Today Yesterday



8th February

1587 Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded.

1725 Catherine the Great became the Empress of Russia.

1828 * Jules Verne, French science-fiction writer who wrote Around the World in 80 Days (1873).

1904 The Russo-Japanese war began when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur in northeast China.

1910 The Boy Scouts of America were formed.

1915 D W Griffith's controversial epic, The Birth of a Nation premiered in Los Angeles.

1924 The gas chamber was used for the first time as a method of execution in the United States. Gangster Gee Jon was put to death at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

1925 * Jack Lemmon, US film actor who won an Oscar for Save the Tiger (1973).

1931 * James Dean, US film actor and cult hero whose movie career lasted only 15 months.

1940 * Nick Nolte, US film actor.

1952 Princess Elizabeth proclaimed herself Queen at a ceremony in St James's Palace, London.

1962 At least eight people were killed during a demonstration in the French capital protesting against the independence of Algeria.

1964 The Beatles arrived at JFK airport New York on their first US tour.

1969 The world's biggest passenger plane, the Boeing 747 made its maiden flight.

1974 The US spacestation, Skylab, crashed back to Earth, breaking up in the atmosphere.

1983 Ariel Sharon was removed from office in the Israeli government following a tribunal into the 1982 killings of hundreds of people in two refugee camps.

1983 Derby winning horse Shergar was kidnapped in Ireland and never seen again.

1999 King Hussein of Jordan was buried in Amman at a funeral attended by more than 50 world leaders.

2005 Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared a truce to end four years of Middle East violence.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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