1908 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar).
1905 1906 1907 - 1908(MCMVIII) - 1909 1910 1911
1870s 1880s 1890s - 1900s - 1910s 1920s 1930s
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
- January 1 - British Harry Bensley leaves for his would-be trip around the world pushing a pram and wearing an iron mask, beginning from the Trafalgar Square
- 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 15 - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the first Greek-letter organization by and for Black college women is established.
- January 21 - New York City passes a law, the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for aliens to smoke in public only to be vetoed by the mayor.
- January 24 - Robert Baden-Powell begins the Boy Scout movement
- February 1 - King Carlos I of Portugal and Crown Prince Luis shot in Lisbon
- February 11 - Australia regain The Ashes with a 308 run cricket victory over England.
- February 18 - Japanese immigration to USA forbidden
- February 25 - Los Angeles. The Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now Biola University) founded.
- April 7 - Herbert Henry Asquith takes office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
- April 21 - Friedrich A Cook's claimed date to have reached North Pole
- 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 Virginia).
- 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 United Kingdom.
- June 30 - The Tunguska impact event, also known as the "Russian explosion" occurs in Siberia.
- July 6 - Robert Peary sets sail for the Arctic North Pole.
- July 11-12 night - Explosion of a ship Amalthea in the Malmö harbor in Sweden, housing 80 British strikebreakers. 1 dead, 20 injured.
- July 13 - Women compete in modern Olympics for the first time.
- July 19 - Feyenoord Rotterdam was founded.
- 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 of Investigation).
- September 27 - Henry Ford produces his first Model T automobile.
- October 5 - Bulgaria declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire - Ferdinand I of Bulgaria becomes Tsar
- October 14 - The Chicago Cubs win the World Series by defeating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in the fifth game. They haven't won the World Series since.
- December 28 - An 7 Richter scale earthquake destroys Messina, Sicily and rocks Calabria killing over 75,000.
- November - William Howard Taft defeats William Jennings Bryan in the U.S. presidential election
- November 13 - Andrew Fisher becomes the 5th Prime Minister of Australia.
- First Zionist colony in Palestine
- British suffragettes begin a campaign for female suffrage
- Elizabeth Garrett Anderson is the first woman in England to be elected mayor (of Aldeburgh)
- Due to the evidence collected by Roger Casement, Léopold II of Belgium is forced to make reforms in Congo, which is his personal colony
- Danish minister of Justice, Alberti, is revealed to be an embezzler
- The Children's Encyclopedia
- Bureau of Investigation, forerunner of FBI, founded
- Blackball coal miner strike in New Zealand lasts 11 weeks
- Isak Saba, the first Sami in the Norwegian parliament
- Henri Matisse open his own art academy
- Serial killer Belle Guinness disappears in Laporte
- Young Turks revolution in the Ottoman Empire
- Change of Emperor of Qing Dynasty from Guangxu Emperor of China (1875-1908) to Henry Puyi (1909-1911)
- A 40,000-year-old Neandertal boy skeleton is found at Le Moustier in southwest France.
- The Child Labour Act of Ontario is passed.
- The Irish Universities Act, 1908 is passed and creates the National University of Ireland at Dublin and the Queen's University of Belfast.
- First Ideal Home Exhibition held.
- De Meester's Dutch government resigns.
- Discovery of oil deposits near the Persian city of Abadan.
- Abd al-Aziz IV, sultan of Morocco is deposed and is succeeded by his brother Abd al-Hafiz.
- The Young Turks rebel and force sultan Abd al-Hamid II to adhere to the constitution of 1876.
- The University of the Philippines is founded at Manila.
- The University of Alberta is founded in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
- January 8 - William Hartnell, British actor (d. 1975)
- January 9 - Simone de Beauvoir, French feminist writer (d. 1986)
- January 12 - Jean Delannoy, French film director
- January 14 - Russ Columbo, singer, bandleader, and composer (d. 1934)
- January 15 - Edward Teller, Hungarian-born physicist (d. 2003)
- January 22 - Lev Davidovich Landau, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)
- January 26 - Stéphane Grappelli, French jazz violinist and composer (d. 1997)
- January 27 - Oran "Hot Lips" Page, American jazz musician (d. 1954)
- February 1 - George Pál, Hungarian-born animator (d. 1980)
- February 5 - Daisy and Violet Hilton, English conjoined twin actresses (d. 1969)
- February 11 - Vivian Ernest Fuchs, English geologist and explorer (d. 1999)
- February 17 - Red Barber, baseball announcer and sports journalist (d. 1992)
- February 22 - John Mills, English actor (d. 2005)
- February 23 - William McMahon, twentieth Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1988)
- February 26 - Tex Avery, American cartoonist (d. 1980)
- February 26 - Jean-Pierre Wimille, French race car driver (d. 1949)
- February 29 - Balthus, French painter (d. 2001)
- February 29 - Dee Brown, American writer and historian (d. 2002)
- March 2 - Walter Bruch, German engineer (d. 1990)
- March 5 - Rex Harrison, English actor (d. 1990)
- March 7 - Anna Magnani, Italian actress (d. 1973)
- March 12 - Rita Angus, New Zealand painter (d. 1970)
- March 13 - Walter Annenberg, American publisher and philanthropist (d. 2002)
- March 17 - Brigitte Helm, German actress (d. 1996)
- March 20 - Sir Michael Redgrave, English actor (d. 1985)
- March 22 - Louis L'Amour, American author (d. 1988)
- March 25 - Helmut Käutner, German actor and director (d. 1980)
- March 25 - David Lean, English film director (d. 1991)
- March 29 - Arthur O'Connell, American actor (d. 1981)
- April 1 - Abraham Maslow, American psychologist (d. 1970)
- April 2 - Buddy Ebsen, American actor and dancer (d. 2003)
- April 5 - Bette Davis, American actress (d. 1989)
- April 5 - Herbert von Karajan, Austrian conductor (d. 1989)
- April 5 - Jagjivan Ram, Indian politician (d. 1986)
- April 6 - John P. Davies, American diplomat (d. 1999)
- April 7 - Percy Faith, Canadian-born composer, musician (d. 1976)
- April 15 - Eden Ahbez, American musician (d. 1995)
- April 20 - Lionel Hampton, American musician and bandleader (d. 2002)
- April 25 - Edward R. Murrow, American journalist (d. 1965)
- May 5 - Kurt Böhme, German bass (d. 1989)
- May 7 - Max Grundig, German inventor and industrialist (d. 1989)
- May 8 - Cristian Vasile, Romanian singer (d. 1974)
- May 19 - Percy Williams, Canadian athlete (d. 1982)
- May 20 - Jimmy Stewart, American actor (d. 1997)
- May 23 - John Bardeen, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1991)
- May 25 - Theodore Roethke, American poet (d. 1963)
- May 28 - Ian Fleming, English writer (d. 1964)
- May 30 - Hannes Alfvén, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1995)
- May 30 - Mel Blanc, American voice actor (d. 1989)
- May 31 - Don Ameche, American actor (d. 1993)
- June 18 - Bud Collyer, American voice actor and game show host (d. 1969)
- June 21 - Yoon Bong-Gil, Korean resister against Japanese occupation of Korea (d. 1932)
- June 24 - Hugo Distler, German composer (d. 1942)
- June 29 - Leroy Anderson, American composer (d. 1975)
- June 30 - Winston Graham, English writer (d. 2003)
- July 12 - Milton Berle, American comedian (d. 2002)
- July 25 - Bill Bowes, English cricketer (d. 1987)
- July 27 - Joseph Mitchell, American writer (d. 1996)
- August 4 - Kurt Eichhorn, German conductor (d. 1994)
- August 5 - Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1967)
- August 5 - Mary Louise Miner, American Journalist (d. 1999)
- August 20 - Al Lopez, baseball player and manager (d. 2005)
- August 21 - M. M. Kaye, British writer (d. 2004)
- August 22 - Henri Cartier-Bresson, French photographer (d. 2004)
- August 27 - Sir Donald Bradman, Australian cricketer (d. 2001)
- August 27 - Lyndon Johnson, President of the United States (d. 1973)
- August 28 - Roger Tory Peterson, American naturalist, artist, and educator (d. 1996)
- August 30 - Leonor Fini, Argentine artist (d. 1996)
- September 3 - Lev Semenovich Pontryagin, Russian mathematician (d. 1988)
- September 6 - Louis Essen, English physicist (d. 1997)
- September 6 - Korczak Ziolkowski, American sculptor (d. 1982)
- September 7 - Paul Brown, American football coach (d. 1991)
- September 7 - Michael E. DeBakey, American physician
- September 13 - Mae Questel, American actress (d. 1998)
- September 15 - Penny Singleton, American actress (d. 2003)
- September 29 - Eddie Tolan, American athlete (d. 1967)
- September 30 - David Oistrakh, Ukrainian-born violinist (d. 1974)
- October 14 - Ruth Hale, American playwright and actress (d. 2003)
- October 14 - Allan Jones, American actor and singer (d. 1992)
- October 15 - John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian economist
- October 16 - Enver Hoxha, dictator of Albania (d. 1985)
- October 19 - Sydney MacEwan, Scottish singer (d. 1990)
- October 19 - Geirr Tveitt, Norwegian composer (d. 1981)
- October 23 - Ilya Frank, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1990)
- October 25 - Edmond Pidoux, Swiss writer (d. 2004)
- November 2 - Fred Bakewell, English cricketer (d. 1983)
- November 4 - Józef Rotblat, Polish physicist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 2005)
- November 12 - Harry Blackmun, American Judge (d. 1999)
- November 18 - Imogene Coca, American actress (d. 2001)
- November 20 - Alistair Cooke, English-born journalist (d. 2004)
- November 28 - Claude Lévi-Strauss, Belgian-born anthropologist
- December 6 - Pierre Graber, Swiss Federal Councilor (d. 2003)
- December 10 - Olivier Messiaen, French composer (d. 1992)
- December 11 - Elliot Carter, American composer
- December 17 - Willard Libby, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1980)
- December 31 - Simon Wiesenthal, Austrian Nazi-hunter (d. 2005)
- George Rodger, British photojournalist (d. 1995)
- Carl Stuart Hamblen, American musician and presidential candidate of Prohibition Party in 1952 (d. 1989)
- January 25 - Ouida, English writer (b. 1839)
- February 1 - King Charles of Portugal (b. 1863)
- April 20 - Henry Chadwick, English-born baseball writer and historian (b. 1824)
- April 22 - Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1836)
- May 26 - Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Punjabi founder of the Ahmadi sect (b. 1835)
- June 21 - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer (b. 1844)
- June 24 - Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States (b. 1837)
- July 5 - Jonas Lie, Norwegian author (b. 1833)
- July 10 - Phoebe Knapp, American hymn composer (b. 1839)
- July 20 - Demetrius Vikelas, Greek International Olympic Committee president (b. 1835)
- July 22 - William Randal Cremer, English politician and pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1828)
- August 25 - Henri Becquerel, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1852)
- August 26 - Tony Pastor, American vaudeville and theater impresario (b. 1837)
- September 20 - Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist and composer (b. 1844)
- October 30 - Caroline Astor, American socialite (b. 1830)
- November 14 - The Guangxu Emperor of China (b. 1871)
- November 15 - Empress Dowager Cixi, de facto ruler of China (b. 1835)
- February 14 - Lee De Forest & Nora Stanton Blatch
- February 28 - King Ferdinand & Eleanor Reuss
- April 7 - Knud Kristensen & Else Christensen
- June 13 - Carl Sandburg & Lilian Steichen
- July 19 - Joe Jackson & Katherine Wynn
- August 6 - Roscoe Arbuckle & Minta Durfee
- August 8 - Ty Cobb & Charlotte Lombard
- August 30 - Harry Solter & Florence Lawrence
- September 12 - Winston Churchill & Clementine Churchill
- November 20 - Vilhelm Buhl & Thyra Schmidt
- November 25 - Will Rogers & Betty Blake
- December 22 - Sybil Thorndike & Lewis Casson
- Physics - Gabriel Lippmann
- Chemistry - Ernest Rutherford
- Medicine - Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, Paul Ehrlich
- Literature - Rudolf Christoph Eucken
- Peace - Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Fredrik Bajer
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