On this day: Queen Anne acceded to throne | Start of Russian Revolution

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Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 8 March

8 march

1702: Queen Anne acceded to the throne on the death of William III, or William of Orange, in a riding accident.

1765: House of Lords passed Stamp Act to tax American colonies.

1865: Canal was begun in the Netherlands to connect Amsterdam with North Sea.

1910: JTC Moore Brabazon (later Lord Brabazon) was awarded the first pilot’s licence in Britain, Royal Aero Club Licence No1.

1917: Riots and strikes broke out in St Petersburg, marking start of Russian Revolution.

1921: French troops occupied the Ruhr after Germany failed to pay reparations.

1930: Civil disobedience campaign began in India under leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

1950: Marshal Voroshilov announced Soviet possession of atomic bomb.

1961: Commonwealth prime ministers’ conference opened in London, and South Africa announced it would leave Commonwealth on 31 May.

1965: United States landed 3,500 marines in South Vietnam.

1970: Cyprus president Makarios escaped assassination when sniper fire brought down his helicopter.

1971: Boxer Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali on points to become world heavyweight champion. It was Ali’s first professional defeat.

1971: The Daily Sketch ceased publication after 62 years.

1974: The third Paris airport – Charles de Gaulle – was inaugurated.

1987: Sri Lankan troops started major offensive, killing 11 Tamil militants in Jaffna peninsula.

1990: Mounted police called in to break up a 5,000-strong poll tax demo in Hackney, London.

1991: Britain’s second biggest travel company, International Leisure Group, went into receivership with debts of £480 million, leaving 25,000 holidaymakers stranded overseas.

1993: More than 40 Tory MPs defied prime minister John Major as the government was defeated in the Commons on a Labour amendment to Maastricht Treaty legislation.

1999: The US Supreme Court upheld the murder convictions of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing.

2001: The speedboat Bluebird was raised, 34 years after it sank during a record attempt, killing Donald Campbell.

2004: A new constitution signed by Iraq’s Governing Council.

2010: The stolen body of Tassos Papadopoulos, fifth president of Cyprus, was found in a cemetery near the capital, Nicosia.


Sir Jonathan Sachs, Chief Rabbi, 65; Cheryl Baker, singer (Bucks Fizz) and actress, 59; Gyles Brandreth, broadcaster, 65; Mickey Dolenz, actor and singer (The Monkees), 68; Michael Grade CBE, broadcast executive, 70; Lord Hurd, foreign secretary 1989-95, 83; Gary Numan, pop singer, 55; Ann Packer MBE, Olympic 800 metres gold medallist, 70; David Wilkie MBE, Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist swimmer, 59.


Births: 1859 Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows; 1879 Otto Hahn, German physicist who discovered nuclear fission; 1899 Eric Linklater, novelist; 1922 Cyd Charisse, dancer and actress; 1943 Lynne Redgrave, actress.

Deaths: 1869 Hector Berlioz, French composer; 1917 Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, airship pioneer; 1961 Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor; 1982 Rab Butler, statesman; 2007 John Inman, comic actor.