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This Day in History - March 8

March 8

1618 – Johannes Kepler discovers the third Law of Planetary Motion

1669 – Mount Etna erupts on the island of Sicily and will continue over the next few weeks, killing over 20,000 and leaving thousands more homeless

1702 – Queen Anne becomes the monarch of England when William III dies

1782 – 160 Pennsylvania militiamen murder 96 Christian Indians by hammering their skulls with mallets from behind as they kneeled, while prayer and singing, in their Moravian Mission at Gnadenhuetten in the Ohio Country. Of those killed, 39 were children and 29 were women. The militiamen burned down the village afterward. There was no reason for the murders, as these Indians were peaceful and hadn’t participated in any violence. This attack led Indian allies to lose faith in the Patriots and caused them to bring back ritualized torture, which had been discontinued

1783 – Hannah Hoes Van Buren, wife of Martin Van Buren, is born

1790 – George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address

1799 – Political boss Simon Cameron is born

1801 – A combined British and Ottoman force establish ground in French-occupied Egypt at Abukir Bay during the Napoleonic Wars

1804 – Telescope manufacturer Alvan Clark is born

1817 – The NYSE is founded

1841 – US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr is born

1853 – The first bronze statue of Andrew Jackson is unveiled in Washington, DC

1855 – The first train crosses Niagara Falls on a suspension bridge

1859 – Scottish author Kenneth Grahame is born

1862 – The Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia is launched

1867 – Canada’s constitution, the British North America Act, is passed in the House of Commons

1869 – French composer Hector Berlioz dies

1879 – Co-discoverer of nuclear fission, Otto Hahn, is born

1880 – President Rutherford B. Hayes declares the US will have jurisdiction over any canal built across the Isthmus of Panama

1893 – The last survivor the Dalton Gang, Emmet Dalton, is sent to prison in Kansas to begin serving a life sentence

1902 – Actress Louise Beavers is born

1904 – The Bundestag in Germany lifts the ban on the Jesuit order of priests

1907 – 3rd President of Greece, Konstantinos Karamanlis is born

1908 – The House of Commons turns down the women’s suffrage bill, in London

1909 – Pope Pius X lifts the church ban on interfaith marriages in Hungary

1910 – Baroness de Laroche becomes the first woman to get a pilot’s license in France

1917 – Riots erupt in Petrograd over scarcity of food in an event known as the February Revolution (due to the Russian’s use of the Julian calendar)

1917 – German general and businessman Ferdinand von Zeppelin dies

1921 – Spanish Premier Eduardo Dato is assassinated while leaving Parliament in Madrid

1921 – French troops occupy Dusseldorf

1923 – Dancer and actress Cyd Charisse is born

1923 – Writer John McPhee is born

1930 – 27th President of the US, William Howard Taft, dies

1935 – Thomas Wolfe’s Of Time and the River is published

1941 – Martial law is proclaimed in Holland in order to end anti-Nazi protests

1942 – Japanese troops capture Rangoon, Burma

1942 – Cuban chess player Jose Raul Capablanca dies

1942 – Dutch forces surrender to the Japanese on Java in what is now Indonesia

1943 – Japanese forces attack American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville

1945 – Phyllis Mae Daley receives her commission in the US Navy Nurse Corps, making her the first black nurse to serve duty in World War II

1948 – The US Supreme Court rules that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional

1950 – Volkswagen begins production on the VW bus, which will go on to become an icon of counterculture movement

1950 – The Soviet Union announces it is in possession of an atomic bomb

1951 – The Lonely Hearts Killers are executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez used personal ads to seduce, rob and murder women

1952 – 67th Governor of Virginia, George Allen, is born

1954 – France and Vietnam open talks in Paris on a treaty to form the state of Indochina

1957 – Egypt opens the Suez Canal

1961 – Max Conrad circles the globe in a record time

1965 – More than 4,000 Marines arrive in Da Nang in South Vietnam, becoming the first US combat troops in Vietnam

1966 – Australia announces it will triple the number of troops in Vietnam

1970 – The Nixon administration discloses the deaths of 27 Americans in Laos

1971 – Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier battle for the heavyweight championship in the “Fight of the Century” at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Frazier won by unanimous decision giving Ali the first loss of his career

1973 – Two bombs explode near Trafalgar Square in Great Britain injuring 234 people-set off by the Provisional Irish Republican Army

1975 – South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu orders the withdrawal of South Vietnamese forces from the Central Highlands

1979 – The compact disc is presented to the public

1982 – The US accuses the Soviets of killing 3,000 Afghans with poison gas

1983 – President Ronald Reagan refers to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire” again, during a speech given to the National Association of Evangelicals in Florida

1985 – Thomas Creighton dies after having three heart transplants in a 46-hour period

1990 – Czech tennis great Petra Kvitova is born

1999 – Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio dies

2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanishes leaving 227 passengers and 12 crew members, missing. A massive international hunt began for traces of the wreckage and to determine the reason for it, but no conclusive evidence has been found


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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