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.