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8th August

1588 English forces attacked the Spanish Armada, permanently crippling Spain's so called 'invincible' fleet.

1786 Dr Michael-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat became the first to climb Mont Blanc.

1876 Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph machine.

1900 The first Davis Cup tennis tournament began at Brookline, Massachusetts.

1919 * Dino de Laurentiis, Italian film producer of the Oscar winning film La Strada (1954).

1937 * Dustin Hoffman, US actor who won an Oscar for the film Rain Man (1989).

1954 * Nigel Mansell (Isle of Man) world Formula 1 motor racing champion in 1992.

1963 The US, Britain and the USSR signed the Test Ban Treaty in the Kremlin.

1963 Thieves ambushed the Glasgow to Euston mail train at Cheddington, Buckinghamshire. The incident became known as "The Great Train Robbery".

1974 Richard Nixon became the first US President to resign from office over Watergate.

1988 * Princess Beatrice, the first child of Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York.

1991 John McCarthy, Britain's longest-held hostage in Lebanon, was set free after more than five years in captivity.

2001 The final decree ending the marriage of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, Hollywood's "golden couple" came through.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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