EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries for 8 February
1587: Mary, Queen of Scots was executed after nearly 19 years of confinement for her implication in the Babington plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and restore Roman Catholicism in England.
1765: A Russian peasant fathered his 69th child. His only wife had a series of multiple births – four lots of quadruplets, seven lots of triplets, and 16 pairs of twins. Almost all survived to adulthood.
1910: The Boy Scout Movement in America was founded by W Boyce.
1915: The Birth Of A Nation was released. It was the first film ever screened at the White House and involved a cast of 3,000 horses and 18,000 actors.
1921: Jan Smuts was elected first South African prime minister.
1940: Nazis shot every tenth person in two Polish villages near Warsaw in reprisal for the deaths of two German soldiers.
1949: The Republic of Ireland declared it was unable to participate in Nato while Ireland remained divided.
1961: It was announced that the long-running nightly radio show Children’s Hour was to be discontinued.
1964: The Netherlands’ Princess Irene renounced her rights to throne to marry Roman Catholic Spanish prince, Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma.
1974: Trawler Gaul vanished with its 36 crew off the North Cape of Norway.
1974: Three United States astronauts, Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue, returned to Earth after setting record of 84 days in orbit in final Skylab mission.
1990: Punctured oil tanker leaked more than 250,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific, threatening southern California beaches.
1991: Panic buying began as much of Britain was covered by snow and weathermen forecast -20°C. Schools closed and travel was thrown into chaos.
1993: 132 people were killed when an Iranian airliner collided with jet fighter outside Tehran.
2009: The movie Slumdog Millionaire, from British director Danny Boyle, scooped seven awards at the Baftas.
2010: A freak storm in the Hindukush mountains of Afghanistan triggered a series of 36 avalanches, burying more than two miles of road, killing at least 172 people and trapping more than 2,000 travellers.
Mary Steenburgen, actress, 61; Rachel Cusk, author, 47; John Grisham, novelist, 59; Ralf Little, actor, 34; Mary McCormack, actress, 45; Nick Nolte, actor, 73; Abi Titmuss, glamour model, 38; John Williams, conductor and composer of film scores (including Jaws and Star Wars), 82.
Births: 1819 John Ruskin, writer, art critic and philanthropist; 1828 Jules Verne, novelist; 1894 King Vidor, film director; 1888 Dame Edith Evans, actress; 1894 Billy Bishop, First World War Canadian air ace; 1921 Lana Turner, actress; 1921 Lord Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi and broadcaster; 1925 Jack Lemmon, actor; 1929 Casper Wrede, stage and film director; 1931 James Dean, actor; 1968 Gary Coleman, actor.
Deaths: 1725 Peter the Great of Russia; 1749 Jan van Huysum, artist; 1894 RM Ballantyne, novelist; 1921 Peter Kropotkin, Soviet anarchist; 1960 Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, architect; 1967 Sir Victor Gollancz, writer and publisher; 1990 Del Shannon, pop singer; 1998 Enoch Powell, academic and politician; 1999 Dame Iris Murdoch, author.