The Grimaldi family were one of the ruling families of Genoa in Italy. On January 8, 1297, the family seized power in Monaco, turning it into a base of operations against the Genoese Ghibellines.

During the next century, which was one of turbulent politics and wars for Italy, the family alternatively lost and won control of the city.

It wasn’t until 1419 that a branch of the Grimaldi family succeeded in taking the final possession of Monaco, but did not assume the title of prince until the mid-17th century.

Other notable events on January 8th:
In 1935, the “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley was born.
In 1942, English theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking was born.
In 1947, English music icon, David Bowie was born.