Events, birthdays and anniversaries on 8 July
951: The city of Paris was founded.
1249: King Alexander II died on the isle of Kerrara in Oban Bay.
1296: Abdication of King John Balliol at Montrose.
1497: Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama set out on his first voyage. He became the first European to reach India by sea.
1790: The Forth and Clyde Canal was opened after 22 years of construction.
1836: Charles Darwin reached St Helena aboad HMS Beagle.
1884: The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded.
1905: Soldiers of the Russian battleship Potemkin, who had mutinied, surrendered to Romanian authorities, who subsequently turned the ship over to Russian authorities.
1907: Florenz Ziegfeld staged the first of his Ziegfeld Follies shows on the rooftop of a Broadway theatre.
1911: Nan Aspinall became the first woman to complete a solo US coast-to-coast horseback ride when she delivered a letter from the mayor of San Francisco to the mayor of New York, having covered 4,500 miles in 301 days.
1918: National Savings stamps went on sale in Britain.
1941: All Jews living in the Baltic states were obligated to wear the Jewish star.
1947: Reports were received that a UFO had crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico.
1949: South Africa passed the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, banning the marriage or sexual relationship between white people and those of other race groups.
1957: Leaders of Sinn Fein were arrested by order of Irish premier Eamon de Valera.
1961: Freddie Trueman took five wickets for no runs in 24 balls for England against Australia.
1963: USA banned all monetary transactions with Cuba.
1965: Ronald Biggs, one of the Great Train robbers, escaped from prison. He settled in Brazil but returned to Britain and gave himself up in 2001.
1967: Billie Jean King beat Ann Jones 6-3, 6-4 to win the Wimbledon ladies singles title.
1969: USA began the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.
1971: Riots erupted in Derry after British soldiers shot dead two Catholic civilians during street disturbances.
1973: Paul Getty III, grandson of John Paul Getty, the world’s richest man, was kidnapped. After having his right ear cut off, he was returned for a ransom of $2.9 million.
1992: Mike Gatting and 15 other English cricketers suspended for five years for touring South Africa had their bans lifted.
1994: A preliminary trial ruled that there was enough evidence to try OJ Simpson for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and waiter Ronald Lyle Goldman.
1994: Space Shuttle Columbia 17 was launched.
2010: Former Labour Party deputy leader John Prescott was introduced to the House of Lords as Baron Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull.
2014: Brazil suffered the humiliation of a 7-1 defeat by Germany in the World Cup semi-final, the host nation’s first competitive home loss for 39 years.