This Day In History – April 8

Today is the 99th day of 2020. There are 267days left in the year.


1946: The League of Nations assembles in Geneva for the last time.


1500: French army, aided by Swiss mercenaries, conquers Milan in Italy.
1906: The Algerias Act is signed, giving France and Spain chief control in Morocco.

1907: Britain and France sign a convention confirming independence of Siam — now Thailand.

1913: First parliament of Chinese Republic opens.

1919: Russian communist army enters the Crimea.

1939: Albania’s King Zog flees as Italian troops invade his country.

1950: India and Pakistan sign a pact in New Delhi on the treatment of minorities.

1958: US President Dwight D Eisenhower proposes mutual inspection as means of enforcing atomic test ban.

1961: Referendum in France approves a peace settlement with nationalist rebels in Algeria.

1964: India releases Sheik Abdullah, former premier of Kashmir.

1986: Car bomb explodes near Lebanese President Amin Gemayel’s Phalange Party offices in Christian port of Jounieh, killing 10 civilians and wounding 110.
1990: Fire breaks out on Danish ferry Scandinavian Star in the North Sea, killing more than 150 people.

1991: European Community approves more than US$180 million in food, clothing and other aid to Kurdish refugees in Iraq.

1992: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is found alive in the Libyan desert, 12 hours after his plane crashes, killing three aboard; tennis great Arthur Ashe announces at a New York news conference that he has AIDS. He dies in February 1993 of AIDS-related pneumonia at age 49.

1993: More than 2,100 desperate Muslims from the besieged city of Srebrenica, Bosnia, are ferried to freedom by UN trucks, but Bosnian Serbs stone the convoy and block peacekeepers from entering the enclave.

1994: Warring factions in Rwanda agree to form an interim government in an effort to halt bloodletting in Kigali.

1995: Russian forces bombard the town of Samashky in western Chechnya with warplanes and artillery, and claim to have cleared it of rebel fighters.

1996: Shelling and gunfire rage in Monrovia, Liberia, sending at least 15,000 civilians fleeing to a US Embassy compound.

1997: Zaire’s President Mobutu Sese Seko declares a nation-wide state of emergency in response to rebel advances.

1998: Police and army troops take over Bolivia’s coca leaf and cocaine-producing region, sweeping aside roadblocks put up by protesters during a week of violence that left at least four dead.

1999: Yugoslavia says its 14-month war against ethnic Albanian separatists is over and urges refugees to return home. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continues its air strikes against Yugoslavia.

2001: The Dalai Lama wraps up a 10-day visit to Taiwan during which he stresses that Taiwan’s future should be decided by the Taiwanese people. He avoids directly addressing Taiwanese and Tibetan independence.

2002: A bomb explodes in a Jalalabad marketplace in an apparent assassination attempt against Afghan Defence Minister Muhammad Qassim Fahim, whose motorcade was passing by the market.

2003: Israeli helicopter gunships fire five missiles at a vehicle in Gaza City, killing local Hamas leader Said Aldin al-Arabid, the target of the attack, and at least five other people. At least 47 Palestinian civilians are wounded in the attack.

2005: Some 800,000 people gather in a vast field in Krakow to participate in Pope John Paul II’s funeral by video link, and schools and businesses close across the country as Poland mourns a national hero.

2006: A capsule carrying Brazil’s first astronaut, along with a Russian and an American, lands in the Kazakh steppe after separating from the international space station and hurtling through the Earth’s atmosphere.

2008: More than 400 children, mostly girls in pioneer dresses, are swept into state custody from a polygamist sect, in what authorities describe as the largest child-welfare operation in Texas history.

2009: The American crew of a hijacked ship takes control of the vessel from Somali pirates, but the captain is still held hostage in a lifeboat.

2010: President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign nuclear weapons cuts to shrink the cold war superpowers’ arsenals to the lowest point since the arms race of the 1960s.

2011: Mass protests calling for sweeping changes in Syria’s authoritarian regime turn deadly, with the Government and protesters both claiming heavy casualties as the country’s three-week uprising enters a dangerous new phase.

2012: The US and Afghanistan sign a deal giving Afghans authority over raids of Afghan homes, resolving one of the most contentious issues between the two wartime allies.

2014: The defence chiefs of China and the US face off-over Beijing’s escalating territorial disputes in the region.

Phineas Fletcher, English poet (1582-1650); Sonja Henie, Norwegian skater (1912-1969); Franco Corelli, Italian tenor (1923-2003); Jacques Brel, Belgian singer (1929-1978); Julian Lennon, English pop singer (1963- ); Robin Wright Penn, US actress (1966- ); Patricia Arquette, US actress (1968- ); Seymour Hersh, US author/investigative reporter (1937- )

— AP

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