8 November 1972

American pay television network Home Box Office (HBO) launches.

HBO is one of the most prominent and influential cable and satellite television networks in the United States. Its history is marked by significant milestones in the evolution of the television and entertainment industry.

Early Years (1972-1980):
HBO was founded on November 8, 1972, by Charles Dolan and his company, Sterling Manhattan Cable. It was initially envisioned as a pay-TV service that would deliver movies and other programming to cable subscribers.
On November 8, 1972, HBO made its debut as a cable television service in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The service quickly expanded to other markets.

Technological Innovations:
In 1975, HBO became the first cable network to use satellite technology to deliver its programming, allowing it to reach a wider audience. This marked a significant step forward in the distribution of television content.

Original Programming:
In the late 1970s, HBO began to invest in original programming, including sports events and comedy specials. “On Location,” which showcased stand-up comedians, and “Inside the NFL” were among the network’s early original programs.

Growth and Expansion (1980s-1990s):
HBO continued to grow during the 1980s and 1990s, becoming a major player in the cable and satellite television industry. It introduced popular series like “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” and “The Wire.”
These original series helped redefine the television landscape and contributed to HBO’s reputation for high-quality, boundary-pushing programming.

Premium Cable Channel:
HBO positioned itself as a premium cable channel, meaning subscribers had to pay an additional fee on top of their regular cable subscription to access its content. This business model allowed HBO to invest heavily in original programming.

Awards and Critical Acclaim:
HBO’s commitment to producing quality content paid off with numerous awards and critical acclaim. Its original series and documentaries received numerous Emmy Awards and Golden Globes.

Digital Expansion:
In the 21st century, HBO adapted to changing viewer habits and technological advancements. It launched the streaming service HBO Go in 2010, followed by HBO Now in 2015, and eventually HBO Max in 2020.

Game of Thrones and Beyond:
“Game of Thrones,” based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, became a cultural phenomenon during its run on HBO from 2011 to 2019. It further solidified HBO’s status as a major player in the industry.

WarnerMedia Merger:
In 2018, HBO’s parent company, Time Warner, merged with AT&T, creating WarnerMedia. This merger led to changes in the company’s management and strategy.

HBO Max:
HBO Max, launched in May 2020, is an expanded streaming platform that includes HBO’s content as well as additional programming from WarnerMedia properties, making it a more comprehensive streaming service.

8 November 2002

Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approves a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences”.

[rdp-wiki-embed url=’https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_1441′]

8 November 1939

Adolf Hitler escapes the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.

On this day in 8 November 1939, on the 16th anniversary of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, a bomb explodes just after Hitler has finished giving a speech. He was unharmed.

Hitler had made an annual ritual on the anniversary of his infamous 1923 coup attempt, of regaling his followers with his vision of the Fatherland’s future. On this day, he had been addressing the Old Guard party members, those disciples and soldiers who had been loyal to Hitler and his fascist party since the earliest days of its inception. Just 12 minutes after Hitler had left the hall, along with important Nazi leaders who had accompanied him, a bomb exploded, which had been secreted in a pillar behind the speaker’s platform. Seven people were killed and 63 were wounded.

The next day, the Nazi Party official paper, the Voelkischer Beobachter, squarely placed the blame on British secret agents, even implicating Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain himself. This work of propaganda was an attempt to stir up hatred for the British and whip the German people into a frenzy for war. But the inner-Nazi Party members knew better—they knew the assassination attempt was most probably the work of a German anti-Nazi military conspiracy.

In an ingenious scheme to shift blame, while getting closer to the actual conspirators, Heinrich Himmler, the Gestapo chief, sent a subordinate, Walter Schellenberg, to Holland to make contact with British intelligence agents. The pretext of the meeting was to secure assurances from the British that in the event of an anti-Nazi coup, the British would support the new regime. The British agents were eager to gain whatever inside information they could about the rumored anti-Hitler movement within the German military; Schellenberg, posing as “Major Schaemmel,” was after whatever information British intelligence may have had on such a conspiracy within the German military ranks.

But Himmler wanted more than talk—he wanted the British agents themselves. So on November 9, SS soldiers in Holland kidnapped, with Schellenberg’s help, two British agents, Payne Best and R.H. Stevens, stuffing them into a Buick and driving them across the border into Germany. Himmler now proudly announced to the German public that he had captured the British conspirators. The man who actually planted the bomb at their behest was declared to be Georg Elser, a German communist who made his living as a carpenter.

While it seems certain that Elser did plant the bomb, who the instigators were—German military or British intelligence—remains unclear. All three “official” conspirators spent the war in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Hitler dared not risk a public trial, as there were just too many holes in the “official” story.

8 November 1605

The ringleader of the Gunpowder Plotters, Robert Catesby, is killed.


The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament on 5 November 1605, as the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James’s nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. Catesby may have embarked on the scheme after hopes of securing greater religious tolerance under King James had faded, leaving many English Catholics disappointed. His fellow plotters were John Wright, Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, Robert Wintour, Christopher Wright, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham. Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in suppression of the Dutch Revolt, was given charge of the explosives.

The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. During a search of the House of Lords at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder—enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble—and arrested. Most of the conspirators fled from London as they learned of the plot’s discovery, trying to enlist support along the way. Several made a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at Holbeche House; in the ensuing battle, Catesby was one of those shot and killed. At their trial on 27 January 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

8 November 1965

The death penalty is formally abolished in the United Kingdom.

The abolition of capital punishment was a major priority of the incoming Labour government of Harold Wilson when it came to office on the 15th of October 1964 and its first Home Secretary, Sir Frank Soskice. On the 28th of October 1965, a Private Member’s Bill to suspend the death penalty, sponsored by the left wing MP, Mr. Sydney Silverman, received Royal Assent. It was supported by the government and the Home Secretary. Thus on the 9th of November 1965, Abolition of Death Penalty Act suspended the death penalty for murder in the United Kingdom for a period of five years.

The last executions were two carried out simultaneously at 8.00 a.m. on the 13th of August 1964 in Walton and Strangeways prisons when Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans were hanged for the murder of John West, a laundry man, in the course of robbing him.

On the 16th of December 1969, the House of Commons reaffirmed its decision that capital punishment for murder should be permanently abolished. On a free vote, the House voted by 343 to 185, a majority of 158, that the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, should not expire. Thus, the death penalty for murder was formally abolished.