Today in History

March 8th

1010 – Ferdowsi completes his epic poem Shahnameh.

1126 – Following the death of his mother Urraca, Alfonso VII is proclaimed king of Castile and León.

1576 – Spanish explorer Diego García de Palacio first sights the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copán.

1618 – Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion.

1655 – John Casor becomes the first legally-recognized slave in England’s North American colonies where a crime was not committed.

1658 – Treaty of Roskilde: After a devastating defeat in the Northern Wars (1655–1661), Frederick III, the King of Denmark–Norway is forced to give up nearly half his territory to Sweden to save the rest.

1702 – Anne Stuart, sister of Mary II, becomes Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

1722 – The Safavid Empire of Iran is defeated by an army from Afghanistan at the Battle of Gulnabad, pushing Iran into anarchy.

1736 – Nader Shah, founder of the Afsharid dynasty, is crowned Shah of Iran.

1775 – An anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes “African Slavery in America”, the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.

1777 – Regiments from Ansbach and Bayreuth, sent to support Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, mutiny in the town of Ochsenfurt.

1782 – Gnadenhutten massacre: Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity are killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indian tribes.

1801 – War of the Second Coalition: At the Battle of Abukir, a British force under Sir Ralph Abercromby lands in Egypt with the aim of ending the French campaign in Egypt and Syria.

1817 – The New York Stock Exchange is founded.

1844 – King Oscar I ascends to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

1862 – American Civil War: The iron-clad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) is launched at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

1868 – Sakai incident: Japanese samurai kill 11 French sailors in the port of Sakai, Osaka.

1910 – French aviatrix Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman to receive a pilot’s license.

1914 – First flights (for the Royal Thai Air Force) at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok.

1916 – World War I: A British force unsuccessfully attempts to relieve the siege of Kut (present-day Iraq) in the Battle of Dujaila.

1917 – International Women’s Day protests in St. Petersburg mark the beginning of the February Revolution (February 23rd in the Julian calendar).

1917 – The United States Senate votes to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

1920 – The Arab Kingdom of Syria, the first modern Arab state to come into existence, is established.

1921 – Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Dato Iradier is assassinated while exiting the parliament building in Madrid.

1924 – A mine disaster kills 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.

1936 – Daytona Beach and Road Course holds its first oval stock car race.

1937 – Spanish Civil War: The Battle of Guadalajara begins.

1942 – World War II: Japanese forces complete the Dutch East Indies campaign.

1947 – Thirteen thousand troops of the Republic of China Army arrive in Taiwan after the February 28 Incident and launch crackdowns which kill thousands of people, including many elites. This turns into a major root of the Taiwan independence movement.

1949 – Mildred Gillars (“Axis Sally”) is condemned to prison for treason.

1949 – President of France Vincent Auriol and ex-emperor Bảo Đại sign the Élysée Accords, giving Vietnam greater independence from France and creating the State of Vietnam to oppose Viet Minh-led Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

1957 – Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal after the Suez Crisis.

1957 – The 1957 Georgia Memorial to Congress, which petitions the U.S. Congress to declare the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution null and void, is adopted by the U.S. state of Georgia.

1957 – Ghana joins the United Nations.

1963 – The Ba’ath Party comes to power in Syria in a coup d’état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command.

1965 – Thirty-five hundred United States Marines are the first American land combat forces committed during the Vietnam War.

1966 – A bomb planted by Irish Republican Army militants destroys Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin.

1971 – The Fight of the Century between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali commences. Frazier wins in 15 rounds via unanimous decision.

1974 – Charles de Gaulle Airport opens in Paris, France.

1978 – The first radio episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC Radio 4.

1979 – Philips demonstrates the compact disc publicly for the first time.

1983 – While addressing a convention of Evangelicals, U.S. President Ronald Reagan labels the Soviet Union an “evil empire”.

1985 – A supposed failed assassination attempt on Islamic cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut, Lebanon, kills at least 45 and injures 175 others.

2004 – A new constitution is signed by Iraq’s Governing Council.

2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The aircraft is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia with the loss of all 239 people aboard.

All above information obtained from


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