On April 8:
217 Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.
1093 The new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin.
1139 Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated.
1513 Explorer Juan Ponce de León declared Florida a territory of Spain.
1730 Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, was dedicated.
1767 Ayutthaya kingdom fell to Burmese invaders.
1820 The Venus de Milo was discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield – Union forces were thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana.
1866 Italy and Prussia allied against Austrian Empire
1873 Julius Vogel became Premier of New Zealand.
1886 William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.
1892 Mary Pickford, Canadian actress, was born.
1895 The Supreme Court of the United States declared unapportioned income tax to be unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.
1904 The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland signed the Entente cordiale.
1904 John Hicks, British economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner, was born.
1906 Auguste Deter, the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, died.
1908 Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard Business School.
1913 The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, beccame law.
1919 Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was born.
1938 Kofi Annan, Ghanaian United Nations Secretary General, was born.
1942 World War II: Siege of Leningrad – Soviet forces opened a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.
1942 – World War II: The Japanese took Bataan in the Philippines.
1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, froze wages and prices, prohibited workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and barred rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.
1946 The last meeting of the League of Nations, was held.
1950 India and Pakistan signed the Liaquat-Nehru Pact.
1952 U.S. President Harry Truman called for the seizure of all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.
1953 Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta iwa convicted by Kenya’s British rulers.
1954 A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.
1955 Barbara Kingsolver, American novelist, was born.
1965 Michael Jones, New Zealand rugby player and coach, was born.
1968 BOAC Flight 712 caught fire shortly after take off. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.
1970 Bahr el-Baqar incident Israeli airforce F4 Phantom II fighter bombers, struck the single-floor school with five bombs and 2 air-to-ground missiles. 46 children were killed, and more than 50 wounded.
1975 Frank Robinson managed the Cleveland Indians in his first game as major league baseball’s first African American manager.
1985 Bhopal disaster: India filed suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.
1989 The Democratic Party was formed in South Africa from the merger of four parties.
1989 The two Greek Communist parties and smaller left-wing parties, merged to form the Coalition of the Left and Progress .
1990 New Democracy won the national election in Greece.
1992 Retired tennis champion Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.
2006 Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, were found in a field in Ontario, Canada.
2008 The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia