Today in History: October 8
Highlights in history on this date:
1469: Death of Florentine painter Fra Filippo Lippi, one of the most important early renaissance painters and a teacher of Botticelli.
1806: British forces laying siege to the French port Boulogne fire Congreve rockets, the first British use of rocket-propelled missiles.
1856: The "Arrow Incident", in which a ship flying the British flag is boarded by Chinese, provokes the second Anglo-Chinese War.
1869: Death of Franklin Pierce, 14th US president.
1871: The Gat Chicago Fire starts, supposedly when a cow kicks over a lantern in a barn. Most of the city is razed.
1895: Queen Min of Korea is assassinated at Japanese instigation.
1903: United States and China sign commercial treaty.
1908: The House of Representatives conducts a fresh ballot on possible sites for the federal capital, supporting Yass-Canberra 39 to 33.
1915: Battle of Loos, one of the fiercest of World War I, ends with virtually no gains for either side; almost 430,000 French, British and Germans died.
1934: Bruno Hauptmann is indicted on a murder charge over the death of the infants of US aviation pioneer Charles Lindberg.
1939: Germany incorporates western Poland into Third Reich during WWII.
1945: US President Harry S Truman announces the secret of the atomic bomb will be shared only with Britain and Canada.
1953: Kathleen Ferrier, world famous British contralto singer, dies from cancer at the peak of her career, aged 41.
1954: Communist Vietnamese forces occupy Hanoi.
1967: Death of Clement Attlee, Britain's Labour prime minister from 1945-1951.
1970: The Nobel prize for literature is awarded to Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
1977: The Tasman Bridge in Hobart reopens, two-and-a-half years after the Lake Illawarra tragedy.
1984: China announces plan to make primary school education compulsory by year 1990 and eradicate adult illiteracy by 1995.
1985: Hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro kill American passenger Leon Klinghoffer, dumping his body and wheelchair overboard.
1987: Tamil militants kill at least 24 people, most of them Sinhalese, as Indian peacekeeping troops fan out to quell violence in northern and eastern Sri Lankan provinces.
1992: Death of former West German chancellor Willy Brandt, aged 78.
1993: UN General Assembly lifts almost all its remaining economic sanctions against South Africa, begun in the 1960s because of Pretoria's policy of racial apartheid.
1995: A huge earthquake hits island of Sumatra, Indonesia, killing at least 100.
1996: Pope John Paul has his appendix removed at Rome's Gemelli hospital.
1997: Scientists report the Pathfinder probe's exploration of Mars has yielded evidence that the planet was once hospitable to life.
1999: A British court rules that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet can be extradited to Spain to stand trial on torture charges dating from his rule.
2001: A Scandinavian Airlines plane crashes into an airport hangar at Milan's Linate airport after hitting a small private plane in heavy fog, killing almost 120 people.
2003: The ethnic Hutu rebel group Forces for the Defence of Democracy sign a peace agreement with the Burundian government designed to end fighting in the country's decade-long civil war.
2004: Schapelle Corby, 27, is arrested on drug charges at Bali airport.
2005: More than 73,000 people are killed and about three million made homeless when an earthquake hits Pakistani Kashmir and neighbouring North West Frontier Province. Another 1300 die in Indian Kashmir.
2006: Race driver Mark Porter dies after suffering massive injuries in a crash at Mount Panorama while preparing for the Bathurst 1000.
2007: Australian soldier Trooper David Pearce is killed in Afghanistan aged 21.
2010: The Nobel committee awards its peace prize to imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo, lending encouragement to China's dissident community.
2014: Five Afghan men are hanged for the gang-rape of four women despite the United Nations and human rights groups criticising the trial and urging new president Ashraf Ghani to stay the executions.
2015: Brian Loughnane resigns as Australian Liberal Party federal director.
2016: US presidential candidate Donald Trump apologises after a tape emerges of a 2005 conversation featuring lewd comments about women, prompting calls for the former Apprentice star to step down from the Republican ticket.
2017: David Reynolds wins the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama after a rain-soaked marathon with an electric finish.
2018: Former chief executive of the Sydney Opera House, Michael Lynch, describes the horse racing promotion proposed for the building's sails as "highly inappropriate".
Juan Peron, Argentine president (1895-1974); Sir Mark Oliphant, Australian physicist (1901-2000); Neil Harvey, Australian cricketer (1928); Paul Hogan, Australian comedian and actor (1940); Jesse Jackson, American civil rights leader (1941); Chevy Chase, US comedian-actor (1943); Sigourney Weaver, US actor (1949); Simon Burke, Australian actor (1961); Matt Damon, US actor-producer (1970); Bruno Mars, American singer-songwriter (1985); Angus T Jones, US actor (1993).
THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
"Politics are usually the executive expression of human immaturity." - Vera Brittain, British author (1893-1970).