8 March 1936

Daytona Beach race track holds its first oval stock car race.

Even though the new crop of NASCAR race cars mimics the look of models on the road, they’re still anything but stock — at least until Toyota sells a Camry with rear-wheel-drive and a V-8.

But when the first stock car race was held at Daytona Beach on March 8, 1936, drivers brought their own street-legal open tops, coupes and saloons to the race. The grueling 3.2-mile course didn’t discriminate against aerodynamic tricks or windshield angle; it simply demanded that a car survive its grueling, pit-filled sandy turns.

Marred with scoring controversy, stalled cars and mid-corner mash-ups, the race was stopped after 72 of the 78 laps, and the $1,700 prize went to driver Milt Marion. As the vintage video below shows, more regulation couldn’t have hurt for the chaotic event.

8 March 1974

Charles de Gaulle Airport opens in Paris, France.

Charles-de-Gaulle Airport keeps busy as Europe’s second largest airport, moving 62 million passengers in 2013, but as it celebrates 40 it is poised to further enhance its image and accommodate even more growth.

The proposal to develop Charles-de-Gaulle, and the selection of the site 25 km north-east of Paris originally began in 1964, with construction on Terminal 1 starting in 1968. It was inaugurated on March 8, 1974, by then Prime Minister Pierre Messmer, and opened for business on March 13 with the much celebrated arrival of a TWA Boeing 747 from New York. The original circular terminal, considered at the very edge of the avant-garde at the time, was designed by architect Paul Andreu, with capacity to host 10 million passengers.

Over the years, it has added the equally iconic Terminal 2, with its first two undulating modules opening in 1982. It has celebrated a number of key milestones since then, establishing the smaller Terminal three for charter and low-cost flights in 1991, adding 2E as a dedicated terminal for Air France and Skyteam in 2003, and the additional introductions of Terminal 2G, Lobby K, Hall L, and Hall M, in 2008 and 2012.

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This January, it shared its future vision of incorporating the door-to-door passenger experience recommended by key aviation design firms, with the announcement by Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier of a restart for the CDG Express project, which will provide direct rail link between the City of Lights and the airport.

As it turns 40, Charles-de-Gaulle, can celebrate with 80 million candles, one for every passenger in its present capacity, which represents 70% growth compared to 2006. A spokesperson for Paris Airports tells us Charles-de-Gaulle expects a “huge increase in capacity over the next 10 years,” with passenger numbers expected to double over the next twenty years. Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle has already begun plans to develop Terminal 4, in order to accommodate this significant additional demand, and they intend to keep their lead among Europe’s Airports.

With present Visa restrictions at Heathrow, and passenger growth originating from a number of countries which would benefit from the versatility of Schengen Agreement connections, Paris in the second spot, Frankfurt in the third, and Amsterdam a close fourth will contend with other European airports which intend to expand their services; in what will certainly prove to be an exciting competition for the number one spot.

In anticipation of that competition, and in order to ensure the greatest mutual benefit of future traffic from Asian Markets, Aéroports de Paris, and Schiphol Group renewed their cooperation with Incheon International Airport this January, by signing a new strategic partnership. The partnership involves an “exchange of good practices” in the areas of “aeronautical activities, airport retail, cargo and human resources.”

This present agreement signed on January 20 will be in effect for the next four years. Key team members of all three airport companies will continue the cooperation they began in meetings held in Paris, Amsterdam and Seoul, over the past three years, and discuss the challenges of their Airport City concept, and the needs of international passengers.

For its part, Charles-de-Gaulle intends to celebrate it’s gorgeous 40th by hosting a series of special events, which it is being very coy about and will announce this Friday.

8 March 1736

Nader Shah, from the Afsharid dynasty, is crowned Shah of Iran.

N?der Sh?h Afsh?r ruled as Shah of Iran and was the founder of the Afsharid dynasty. Because of his military genius, some historians have described him as the Napoleon of Persia[2] or the Second Alexander. Nader Shah was a member of the Turkmen Afshar tribe of northern Persia, which had supplied military power to the Safavid state since the time of Shah Ismail I.

Nader rose to power during a period of anarchy in Persia after a rebellion by Afghans had overthrown the weak Shah Soltan Hossein and both the Ottomans and the Russians had seized Persian territory for themselves. Nader reunited the Persian realm and removed the invaders. He became so powerful that he decided to depose the last members of the Safavid dynasty, which had ruled Persia for over 200 years, and become shah himself in 1736. His campaigns created a great Iranian Empire that briefly encompassed what is now Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of the Caucasus region, and parts of Central Asia, but his military spending had a ruinous effect on the Persian economy.

Nader idolized Genghis Khan and Timur, the previous conquerors from Central Asia. Nader imitated their military prowess and—especially later in his reign—their cruelty. Nader Shah’s victories briefly made him the Middle East’s most powerful sovereign, but his empire quickly disintegrated after he was assassinated in 1747. Nader Shah has been described as “the last great Asian military conqueror.”