On this day: Ernest Shackleton embarked on polar expedition

On this day in 1914 Ernest Shackleton embarked on his third polar expedition in his ship, the Endurance. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1914 Ernest Shackleton embarked on his third polar expedition in his ship, the Endurance. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 8 August

AD117: Hadrian became Emperor of Rome.

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

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

1549: France declared war on England.

1767: Mount Vesuvius erupted.

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

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

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.

1870: The first America’s Cup race took place. Magic of the United States beat Britain’s challenger, Cambria.

1876: Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph, a device which forces a stencil on to paper.

1900: The Davis Cup for tennis was contested for the first time, at Longwood Cricket Club, Massachusetts, where the USA defeated Great Britain.

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

1914: The first British troops landed in France.

1914: Ernest Shackleton embarked on his third polar expedition in his ship, the Endurance.

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

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

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

1945: US president Harry Truman signed the United Nations charter.

1955: Fidel Castro began his revolutionary “July 26th Movement” in Cuba – the name taken from the date of the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953.

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.

1972: Premiere of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar at the Palace Theatre, London.

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 1,942 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.


Hannah Miley, Scottish Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer, 26; Katie Leung, Scottish actress, 28; Keith Barron, actor, 81; Dennis Canavan, MP 1974-2001, 73; Keith Carradine, actor, singer, song-writer, 66; The Edge (David Evans), guitarist (U2), 54; Roger Federer, tennis champion, 34; Angus Fraser MBE, cricketer, commentator and writer, 50; Brian Harvey, singer, 41; Dustin Hoffman, actor, 78; Nigel Mansell CBE, Formula 1 champion 1992, 62; Baron Smith of Kelvin KT, Glasgow-born businessman, chancellor of University of Strathclyde, and former BBC governor, 71; Princess Beatrice of York, 27; David Florence, Scottish world champion canoeist, 33; Chris Eubank, retired world champion boxer, 49.


Births: 1673 John Ker, Scottish spy; 1866 Matthew Henson, Arctic explorer; 1876 Frank Richards (Charles Hamilton), author and creator of fat schoolboy Billy Bunter; 1879 Robert “Dr Bob” Smith, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous; 1921 Esther Williams, swimmer and actress; 1929 Ronald Biggs, train robber; 1931 Andy Warhol, artist.

Deaths: 1827 George Canning, British prime minister; 1869 Roger Fenton, war photographer; 1919 FW Woolworth, founder of the first dime-store; 1961 Air Commodore Cecil Wigglesworth, the man on whom Biggles was based; 1975 Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, jazz saxophonist; 1985 Louise Brooks, silent movie actress; 1996 Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of jet engine; 2005 Barbara Bel Geddes, actress.