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On this day in history - January 8

What Happened On This Day – January 8

  • 1994 Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov begins his record spaceflight

    Polyakov stayed aboard the Mir space station for a record-breaking 437 days and 18 hours.

  • 1959 Charles de Gaulle becomes president of France

    His right-wing political ideology, Gaullism, still influences French politics today.

  • 1912 The African National Congress (ANC) is founded

    The ANC, whose most famous member is Nelson Mandela, played an important role in the fight against the South African apartheid regime and it is now the country's governing political party.

  • 1889 Computer pioneer Herman Hollerith patents his punched card calculator

    His invention paved the way for modern automatic computation.

  • 1790 George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address

    The U.S. president typically uses this annual speech to outline his political agenda.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
January 8

  • 1967 R. Kelly

    American singer-songwriter, producer, actor

  • 1947 David Bowie

    English singer-songwriter, producer, actor

  • 1942 Stephen Hawking

    English physicist, author

  • 1935 Elvis Presley

    American singer, guitarist, actor

  • 1934 Jacques Anquetil

    French cyclist

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
January 8

  • 1996 François Mitterrand

    French politician, 21st President of France

  • 1990 Terry-Thomas

    British actor

  • 1976 Zhou Enlai

    Chinese politician, 1st Premier of the People's Republic of China

  • 1942 Joseph Franklin Rutherford

    American lawyer, religious leader

  • 1642 Galileo Galilei

    Italian astronomer, physicist