Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 8 April
1766: London watchmaker David Marie patented the first fire escape – a wicker basket let down by chain and pulley.
1838: Brunel’s steamship Great Western left Bristol for New York on her maiden voyage.
1902: Russia and China reached agreement for evacuation of Manchuria.
1907: Britain and France signed convention confirming independence of Siam (Thailand).
1908: Herbert Henry Asquith became Liberal Prime Minister.
1912: More than 200 drowned when a Nile excursion steamer sank after a collision near Cairo.
1913: First parliament of Chinese Republic opened.
1919: Russian communist army entered the Crimea.
1950: India and Pakistan signed pact at New Delhi on treatment of minorities.
1958: United States president Dwight D Eisenhower proposed mutual inspection as means of enforcing atomic test ban.
1961: Referendum in France approved a peace settlement with nationalist rebels in Algeria.
1962: Nearly 1,200 Bay of Pigs invaders were sentenced to 30 years in jail in Cuba.
1964: India released Sheik Abdullah, former premier of Kashmir.
1966: Leonid Brezhnev became Soviet leader.
1967: The Eurovision Song Contest was won by the British entry, Puppet On A String, sung by the shoeless Sandie Shaw.
1967: All but one of the 27 horses still running in the Grand National were involved in a pile-up at the 23rd fence. The exception, 100-1 shot Foinavon, ran on to win.
1986: Clint Eastwood, film actor, was elected mayor of Carmel in California.
1990: Nick Faldo retained his Masters golf title at Augusta, United States, beating Ray Floyd.
1992: Yasser Arafat, Palestine Liberation chairman, survived plane crash in sandstorm in Libyan desert.
1992: Punch magazine folded after 151 years.
2002: A worldwide television audience of 300 million watched the Queen Mother’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.
2004: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.
2008: The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain.
Gordon Chisholm, Scottish footballer, 53; Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary-general 1997-2007, 75; Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 74; Patricia Arquette, actress, 45; Hywel Bennett, actor, 69; Steve Howe, rock guitarist, 66; Julian Lennon, musician, 50; W Garth Morrison CBE, chief scout 1988-96, and Lord-Lieutenant for East Lothian, 70; Dame Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer, 72; Baroness Young of Old Scone, Labour peer, 65.
Births: 1783 John Loudon, Cambuslang-born horticulturalist; 1831 Jem Mace, bare knuckle fighter; 1912 Sonja Henie, skater and film actress; 1919 Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia 1964-79; 1918 Betty Ford, former first lady of the United States.
Deaths: AD217 Caracalla (Marcus Aurelius Antonius), Roman emperor (assassinated); 1614 El Greco, artist; 1861 Elisha Graves Otis, inventor of the safety-lift; 1935 Edwin Cannan, economist; 1950 Vaslav Nijinsky, ballet dancer; 1973 Pablo Picasso, painter; 2009 Lennie Bennett, comedian.