On This Day in History: May 8

On May 8, the Russians decided to boycott the U.S. Olympics, following on from the United States boycotting the Games four years earlier. Here are the events that happened today in history.

1559: Queen Elizabeth I Becomes Supreme Governor of the Church of England

Elizabeth IDespite wanting to become the Supreme Head of the Church of England, Queen Elizabeth I was made the Supreme Governor on this day in history. This position was created following Elizabeth’s ascension after her half-sister Mary I had tried to make England a Catholic country again. The position is now held by all British monarchs, but is more ceremonial and symbolic than anything else.

1660: Charles Stuart Declared King Charles II of England

After 11 years under parliamentary rule, England declared Charles Stuart, son of the executed Charles I of England, the new king. He would be known as Charles II of England and Scotland, although the Scottish had already viewed him as king since his father’s execution in 1649. It wouldn’t be until May 29, 1660 (on his birthday) that he would be received into London and his reign would officially begin. All legal documents were dated as if he had been king from the day of his father’s death.

1984: Russia Pulls Out of L.A. Olympics

The 1984 Olympics suffered a blow when the USSR decided to boycott the games. Most of the Eastern Bloc was expected to copy, although only Romania did. The announcement was in response to the United States boycotting their games four years earlier for political reasons. The U.S. boycott had led to 60 countries boycotting the Moscow Olympics. China came back to the Olympics, after being missing since 1932, but a number of great athletes were still missing. The United States won 83 medals, the most they had ever won.

1988: First Person Convicted of Violating the Federal Anti-Tampering Act

Stella Nickell became the first person ever to be convicted of violating the United States’ Federal Anti-Tampering Act. She had killed her husband by putting cyanide in his Excedrin capsules. Her daughter claimed she had been planning Bruce Nickell’s murder since her honeymoon. They had married after seven people have been killed from poisoned Tylenol pills in Chicago in 1976. She was only caught after the doctors ruled his death from emphysema, and she needed to make it look like an accident. She killed Susan Snow by taking more tampered pills, and informed the police she believed her husband had died the same way.

Famous Birthdays on May 8

Joanna I of Auvergne, queen of France–1329

Jesuit Peter Canisius–1521

Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy–1587

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire historian Edward Gibbon–1737

First black female poet published, Phillis Wheatley–1753

The Adventures of Gil Blas author Alain Rene Lesage—1668

Red Cross founder Jean Henri Dunant—1828

United States President Harry S. Truman—1884

Critic Edmund Wilson—1895

Jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams—1910

A Summer Place author Sloan Wilson—1920

Jaws author Peter Benchley—1940

Nature documentary producer Sir David Attenborough—1926

Hero singer Enrique Iglesias—1975

Arrow actor Stephen Amell—1981


Birthdays from OnThisDay.com, HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Elizabeth I of England: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_I_of_England#/media/File:Darnley_stage_3.jpg

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