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Today in History ...

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1284 – The Republic of Pisa is defeated in the Battle of Meloria by the Republic of Genoa, thus losing its naval dominance in the Mediterranean. 1506 – The Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the Crimean Khanate in the Battle of Kletsk 1538 – Bogotá, Colombia, is founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada. 1661 – The Treaty of The Hague is signed by Portugal and the Dutch Republic. 1777 – American Revolutionary War: The bloody Battle of Oriskany prevents American relief of the Siege of Fort Stanwix. 1787 – Sixty proof sheets of the Constitution of the United States are delivered to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1806 – Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, abdicates, ending the Holy Roman Empire. 1819 – Norwich University is founded in Vermont as the first private military school in the United States. 1824 – Battle of Junín Peru. 1825 – Bolivia gains independence from Spain. 1861 – The United Kingdom annexes Lagos, Nigeria. 1862 – American Civil War: The Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas is scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering catastrophic engine failure near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: The Battle of Spicheren is fought, resulting in a Prussian victory. 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: The Battle of Wörth results in a decisive Prussian victory. 1890 – At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair. 1901 – Kiowa land in Oklahoma is opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation. 1912 – The Bull Moose Party meets at the Chicago Coliseum. 1914 – World War I: First Battle of the Atlantic: Two days after the United Kingdom had declared war on Germany over the German invasion of Belgium, ten German U-boats leave their base in Heligoland to attack Royal Navy warships in the North Sea. 1914 – World War I: Serbia declares war on Germany; Austria declares war on Russia. 1915 – World War I: Battle of Sari Bair: The Allies mount a diversionary attack timed to coincide with a major Allied landing of reinforcements at Suvla Bay. 1917 – World War I: Battle of Mărășești between the Romanian and German armies begins. 1926 – Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel. 1926 – In New York City, the Warner Bros.' Vitaphone system premieres with the movie Don Juan starring John Barrymore. 1930 – Judge Joseph Force Crater steps into a taxi in New York and disappears never to be seen again.

1940 – Estonia was illegally annexed by the Soviet Union. 1942 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands becomes the first reigning queen to address a joint session of the United States Congress. 1944 – The Warsaw Uprising occurs on August 1. It is brutally suppressed and all able-bodied men in Kraków are detained afterwards to prevent a similar uprising, the Kraków Uprising, that was planned but never carried out. 1945 – World War II: Hiroshima, Japan is devastated when the atomic bomb "Little Boy" is dropped by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning. 1956 – After going bankrupt in 1955, the American broadcaster DuMont Television Network makes its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena in New York in the Boxing from St. Nicholas Arena series. 1960 – Cuban Revolution: Cuba nationalizes American and foreign-owned property in the nation. 1962 – Jamaica becomes independent from the United Kingdom. 1964 – Prometheus, a bristlecone pine and the world's oldest tree, is cut down. 1965 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. 1976 – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto lays the foundation stone of Port Qasim, Karachi. 1986 – A low-pressure system that redeveloped off the New South Wales coast dumps a record 328 millimeters (13 inches) of rain in a day on Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. 1988 – The Tompkins Square Park Riot in New York City spurs a reform of the NYPD, held responsible for the event. 1990 – Gulf War: The United Nations Security Council orders a global trade embargo against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. 1991 – Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet. 1991 – Takako Doi, chair of the Social Democratic Party, becomes Japan's first female speaker of the House of Representatives. 1996 – NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms. 1997 – Korean Air Flight 801 crashed at Nimitz Hill, Guam killing 228 of 254 people on board. 2001 – Erwadi fire incident, 28 mentally ill persons tied to chain were burnt to death at a faith based institution at Erwadi, Tamil Nadu. 2008 – A military junta led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz stages a coup d'état in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi. 2010 – Flash floods across a large part of Jammu and Kashmir, India, damages 71 towns and kills at least 255 people. 2011 – A march in protest of the death of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, London, ends in a riot, sparking off a wave of rioting throughout the country over the following four nights. 2011 – War in Afghanistan: A United States military helicopter is shot down, killing 30 American special forces members and a working dog, 7 Afghan soldiers, and 1 Afghan civilian. It was the deadliest single event for the United States in the War in Afghanistan. 2012 – NASA's Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars. 2015 – A suicide bomb attack kills at least 15 people at a mosque in the south-western Saudi city of Abha.

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