In the time of the Beis Hamikdash, on this date (70 days before Pesach), barley would be planted so it would be ready for the korban omer.
In 2516/1245 B.C.E., the last of the Zekeinim, who continued the unbroken chain of the mesorah, were niftar. Today is a Taanis Tzaddikim commemorating that event. According to some, it took place on 8 Shevat. (See Shulchan Aruch 580:2 and commentaries.) According to some, it occurred 17 years later, in 2531/1230 B.C.E. (Shabbos 105b and Seder Hadoros under Yehoshua.)
In 5500/1740, the Jews of Sicily and Naples were invited to return (after having been expelled) by Charles de Bourbon.
In 5652/1892, the Russian government closed the Yeshivah of Volozhin.
5619/1859, Harav Chaim David Chazzan, zt”l, the Rishon LeTzion
5634/1874, Harav Shalom Shachna Yellin, zt”l, Rav of Bielsk and mechaber of Yefeh Einayim
5665/1905, Harav Yehudah Leib Alter, zy”a, the Sfas Emes of Gur
5665/1905, Harav Shlomo Auerbach, zt”l, Rav of Luntshitz
Harav Shlomo Auerbach was the son of Harav Meir Auerbach, the Imrei Binah, who was the son of Harav Yitzchak Isaac, the mechaber of Divrei Chaim on Shulchan Aruch. Reb Shlomo married the daughter of Harav Moshe Yehoshua Baharir.
The first rabbinic post to which Reb Shlomo was appointed was in Iniva. In 5633/1873, he was appointed Rav of Luntshitz, where he served as Rav for the next three decades, until his petirah.
He wrote Divrei Shlomo, which was printed in the back of his father’s Imrei Binah, and Imrei Shlomo, printed in the back of Drashos Imrei Binah. He left other works in manuscript form.
Reb Shlomo was niftar on 5 Shevat 5665/1905.
His sons were Harav Menachem Nosson Nota, Rav in the Mazkeres Moshe neighborhood, Yerushalayim; and Harav Eliezer, Rav in Luntshitz.
Zecher tzaddik livrachah.
In 1788, Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patented the steamboat.
In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)
In 1884, the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.
In 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.
In 1992, Ron Carey was sworn in as the first Teamsters president elected by the union’s rank-and-file.