This Day in History - 8th July
975 The death of Edgar the Peaceful or the Peaceable who was King of England from 959 to 975. He was the younger son of King Edmund I and his Queen, Ælfgifu of Shaftesbury.
1822The death of Percy Shelley, English poet. He drowned in Italy while sailing his small schooner Ariel to his home on the Gulf of Spezia. Most papers reported Shelley’s death as an accident, but others speculated that he might have been murdered by an enemy who detested his political beliefs.
1836The birth of Joseph Chamberlain, self-made businessman, influential British politician, statesman and the father of former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. He resigned from Gladstone's Third Government in 1886 in opposition to Irish Home Rule and as Secretary of State for the Colonies he presided over the Second Boer War. Despite never becoming Prime Minister, he is regarded as one of the most important British politicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
1884The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) was founded in London.
1918National Savings stamps were introduced in Britain.
1941Twenty B-17s flew on their first mission with the RAF over Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
1961For the first time since 1941, Britain provided both women finalists for the Wimbledon Ladies' singles title - Christine Truman and Angela Mortimer
1965Ronald Biggs, who was serving a 30-year prison sentence for his part in the Great Train Robbery, escaped from Wandsworth prison.
1967The death of Vivien Leigh, English film actress whose films included Gone With The Wind.
1985Britain lifted its trade ban with Argentina after the Falklands crisis ended.
1986British Steel made a profit for the first time in 17 years.
1988A London double-decker bus parked in Battersea, was put on sale for £40,000. It had been converted into a luxury home to overcome rising property prices in the capital.
1996Four young children and four adults were attacked by a man with a machete at St Luke's Infants' School in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton. Teacher Lisa Potts's arm was almost severed in the attack and four children were injured. In 1997, Queen Elizabeth presented her with the George Medal for her heroism in saving the children's lives. Her attacker, Horrett Campbell, was sent indefinitely to a secure mental hospital.
1996A patent was filed by two English scientists to use genetically engineered mosquitoes to immunize their victims against malaria by transferring a protein in their saliva.
2000J. K. Rowling's fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire went on sale, breaking all publishing records.
2005The G8 summit in Gleneagles ended with a deal to boost aid for developing countries by almost £28 billion.
2006The death of the actor and voice artist Peter Hawkins. He voiced Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men, Big Ears & Mr. Plod from The Adventures of Noddy, all the voices for the animated series Captain Pugwash, The Adventures of Tintin and many more. He also voiced several characters on Doctor Who in the show's early years, most notably the Daleks and the Cybermen. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s Hawkins was one of the most sought after voiceovers for television and radio.