It happened today – this day in history – October 8

1075: Dmitar Zvonimir is crowned king of Croatia.

1690: Ottoman troops capture Belgrade.

1769: Captain James Cook lands in Poverty Bay, New Zealand.

1806: British forces lay siege to the French port of Boulogne using Congreve rockets, invented by Sir William Congreve.

1856: Beginning of the Second Opium War.

1871: The deadliest wildfire in recorded history destroys Peshtigo, Wisconsin, killing between 1,200 and 2,500 people. On the same day, the Great Fire of Chicago, thought to have been caused by a cow kicking over a lamp, kills 200 people and destroys over 4 square miles of buildings.

1879: The Chilean Navy defeats the Peruvian Navy in the Battle of Angamos.

1892: Sergei Rachmaninoff first performs his “Prelude in C-sharp-Minor” in Moscow.

1897: Gustav Mahler is named director of the Vienna Court Opera by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I.

1912: Montenegro declares war on Turkey, beginning the First Balkan War.

1917: Leon Trotsky is named chairman of the Petrograd Soviet as Bolsheviks gain control.

1918: American soldier Alvin York single-handedly attacks a German gun nest, killing at least 25 and capturing 132 Germans.

1924: The Labour government of Ramsay MacDonald falls to the Conservatives.

1927: The first official Laurel and hardy film, the silent short “The Second Hundred Years” is released.

1934: Bruno Hauptmann is indicted for the murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby son.

1940: German troops occupy Romania.

1945: The microwave oven is patented.

1952: Three trains crash at Harrow and Wealdstone, killing 112 people.

1954: Singles chart:

  1. Hold My Hand – Don Cornell
  2. Little Things Mean A Lot – Kitty Kallen
  3. Smile – Nat King Cole
  4. Three Coins In The Fountain – Frank Sinatra
  5. My Friend – Frankie Laine
  6. Cara Mia – David Whitfield with Mantovani and his Orchestra
  7. Sway – Dean Martin
  8. If I Give My Heart To You – Doris Day with the Mellomen
  9. The Black Hills Of Dakota – Doris Day
  10. The Story Of Tina – Al Martino

1955: The world’s most powerful aircraft carrier, USS Saratoga, is launched.

1957: Turkish & Syrian border guards exchange fire.

1960: Great Britain beats Australia 10-3 to win the Rugby League World Cup.

1961: The Shadows

1961: Album chart:

  1. The Shadows – The Shadows
  2. The Button Down Mind Of Bob Newhart – Bob Newhart
  3. The Black And White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Singers
  4. Sound Of Music – Original London Cast
  5. Oliver – Original London Cast
  6. Best Of Barber And Bilk Volume 1 – Chris Barber/Acker Bilk
  7. G I Blues – Elvis Presley
  8. Sinatra’s Swinging Session – Frank Sinatra
  9. When Your Lover Has Gone – Frank Sinatra
  10. Halfway To Paradise – Billy Fury

1962: Algeria is admitted as the 109th member of the United Nations.

1964: The Beatles record She’s A Woman in seven takes plus one overdub in just five hours with producer George Martin playing piano.


1965: The Post Office Tower, the tallest building in England at the time, opens in London.

1966: Cream drummer Ginger Baker collapses during a gig at Sussex University after playing a 20 minute drum solo.

1967: Guerilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara is shot and killed in a battle with troops in the Bolivian jungle. On the same day, former prime minister Clement Attlee dies aged 84.

1970: Soviet dissident author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1972: Despite retiring with suspension trouble at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Emerson Fittipaldi becomes first Brazilian to win the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

1973: Britain’s first independent commercial radio station LBC begins broadcasting.

1976: The Sex Pistols sign with EMI.

1978: Australian Ken Warby sets the world water speed record at 319.627mph at Blowering Dam, New South Wales. On the same day, Lotus driver Mario Andretti comes 10th in the season ending Canadian Grand Prix at Île Notre-Dame Circuit, but still secures his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

1980: Bob Marley collapses in Central Park, New York, while jogging and is taken to Sloan-Kettering Hospital. On the same day, British Leyland starts selling the Mini Metro.

1982: Poland bans Solidarity and all workforce unions.

1985: Little Richard is seriously injured in a car accident.

1987: An inquest jury into the Zeebruge ferry disaster in March returns verdicts of unlawful killing.

1990: Hectic trading in the City marks Britain’s first day as a full member of the Exchange Rate Mechanism. On the same day, Israeli police kill 17 Palestinian rioters.

1991: The Croatian Parliament cuts all remaining ties with Yugoslavia.

1992: West Indies poet Derek Walcott wins the Nobel prize for Literature. On the same day, the Pioneer Venus Orbiter crashes onto the planet’s surface.

1993: The UN lifts all remaining economic sanctions against South Africa.

1998: The US House of Representatives votes to begin impeachment hearings against President Bill Clinton on charges that he lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

2001: US President George W Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security. On the same day, a twin engine Cessna and Scandinavian Airlines System jetliner collide in heavy fog during take-off from Milan, killing 118.

2005: A powerful earthquake across Pakistan, northern India and Afghanistan kills 73,000 people and leaves a million homeless.

2012: Record label bosses at EMI re-call a vinyl, anniversary edition of The Beatles single Love Me Do after discovering they had accidentally pressed a version that included session musician Andy White playing drums instead of Ringo Starr.

2013: Philip Chevron, guitarist with The Pogues, dies of cancer aged 56.

2015: The FIFA Ethics Committee bans Sepp Blatter, UEFA president Michel Platini and FIFA’s secretary general Jérôme Valcke from all football activity for 90 days. On the same day, Singer Jim Diamond dies aged 64, and TV presenter Hugh Scully dies aged 72.

2016: 140 people are killed in an air strike during a wake in Sanaa, Yemen.

2019: Death of Malcolm “Molly” Duncan, sax player with the Average White Band aged 74. On the same day, the FBI confirms Samuel Little as America’s most prolific serial killer, after verifying more than half of his 93 confessed murders.

BIRTHDAYS: Ray Reardon, snooker legend, 89; Paul Hogan, comedian/actor/writer, 82; Rev Jesse Jackson, civil rights activist, 80; Chevy (Cornelius) Chase, comedian/writer, 78; Bel (Beryl) Mooney, journalist, 75; Sheila Ferguson, singer (The Three Degrees) 74; Sigourney (Susan) Weaver, actress, 72; Jay Graydon, guitarist, 72; Hamish Stewart, guitarist/bassist/singer (Average White Band) 72; Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EC, 63; Gary Crowley, broadcaster, 60; Ardal O’Hanlon, comedian/actor, 56; Teddy Riley, songwriter/producer, 54; Matt Damon, actor/writer 51; Anne-Marie Duff, actress, 51; Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, 51; Bruno Mars, (Peter Gene Hernandez), singer, 36; Ksenia Solo, actress, 34; Bella Thorne, actress, 24; Steven Bergwijn, footballer, 24.