On this day: Battle of Loos | First breathalyser

On this day in 1989 Ken Warby, in the Spirit of Australia, created the official water speed record ' 319.627mph. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1989 Ken Warby, in the Spirit of Australia, created the official water speed record ' 319.627mph. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 8 October

8 October

1843: British-Chinese commercial treaties confirmed Treaty of Nanking.

1885: Bechuanaland was declared British territory.

1896: The Dow-Jones average index of selected stocks on the New York Stock Exchange was instituted.

1912: Montenegro declared war on Turkey.

1915: The Battle of Loos ended.

1925: The first horse race won by a woman jockey took place at Newmarket. The rider was millionaire’s daughter Eileen Joel. The race rules stated it was open to any amateur rider but omitted to specify sex. Miss Joel wore a cloche-style hat instead of a riding cap.

1939: Germany incorporated western Poland into Third Reich.

1954: Communist Vietnamese forces occupied Hanoi.

1955: Launch of the world’s most powerful warship, the United States aircraft carrier Saratoga.

1967: The first breathalyser test in Britain was administered to a motorist in Somerset.

1973: The first authorised commercial radio station in Britain opened when LBC (London Broadcasting) went on the air.

1978: Ken Warby, in the Spirit of Australia, created the official water speed record on Blowering Dam, New South Wales, with a speed of 319.627mph.

1982: Solidarity movement was outlawed in Poland.

1990: Twenty-one Palestinians were shot dead in Jerusalem after throwing stones at Jewish worshippers praying at the Wailing Wall.

1990: The United Kingdom formally joined the European Monetary System.

1991: Croatia voted to sever constitutional relations with Yugoslavia, making the country fully independent

1994: The government came under pressure to hold a public inquiry into claims that Mark Thatcher received £12 million in commission from an arms deal negotiated by his mother when she was prime minister.

1995: Alan Howarth, Conservative MP and former education minister, said he was defecting to the Labour Party.

2001: American president George W Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.

2005: Thousands of people were killed by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in parts of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.


Sigourney Weaver, actress, 64; Baroness Boothroyd, speaker of the House of Commons 1992-2000, 84; Chevy Chase, actor, 70; Matt Damon, actor, 43; Paul Hogan, comedy actor, 74; Jesse Jackson, American civil rights leader and Baptist minister, 72; Martha Kearney, broadcaster, 56; Bel Mooney, writer and broadcaster, 67; Albert Roux OBE, chef and restaurateur, 77.


Births: 1878 Sir Alfred Munnings, artist; 1890 Eddie Rickenbacker, First World War US air ace; 1895 Juan Peron, Argentinian president; 1930 Alasdair Milne, director-general, BBC 1982-7.

Deaths: 1754 Henry Fielding, novelist and organiser of the detective force that became Scotland Yard; 1967 Clement Attlee, first Earl Attlee, Labour prime minister 1945-1951; 1992 Willy Brandt, German statesman; 1995 John Cairncross, self-confessed Fifth Man in Cambridge spy ring; 2008 Eileen Herlie, Glasgow-born actress; 2008 Lord Hogg of Cumbernauld, MP 1979-97, Lord High Commissioner, General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1998 and 1999.