Today in History: October 8 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: October 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.


Today in History
October 8

876   Charles the Bald is defeated at the Battle of Andernach.
1690   Belgrade is retaken by the Turks.
1840   King William I of Holland abdicates.
1855   Arrow, a ship flying the British flag, is boarded by Chinese who arrest the crew, thus beginning the Second Chinese War.
1862   The Union is victorious at the Battle of Perryville, the largest Civil War combat to take place in Kentucky.
1871   The Great Chicago Fire begins in southwest Chicago, possibly in a barn owned by Patrick and Katherine O’Leary. Fanned by strong southwesterly winds, the flames rage for more than 24 hours, eventually leveling three and a half square miles and wiping out one-third of the city. Approximately 250 people are killed in the fire; 98,500 people are left homeless; 17,450 buildings are destroyed.
1900   Maximilian Harden is sentenced to six months in prison for publishing an article critical of the German Kaiser.
1912   The First Balkan War begins as Montenegro declares war against the Ottoman Empire.
1918   In the Argonne Forest in France, United States Corporal Alvin C. York kills 28 German soldiers and captures 132 others, for which he will be awarded the Medal of Honor. On returning to his unit, York reports to his brigade commander, General Julian R. Lindsey. “Well York, I hear you have captured the whole damn German army,” Lindsey says. York replies: “No, sir. I got only 132.” [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1919   The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives pass the Volstead Prohibition Enforcement Bill.
1922   Lillian Gatlin becomes the first woman pilot to fly across the United States.
1932   The Indian Air Force is established.
1939   Nazi Germany annexes Western Poland.
1967   Guerrilla Che Guevara is captured in Bolivia.
1968   U.S. forces in Vietnam launch Operation SEALORDS (South East Asia Lake, Ocean, River and Delta Strategy), an attack on communist supply lines and base areas in and around the Mekong Delta.
1969   The “Days of Rage” begin in Chicago; the Weathermen faction of the Students for a Democratic Society initiate 3 days of violent antiwar protests.
1973   In the Yom Kippur War an Israeli armored brigade makes an unsuccessful attack on Egyptian positions on the Israeli side of the Suez Canal.
1991   Croatia votes to sever its ties with Yugoslavia.
2001   US President George W. Bush establishes the Office of Homeland Security.
Born on October 8
1810   James Wilson Marshall, discoverer of gold in California.
1890   Eddie Rickenbacker, U.S. fighter pilot in World War I, aviation pioneer.
1895   Juan Peron, Argentinean dictator.
1917   Rodney Porter, British biochemist and Nobel Prize winner.
1926   Cesar Milstein, molecular biologist.
1936   Rona Barrett, gossip columnist; co-host of NBC’s Tomorrow program (1980-81).
1939   Paul Hogan, comedian, actor; won a Golden Globe for his role as “Crocodile” Dundee (1986).
1939   Lynne Stewart, US attorney convicted of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists (2005) and perjury (2010).
1941   Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader.
1943   Chevy Chase, actor, comedian, known for his roles on Saturday Night Live TV series and comedic movies (National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation, Caddyshack).
1943   R. L. Stine, author, screenwriter, producer; known as the “Stephen King of children’s literature” for his hundreds of horror novels written for younger readers.
1948   Johnny Ramone, musician, songwriter, founding member of The Ramones band.
1949   Sigourney Weaver, actress; (Aliens film series, Gorillas in the Mist).
1952   Edward Zwick, director, producer whose films often are based on historic events (Glory, The Last Samurai).
1959   Erik Gundersen, motorcycle speedway rider; won 3 Speedway World Championships, 2 Long Track World Championships, and 7 World Team Cup awards (riding for Denmark in the latter).
1965   C. J. Ramone, musician, sometime vocalist of The Ramones.
1970   Matt Damon, actor, screenwriter, producer, philanthropist; shared an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for the screenplay Good Will Hunting; appeared in Saving Private Ryan, Invictus.