April 8th

2011
Congressional and White House negotiators struck a last-minute budget deal ahead of a midnight deadline, averting a federal shutdown and cutting billions in spending.
United States federal government shutdown of 2013
2009
Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama. (The crew retook the cargo ship, and Navy sharpshooters killed two pirates holding the ship's American captain.).
Piracy off the coast of Somalia
2005
Over 4 million people pay their last respects to Pope John Paul II. Karol Józef Wojtyła from Poland was an immensely popular pope. He was succeeded by German Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger.
Funeral of Pope John Paul II
2004
Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.
2004 Darfur Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement
1994
Rock singer-musician Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was found dead in Seattle at age 27 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Kurt Cobain
1992
Tennis player Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS.
Arthur Ashe
1990
Ryan White, an AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance gained national attention, died at age 18.
Ted Kennedy
1977
The Clash release their debut album of the same name. The British combo around lead vocalist Joe Strummer is considered one of the most influential early punk rock bands.
The Clash (album)
1973
Artist Pablo Picasso died at age 91.
Pablo Picasso
1970
The Senate rejected President Richard Nixon's nomination of G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court.
G. Harrold Carswell
1959
One of the first modern programming languages is created. The Common Business-Oriented Language or COBOL was primarily designed by a woman, Grace Hopper. Also known as Amazing Grace, she is regarded as one of the pioneers in the field.
COBOL
1953
Jomo Kenyatta is sentenced to 7 years hard labor. Kenyatta led the Mau Mau movement against the British colonialists. He is considered to be Kenya's founding father and became the country's first President in 1964.
Ransley Thacker
1952
President Harry S. Truman seized the steel industry to avert a nationwide strike.
1952 steel strike
1935
The Works Progress Administration was approved by Congress.
Works Progress Administration
1918
First lady Betty Ford was born Elizabeth Bloomer in Chicago.
Betty Ford
1913
The 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the popular election of U.S. senators, was ratified.
Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
1904
France and the United Kingdom sign the Entente cordiale. The treaty, which was initially designed to regulate the countries' colonial interests in Africa, later evolved into the Triple Entente to fight Germany in World War I.
Entente Cordiale
1898
Battle of Atbara River, Anglo-Egyptian forces crush 6,000 Sudanese.
Battle of Atbara
1886
William Ewart Gladstone introduces the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.
Government of Ireland Bill 1886
1767
Ayutthaya kingdom falls to Burmese invaders.
Burmese–Siamese War (1765–67)
1513
Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain.
Juan Ponce de León