August 1st in History

This day in history

August 1 is the 213th day of the year (214th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 152 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday (58 in 400 years each) than on Thursday or Friday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Sunday (56).




Gaius Octavius

In 30 BC, Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony)  and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide.

In 30 BC,  Octavian (later known as Augustus) enters Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman Republic.

In 10, B.C., in “I, Claudius.” You know that guy? The Roman emperor, Claudius the First? He was born in Lyons — real name Tiberius Claudius Drusus. He would become the next Roman emperor after Caligula.

In 69,  Batavian rebellion: The Batavians in Germania Inferior (Netherlands) revolt under the leadership of Gaius Julius Civilis.

In 527,  Justinian I becomes the sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire.

In 607,  Ono no Imoko is dispatched as envoy to the Sui court in China (Traditional Japanese date: July 3, 607).

In 902,  Taormina, the last Byzantine stronghold in Sicily, is captured by the Aghlabids army, concluding the Muslim conquest of Sicily.

In 1203,  Isaac II Angelos, restored Eastern Roman Emperor, declares his son Alexios IV Angelos co-emperor after pressure from the forces of the Fourth Crusade.

The Old Swiss Confederacy in the 18th century

In 1291,  The Old Swiss Confederacy is formed with the signature of the Federal Charter. The three cantons of Uri, Unterwalden and Schwyz formed the pact of the Everlasting League, a confederation from which Switzerland was born. The anniversary of this founding has been celebrated as National Day in Switzerland since 1891, the 600th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation.

In 1469,  Louis XI of France founds the chivalric order called the Order of Saint Michael in Amboise.

In 1498,  Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to visit what is now Venezuela.

In 1619, The first blacks (20) land at Jamestown, Virginia. It is late summer. Out of a violent storm appears a Dutch ship. The ship’s cargo hold is empty except for twenty or so Africans whom the captain and his crew have recently robbed from a Spanish ship. The captain exchanges the Africans for food, then sets sail.

It’s not clear if the Africans are considered slaves or indentured servants. (An indentured servant would be required to work a set amount of time, then granted freedom.) And while blacks had traveled to the Americas previous to this date via the Spanish, these blacks were different.

Records of 1623 and 1624 list them as servants, and indeed later records show increasing numbers of free blacks, some of whom were assigned land.  On the other hand, records from gatherings do not indicate the marital status of the Africans (Mr., Miss, etc.) and, unlike white servants, no year is associated with the names — information vital in determining the end of a servant’s term of bondage.  Most likely some Africans were slaves and some were servants. At any rate, the status of people in bondage was very confusing, even to those who were living at the time.

Whatever the status of these first Africans to arrive at Jamestown, it is clear that by 1640, at least one African had been declared a slave. This African was ordered by the court “to serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural life here or elsewhere.” The grounds for this harsh sentence presumably lay in the fact that he was non-Christian rather than in the fact that he was physically dark. But religious beliefs could change, while skin color could not. Within a generation race, not religion, was being made the defining characteristic of enslaved Virginians, The terrible transformation to slavery was then underway.

In 1620,  The Speedwell leaves Delfshaven to bring pilgrims to America by way of England.

In 1664,  Ottoman forces are defeated in the battle of Saint Gotthard by an Austrian army led by Raimondo Montecuccoli, resulting in the Peace of Vasvár.

In 1714,  George, Elector of Hanover, becomes King George I of Great Britain, marking the beginning of the Georgian era of British history.

The Riot ActIn 1715,  The Riot Act comes into force in England.

In 1759,  Seven Years’ War: The Battle of Minden, an allied Anglo-German army victory over the French. In Britain this was one of a number of events that constituted the Annus Mirabilis of 1759 and is celebrated as Minden Day by certain British Army regiments.

In 1775, Thomas Paine publishes an article supporting women’s rights in the Pennsylvania Gazette.

In 1793, France became the first country to use the metric system of weights and measures, a byproduct of the French Revolution.

In 1774,  British scientist Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen gas, corroborating the prior discovery of this element by German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.

In 1781, English army under General Cornwallis occupies Yorktown, Virginia. The end is near.

In 1789, U.S. Customs was organized to enforce the Tariff Act.


George Washington reviews the troops near Fort Cumberland, Maryland, before their march to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.

In 1794, The Whiskey Rebellion began  when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville.

Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. With 13,000 militia provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Washington rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned.

In 1798,  French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of the Nile (Battle of Aboukir Bay): Battle begins when a British fleet engages the French Revolutionary Navy fleet in an unusual night action.

In 1800,  The Acts of Union 1800 is passed in which merges the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

In 1801,  First Barbary War: The American schooner USS Enterprise captures the Tripolitan polacca Tripoli in a single-ship action off the coast of modern-day Libya.

In 1831,  A new London Bridge opens.

In 1822, The first lots were sold for the Town of Jackson, Tennessee

In 1834,  Slavery is abolished in the British Empire as the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 comes into force.

In 1838,  Non-laborer slaves in most of the British Empire are emancipated.

In 1840,  Laborer slaves in most of the British Empire are emancipated.

In 1842,  The Lombard Street riot erupts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

In 1855,  The first ascent of Monte Rosa, the second highest summit in the Alps.

In 1861, Brazil recognizes Confederacy.

In 1863, Cavalry action near Brandy Station-End of Gettysburg Campaign.

In 1867, Blacks vote for first time in a state election in South (Tenn).

In 1867, A New brick jail was erected at the present location of the First Tennessee Drive In Bank on Chester Street.

In 1873, inventor Andrew S. Hallidie successfully tested a cable car he had designed for the city of San Francisco as a solution of problem of providing mass transit up San Francisco’s steep hills.

In 1876,  Colorado is admitted as the 38th U.S. state.

In 1893, Henry Perky and William Ford of Watertown, NY woke up early this day and found their patent sitting on the breakfast table. They had invented shredded wheat. Pass the bananas and milk, please.

In 1894,  The First Sino-Japanese War erupts between Japan and China over Korea.

In 1896, Frank Samuelsen (1870-1946) and George Harbo (1864-1909) were Norwegian-born Americans who in 1896 became the first people ever to row across an ocean. Their time record for rowing the North Atlantic Ocean was not broken for 114 years, and then by four rowers instead of two. They completed a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean this day — in a rowboat! They landed in England, after having left New York on June 6th. We can think of easier ways to cross the ocean.

In 1901, Burial within San Francisco City limits prohibited.

In 1907,  The start of the first Scout camp on Brownsea Island, the origin of the worldwide Scouting movement.

In 1911,  Harriet Quimby takes her pilot’s test and becomes the first U.S. woman to earn an Aero Club of America aviator’s certificate.

In 1914,  The German Empire declares war on the Russian Empire at the opening of World War I. The Swiss Army mobilizes because of World War I.

In 1927,  The Nanchang Uprising marks the first significant battle in the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party. This day is commemorated as the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.

In 1937,  Josip Broz Tito reads the resolution “Manifesto of constitutional congress of KPH” to the constitutive congress of KPH (Croatian Communist Party) in woods near Samobor.

In 1933, NRA (National Recovery Administration) established.

In 1940, The first book written by 23-year-old John Fitzgerald Kennedy was published this day. It was titled, “Why England Slept”. Later, Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” would become a best seller for the man who would become the United States’ 35th President.

In 1941, “Parade” magazine called it “…the Army’s most intriguing new gadget.” The gadget was “a tiny truck which can do practically everything.” General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that America couldn’t have won World War II without it. The tiny truck was the Jeep, built at the time by the Willys Truck Company. “Parade” was so enthusiastic about the Jeep, that, on this day, it devoted three full pages to the vehicle.

In 1943, This day marked the groundbreaking ceremony in Oak Ridge, TN for the first uranium 235 plant. (Uranium 235 was needed to build the A-bomb.) The uranium manufacturing facility cost $280,000,000 to build and was completed in the summer of 1944.

In 1944,  World War II: The Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation breaks out in Warsaw, Poland.

In 1944, This was the day 13-year-old Anne Frank made the last entry in her diary; a diary she had kept for two years while hiding with her family to escape Nazi deportation to a concentration camp. Three days later the Grune Polizei raided the secret annex in Amsterdam, Holland, where the Jewish family was in hiding. Anne died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at age 15.

In 1944, General Montgomery takes command of 12th & 21st army.

In 1946,  Leaders of the Russian Liberation Army, a force of Russian prisoners of war that collaborated with Nazi Germany, are executed in Moscow, Soviet Union for treason.

In 1946, President Truman established the Atomic Energy Commission.

In 1946, President Truman signed the Fulbright Program into law, establishing the scholarships named for Sen. William J. Fulbright, D-Ark.

In 1947,  United Nations Security Council Resolution 27 relating to Indonesia is adopted.

In 1950, The first garbage collection in the U.S. takes place in Jasper, Indiana.

In 1950, the U.S. Territory of Guam was created.

In 1953, California introduced its Sales Tax for Education.

In 1957,  The United States and Canada form the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

In 1960,  Dahomey (later renamed Benin) declares independence from France.

In 1960,  Islamabad is declared the federal capital of the Government of Pakistan.

In 1961,  U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara orders the creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the nation’s first centralized military espionage organization.

In 1964,  The former Belgian Congo is renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 1966,  Charles Whitman kills 16 people at the University of Texas at Austin before being killed by the police.

In 1966, Yakubu Gowon assumed power in Nigeria following an army coup.

In 1966,  Purges of intellectuals and imperialists becomes official China policy at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

In 1968,  The coronation is held of Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th Sultan of Brunei.

In 1968, Canada begins replacing silver with nickel in coins.

In 1972, First article exposing Wategate scandal (Bernstein-Woodward).

In 1974,  Cyprus dispute: The United Nations Security Council authorizes the UNFICYP to create the “Green Line“, dividing Cyprus into two zones.

In 1975,  CSCE Final Act creates the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

In 1977, Francis Gary Powers, pilot of a U-2 pilot spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, was killed when his weather helicopter crashed in Los Angeles. Powers was born August 17, 1929, in either Jenkins, Kentucky, or Burdine, Kentucky, the son of Oliver Winfield Powers (1904–1970), a coal miner, and his wife Ida Melinda Powers (née Ford; 1905–1991). His family eventually moved to Pound, Virginia, just across the state border. He was the second born and only male of six children. His family lived in a mining town, and because of the hardships associated with the life in such a town, his father wanted Powers to become a doctor. He hoped his son would achieve the higher earnings of such a profession and felt the life of a doctor would involve less hardship than any job in his hometown

In 1980,  Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is elected President of Iceland and becomes the world’s first democratically elected female head of state.

In 1980,  A train crash kills 18 people in County Cork, Ireland.

In 1981,  MTV begins broadcasting in the United States and airs its first video, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.

In 1984,  Commercial peat-cutters discover the preserved bog body of a man, called Lindow Man, at Lindow Moss, Cheshire, northwest England

In 1987, Iranians attacked the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti embassies in Tehran as word spread of the rioting in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the day before that had claimed some 400 lives, most of them Iranian pilgrims.

In 1989, The Revolutionary Justice Organization, a pro-Iranian group in Lebanon which had threatened to kill American hostage Joseph Cicippio, extended its deadline a day after another group released a videotape showing a body said to be that of hostage William R. Higgins.

In 1993,  The Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood of 1993 comes to a peak. The city of St. Louis found itself besieged by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, which had swelled to record levels after months of flooding in nine Midwestern states.

In 1996, in a political victory for President Clinton, a federal jury in Little Rock, Ark., acquitted two Arkansas bankers of misapplying bank funds and conspiracy to boost his political career; the jury deadlocked on seven other counts.

In 2001,  Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has a Ten Commandments monument installed in the judiciary building, leading to a lawsuit to have it removed and his own removal from office.

In 2004,  A supermarket fire kills 396 people and injures 500 others in Asunción, Paraguay.

In 2007,  The I-35W Mississippi River bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses during the evening rush hour.

In 2008,  The Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Railway begins operation as the fastest commuter rail system in the world.

In 2008,  Eleven mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth in the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.

In 2014,  Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence entered into force.

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