April 8 is the 98th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (99th in leap years). There are 267 days remaining in the year.
217 Roman emperor Caracalla is assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus
1730 - Shearith Israel , the first synagogue in New York City, is dedicated.
1742 - The first performance of George Frideric Handel's oratorio , in The Messiah Dublin.
1767 - Ayutthaya kingdom fell to Burmese invaders.
1820 - The Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.
1832 - Black Hawk War: Around 300 United States 6th Infantry troops leave Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis to fight the Sauk Native Americans.
1864 - American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield - Union General Nathaniel Banks' Red River Campaign is thwarted by Confederate General Richard Taylor's forces at Mansfield, Louisiana.
1893 - First recorded college basketball game occurs in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania when the Geneva College Covenanters defeated the New Brighton YMCA.
1899 - Martha Place becomes the first woman to be executed in an electric chair.
1904 - France and the United Kingdom sign the
Entente cordiale. 1904 - Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan is renamed Times Square after .
The New York Times 1910 - The Los Angeles Motordome opened near Playa del Rey, California.
1913 - The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified requiring direct election of Senators.
1916 - In Corona, California, auto racer Bob Burman crashed through a crowd barrier at the last Boulevard Race , killing himself, his mechanic and a track policeman, and badly injuring five spectators.
1918 - World War I: Actors Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Charlie Chaplin sell war bonds on the streets of New York, New York's financial district.
1929 - Indian Independence Movement At Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw handouts, and bombs in a corridor not to cause injury and courted arrest.
1935 - The Works Progress Administration is formed when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 becomes law.
1942 - World War II: Siege of Leningrad - Soviet Union forces open a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.
1945 - At the POW camp at Flossenbürg, pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is hanged.
1952 - In a radio address to the nation from the White House, President Harry S. Truman calls for the seizure of all steel mills in the United States in order to prevent a nationwide strike.
1953 - Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta is convicted by Kenya's British rulers.
1967 - In Vienna, Austria, Sandie Shaw wins the twelfth Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom singing "Puppet on a String".
1971 - a 6 pound meteorite struck the home of Robert and Wanda Donahue in Wethersfield, Connecticut
1974 - At the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Hank Aaron breaks baseball great's Babe Ruth's record by hitting his 715th home run.
1975 - Frank Robinson of the Cleveland Indians manages his first game as major league baseball's first African American manager.
1975 - Vietnam War: After spending a week in South Vietnam, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Frederick Weyand gives a report to the U.S. Congress that South Vietnam will fall without additional military aid .
1985 - Bhopal disaster: India files suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.
1986 - Clint Eastwood is elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California receiving 72% of the vote (voter turnout was also doubled over the previous mayoral election).
1987 - Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis resigns amid great controversy over racially-charged remarks he had made while on
Nightline. 1989 - South Africa In Johannesburg, the Progressive Federal Party, Independent party, National Democratic Movement and the force of "Ontevrede Afrikaners" or dissatisfied Afrikaners merged to form the Democratic Party.
1990 - premieres.
Twin Peaks 1992 - Retired tennis great Arthur Ashe announces to the world that he has AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.
1994 - Body of Kurt Cobain discovered in his Washington home.
2000 - A U.S. Marine Corps V-22 Osprey crashes during landing at Marana, Arizona killing 19.
2002 - Ed McMahon files a US$20 million lawsuit against his insurance company and others regarding a toxic mold infecting McMahon's Beverly Hills, California home.
2004 - Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.
2005 - Funeral of Pope John Paul II
563 BC - Gautama Buddha, religious leader (d. 483 BC)
1320 - King Peter I of Portugal (d. 1367)
1842 - Elizabeth Bacon Custer, wife of George Armstrong Custer
1859 - Edmund Husserl, philosopher (d. 1938)
1865 - Charles W. Woodworth, Entomologist (d. 1940)
1868 - King Christian IX of Denmark (d. 1906)
1872 - Ivan Bloch, physician (d. 1922)
1874 - Stanisław Taczak, Polish general, commander-in-chief of the Greater Poland Uprising (1918-1919) against the Germans (d.1960)
1875 - King Albert I of Belgium (d. 1934)
1889 - Sir Adrian Boult, English conductor (d. 1983)
1892 - Mary Pickford, actress, studio founder (d. 1979)
1905 - Helen Joseph, SA anti-apartheid activist (d. 1992)
1910 - George Musso , American football player (d. 2000)
1911 - Emil Cioran, philosopher and essayist (d. 1995)
1911 - Melvin Calvin, American chemist, 1961 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (d. 1997)
1912 - Sonja Henie, Olympic and World Champion figure skater (d. 1969)
1912 - Alois Brunner, Austrian Nazi (date of death unknown)
1914 - María Félix, Mexican actress (d. 2002)
1918 - Betty Ford, former First Lady of the United States
1919 - Ian Smith, former Prime Minister of Rhodesia
1919 - Virginia O'Brien , American actress (d. 2001)
1921 - Franco Corelli, Italian tenor (d. 2003)
1923 - Edward Mulhare, Irish actor (d. 1997)
1926 - Jürgen Moltmann, theologian
1926 - Shecky Greene , Amerian comedian
1928 - John Gavin, actor
1928 - Leah Rabin, wife of Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin (d. 2000)
1929 - Walter Berry, Austrian bass-baritone (d. 2000)
1929 - Jacques Brel, Belgian singer and composer (d. 1978)
1933 - Fred Ebb, composer (d. 2004)
1938 - Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary General
1940 - John Havlicek, basketball star
1941 - Vivienne Westwood, English fashion designer
1943 - Miller Farr, American football player
1943 - Michael Bennett, American dancer, choreographer, theater director (d. 1987)
1946 - Catfish Hunter, baseball pitcher
1946 - Tim Thomerson, American actor
1947 - Tom DeLay, American politician
1949 - John Madden, director
1954 - Gary Carter, baseball catcher
1955 - Barbara Kingsolver, novelist
1960 - John Schneider, actor
1963 - Julian Lennon, musician and singer
1966 - Robin Wright Penn, actress
1968 - Patricia Arquette, actress
1977 - Mark Spencer, computer programmer
1980 - Manuel Ortega, Austrian singer
1982 - Judy Star, pornographic film actress
1984 - Taran Noah Smith, actor
217 - Caracalla, Roman Emperor (b. 186)
956 - Gilbert of Chalon, Duke of Burgundy
1143 - John II Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor (b. 1087)
1364 - King John II of France (b. 1319)
1492 - Lorenzo de Medici, Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic (b. 1449)
1848 - Gaetano Donizetti, Italian composer (b. 1797)
1936 - Robert Bárány, Nobel Prize winner in medicine (b. 1876)
1938 - Joe "King" Oliver, jazz musician (b. 1885)
1950 - Vaslav Nijinsky, ballet dancer (b. 1890)
1973 - Pablo Picasso, artist (b. 1881)
1978 - Ford Frick, baseball commissioner
1981 - Omar Bradley, general (b. 1893)
1990 - Ryan White, AIDS activist (b. 1971)
1993 - Marian Anderson, singer (b. 1897)
1996 - Ben Johnson, actor (b. 1918)
1997 - Laura Nyro, singer, composer (b. 1947)
2000 - Claire Trevor, actress (b. 1910)
2002 - Maria Felix, Mexican actress
2003 - Anita Borg, computer scientist
Holidays and observances
Worldwide Roma Nation Day
April 7 - April 9 - March 8 - May 8 -- listing of all days
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