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This Day in History - August 2

August 2

216 BC – Hannibal Barca wins his greatest victory over the Romans at Cannae

47 BC – Caesar defeats Pharnaces at Zela in Syria and declares, “veni, vidi, vici,” (I came, I saw, I conquered)

1552 – The Treaty of Passau gives religious freedom to Protestants living in Germany

1553 – An invading French army is destroyed at the Battle of Marciano in Italy by an imperial army

1589 – During France’s religious war, a fanatical monk stabs King Henry II to death

1754 – French engineer who designed the layout of Washington, DC, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, is born

1776 – The Continental Congress, having decided unanimously to make the Declaration of Independence, affixes the signatures of the delegates to the document

1790 – The first US census begins enumerating the population

1802 – Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed “Consul for Life” by the French Senate after a plebiscite from the French people

1819 – The first parachute jump from a balloon is made by Charles Guille in New York City

1820 – British physicist John Tyndall is born

1832 – Troops under General Henry Atkinson massacre Sauk Indian men, women and children who are followers of Black Hawk at the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin

1847 – William Leidesdorff launches the first steamboat in San Francisco Bay

1862 – Union General John Pope captures Orange Court House, Virginia

1862 – The Army Ambulance Corp is established by Major General George McClellan

1865 – Scholar Irving Babbitt is born

1865 – The captain and crew of the CSS Shenandoah, still patrolling the waters of the Pacific in search of Yankee whaling ships, is finally informed by a British vessel that the South has lost the war

1869 – George Eliot aka Mary Ann Evans, begins work on her masterpiece Middlemarch

1876 – Wild Bill Hickok is shot while playing poker

1892 – Film producer Jack Warner is born

1914 – Germany invades Luxembourg

1917 – Mutiny breaks out aboard the German battleship Prinzregent Luitpold, in the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven

1918 – A British force lands in Archangel, Russia, to support White Russian opposition to the Bolsheviks

1921 – Italian tenor Enrico Caruso dies

1922 – Engineer who invented the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell dies

1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes president upon the death of Warren Harding

1924 – Writer James Baldwin is born

1932 – Irish actor Peter O’Toole is born

1934 – German President Paul von Hindenburg dies and Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor

1939 – German-born Albert Einstein writes to President Franklin Roosevelt urging “quick action” in atomic research, fearing that Nazi Germany had begun work on an atomic bomb

1939 – Director Wes Craven is born

1942 – Author Isabel Allende is born

1942 – Jose Diaz is murdered and his body found at the Sleepy Lagoon reservoir near Los Angeles, California.  17 men were convicted for the murder and 12 were sent to San Quentin, despite a lack of evidence.  During the course of the following year, racial tensions between Hispanics and Whites became inflamed with the press, police and city officials all adding fuel to the fire.  A court of appeals eventually overturns the convictions of all twelve defendants in the Sleepy Lagoon case, and they were released after serving two years in prison

1945 – The Potsdam Conference concludes, setting the stage for the Cold War that would begin shortly

1949 – Writer and editor of US News and World Report, James Fallows, is born

1950 – The US First Provisional Marine Brigade arrives in Korea from the US

1964 – US destroyer Maddox is reportedly attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats

1964 – Actress Mary-Louise Parker is born

1965 – Newsman Morley Safer films the destruction of a Vietnamese village by US Marines

1971 – The Nixon administration acknowledges that the CIA is maintaining a secret army in Laos

1981 – Russian mixed martial artist Alexander Emelianenko is born

1983 – Bassist James Jamerson, who laid the foundation of the Motown sound, dies

1985 – A sudden thunderstorm at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in Texas causes a plane crash, killing 135

1987 – Michael Andretti wins the Marlboro 500 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, in the fastest race in Indy racing at the time - 171.490 mph

1990 – Iraqi forces invade neighboring Kuwait

1992 – Jackie Joyner-Kersee becomes the first woman to ever win two consecutive Olympic gold medals in the heptathlon

1997 – Author William Burroughs dies

1997 – Singer, songwriter, musician and Nigerian activist, Fela Kuti dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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