It happened today – this day in history – May 8

1348: A ship from Bordeaux carrying the plague, lands in Melcombe Regis (now Weymouth), Dorset.

1360: The Treaty of Brétigny signed by England and France ends the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

1450: The Kentishmen revolt begins against King Henry VI

1521: Parliament of Worms installs an edict against Martin Luther.

1541: Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his expedition discover the Mississippi River.

1660: Parliament declares Charles Stuart to be King Charles II.

1792: The US establishes the military draft.

1835: The first installment of Hans Christian Andersen’s “Fairy Tales” is published in Denmark.

1840: Alexander Wolcott patents the photographic process.

1861: Richmond, Virginia, is named capital of the Confederacy.

1899: Ernest Rutherford publishes his discovery of two different kinds of radiation (Alpha and Beta Particles).

1902: Mount Pelée on the island of Martinique erupts, wiping out the city of Saint-Pierre, killing 30,000 and leaving only two survivors.

1903: Death of painter Paul Gaughin aged 54.

1907: Tommy Burns retains his world heavyweight boxing title after beating “Philadelphia” Jack O’Brien on points in 20 rounds.

1916: Irishmen Eamon Kent, Michael Mallin, Con Colbert and Sean Houston are executed by British authorities following the Easter Rising at Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin.

1919: Edward George Honey first proposes the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate The Armistice of World War I, which leads to the creation of Remembrance Day.

1921: Sweden abolishes capital punishment.

1933: Mahatma Gandhi begins a 21-day fast in protest against British oppression in India.

1945: Britain rejoices as Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, officially announces the end of the war with Germany.

1954: BBC Radio bans the Johnny Ray song Such a Night after listeners complain about its suggestiveness.

1956: John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” premieres in London.

1962: Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie are honoured for saving 1200 Jews during WWII in a ceremony on the Avenue of the Righteous in Jerusalem.

1965: The filming of the promotional film for Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues takes place outside the Savoy Hotel in London.

1967: Muhammad Ali is indicted for refusing induction into the US Army.

1968: The Kray twins, Reggie and Ronnie and older brother Charlie are arrested on suspicion of offences including conspiracy to murder, fraud, demanding money with menaces and assault, after dawn raids by police in London.


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Singles chart:

  1. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  2. Lazy Sunday – The Small Faces
  3. Simon Says – The 1910 Fruitgum Company
  4. A Man Without Love – Engelbert Humperdinck
  5. I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die – The Herd
  6. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Andy Williams
  7. Young Girl – Gary Puckett and The Union Gap
  8. If I Only Had Time – John Rowles
  9. Honey – Bobby Goldsbro
  10. Jennifer Eccles – The Hollies

1969: John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr sign a business management contract with Allen Klein and his company ABKCO. Paul refuses.

1974: Organist Graham Bond commits suicide aged 36 by throwing himself under a London tube train at Finsbury Park station.

1976: Radio 1 DJ Johnny Walker announces he is quitting the station after being told he must pretend to like The Bay City Rollers.

1978: David Berkowitz, known as the serial killer “Son of Sam”, pleads guilty to six murders.

1980: The World Health Organization announces smallpox has been eradicated.

1982: Formula 1 driver Gilles Villeneuve dies in a crash during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.

1984: The USSR announces it is boycotting the Olympic games in LA. On the same day, the Thames Barrier is completed.

1987: Gary Hart quits the US democratic presidential race due to his affair with Donna Rice.

1988: Francois Mitterrand is elected President of France.

1993: Brian Clough takes charge of Nottingham Forest for the last time in a Premier League match at Ipswich Town. On the same day, Lennox Lewis beats Tony Tucker in 12 rounds for heavyweight boxing title.

1994: Death of actor George Peppard aged 65.

1996: A judge in LA rules against Pamela Anderson and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee in their bid to keep Penthouse magazine from publishing still photos from an X-rated home movie that was stolen from their home.

1999: Death of actor Dirk Bogarde aged 78.

2007: A new Northern Ireland Executive is formed with Ian Paisley (Democratic Unionist Party) as First Minister and Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin) as Deputy First Minister.

2008: Country artist Eddy Arnold dies of natural causes, one week before his 90th birthday. On the same day, Dmitry Medvedev appoints Vladimir Putin as Russian Prime Minister.

2012: Dmitry Medvedev is confirmed as Russian Prime Minister by the State Duma, after being nominated by Vladimir Putin.

2013: Rapper Ja Rule is released from prison after serving nearly two years on gun and tax evasion charges. On the same day, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi receives a four year prison sentence for fraud. Also, Sir Alex Ferguson announces his intention to retire as manager of Manchester United at the end of the season.

2016: Sadiq Khan is elected Mayor of London.

2018: President Donald Trump pulls the US out of the multilateral Iran nuclear deal.

2019: Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp signs new abortion law, the so-called “heartbeat bill”. On the same day, Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, who spent eight years in prison on death row for blasphemy, arrives in Canada after threats to her life in her home country.

2020: Harry Styles – Fine Line

2020: Album chart:

  1. Dark Lane Demo Tapes – Drake
  2. Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
  3. Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent – Lewis Capaldi
  4. The New Abnormal – The Strokes
  5. When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go – Billie Eilish
  6. Fine Line – Harry Styles
  7. The Bonny – Gerry Cinnamon
  8. Diamonds – Elton John
  9. No6 Collaboration Project – Ed Sheeran
  10. After Hours – The Weeknd

2021: Bombings outside a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, kill at least 50 people, mostly teenage girls, amid growing fears about US military withdrawal.

BIRTHDAYS: Sir David Attenborough, broadcaster, 96; Phyllida Law (Thompson), actress, 90; Paul Samwell-Smith, musician (The Yardbirds)/record producer, 79; Bill Legend (Fifield), drummer (T. Rex) 78; Keith Jarrett, jazz pianist, 77; Chris Frantz, drummer (Talking Heads) 71; Philip Bailey, singer (Earth Wind and Fire) 71; Alex Van Halen, drummer (Van Halen) 69; Terry Chriatian, broadcaster, 59; Dave Rowntree, drummer (Blur) 58; Candice Night (Blackmore) singer, 51; Enrique Iglesias, singer, 47; H, (Ian Watkins), singer (Steps) 46; Martha Wainwright, singer-songwriter, 46; Joe Bonamassa, guitarist, 45; Michelle McManus, singer/broadcaster, 42; Stephen Amell, actor, 41; Vicky McClure, actress, 39; Matt Willis, bassist (Busted), 37; Mark Noble, footballer, 35.