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April 8 is the 98th day of the year (99th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 267 days remaining until the end of the year.
* 217 – Roman Emperor Caracalla is assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.
* 1093 – The new Winchester Cathedral is dedicated by Walkelin.
* 1139 – Roger II of Sicily is excommunicated.
* 1149 – Pope Eugene III takes refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum.
* 1271 – In Syria, sultan Baybars conquers the Krak of Chevaliers.
* 1730 – Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, is dedicated.
* 1740 – War of Jenkin’s Ear: Three British ships capture the Spanish third-rate Princesa.
* 1767 – Ayutthaya kingdom falls to Burmese invaders.
* 1808 – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore is promoted to an archdiocese, with the founding of the dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville) by Pope Pius VII.
* 1820 – The Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.
* 1832 – Black Hawk War: Around three-hundred United States 6th Infantry troops leave St. Louis, Missouri to fight the Sauk Native Americans.
* 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield – Union forces are thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana.
* 1866 – Italy and Prussia ally against Austrian Empire.
* 1886 – William Ewart Gladstone introduces the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.
* 1893 – The first recorded college basketball game occurs in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
* 1895 – In Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co. the Supreme Court of the United States declares unapportioned income tax to be unconstitutional.
* 1904 – The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland sign the Entente cordiale.
* 1904 – British mystic Aleister Crowley transcribes the first chapter of The Book of the Law.
* 1904 – Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan is renamed Times Square after The New York Times.
* 1906 – Auguste Deter, the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dies.
* 1908 – Harvard University votes to establish the Harvard Business School.
* 1911 – Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovers superconductivity.
* 1913 – The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, becomes law.
* 1916 – In Corona, California, race car driver Bob Burman crashes, killing three, and badly injuring five, spectators.
* 1918 – World War I: Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin sell war bonds on the streets of New York City’s financial district.
* 1929 – Indian Independence Movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt throw handouts and bombs to court arrest.
* 1935 – The Works Progress Administration is formed when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 becomes law.
* 1942 – World War II: Siege of Leningrad – Soviet forces open a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.
* 1942 – World War II: The Japanese take Bataan in the Philippines.
* 1943 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, freezes wages and prices, prohibits workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and bars rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.
* 1945 – World War II: After an air raid accidentally destroys a train carrying about 4,000 Nazi concentration camp internees in Prussian Hanover, the survivors are massacred by Nazis.
* 1946 – The last meeting of the League of Nations, the precursor of the United Nations, is held.
* 1946 – Électricité de France, the world’s largest utility company, is formed as a result of the nationalisation of a number of electricity producers, transporters and distributors.
* 1950 – India and Pakistan sign the Liaquat-Nehru Pact.
* 1952 – U.S. President Harry Truman calls for the seizure of all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.
* 1953 – Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta is convicted by Kenya’s British rulers.
* 1954 – A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.
* 1959 – A team of computer manufacturers, users, and university people led by Grace Hopper meets to discuss the creation of a new programming language that would be called COBOL.
* 1959 – The Organization of American States drafts an agreement to create the Inter-American Development Bank.
* 1960 – The Netherlands and West Germany sign an agreement to negotiate the return of German land annexed by the Dutch in return for 280 million German marks as Wiedergutmachung.
* 1961 – A large explosion on board the MV Dara in the Persian Gulf kills 238.
* 1968 – BOAC Flight 712 catches fire shortly after take off. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison is awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.
* 1970 – Bahr el-Baqar incident: Israeli bombers strike an Egyptian school. 46 children are killed.
* 1974 – at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Hank Aaron hits his 715th career home run to surpass Babe Ruth’s 39-year-old record.
* 1975 – Frank Robinson manages the Cleveland Indians in his first game as major league baseball’s first African American manager.
* 1975 – Voyageurs National Park was established in northern Minnesota.
* 1985 – Bhopal disaster: India files suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.
* 1987 – Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis resigns amid controversy over racially charged remarks he had made while on Nightline.
* 1992 – Retired tennis great Arthur Ashe announces that he has AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.
* 1993 – The Republic of Macedonia joins the United Nations.
* 1999 – Haryana Gana Parishad, a political party in the Indian state of Haryana, merges with the Indian National Congress.
* 2004 – Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.
* 2005 – Over four million people attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
* 2006 – Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, are found in a field in Ontario, Canada. The murders are soon linked to the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
* 2008 – The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines is completed in Bahrain.
* 2008 – Yi So-Yeon becomes the first Korean and second Asian woman to go into space.