On this day: UK hostage John McCarthy was set free in Beirut

1991: British hostage John McCarthy was set free in Beirut after 1,943 days in captivity. Picture: Getty

1991: British hostage John McCarthy was set free in Beirut after 1,943 days in captivity. Picture: Getty

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries on 8 August

AD117: Hadrian became Emperor of Rome.

1220: Sweden was defeated by Estonia in the Battle of Lihula.

1296: Scottish Coronation Stone removed from Scone Abbey by King Edward I.

1503: Marriage of James IV and Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII.

1609: The Venetian Senate examined Galileo Galilei’s telescope.

1815: France’s Napoleon Bonaparte sailed for St Helena and life in exile.

1843: Natal in South Africa was made a British colony.

1844: Brigham Young was chosen to head the Mormon church following the death of Joseph Smith.

1854: Smith & Wesson patented metal bullet cartridges.

1863: During the American Civil War, Tennessee’s governor – and future US president – Andrew Johnson, freed his personal slaves. In later years, the event was celebrated as a holiday by Tennessee’s African-American community.

1911: Five thousand troops moved to Liverpool to quell riots amid industrial and civil unrest.

1914: The first British troops landed in France.

1918: Twenty divisions of Allied troops went into action near Amiens in the final thrust to break the Hindenburg Line.

1919: By the Treaty of Rawalpindi, Britain recognised Afghanistan’s independence.

1940: The decisive period of the Battle of Britain began.

1944: A field marshal and four generals were hanged by piano wire for an attempt on Hitler’s life.

1953: US and South Korea signed mutual defence treaty.

1958: Columbia Records signed 17-year-old singer Cliff Richard.

1963: The Great Train Robbery took place in Buckinghamshire. The robbers made off with a haul valued at £2.6 million.

1963: The United States, Britain and the USSR signed the Test Ban Treaty in the Kremlin.

1974: Richard Nixon became the first United States president to resign, because of Watergate.

1990: Iraq announced the total annexation of Kuwait.

1991: British hostage John McCarthy was set free in Beirut after 1,943 days in captivity.

1995: Scottish Rugby Union said it wanted to pay players to end the hypocrisy surrounding the game’s tarnished amateur status.

2001: Hollywood superstars Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were divorced.

2008: Royal Bank of Scotland unveiled the group’s first loss in 40 years as a public company. The bank reported pre-tax losses of £691 million for the first half.

2008: The 2008 Olympic Games were launched in Beijing.

2014: The World Health Organisation categorised the Ebola outbreak in west Africa as an international concern.

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