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On This Day In History - April 8

By CM Chaney · April 8, 2024

On This Day In History - April 8

"On This Day in History" is a captivating journey through time, revisiting the most significant events that have occurred on this very date throughout the years.

From monumental political decisions and groundbreaking scientific discoveries to unforgettable moments in sports and cultural milestones, each article in this series will transport you back to a specific day, offering a glimpse into the past and revealing how these events have shaped our world.

Join us as we uncover the fascinating stories that have left an indelible mark on history.  Wikimedia

1838: Great Western Steamer Sets Sail on Maiden Transatlantic Voyage

The Great Western, the first regular transatlantic steamship, departed from Bristol, England, on its inaugural journey to New York City, ushering in a new era of travel.  Wikimedia/Joseph Walter

1859: Edmund Husserl, Father of Phenomenology, Born

German philosopher Edmund Husserl, credited with establishing the philosophical movement of phenomenology, which greatly influenced 20th-century thought, was born on this day.  Wikimedia

1912: Figure Skating Legend Sonja Henie Born

Sonja Henie, the Norwegian-American figure skater who dominated the sport with 10 consecutive world amateur titles and three Olympic gold medals, was born on this day.  Wikimedia/Georg Pahl

1913: 17th Amendment Establishes Direct Election of U.S. Senators

The Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, mandating that U.S. senators be directly elected by the voters of their respective states.  Wikimedia/US Government

1920: Venus de Milo Discovered on Aegean Island

The ancient statue "Venus de Milo," believed to depict Aphrodite, was found in fragments on the Aegean island of Melos before being reconstructed and displayed at the Louvre in Paris.  Wikimedia

1941: Punk Fashion Pioneer Vivienne Westwood Born

Vivienne Westwood, the influential British fashion designer who, alongside partner Malcolm McLaren, brought punk music's rebellious spirit to the world of fashion, was born on this day.  Wikimedia/Mattia Passeri

1950: India and Pakistan Sign Delhi Pact for Refugee Safe Passage

Jawaharlal Nehru of India and Liaqat Ali Khan of Pakistan signed the Delhi Pact, ensuring safe passage for refugees displaced after the two countries' relations deteriorated in 1949.  Wikimedia/Planemad

1973: 20th Century Art Giant Pablo Picasso Dies at 91

Pablo Picasso, widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, passed away at the age of 91.  Wikimedia

1974: Hank Aaron Surpasses Babe Ruth's Home Run Record

Hank Aaron, the American baseball legend, hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's long-standing record, and finished his career with 755 total homers.  Wikimedia

1979: "All in the Family" Airs Final Episode

The groundbreaking sitcom "All in the Family," known for its frank and satirical approach to topics like race, gender, sex, and bigotry, aired its final episode on CBS.  Wikimedia/CBS Television

1990: "Twin Peaks" Debuts, Captivates Audiences with Surreal Mystery

The premiere episode of "Twin Peaks" aired, captivating audiences with its unconventional storytelling, surreal atmosphere, and enigmatic characters, earning critical praise and a devoted fan base.  Wikimedia/ChuckyDarko

1990: Ryan White, Young AIDS Activist, Dies at 18

Ryan White, who became a national symbol after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion to treat hemophilia, passed away at the age of 18.  Wikimedia/Wildhartlivie

2003: Springtails Revealed to Have Evolved Separately from Insects

New research suggested that springtails (Collembola), previously considered ancient insect ancestors, actually evolved from a separate lineage that diverged even before insects and crustaceans split.  Wikimedia/Mvuijlst

2013: Britain's First Female PM Margaret Thatcher Dies at 87

Margaret Thatcher, the UK's first woman prime minister (1979-90) and the only British PM to win three consecutive terms in the 20th century, passed away at 87.  Wikimedia

Today: Japan Celebrates Buddha's Birthday

On this day, the majority of Buddhists in Japan commemorate the birth of the Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

Born in India between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, the Buddha's teachings have had a profound impact on Japanese culture and spirituality, with his birthday being a significant religious holiday celebrated by many.  Wikimedia/Neil Satyam