August 2nd in History

This day in history

August 2 is the 214th day of the year (215th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 151 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 338 BC,  A Macedonian army led by Philip II defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea, securing Macedonian hegemony in Greece and the Aegean.

In 216 BC,  The Carthaginian army led by Hannibal defeats a numerically superior Roman army at the Battle of Cannae.

In 47, B.C., Julius Caesar beats Pharnaces III of Pontus/says Veni, vidi, vici.

In 70,  The armies of Titus destroy the Second Temple as the final blow of the Siege of Jerusalem.

In 216, B.C., Battle at Cannae: Hannibal beats Romans (50,000+ killed).

In 461,  Majorian is arrested near Tortona (northern Italy) and deposed by the Suebian general Ricimer as puppet emperor.

In 1274,  Edward I of England returns from the Ninth Crusade and is crowned King seventeen days later.

In 1337, Russian troops are defeated in the Battle on Pyana River because of drunkenness.

In 1343,  After the execution of her husband, Jeanne de Clisson sells her estates and raises a force of men with which to attack French shipping and ports.

In 1377,  Russian troops are defeated in the Battle on Pyana River.

In 1415,  Thomas Grey, conspirator against King Henry V, beheaded.

In 1610,  During Henry Hudson‘s search for the Northwest Passage, he sails into what is now known as Hudson Bay.

In 1718, The Quadruple Alliance was formed by Britain, the Netherlands, France and the Holy Roman Empire against the aggressive policy pursued by Spain.

In 1769, The city of Los Angeles was named this day. Uh, sort of. Gaspar de Portola and a Spanish army captain and Juan Crespi, a Franciscan priest, stopped on their way north from San Diego. They really liked the area and decided to name it “Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula”, which means, “Smog-free paradise”. Hah! Just kidding. It really means “Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula” — Porciuncula being a chapel in Italy.

In 1776,  The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place.

In 1782, George Washington invented the Honorary Badge of Distinction in lieu of cash. It was a white stripe above the left cuff, and was to be the first hash mark on a soldier’s uniform.

In 1790,  The first United States Census is conducted.

In 1798,  French Revolutionary Wars: The Battle of the Nile concludes in a British victory.

In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte of France was declared “Consul for life,” giving him the power to name his successor.

In 1824, Fifth Avenue was opened in New York City on this day. It became one of the most famous thoroughfares in the world, the home of many beautiful, fashionable stores.

In 1830,  Charles X of France abdicates the throne in favor of his grandson Henri.

In 1858, the first mailboxes were installed along the streets of Boston and New York City. The idea of mailboxes began in Belgium in 1848. We suggest that you check yours twice on this special day. And remember, mailboxes must be, as it says on the lid, “Approved by Postmaster General”. What’s the name of the person on the mailbox? Seems the most popular name chosen is “U.S. Mail”

In 1858, the British Parliament passed the India Bill, transferring the government of India to the Crown from the East India Company.

In 1867, 3,000 Sioux Indians attack 32 U.S. troops at the Wagon Box Fight, but failed to defeat them. Although outnumbered, the soldiers were armed with newly supplied breech-loading Springfield Model 1866 rifles and Lever Action Henry rifles, and had a defensive wall of wagon boxes to protect them. They held off the attackers for hours with few casualties, although they lost a large number of horses and mules driven off by the raiders.

In 1869,  Japan’s Edo society class system is abolished as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms.

In 1870,  Tower Subway, the world’s first underground tube railway, opens in London, England, United Kingdom.

1873 – The Clay Street Hill Railroad begins operating the first cable car in San Francisco’s famous cable car system.

Wild Bill Hickok sepia.pngIn 1876,  Wild Bill Hickok, American sheriff (b. 1837) was shot from behind and killed while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota) by an unsuccessful gambler, Jack McCall. The card hand which he held at the time of his death (aces and eights) has come to be known as the “Dead Man’s Hand“.

James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837 – August 2, 1876)—known as “Wild Bill” Hickok—was a folk character of the American Old West. Some of his exploits as reported at the time were fiction but his skill as a gunfighter and gambler provided the basis for his fame, along with his reputation as a lawman. Hickok was born and raised on a farm in rural Illinois. He went west at age 18 as a fugitive from justice, first working as a stagecoach driver, then as a lawman in the frontier territories of Kansas and Nebraska. He fought (and spied) for the Union Army during the American Civil War and gained publicity after the war as a scout, marksman, actor and professional gambler. Hickok was involved in several notable shootouts.

In 1881, The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions is formed, later to be called the American Federation of Labor.

In 1889, San Francisco, California is invaded by millions of crickets.

In 1897 – Anglo-Afghan War: The Siege of Malakand ends when a relief column is able to reach the British garrison in the Malakand states.

In 1903 – The Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising against the Ottoman Empire begins.

In 1909, the first Lincoln head pennies were minted.

In 1914 – The German occupation of Luxembourg during World War I begins.

In 1916 – World War I: Austrian sabotage causes the sinking of the Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci in Taranto.

In 1918,  Japan announces that it is deploying troops to Siberia in the aftermath of World War I.

In 1918,  The first general strike in Canadian history takes place in Vancouver.

In 1922,  A typhoon hits ShantouRepublic of China killing more than 50,000 people.

In 1923,  Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes U.S. President upon the death of President Warren G. Harding.

In 1923, The 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

In 1927, President Coolidge issued a statement to reporters: “I do not choose to run for President of the United States in nineteen twenty-eight”.

In 1932,  The positron (antiparticle of the electron) is discovered by Carl D. Anderson.

In 1934,  GleichschaltungAdolf Hitler becomes Führer of Germany following the death of President Paul von Hindenburg.

In 1937,  The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is passed in America, the effect of which is to render marijuana and all its by-products illegal.

In 1939,  Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard write a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to begin the Manhattan Project to develop a nuclear weapon. He wrote in part “A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory.” Six years later, Hiroshima was destroyed.

In 1943,  Jewish prisoners stage a revolt at Treblinka, one of the deadliest of Nazi death camps where approximately 900,000 persons were murdered in less than 18 months.

In 1943,  World War II: The Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 is rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri and sinks. Lt. John F. Kennedy, future U.S. President, saves all but two of his crew.

In 1944, Turkey breaks diplomatic relationship with nazi-Germany.

In 1944, ASNOM: Birth of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, celebrated as Day of the Republic in the Republic of Macedonia.

In 1944,  World War II: The largest trade convoy of the world wars arrives safely in the Western Approaches.

In 1945,  World War II: End of the Potsdam Conference.  President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and the new British prime minister, Clement Attlee, concluded the Allied conference at Potsdam.

In 1947,  A British South American Airways Avro Lancastrian airliner crashes into a mountain during a flight from Buenos AiresArgentina to SantiagoChile. The wreckage would not be found until 1998.

In 1958, Jordan & Iraq dissolve their Arab Federation, after 3 months.

In 1964,  Vietnam WarGulf of Tonkin incidentNorth Vietnamese gunboats allegedly fire on the U.S. destroyer USS Maddox.

In 1968,  An earthquake hits Casiguran, AuroraPhilippines killing more than 270 people and wounding 261.

In 1972, Gold hits record $70 an ounce in London.

In 1973,  A flash fire kills 51 at the Summerland amusement centre at Douglas, Isle of Man.

In 1974, John Dean, counsel to President Nixon, was sentenced to one-to-four years in prison for his part in the Watergate cover-up.

In 1980,  A bomb explodes at the railway station in Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people and wounding more than 200.

In 1983, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 338-90 to designate the third Monday in January a federal holiday in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1985,  Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, crashes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport killing 137.

In 1988, Despite previous threats of a veto, President Reagan said he would reluctantly allow a plant-closing notification bill to become law, accusing Democrats of “political shenanigans.”

In 1989, trade restrictions between Britain and Argentina lifted for the first time since the 1982 Falklands war.

In 1989, Abortion rights advocates gained a surprising victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, which voted against including abortion curbs in a spending bill for the District of Columbia.

In 1989,  Pakistan is re-admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations after having restored democracy for the first time since 1972.

In 1989,  A massacre is carried out by an Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka killing 64 ethnic Tamil civilians.

In 1990,  Iraq invades Kuwait, eventually leading to the Gulf War.

In 1992, The Bush campaign, accused by Bill Clinton of mudslinging, responded with a vitriolic press release that referred to “sniveling hypocritical Democrats” (President Bush later disavowed the release).

In 1994, Congressional hearings begin on White Water.

In 1998,  The Second Congo War begins.

In 1999,  The Gaisal train disaster claims 285 lives in Assam, India.

In 2000, Republicans awarded Texas Governor George W. Bush their 2000 presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Philadelphia and ratified Dick Cheney as his running mate.

In 2000, Former President Ford was hospitalized after suffering one, possibly two, small strokes.

In 2005,  Air France Flight 358 lands at Toronto Pearson International Airport and runs off the runway, causing the plane to burst into flames leaving 12 injuries and no fatalities.

In 2014,  At least 146 people were killed and more than 114 injured in an explosion at a factory near Shanghai.

Additional Notes

In 1909, Army Air Corps formed as Army takes first delivery from Wright Brothers.

In 1922, China, hit by a typhoon; about 60,000 die.

In 1934, Adolf Hitler declared himself Fuehrer on the death of President Hindenberg. Spike Jones, ten years later, hailed “PLLLL” right in Der Fehrer’s Face!

In 1941, German 11st Army surrounds 20 Russian divisions at Oeman.

In 1943, a U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, under the command of Lt. John F. Kennedy, sank after being seared in two by a Japanese destroyer off the Solomon Islands. The survivors managed to swim to an unoccupied island, where they were later rescued. Kennedy, credited with saving at least one of the crew, was acclaimed as a World War II hero.

In 1943, General Patton had a bad day this day. He slapped and kicked U.S. Army Private C.H. Kuhl.

In 1943, RAF bombs Hamburg.

In 1944, Joseph P. Kennedy, Navy pilot and brother of John F. Kennedy, was killed when his plane exploded over the Belgian coast.

In 1964, the Pentagon reported the first of two attacks on U.S. destroyers by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea. The “attack” is open to serious debate and should not be presented as fact. It is fairly well acknowledged that no attack took place and was instead a faked provocation to allow the US to escalate the impending war. Bear in mind that the North Vietnamese agreed to the 1954 Geneva Convention that promised free unification elections in 1956 and the US did not. That was because it was estimated that Ho Chi Minh would get 80% of the vote. The U.S. only support free elections that our side wins (i.e., see Chile). Interestingly enough, the fake attack on our ship was not the first time that the U.S. used that ploy. Rumor has it that the attack on the battleship Maine that triggered the Spanish-American war was a little suspect.

In 1965, war correspondent Morley Safer sent out the first Vietnam report indicating we are losing.

In 1968, a major earthquake in the Philippines rocked Manila, killing 307 people.

In 1975, 104 degrees F (40 degrees C) at Providence, Rhode Island (state record).

In 1975, 107 degrees F (42 degrees C) at Chester/New Bedford, Massachusetts (state record).

In 1980, 85 people were killed when a bomb exploded at the train station in Bologna, Italy.

In 1985, 137 people were killed when a Delta Air Lines jumbo jet crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In 1988, U.S. military investigators concluded that crew errors led to the shooting down on July 3rd of an Iranian passenger jet by the USS Vincennes in the Persian Gulf.

In 1990, in the first act of the Persian Gulf War, Iraq’s powerful army troops and tanks led by Saddam Hussein invaded and seized control of oil-rich neighboring Kuwait in the first act of the Persian Gulf War before dawn, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. President Bush condemned the incursion as an act of “naked aggression” and responded by sending troops to Saudi Arabia to begin Operation Desert Shield. The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm beginning the following January 16.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The Emir fled to Saudi Arabia; the UN Security Council unanimously condemned the Iraqi occupation and demanded Baghdad withdraw. (The Iraqis were driven out in Operation Desert Storm.). This event led to a flood of Operation Desert Storm novelty songs to be sent and heard on the Dr. Demento Show on the radio.

In 1994, Serbia threatened to cut all aid to the Bosnian Serbs if they didn’t approve an international peace plan.

In 1995, Hurricane Erin comes ashore in Vero Beach, Fla., killing two people on land and five at sea.

In 1995, China ordered the expulsion of two US Air Force officers it said were caught spying on military sites.

In 1999, Launching another salvo in a war of nerves with rival Taiwan, China announced it had test-fired a new long-range missile.

In 1999, a train collision in India claimed 286 lives.

In 2005, Air France Flight 358, lands at Toronto Pearson International Airport, and runs off the runway causing the plane to burst into flames leaving 12 injuries and no fatalities.

In 2014,  At least 146 people were killed and more than 114 injured in an explosion at a factory near Shanghai.

Royalty and Religious events on August 2nd

In 1100, King William II of England, son of William the Conqueror, was killed by an arrow while hunting in the New Forest.

In 1589, Henry III of France was assassinated at St Cloud by Jacques Clement.

In 1830, Charles X, the last Bourbon king of France, abdicated.

Human Achievement and Science events on August 2nd

In 1610, Henry Hudson enters the bay, today known as the Hudson Bay, in northern Canada.

In 1791, Samuel Briggs and his son, Samuel Briggs, Jr. became the first father-son pair to receive a joint patent — for their nail-making machine.

In 1887, Barbed wire was patented by Rowell Hodge. In 1996, Pamela Anderson Lee bombed with the movie “Barbed Wire.”

In 1892, Charles A. Wheeler patented the first practical moving staircase, the escalator. It was never built, but some of its features were incorporated in the prototype built by the Otis Elevator Company in 1899.

In 1962, NASA civilian test pilot Joseph A Walker takes X-15 to 32,600 m.

In 1989, NASA confirmed Voyager 2’s discovery of 3 more moons of Neptune designated temporarily 1989 N2, 1989 N3 & 1989 N24.
In 2000, Scientists announce development of cholera’s genetic blueprint, a step toward better vaccines or treatments.

Arts and Prose events on August 2nd

In 1914, Sherlock Holmes Adventure “His Last Bow” takes place.

In 1984, Charles Schultz’ award-winning comic strip was picked up by the “Daily Times” in Portsmouth, OH. With the addition of that paper, “Peanuts”, featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Pigpen, Linus, Peppermint Pattie, Woodstock and the gang, became the first comic strip to appear in 2,000 newspapers.

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