Today in History, August 8

By AAP and agencies
2017 - Fadi Ibrahim, brother of Sydney's John Ibrahim, is arrested in Dubai

HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE:

1549 - France declares war on England.

1588 - The English fleet batters and scatters the Spanish Armada off France, in the first major naval gun battle in history.

1647 - Irish forces are defeated by British Parliamentary forces at Dangan Hill in Ireland.

1786 - First ascent of 4807-metre Mont Blanc in France is completed by Dr Michel-Gabriel Paccard and his porter, Jacques Balmat.

1789 - First police force, named Nightwatch, is established in the Australian colony of NSW.

1815 - France's Napoleon Bonaparte sails for St Helena to spend the remainder of his life in exile.

1876 - Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.

1900 - Naval contingents from NSW and Victoria sail to China to help quell the Boxer Rebellion.

1916 - Australian troops begin attacks on Moquet Farm in France.

1918 - The British, with Australian and Canadian forces, begin an offensive on the Western Front causing the German lines to crumble.

1940 - Germany begins heavy bombing of Britain in World War II.

1945 - US President Harry Truman signs the United Nations Charter.

1953 - United States and South Korea sign mutual defence treaty.

1960 - United Nations demands evacuation of Belgian troops from Congo.

1963 - Britain's "Great Train Robbery" takes place as thieves make off with 2.6 million pounds in bank notes.

1965 - City of Singapore withdraws from Federation of Malaysia and becomes an independent state.

1967 - Foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand sign a declaration leading to the formation of the Association of South East Asian Nations.

1974 - US president Richard Nixon announces on television that he is resigning after the Watergate scandal.

1980 - A Turkish military court sentences 22 people to death on charges from the December 1978 rioting in Kahramanmaras that killed more than 100 people.

1990 - Iraq formally annexes Kuwait and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher orders British air and naval forces to the Gulf at Saudi Arabian king Fahd's request.

1991 - Lebanese kidnappers free British TV producer John McCarthy after holding him hostage for five years.

1994 - Israel and Jordan open first road linking the two nations.

1995 - The "AIDS gang", a group of bank robbers who cannot be jailed under Italian law because they have AIDS, are freed again after their fourth hold-up in three weeks.

1996 - Boris Yeltsin begins his second term as Russian president.

1997 - Iraq clears the last obstacle for a resumption of oil sales after a UN Security Council panel approves a formula for setting crude prices under an "oil-for-food" plan.

2000 - A bomb rips through a crowded underground walkway in central Moscow, killing 12 people and injuring 108 others.

2001 - Mohammad Khatami is sworn in for a second term as Iran's president.

2002 - Australia's High Court rules that an Aboriginal tribe does not have rights over resources underneath land to which it held native title but which was leased to mining companies.

2007 - Jakarta holds local elections for the first time as it attempts a shot at democracy in Indonesia.

2010 - The bodies of 10 medical volunteers from America, Germany, Britain and Afghanistan murdered by the Taliban are flown to the capital city Kabul.

2011 - Australian heroine Nancy Wake, 98, dies in London after saving thousands of Allied lives during World War II by setting up escape routes and sabotaging German installations.

2014 - A three-day truce collapses in a new round of violence after Gaza militants resume rocket attacks on Israel.

2015 - Australia loses the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, and captain Michael Clarke announces he will retire from international cricket at the end of the series.

2016 - Australian man Timothy Weekes is one of two teachers abducted from the American University in Afghanistan by men disguised as National Security officers.

2017 - Two brothers of Sydney nightclub identity John Ibrahim, Micahel and Fadi Ibrahim, are arrested in Dubai over their roles in an alleged international drug-smuggling conspiracy.

Today's Birthdays:

Francis Hutcheson, Scottish philosopher (1694-1746); Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary (1879-1919); Paul Dirac, British physicist and Nobel laureate (1902-1984); Don Burrows, Australian jazzman (1928-); John Laws, Australian radio personality (1935-); Dustin Hoffman, US actor (1937-); The Edge (Dave Howell Evans), Irish guitarist of U2 (1961-); Craig Ruddy, Australian artist (1968-); Toby Allen, Australian singer (1973-); Roger Federer, Swiss tennis player (1981-); Vanessa Amorosi, Australian singer (1981-); Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary (1988-).

Thought For Today:

Man adjusts to what he should not; he is unable to adjust to what he should - Jean Toomer, African-American author-poet (1894-1967).