This Day In History : November 8

1984 United States

NASA astronaut Anna Lee Fisher becomes 1st "mom" to go into orbit aboard STS 51-A

NASA astronaut Anna Lee Fisher became the first "mom" to go into orbit aboard STS 51-A on November 8, 1984. Fisher, a mission specialist, was part of the space shuttle Discovery's crew, which deployed two satellites and retrieved two others during the mission. Her journey marked a significant milestone in the history of space exploration and highlighted the expanding role of women in the field.

Also on This Day in History November 8

Discover what happened on November 8 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, November 8
  • 1923 Jack Kilby

    American electrical engineer (Nobel Prize in Physics, 2000 - handheld calculator, integrated circuit)

  • 1922 Christiaan Barnard

    South African cardiac surgeon who performed the 1st heart transplant

  • 1848 Gottlob Frege

    German mathematician and logician (Begriffsschrift)

  • 1656 Edmond Halley

    English mathematician and astronomer (Halley's comet)

  • 1936 Edward George Gibson

    American astronaut (Skylab 4)

Deaths on This Day, November 8
  • 1934 James Mark Baldwin

    American Philosopher and Psychologist

  • 1969 Vesto Melvin Slipher

    American astronomer who provided the first evidence to support the expanding-universe theory

  • 1908 William Edward Ayrton

    English Physicist, Inventor and Electrical Engineer

  • 1703 John Wallis

    British mathematician who introduced the infinity math symbol

  • 1911 Samuel Wilks

    British physician and founding father of clinical science


Montana is admitted as the 41st state of the United States of America

On November 8, 1889, Montana was admitted as the 41st state of the United States of America. This admission followed the Montana Territory's establishment in 1864 and marked a significant milestone in the expansion of the United States. The state's rich natural resources, including vast mineral deposits and fertile lands, played a crucial role in its development and growth.

American pay television network Home Box Office (HBO) launches

On November 8, 1972, the American pay television network Home Box Office (HBO) was launched. As the first subscription-based cable network, HBO revolutionized television by offering a range of original programming, movies, and special events without commercial interruption. This launch marked the beginning of a new era in television entertainment, paving the way for premium content and influencing the development of the cable industry.

First person to observe X-rays

In 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen became the first person to observe X-rays. While experimenting with electrical currents through glass cathode-ray tubes, Röntgen discovered that a fluorescent screen in his lab started to glow, even though it was not in the direct path of the cathode rays. He deduced that a new type of ray, which he called X-rays, was being emitted from the tube.

The Bodleian Library opened to the public

The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford was opened to the public on November 8, 1602. It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe and serves as a significant repository for academic resources and historical documents.
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