Historical Events For Year 1908

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January 12, 1908

A long-distance radio message from the Eiffel Tower is sent for the first time.

January 24, 1908

Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys in London book, which effectively begins the worldwide Boy Scout movement, starts publication.
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February 12, 1908

The 1908 New York to Paris Race, which was the first around-the-world car race, begins. Read More

February 18, 1908

Under terms of the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907, Japanese emigration to the United States is forbidden.

March, 1908

London begins publication of the Children's Encyclopedia. Read More

March 4, 1908

174 are killed in the Collinwood School Fire, near Cleveland, Ohio. Read More

March 21, 1908

The first passenger flight is piloted by French aviator Léon Delagrange with Henri Farman on board.

March 23, 1908

An American diplomat, Durham Stevens, who was working for Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was assassinated by two Korean men because they were opposed to his endorsement of increasing the presence of the Japanese in Korea.
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April 20, 1908

44 people are killed and more than 400 injured in a rear-end collision of two trains in Melbourne, Australia, known as the Sunshine train disaster.
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April 27–October 31, 1908

London holds the Summer Olympics for this year. Read More

May 26, 1908

The first large amount of oil is detected in the Middle East, control of which is quickly taken over by the United Kingdom.
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July 11–12, 1908

1 is killed and 20 are injured when Anton Nilson bombs the steamship Amalthea that was housing 80 British strikebreakers in Malmö harbor, Sweden.

July 23, 1908

During the Young Turk Revolution, a formal ultimatum to restore the constitution of 1876 within the Ottoman Empire is issued by the Committee of Union and Progress to Sultan Abdul Hamid II, restoring it the following day.

July 24, 1908

Dorando Pietri wins the London Olympic marathon, but the award is revoked after it was discovered he has received assistance.

August 8, 1908

In France, Wilbur Wright demonstrates true controlled powered flight for the first time in Europe.

August 8, 1908

The Hoover Company of Canton, Ohio obtains the manufacturing rights to the newly introduced upright portable vacuum cleaner.
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September 17, 1908

Thomas Selfridge becomes the first person to die from an airplane crash at Fort Myer, Virginia, piloted by Orville Wright, who is only severely injured.

September 27, 1908

The first Model T automobile is produced by Henry Ford. Read More

October 5, 1908

Ferdinand I becomes Tsar of Bulgaria when independence from the Ottoman Empire is declared by the country.
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October 6, 1908

A crisis in Bosnia arises when it is taken over by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

November 6, 1908

Robert Leroy Parker, an outlaw in western America more widely known as Butch Cassidy, and a member of his gang known as the Sundance Kid are rumored to have been killed in Bolivia by soldiers and buried in unmarked graves, but this has never been confirmed.
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November 15, 1908

After evidence of maladministration is collected by Roger Casement, the personal control of the Congo Free State to Belgium is relinquished by King Leopold II of Belgium.

November 25, 1908

The first publication of the Christian Science Monitor newspaper is printed in the United States.
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December 2, 1908

At age 2, Pu Yi ascends from Child Emperor to the Chinese throne. Read More

December 28, 1908

Sicily and Calabria are hit by the Messina earthquake of 7.1 Mw and a tsunami, killing over 70,000 people and destroying Messina.
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