February 8 is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 326 days remaining, 327 in leap years.
- 421 - Constantius III becomes co-Emperor of the Western Roman Empire
- 1555 - Laurence Saunders was led barefoot to his execution and burned at the stake.
- 1587 - Mary, Queen of Scots is executed.
- 1601 - Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, rebels against Elizabeth I of England - revolt is quickly crushed
- 1622 - King James I of England disbands the English Parliament
- 1692 - A doctor in Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony declares that three teenaged girls are under domination of Satan, leading to the Salem witch trials.
- 1693 - The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia is granted a charter.
- 1807 - Battle of Eylau - Napoleon defeats Russians under General Benigssen.
- 1837 - Richard Johnson becomes the first Vice President of the United States chosen by the United States Senate.
- 1855 - The Devil's Footprints mysteriously appear in southern Devon.
- 1861 - American Civil War: The Confederate States of America are formed. Jefferson Davis is selected as first president.
- 1867 - The Ausgleich results in the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary,
- 1887 - The Dawes Act authorized the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments.
- 1900 - British troops are defeated by Boers at Ladysmith, South Africa.
- 1904 - Battle of Port Arthur: A surprise torpedo attack by the Japanese at Port Arthur, China started the Russo-Japanese War.
- 1910 - The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated by William D. Boyce.
- 1915 - The controversial film The Birth of a Nation by D.W. Griffith premieres in Los Angeles.
- 1918 - The Stars and Stripes newspaper publishes for the first time.
- 1922 - President Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio in the White House.
- 1924 - Death penalty: The first state execution using gas in the United States takes place in Nevada.
- 1936 - Jay Berwanger becomes the first person to be selected by a National Football League draft, by the Philadelphia Eagles.
- 1943 - World War II: Battle of Kursk - the Russian army captures the city
- 1943 - World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal - United States forces defeat Japanese troops.
- 1949 - Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary sentenced for treason.
- 1960 - Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants will take the name "Mountbatten-Windsor".
- 1963 - Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba are made illegal by the John F. Kennedy administration.
- 1968 - American civil rights movement: A civil rights protest staged at a white-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina is broken-up by highway patrolmen leading to the deaths of three college students. (Orangeburg Massacre)
- 1969 - The last weekly issue of the Saturday Evening Post hits magazine stands.
- 1971 - A new stock market index called the Nasdaq debuts.
- 1974 - After 84 days in space, the crew of the temporary American space station Skylab return to Earth.
- 1974 - Military coup in Upper Volta.
- 1978 - Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcasted on radio for the first time.
- 1979 - Denis Sassou-Nguesso became the President of the People?s Republic of the Congo for the first time.
- 1984 - 1984 Winter Olympics open in Sarajevo.
- 1985 - After 6-1/2 years, the television series The Dukes of Hazzard goes off the air.
- 1989 - An Independent Air Boeing 707 crashes into Santa Maria mountain in Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal killing 144.
- 1993 - General Motors sues NBC after Dateline NBC allegedly rigged two crashes showing that some GM pickups can easily catch fire if hit in certain places. NBC settled the lawsuit the next day.
- 1996 - The U.S. Congress passes the Communications Decency Act.
- 2001 - Disney's California Adventure, the Disneyland Resort's second park in its 46-year history, opens.
- 2002 - Opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.
- 2005 - Israel and Palestinians agree to cease-fire.
- 412 - Proclus, Neoplatonic philosopher
- 1290 - King Afonso IV of Portugal (d. 1357)
- 1577 - Robert Burton, English cleric, writer (d. 1640)
- 1807 - Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, sculptor and naturalist (d. 1889)
- 1820 - William Tecumseh Sherman, soldier (d. 1891)
- 1828 - Jules Verne, author (d. 1905)
- 1851 - Kate Chopin, author (d. 1904)
- 1878 - Martin Buber, philosopher (d. 1965)
- 1880 - Franz Marc, painter and graphic artist, co-founder of Blauer Reiter (d. 1916)
- 1882 - Burt Mustin , American actor ( d. 1977)
- 1886 - Charles Ruggles, actor (d. 1970)
- 1894 - Ludwig Marcuse, author and philosopher (d. 1971)
- 1895 - King Vidor, director (d. 1982)
- 1902 - Lyle Talbot , actor (d. 1996)
- 1906 - Chester Carlson, American physicist, inventor (d. 1968)
- 1908 - Emil Staiger , scientist of literature (d. 1987)
- 1911 - Elizabeth Bishop, poet, Pulitzer Prize winner (d. 1979)
- 1911 - Big Joe Turner, blues singer (d. 1985)
- 1918 - Fred Blassie, former professional wrestler (d. 2003)
- 1920 - Lana Turner, actress (d. 1995)
- 1925 - Jack Lemmon, actor and film director (d. 2001)
- 1926 - Neal Cassady, writer (d. 1968)
- 1926 - Audrey Meadows, American actress (d. 1996)
- 1930 - Alejandro Rey, Argentine actor (d. 1987)
- 1931 - James Dean, actor (d. 1955)
- 1932 - John Williams, composer, conductor
- 1933 - Jack Larson , American actor
- 1937 - Manfred Krug , actor
- 1940 - Ted Koppel, journalist
- 1941 - Nick Nolte, actor
- 1942 - Robert Klein, stand-up comedian
- 1942 - Terry Melcher, American musician, record producer (d. 2004)
- 1953 - Mary Steenburgen, actress
- 1955 - John Grisham, novelist
- 1961 - Vince Neil, American musician
- 1968 - Gary Coleman, actor
- 1972 - Paul Wight, professional wrestler
- 1974 - Seth Green, actor
- 1977 - Yucef Merhi, artist
- 1977 - Dave Farrell, Ameican musician (Linkin Park)
- 1983 - Jim Verraros, American Idol singer
- 1250 - William II Longespee (b. ca. 1207)
- 1265 - Hulagu Khan, Mongol ruler (b. 1217)
- 1587 - Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1542)
- 1725 - Tsar Peter I of Russia (b. 1672)
- 1768 - George Dance the Elder, architect (b. 1695)
- 1849 - France Prešeren, Slovenian poet (b. 1800)
- 1921 - Peter Kropotkin, Russian anarchist (b. 1842)
- 1929 - Maria Christina, Queen Regent of Spain (b. 1858)
- 1956 - Connie Mack, baseball executive, manager (b. 1862)
- 1957 - John von Neumann, mathematician, quantum physicist (b. 1903)
- 1960 - Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, architect (b. 1880)
- 1973 - Max Yasgur, Woodstock Festival host
- 1977 - Eivind Groven, Norwegian composer and ethnomusicologist (b. 1901).
- 1985 - Sir William Lyons, founder of Jaguar Motors
- 1987 - Harriet MacGibbon , American actress
- 1990 - Del Shannon, entertainer (suicide) (b. 1934)
- 1994 - Raymond Scott, American actor, inventor
- 1998 - Halldór Laxness, author (b. 1902)
- 1998 - Julian Simon, economist, author (b. 1932)
- 1999 - Iris Murdoch, author (b. 1919)
- 2000 - Sid Abel, Canadian ice hockey player, coach
- 2000 - Derrick Thomas, American football player
- 2001 - Ivo Caprino, Norwegian animated film director
- 2002 - Joachim Hoffmann, German historian
- 2004 - Julius Schwartz, comic book and science fiction editor
Holidays and observances
February 7 - February 9 - January 8 - March 8 -- listing of all days
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