Today in History: February 8. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 8

1587   Mary, Queen of Scots is beheaded in Fotheringhay Castle for her alleged part in the conspiracy to usurp Elizabeth I.
1807   At Eylau, Napoleon’s Marshal Pierre Agureau attacks Russian forces in a heavy snowstorm.
1861   Delegates from seceded states adopt a provisional Confederate Constitution.
1862   Union troops under Gen. Ambrose Burnside defeat a Confederate defense force at the Battle of Roanoke Island, N.C.
1865   Confederate raider William Quantrill and men attack a group of Federal wagons at New Market, Kentucky.
1887   Congress passes the Dawes Act, which gives citizenship to Indians living apart from their tribe.
1900   British General Buller is beaten at Ladysmith, South Africa as the British flee over the Tugela River.
1904   In a surprise attack at Port Arthur, Korea, the Japanese disable seven Russian warships.
1910   The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated.
1924   The gas chamber is used for the first time to execute a murderer.
1942   The Japanese land on Singapore.
1943   British General Orde Wingate leads a guerrilla force of "Chindits" against the Japanese in Burma.
1952   Elizabeth becomes Queen of England after her father, King George VI, dies.
1962   The U.S. Defense Department reports the creation of the Military Assistance Command in South Vietnam.
1965   South Vietnamese bomb the North Vietnamese communications center at Vinh Linh.
1971   South Vietnamese ground forces, backed by American air power, begin Operation Lam Son 719, a 17,000 man incursion into Laos that ends three weeks later in a disaster.
1990   CBS television temporarily suspends Andy Rooney for his anti-gay and ant-black remarks in a magazine interview.

Born on February 8

412   St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople
1820   William T. Sherman, Union general in the American Civil War.
1828   Jules Verne, French novelist, one of the first writers of science fiction (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea).
1834   Dmitri Ivanovich Medeleyev, Russian chemist, developed the periodic table of elements.
1851   Kate (O’Flaherty ) Chopin, novelist, short story writer (The Awakening).
1906   Chester F. Carlson, physicist, inventor of xerography, the electrostatic dry-copy process.
1906   Henry Roth, writer (Call it Sleep).
1911   Elizabeth Bishop, poet.
1926   Neal Cassaday, writer, counterculture proponent.
1931   James Dean, film actor and 1950s teenage icon (Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden, Giant).
1940   Ted Koppel, television journalist.