It happened today – this day in history – October 8

1769: Captain James Cook lands in Poverty Bay, New Zealand.

1856: The Second Opium War begins.

1862: Otto von Bismark becomes chancellor of the German Empire.

1869: Death of 14th US President Franklin Pierce.

1871: The Great Fire of Chicago kills 200 people and destroys four square miles of buildings.

1892: Sergei Rachmaninoff first performs his “Prelude in C-sharp-Minor” in Moscow.

1924: The Labour government of Ramsey MacDonald falls to the Conservatives.

1927: The first Laurel and Hardy film with them as a team “The Second Hundred Years” is released.

1939: Germany annexes Western Poland.

1940: German troops occupy Romania.

1945: The microwave oven is patented.

1959: The Conservatives win the general election. Harold MacMillan becomes prime minister.

1967: Guerrilla leader Che Guevara is captured in Bolivia. On the same day, former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee dies aged 84.

1971: The John Lennon album Imagine is released.

1976: The Sex Pistols sign with EMI.

1980: British Leyland starts selling the Mini Metro.

1982: Poland bans Solidarity and all trade unions.

1992: Death of former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt.

2001: George W Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.

2015: Death of TV presenter Hugh Scully.

BIRTHDAYS: Rev Jesse Jackson, politician, 78; Chevy Chase, comedian, 76; Hamish Stuart, musician (Average White Band), 70; Sigourney Weaver (Susan Weaver), actress, 70; Robert Bell, musician (Kool and the Gang) 69; Matt Damon, actor/screenwriter 49; Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, 49; Bruno Mars (Peter Hernandez) 34.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk