On the same day, John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” appears anonymously in “Punch” magazine.

1935: The Japanese military police launches a violent suppression of the religious sect Oomoto, beginning with a crackdown on the sect’s operational bases of Ayabe and Kameoka in Kyoto Prefecture and the arrest of its leader Onisaburo Deguchi.

1941: The US, Britain and the Dutch government-in-exile declare war on Japan following the attack on the US base at Pearl Harbour. The US enters the Second World War.

1948: Jordan annexes Arabic Palestine.

1949: The Chinese Nationalist government moves from the mainland to Formosa.

1952: French troops shoot on demonstrators in Casablanca, killing 50. On the same day, Isaak Ben-Zwi is elected president of Israel.

1960: Singles chart:

  1. It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley
  2. Save The Last Dance For Me – The Drifters
  3. Little Donkey – Nina and Frederick
  4. I Love You – Cliff Richard
  5. Man Of Mystery – The Shadows
  6. Rocking Goose – Johnny and the Hurricanes
  7. Goodness Gracious Me – Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren
  8. Strawberry Fair – Anthony Newley
  9. As Long As He Needs Me – Shirley Bassey
  10. My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own – Connie Francis

1962: An attempted coup in British-controlled Brunei.

1963: Frank Sinatra’s son, Frank Jr, is kidnapped at gunpoint from a hotel in Lake Tahoe. He was released two days later after his father paid the $240,000 ransom.

1963: The Beatles – With The Beatles

Album chart:


  1. With The Beatles – The Beatles
  2. Please Please Me – The Beatles
  3. How Do You Like It – Gerry and the Pacemakers
  4. Meet The Searchers – The Searchers
  5. Born Free – Frank Ifield
  6. Sugar And Spice – The Searchers
  7. West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
  8. Freddie And The Dreamers – Freddie and the Dreamers
  9. In Dreams – Roy Orbison
  10. Trini Lopez At RJ’s – Trini Lopez

1965: The Race Relations Act comes into force, making racial discrimination unlawful in public places.

1966: The US and USSR sign a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space. On the same day, working at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, Paul McCartney overdubs the vocal to a song he had written years earlier, When I’m Sixty Four, before The Beatles continue work on Strawberry Fields Forever.

1968: Singer and guitarist Graham Nash leaves The Hollies to work with David Crosby and Stephen Stills in the US.

1975: Uriah Heep bassist Gary Thain dies of a drugs overdose.

1978: The Deer Hunter, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep premieres in Los Angeles. On the same day, former prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir, dies in of lymphatic cancer aged 80.

1980: John Lennon is shot dead outside his New York apartment building by crazed fan Mark Chapman.

1982: Country singer-songwriter Marty Robbins died aged 57 of complications following cardiac surgery. On the same day, Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1983: The House of Lords votes in favour of allowing cameras to broadcast live discussions from the chamber.

1984: Singer Vince Neil from Motley Crue is involved in a car accident in Redondo Beach, California, which kills Nick Dingley from Hanoi Rocks and injures two other passengers.

1985: Stefan Edberg wins the Australian Open Men’s Singles Tennis title, beating Mats Wilander 6-3 6-3 6-3.

1987: US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign an historic agreement to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals. On the same day, Palestinians begin the “intifada” (uprising) against Israel.

1993: Eleven people in England are killed in a storm.

1995: Headteacher Philip Lawrence is fatally stabbed while protecting a pupil who was being attacked by a gang of youths outside his west London school.

2004: Former Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott is one of five people killed when a gunman stormed the stage during a Damageplan show at the Alrosa Villa Club in Columbus, Ohio.

2008: Animator Oliver Postgate dies aged 83.

2010: SpaceX becomes the first privately held company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.

2016: Sir Mick Jagger becomes a father for the eighth time at the age of 73, after his 29-year-old girlfriend, American ballerina Melanie Hamrick, gives birth to a boy. On the same day, astronaut and US senator John Glenn dies aged 95.

2019: Rapper, singer, and songwriter Juice Wrld dies age 21 after suffering a seizure at Midway International Airport in Chicago. On the same day, Sanna Marin becomes Finland’s youngest-ever Prime Minister at the age of 34. Also, actor Rene Auberjonois dies from lung cancer aged 79.

2020: The UK begins vaccinating for COVID-19 using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. On the same day, former Israeli space security chief Haim Eshed says aliens and a Galactic Federation exist and Donald Trump knows about it.

2021: Olaf Scholz is sworn as the new Chancellor of Germany.

BIRTHDAYS: Sir James Galway, flautist, 83; Jenny Linden, actress, 82; Sir Geoff Hurst, footballer, 81; Bobby Elliott, drummer (The Hollies) 80; Ray Shulman, bassist/violinist/guitarist (Gentle Giant) 73; Bill Bryson, author, 71; Kim Basinger, actress, 69; Nathan East, bassist, 67; Warren Cuccurullo, guitarist, 66; Phil Collen, guitarist (Def Leppard) 65; Paul Rutherford, dancer/backing singer (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) 63; Teri Hatcher, actress, 58; Les Ferdinand, footballer, 56; Sinead O’Connor, singer-songwriter, 56; Corey Taylor, singer, (Slipknot) 49; Dominic Monaghan, actor, 46; Ian Somerhalder, actor, 44; Nicki Minaj (Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty) rapper/actress, 40; Amir Khan, boxer, 36; AnnaSophia Robb, actress, 29; Raheem Sterling, footballer, 28.