It happened today – this day in history – February 8

1587: Mary, Queen of Scots is beheaded and Fotheringhay Castle.

1622: James I disbands Parliament.

1725: Death of Peter The Great, Tsar of Russia, aged 52.

1809: Franz I of Austria declares war on France.

1828: Birth of writer Jules Verne in Nantes, France.

1906: Japanese torpedo boats make a night attack on Russian ships near naval base at Port Arthur, Manchuria, without any declaration of war.

1936: Pandit Jawaharlal suceeds Mahatma Gandhi as chairman of the India Congress Party.

1942: Congress advises President Franklin D Roosevelt that Americans of Japanese descent should be locked up en masse so they won’t oppose the US war effort.

1943: The Red Army recaptures Kursk.

1955: Georgy Malenkov resigns as USSR premier.

1962: In Paris, 8 people killed at a protest against independence for Algeria.

1965: President Lyndon B Johnson deploys the first US combat troops to South Vietnam.

1969: A meteorite weighing over 1 ton falls in Chihuahua, Mexico.

1974: Three astronauts return to Earth after 85 days in the US space station, Skylab.

1976: Release of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’ starring Robert DeNiro.

1983: Ariel Sharon resigns from Israeli government after an inquiry shows he was indirectly responsible for the killings of hundreds of people in 1982.

1984: The 14th Winter Olympic Games open in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

1990: Singer Del Shannon (Charles Westover) commits suicide aged 55.

1994: Kapil Dev sets world record for Test Cricket wickets with 432. On the same day, Oasis were forced to cancel their first foreign tour after they were deported from Holland. The band were involved in a drunken brawl on a cross-channel ferry resulting in members of the band being arrested and locked in the brig.

1998: Death of politician Enoch Powell aged 85.

2002: The 19th Winter Olympic Games open in Salt Lake City, Utah, US.

2005: Israel and Palestinians agree to a ceasefire.

2007: Death of model Anna Nicole Smith aged 39.

2009: Rihanna cancels an appearance at the Grammys after being assaulted by boyfriend Chris Brown.

2013: 16 people are killed and 27 are wounded by a market bombing in Kalaya, Pakistan.

2015: The Ivory Coast wins the Africa Cup of Nations football championship.

2017: Socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson dies aged 45.

2019: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accuses The National Enquirer and its owner, American Media Inc, of blackmail over private messages detailing an extramarital affair. On the same day, Thai King Vajiralongkorn issues royal decree calling Princess Ubolratana ‘s candidacy for Prime Minister for Thai Raksa Chart political party “improper and highly inappropriate”

BIRTHDAYS: John Williams, film score composer, 88; Nick Nolte, actor, 79; Mary Steenbergen, actress, 67; John Grisham, author, 65; Vince Neil, singer (Motley Crue) 59; Trinny Woodall, fashion guru, 56; Tjinder Singh, musician (Cornershop), 52; Seth Green, actor/voiceover artist, 46; Guy Man (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) musician (Daft Punk) 46; Ralf Little, actor, 40; Jeremy Davis, bassist (Paramore), 35; Dani Harmer, actress, 31.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]