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This Day in History: August 8

Events

1585 – John Davis enters Cumberland Sound in search of the Northwest Passage.

1794 – Joseph Whidbey leads an expedition to search for the Northwest Passage near Juneau, Alaska.

1844 – The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, headed by Brigham Young, is reaffirmed as the leading body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

1863 – American Civil War: Following his defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis (which is refused upon receipt).

1876 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.

1885 – More than 1.5 million people attend the funeral of Ulysses S. Grant in New York City.

1908 – Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers' first public flight.

1918 – World War I: The Battle of Amiens begins a string of almost continuous victories with a push through the German front lines (Hundred Days Offensive).

1945 – The London Charter is signed by France, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States, establishing the laws and procedures for the Nuremberg trials.

1946 – First flight of the Convair B-36, the world's first mass-produced nuclear weapon delivery vehicle, the heaviest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft, with the longest wingspan of any military aircraft, and the first bomber with intercontinental range.

1974 – President Richard Nixon, in a nationwide television address, announces his resignation from the office of the President of the United States effective noon the next day.

1989 – Space Shuttle program: STS-28 Mission: Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a secret five-day military mission.

1990 – Iraq occupies Kuwait and the state is annexed to Iraq. This would lead to the Gulf War shortly afterward.

2000 – Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor and 30 years after its discovery by undersea explorer E. Lee Spence.

2007 – An EF2 tornado touches down in Kings County and Richmond County, New York, the most powerful tornado in New York to date and the first in Brooklyn since 1889.

2008 – Official ceremony of 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Bird's Nest.

2015 – Eight people are killed in a shooting in Harris County, Texas.

Births

1518 – Conrad Lycosthenes, French-German scholar and author (d. 1561)

1605 – Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, English lawyer and politician, Governor of Newfoundland (d. 1675)

1879 – Bob Smith, American physician and surgeon, co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous (d. 1950)

1884 – Sara Teasdale, American poet and educator (d. 1933)

1907 – Benny Carter, American saxophonist, trumpet player, and composer (d. 2003)

1921 – Esther Williams, American swimmer and actress (d. 2013)

1922 – Gertrude Himmelfarb, American historian, author, and academic

1930 – Joan Mondale, American wife of Walter Mondale, 32nd Second Lady of the United States (d. 2014)

1937 – Dustin Hoffman, American actor

1941 – George Tiller, American physician (d. 2009)

1950 – Willie Hall, American drummer and producer (The Blues Brothers, The Bar-Kays, and Booker T. & the M.G.'s)

1958 – Deborah Norville, American journalist

1967 – Eric Angle, American wrestler

Deaths

1965 – Shirley Jackson, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1916)

1991 – James Irwin, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930)

2005 – John H. Johnson, American publisher, founded the Johnson Publishing Company (b. 1918)