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Today’s History Spotlight
The Battle of Princeton, New Jersey is fought. The previous week, George Washington and Continental forces crossed the Delaware River during the early morning hours on Christmas Day.
They then secured a victory at Trenton, capturing roughly 900 Hessian mercenaries. At Princeton, the Continental Army attacked the British forces of Charles Mawhood and Charles Cornwallis, winning a victory and boosting American morale.
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.
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
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
The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at TimeandDate.com and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.