Today in History …
by Robert Joseph Baker | August 7, 2016 12:00 am
Last Updated: June 18, 2016 at 7:04 pm
322 BC – Battle of Crannon between Athens and Macedonia.
461 – Roman Emperor Majorian is beheaded near the river Iria in north-west Italy following his arrest and deposition by the magister militum Ricimer.
626 – The Avar and Slav armies leave the siege of Constantinople.
936 – Coronation of King Otto I of Germany.
1420 – Construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore begins in Florence.
1427 – The Visconti of Milan’s fleet is destroyed by the Venetians on the Po River.
1461 – The Ming dynasty Chinese military general Cao Qin stages a coup against the Tianshun Emperor.
1679 – The brigantine Le Griffon, commissioned by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, is towed to the south-eastern end of the Niagara River, to become the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes of North America.
1714 – The Battle of Gangut: The first important victory of the Russian Navy.
1782 – George Washington orders the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honor soldiers wounded in battle. It is later renamed to the more poetic Purple Heart.
1789 – The United States Department of War is established.
1791 – American troops destroy the Miami town of Kenapacomaqua near the site of present-day Logansport, Indiana in the Northwest Indian War.
1794 – U.S. President George Washington invokes the Militia Acts of 1792 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.
1819 – Simón Bolívar triumphs over Spain in the Battle of Boyacá.
1858 – The first Australian rules football match is played between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College.
1879 – The opening of the Poor Man’s Palace in Manchester, England.
1890 – Anna Månsdotter becomes the last woman in Sweden to be executed, for the 1889 Yngsjö murder.
1909 – Alice Huyler Ramsey and three friends become the first women to complete a transcontinental auto trip, taking 59 days to travel from New York, New York to San Francisco, California.
1927 – The Peace Bridge opens between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.
1930 – The last confirmed lynching of blacks in the Northern United States occurs in Marion, Indiana. Two men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, are killed.
1933 – The Simele massacre: The Iraqi government slaughters over 3,000 Assyrians in the village of Simele. The day becomes known as Assyrian Martyrs Day.
1938 – The Holocaust: The building of Mauthausen concentration camp begins.
1940 – World War II: Alsace-Lorraine is annexed by the Third Reich.
1942 – World War II: The Battle of Guadalcanal begins as the United States Marines initiate the first American offensive of the war with landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
1944 – IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).
1946 – The government of the Soviet Union presented a note to its Turkish counterparts which refuted the latter’s sovereignty over the Turkish Straits, thus beginning the Turkish Straits crisis.
1947 – Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashes into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day, 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) journey across the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to prove that pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America.
1947 – The Bombay Municipal Corporation formally takes over the Bombay Electric Supply and Transport (BEST).
1955 – Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, sells its first transistor radios in Japan.
1959 – The Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny goes into circulation. It replaces the “sheaves of wheat” design, and was minted until 2008.
1959 – Explorer program: Explorer 6 launches from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1960 – Ivory Coast becomes independent from France.
1962 – Canadian-born American pharmacologist Frances Oldham Kelsey awarded the U.S. President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service for her refusal to authorize thalidomide.
1964 – Vietnam War: The U.S. Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces.
1966 – Race riots occur in Lansing, Michigan.
1970 – California judge Harold Haley is taken hostage in his courtroom and killed during an effort to free George Jackson from police custody.
1974 – Philippe Petit performs a high wire act between the twin towers of the World Trade Center 1,368 feet (417 m) in the air.
1976 – Viking program: Viking 2 enters orbit around Mars.
1978 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal due to toxic waste that had been disposed of negligently.
1979 – Several tornadoes strike the city of Woodstock, Ontario, Canada and the surrounding communities.
1981 – The Washington Star ceases all operations after 128 years of publication.
1985 – Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai are chosen to be Japan’s first astronauts.
1985 – The White House Farm murders took place near the English village of Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Essex, England.
1987 – Lynne Cox becomes first person to swim from the United States to the Soviet Union, crossing from Little Diomede Island in Alaska to Big Diomede in the Soviet Union
1989 – U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland (D-TX) and 15 others die in a plane crash in Ethiopia.
1998 – The United States embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya kill approximately 212 people.
1999 – The Chechnya-based Islamic International Brigade invades neighboring Dagestan.
2008 – The start of the Russo-Georgian War over the territory of South Ossetia.
2012 – Three gunmen kill 19 people in a church near Okene, Nigeria.
2013 – A bombing in a market in Karachi, Pakistan, kills eleven people.