November 8th in History

On This Day in History

  • The Aztec Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan, Moctezuma II, welcomes Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés and the two leaders exchange gifts. This does not ultimately work out well for Moctezuma II. (1519)
  • Jacobite Rising: The last pitched battle on English soil, the Battle of Culloden, fails to topple the Hanoverian King George II in favor of the Jacobite pretender Charles Edward Stuart. (1746)
  • Trent Affair: The USS San Jacinto forcibly removes two Confederate diplomats bound for Great Britain from a British mail packet, triggering a diplomatic crisis. (1861)
  • Montana becomes a US state. (1889)
  • Experimental physicist Wilhelm Röntgen discovers a mysterious phenomenon he will later name “X-rays.” (1895)
  • Wilmington Insurrection: The only coup d’etat in US history takes place in Wilmington, North Carolina, when 1,500 white men begin a race riot against a biracial elected city government, drive its leaders out of town, and take over the government. (1898)
  • Bolshevik Revolution: The People’s Commissars appoint Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Josef Stalin as leaders.
  • Beer Hall Putsch: The Nazi Party tries and fails to seize political power by violence in Munich, Germany. Sixteen Nazis and four policemen are killed, and Adolf Hitler is sent to jail, where he will write Mein Kampf. (1923)
  • The Nazi-sponsored antisemetic museum exhibition, Der Ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew) opens to the public. It features “degenerate” modern art by Jewish artists. (1937)
  • Operation Torch: The Allied campaign in North Africa begins with landings in Vichy French North Africa. (1942)
  • The first jet-to-jet dogfight in history takes place during the Korean War, in which a US F-80 Shooting Star shoots down two North Korean MiG-15s. (1950)
  • JFK narrowly defeats Richard Nixon to become 35th US President. (1960)
  • The death penalty is abolished in the United Kingdom. (1965)
  • Massachusetts attorney general Edward Brooke becomes the first African-American elected to the Senate since Reconstruction. (1966)
  • The right ear of kidnap victim John Paul Getty III, along with a ransom note, is delivered to an Italian newspaper. (1973)

Births

  • Nerva, emperor of Rome (30)
  • Edmond Halley, comet namesake (1656)
  • Milton Bradley, board game businessman (1836)
  • Bram Stoker, author of Dracula (1847)
  • Herman Rorschach, psychiatrist (1884)
  • Bucky Harris, baseball player and manager (1896 — died on the same day 1977)
  • Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind (1900)
  • June Havoc, actress, sister of Gypsy Rose Lee and inspiration for Gypsy character Baby June. (1912)
  • Hermann Zapf, typeface designer (1918)
  • Esther Rolle, actress, Maude and Good Times (1920)
  • Joe Flynn, actor, McHale’s Navy captain (1924)
  • Christiaan Barnard, heart surgeon (1922)
  • Patti Page, singer (1927)
  • Bobby Bowden, football coach (1929)
  • Morley Safer, television journalist (1931)
  • Ben Bova, science fiction writer (1932)
  • Virna Lisi, actress (1936)
  • Bonnie Bramlett, Delaney partner (1944)
  • Minnie Riperton, singer-songwriter (147)
  • Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive (1949)
  • Bonnie Raitt, singer-songwriter (1949)
  • Mary Hart, entertainment journalist (1950)
  • John Denny, baseball player (1952)
  • Christie Hefner, Playboy executive (1952)
  • Alfre Woodard, actress (1952)
  • Rickie Lee Jones, singer-songwriter (1954)
  • Courtney Thorne-Smith, actress (1967)
  • Parker Posey, actress (1968)
  • Gretchen Moi, actress (1972)

Deaths

  • Robert Catesby, leader of the Gunpowder Plot (1605)
  • Doc Holliday, dentist and gunfighter (1887)
  • Dorothy Kilgallen, game show regular (1965)
  • Norman Rockwell, painter (1978)
  • Вячесла́в Мо́лотов (Vyacheslav Molotov), Soviet diplomat (1986)
  • Michael O’Donoghue, comedy writer (1994)
  • Rumer Godden, author (1998)
  • Bil Keane, Family Circus cartoonist (2011)

Holidays

  • Abet and Aid Punsters Day (created by Earl Harris and William Rabe, US, informal)
  • Cook Something Bold Day™ (Wellcat Holidays and Herbs, US, informal)
  • Dunce Day (Great Britain and elsewhere, marks the November 8, 1308, death of scholar Duns Scotus, whose followers were criticized for their opposition to the new King James Bible, hence Dunces)
  • National Cappucccino Day (US food holidays)
  • National Harvey Wallbanger Day (US, barflies)
  • Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers of Heaven (Eastern Orthodox Church)
  • World Radiography Day (International)
  • World Urbanism Day (International)

November 8 is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years), with 53 days remaining until year’s end.