Today in History: Feb. 8, Mary, Queen of Scots beheaded


In 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in the Virginia Colony.

In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

In 1922, President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House.

In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City as Gee Jon, a Chinese immigrant convicted of murder, was put to death.

In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed her accession to the British throne following the death of her father, King George VI.

In 1960, work began on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles.

In 1965, Eastern Air Lines Flight 663, a DC-7, crashed shortly after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport; all 84 people on board were killed.

In 1968, three Black students were killed in a confrontation between demonstrators and highway patrolmen at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg in the wake of protests over a whites-only bowling alley.

In 1971, NASDAQ, the world’s first electronic stock exchange, held its first trading day.

In 1973, Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal, including its chairman, Democrat Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina.

In 2007, model, actor and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith died in Hollywood, Florida, at age 39 of an accidental drug overdose.

In 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said a 60-year-old U.S. citizen who’d been diagnosed with the coronavirus had died on Feb. 5 in Wuhan; it was apparently the first American fatality from the virus.

In 2021, longtime NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer died in North Carolina at 77.

In 2022, “The Power of the Dog” topped the 2022 Oscar nominations with 10. (It would go on to win just one, best director for Jane Campion.)

In 2023, Rescue teams in Turkey and Syria searched for signs of life in the rubble of thousands of buildings toppled by a catastrophic earthquake. The confirmed death toll from the world’s deadliest quake in more than a decade approached 12,000 and eventually would be more than 50,000.


Composer-conductor John Williams is 92.

Broadcast journalist Ted Koppel is 84.

Actor Nick Nolte is 83.

Comedian Robert Klein is 82.

Actor-rock musician Creed Bratton is 81.

Singer Ron Tyson is 76.

Actor Brooke Adams is 75.

Actor Mary Steenburgen is 71.

Author John Grisham is 69.

Retired NBA All-Star and College Basketball Hall of Famer Marques Johnson is 68.

Actor Henry Czerny is 65.

Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 63.

Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson is 62.

Movie producer Toby Emmerich is 61.

Actor Missy Yager is 56.

Actor Mary McCormack is 55.

Basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning is 54.

Actor Susan Misner is 53.

Dance musician Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (Daft Punk) is 50.

Actor Seth Green is 50.

Actor Joshua Morrow is 50.

Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 47.

Actor William Jackson Harper is 44.

Actor Jim Parrack is 43.

Folk singer-musician Joey Ryan (Milk Carton Kids) is 42.

Actor-comedian Cecily Strong is 40.

Rock musician Jeremy Davis is 39.

Hip-hop artist Anderson.Paak is 38.

Actor Ryan Pinkston is 36.

NBA star Klay Thompson is 34.

Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is 34.

Actor Karle Warren is 32.