Today in History …
by Robert Joseph Baker | August 4, 2016 12:00 am
Last Updated: June 18, 2016 at 7:04 pm
367 – Gratian, son of Roman Emperor Valentinian I, is named co-Augustus by his father and associated to the throne aged eight.
598 – Goguryeo-Sui War: Emperor Wéndi of Sui orders his youngest son, Yang Liang (assisted by the co-prime minister Gao Jiong), to conquer Goguryeo (Korea) during the Manchurian rainy season, with a Chinese army and navy.
1265 – Second Barons’ War: Battle of Evesham: The army of Prince Edward (the future king Edward I of England) defeats the forces of rebellious barons led by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, killing de Montfort and many of his allies.
1327 – First War of Scottish Independence: James Douglas leads a raid into Weardale and almost kills Edward III of England.
1532 – The Duchy of Brittany is united to the Kingdom of France.
1578 – Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir: The Moroccans defeat the Portuguese. King Sebastian of Portugal is killed in the battle, leaving his elderly uncle, Cardinal Henry, as his heir. This initiates a succession crisis in Portugal.
1693 – Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon’s invention of champagne; it is not clear whether he actually invented champagne, however he has been credited as an innovator who developed the techniques used to perfect sparkling wine.
1704 – War of the Spanish Succession: Gibraltar is captured by an English and Dutch fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir George Rooke and allied with Archduke Charles.
1783 – Mount Asama erupts in Japan, killing about 1,400 people. The eruption causes a famine, which results in an additional 20,000 deaths.
1789 – In France members of the National Constituent Assembly take an oath to end feudalism and abandon their privileges.
1790 – A newly passed tariff act creates the Revenue Cutter Service (the forerunner of the United States Coast Guard).
1791 – The Treaty of Sistova is signed, ending the Ottoman–Habsburg wars.
1796 – French Revolutionary Wars: Napoleon leads the French Army of Italy to victory in the Battle of Lonato.
1821 – The Saturday Evening Post is published for the first time as a weekly newspaper.
1824 – The Battle of Kos is fought between Turkish and Greek forces.
1854 – The Hinomaru is established as the official flag to be flown from Japanese ships.
1863 – Matica slovenská, Slovakia’s public-law cultural and scientific institution focusing on topics around the Slovak nation, is established in Martin.
1873 – American Indian Wars: While protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, the United States 7th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer clashes for the first time with the Cheyenne and Lakota people near the Tongue River; only one man on each side is killed.
1889 – The Great Fire of Spokane, Washington destroys some 32 blocks of the city, prompting a mass rebuilding project.
1892 – The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden are found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home.
1902 – The Greenwich foot tunnel under the River Thames opens.
1906 – Central railway station, Sydney opens.
1914 – World War I: Germany invades Belgium. In response, Belgium and the United Kingdom declare war on Germany. The United States declares its neutrality.
1915 – World War I: The German 12th Army occupies Warsaw during the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive and the Great Retreat of 1915.
1924 – Diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Soviet Union are established.
1936 – Prime Minister of Greece Ioannis Metaxas suspends parliament and the Constitution and establishes the 4th of August Regime.
1944 – The Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others.
1946 – An earthquake of magnitude 8.0 hits northern Dominican Republic. One hundred are killed and 20,000 are left homeless.
1947 – The Supreme Court of Japan is established.
1958 – The Billboard Hot 100 is published for the first time.
1964 – American civil rights movement: Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21.
1964 – Gulf of Tonkin incident: U.S. destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy report coming under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin.
1965 – The Constitution of the Cook Islands comes into force, giving the Cook Islands self-governing status within New Zealand.
1969 – Vietnam War: At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, American representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuân Thuỷ begin secret peace negotiations. The negotiations will eventually fail.
1974 – A bomb explodes in the Italicus Express train at San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Italy, killing 12 people and wounding 22.
1975 – The Japanese Red Army takes more than 50 hostages at the AIA Building housing several embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The hostages include the U.S. consul and the Swedish Chargé d’affaires. The gunmen win the release of five imprisoned comrades and fly with them to Libya.
1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.
1984 – The Republic of Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso.
1987 – The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to present controversial issues “fairly”.
1991 – The Greek cruise ship MTS Oceanos sinks off the Wild Coast of South Africa.
1993 – A federal judge sentences Los Angeles Police Department officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in prison for violating motorist Rodney King’s civil rights.
1995 – Operation Storm begins in Croatia.
2002 – Soham murders: Ten-year-old school girls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells go missing from the town of Soham, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.
2006 – A massacre is carried out by Sri Lankan government forces, killing 17 employees of the French INGO Action Against Hunger (known internationally as Action Contre la Faim, or ACF).
2007 – NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft is launched.