On this day - August 8

2011-08-08 09:00
Today is Monday, August 8, the 220th day of 2011.There are 145 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1549 - France declares war on England.

1570 - Turkish forces sack Nicosia, Cyprus.

1588 - The English fleet batters and scatters the Spanish Armada off France, in the first major naval gun battle in history.

1647 - Irish forces are defeated by British parliamentary forces at Dangan Hill in Ireland.

1815 - France's Napoleon Bonaparte sails for St. Helena to spend remainder of his life in exile.

1876 - American inventor Thomas A. Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.

1918 - The British, with Australian and Canadian forces, begin an offensive on the Western Front causing the German lines to crumble.

1940 - Germany begins heavy bombing of Britain in World War II.

1945 - US President Harry S Truman signs the United Nations Charter.

1950 - Florence Chadwick swims the English Channel from Cap Gris Nez to Dover in 13 hours and 28 minutes, a new speed record for women.

1953 - United States and South Korea sign mutual defence treaty.

1960 - United Nations demands evacuation of Belgian troops from Congo.

1963 - Britain's "Great Train Robbery" takes place as thieves make off with 2.6 million pounds in bank notes.

1970 - Three men hijack a Czechoslovak airliner en route from Prague to Bratislava, forcing it to land in Vienna. The men, all Czechoslovaks, request political asylum.

1980 - A Turkish military court sentences 22 people to death on charges from the December 1978 rioting in Kahramanmaras that killed more than 100 people. The court acquits 411 others.

1983 - In its sixth coup since 1954, the Guatemalan military overthrows President Efrain Rios Montt and installs defence minister, Oscar Humberto Mejia Victores, as chief of state.

1986 - A car bomb explodes in busy shopping street in Muslim west Beirut, Lebanon, killing 17 people and wounding 84.

1988 - UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar announces a cease-fire between Iran and Iraq.

1990 - Iraq formally annexes Kuwait and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher orders British air and naval forces to the Gulf at the request of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd.

1991 - Lebanese kidnappers free British TV producer John McCarthy after holding him hostage for five years.

1992 - President Denis Sassou-Nguesso loses his seat in Republic of Congo's first presidential election since 1963.

1993 - Four US soldiers are killed by a remote-controlled bomb in Somalia. The United States blames warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid.

1994 - Israel and Jordan open first road linking the two nations.

1995 - The "Aids gang," a group of bank robbers who cannot be jailed under Italian law because they have Aids, are freed again after their fourth hold-up in three weeks.

1996 - Chechen rebels push back Russian armoured columns trying to reinforce besieged government buildings in Grozny. Boris Yeltsin begins his second term as Russian president.

1997 - A nationwide strike in Kenya is called by constitutional reform advocates. Mobs kill two policemen; shops are looted in the capital.

1998 - Taliban forces enter Mazar-e-Sharif, the last major Afghan city outside their control, killing eight Iranian diplomats and bringing Afghanistan and Iran to the brink of war.

2000 - A bomb rips through a crowded underground walkway in central Moscow, killing 12 people and injuring 108 others.

2001 - Mohammad Khatami is sworn in for a second term as Iran's president.

2005 - President Robert Mugabe rejects calls for talks with Zimbabwe's opposition leader on resolving the country's political and economic crisis.

2006 - Suspected gang members in Brazil exchange gunfire with police and burn buses in Sao Paulo for a second day, and battles between rival drug groups in Rio de Janeiro leave at least 12 dead.

2007 - Jakarta holds local elections for the first time, the latest in a wave of votes hailed as key to strengthening democracy in Indonesia.

2008 - Georgian troops launch a major offensive to regain control over breakaway province South Ossetia. Russia, in retaliation, sends a column of tanks into the region.

2009 - A small plane collides with a sightseeing helicopter carrying five Italian tourists near New York, killing all nine people aboard the two aircraft.

2010 - The bodies of 10 slain volunteers on a medical team, some of whom had devoted whole decades of their lives to helping the Afghan people through war and deprivation, are flown back to Kabul by helicopter, as friends and family bitterly reject Taliban claims the group - six Americans, two Afghans, a German and a Briton - had tried to convert Afghans to Christianity.

Today's Birthdays:
Francis Hutcheson, Scottish philosopher (1694-1746); Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary (1879-1919); PAM Dirac, British physicist and Nobel laureate (1902-1984); Dino DeLaurentiis, Italian film producer (1919--); Esther Williams, US swimmer-actress (1921--); Dustin Hoffman, US actor (1937--); Peter Weir, Australian film director (1944--).

Thought For Today:
Man adjusts to what he should not; he is unable to adjust to what he should - Jean Toomer, African-American author-poet (1894-1967).

Sapa-AP

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