January 1 - A ball signifying New Year's Day drops in New York City's Times Square for
the first time.
January 8 - A train collision occurs in the Park Avenue Tunnel in New York City killing 17,
injuring 38 and leading to increased demand for electric trains.
January 11 - Grand Canyon National Monument is created.
January 12 - A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
January 21 - New York City passes a law, the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for
women to smoke in public only to be vetoed by the mayor.
January 24 - Robert Baden-Powell begins the Boy Scout movement.
February 11 - Australia regain The Ashes with a 308 run cricket victory over England.
First Ideal Home Exhibition held.
April 27 - The 1908 Summer Olympics open in London.
May 10 - Mother's Day is observed for the first time (Andrew's Methodist Church in
Grafton, West Virgina).
May 26 - At Masjid-al-Salaman in southwest Persia, the first major commercial oil strike
in the Middle East is made. The rights to the resource are quickly acquired by the
June 30 - The Tunguska impact event occurs in Siberia.
July 6 - Robert Peary sets sail for the Arctic North Pole.
July 22 - Albert Fisher establishes the Fisher Body Company to manufacture
carriage and automobile bodies.
July 26 - United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issues an order to
immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau
December 28 - An earthquake rocks Messina, Sicily killing over 75,000.
De Meester's Dutch government resigns.
November - George Howard Taft defeats William Jennings Bryan in the U.S. presidential
Change of Emperor of Qing Dynasty from Guangxu Emperor of China (1875-1908) to
Henry Puyi (1909-1911).
Henry Ford produces its first Model T automobile.
A 40,000-year-old Neanderthal boy skeleton is found at Le Moustier in southwest France.
The Child Labour Act of Ontario is passed.
1908 in sports
The third Summer Olympic Games are held in London, England.
September 23 - Baseball/History: the "Merkle incident".
December 26 - Jack Johnson becomes the first African American heavyweight boxing
champion by defeating Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.Births
January 7 - Red Allen
, jazz musician (d. 1967).
January 9 - Simone de Beauvoir
, feminist philosopher.
January 12 - Jean Delannoy
, film director.
January 14 - Rus Columbo
, singer, bandleader, composer.
January 15 - Edward Teller
January 26 - Stéphane Grappelli
, musician, composer (d. 1997).
January 27 - Oran "Hot Lips" Page
, jazz trumpet (d. 1954).
February 1 - George Pal
, director, producer (d. 1980).
February 5 - Daisy and Violet Hilton
, conjoined twins, actresses (d. 1969).
February 7 - Buster Crabbe
, Olympic Games swimming gold medalist, actor.
February 8 - Emil Staiger
, scientist of literature (d. 1987).
February 11 - Sutan Takdir Alishahbana
, Indonesian linguistic/author/novelist.
February 11 - Vivian Ernest Fuchs
February 11 - Josh White
February 15 - HAP Grieshaber
, painter and graphic artist (d. 1981).
February 17 - Red Barber
, baseball announcer, sports journalist (d. 1992).
February 22 - John Mills
February 23 - William McMahon
, twentieth Prime Minister of Australia, (d. 1988).
February 26 - Tex Avery
, cartoonist (d. 1980).
February 26 - Jean-Pierre Wimille
, race car driver (d. 1949).
February 29 - Balthus
, painter (d. 2001).
February 29 - Dee Brown
, writer, historian (d. 2002).
March 2 - Walter Bruch
, engineer (d. 1990).
March 5 - Rex Harrison
, actor (d. 1990).
March 8 - Claire Trevor
March 7 - Anna Magnani
, actress (d. 1973).
March 13 - Walter Annenberg
, publisher, philanthropist (d. 2002).
March 17 - Brigitte Helm
, actress (d. 1996).
March 18 - Fredrika Laurentia Theodora van den Houten
March 20 - Sir Michael Redgrave
, actor (d. 1985).
March 22 - Louis L'Amour
, author (d. 1988).
March 23 - Joan Crawford
, actor (d. 1977).
March 25 - Helmut Käutner
, actor and film director (d. 1980).
March 25 - David Lean
, film director (d. 1991).
March 27 - Izabella Suzanna van den Houten
March 28 - Jacobus van den Houten
March 29 - Arthur O'Connell
, actor (d. 1981).
April 1 - Abraham Maslow
April 2 - Buddy Ebsen
, actor, dancer.
April 5 - Bette Davis
, US-american actress (d. 1989).
April 5 - Herbert von Karajan
, Austrian conductor (d. 1989).
April 7 - Percy Faith
, composer, musician (d. 1976).
April 15 - Eden Ahbez
, hermit, musician.
April 20 - Lionel Hampton
, jazz musician, bandleader (d. 2002).
April 25 - Edward R. Murrow
, journalist (d. 1965).
May 7 - Max Grundig
, industrialist (d. 1989).
May 8 - Cristian Vasile
, Romanian tango singer (d. 1974).
May 19 - Percy Williams
, Canadian athlete (d. 1982).
May 20 - Jimmy Stewart
, American actor.
May 23 - Anna Cornelia Hage
May 23 - John Bardeen
, physicist (d. 1991).
May 25 - Theodore Roethke
, American poet.
May 28 - Ian Fleming
, author of James Bond books (d. 1964).
May 30 - Mel Blanc
, voice actor.
May 31 - Don Ameche
July 15 - Adriaan van den Houten
August 4 - Nicolaas Jacobus van den Houten
August 4 - Kurt Eichhorn
August 5 - Harold Holt
, seventeenth Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1967).
August 10 - Adriana Stoffelina Jonas
August 27 - Don Bradman
, cricket player.
August 27 - Lyndon Johnson
, 36th president of the United States.
August 28 - Roger Tory Peterson
, naturalist, artist, and educator.
August 29 - Sophia Maria Smits
August 31 - Arie van der Horn
September 6 - Louis Essen
, physicist (d. 1997).
September 30 - Hendrikus Maarten van den Houten
October 14 - Allan Jones
, actor, singer (d. 1992).
October 16 - Enver Hoxha
, dictator of Albania.
November 16 - Klaartje Meijer
November 20 - Alistair Cooke
, television host (d. 2004).
November 24 - Albertine Maria van den Houten
November 28 - Claude Levi-Strauss
November 30 - Paulus van den Houten
December 6 - Pierre Graber
, member of the Swiss Federal Council (d. 2003).
December 7 - Maarten van den Houten
December 10 - Olivier Messiaen
December 31 - Simon Wiesenthal
, Nazi hunter.Honor Adams
January 1 - Adriana van den Houten
January 25 - Ouida
February 1 - Nicolaas Jan Jacobus Storm
February 1 - King Charles
February 23 - Arentje (Arendje) van den Houten
March 21 - Jacob Noteboom
April 20 - Henry Chadwick
, baseball writer and historian.
April 22 - Cornelis Kamerling
April 22 - Henry Campbell-Bannerman
, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
June 13 - Bastiaan Meerman
July 20 - Demetrius Vikelas
, Greek IOC president.
May 26 - Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
, founder of the Ahmadi sect.
August 25 - Henri Becquerel
, French physicist.
September 18 - Cornelis Marinus Bakker
September 20 - Pablo de Sarasate
October 30 - Caroline Astor
, American socialite.
November 12 - Cornelis van den Houten
November 14 5-7 pm - Guangxu
Emperor of China.
November 15 1-3 pm - Empress Dowager Cixi
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