Today in History: August 1

Today in History: August 1

Pick a day:

July 31 August 2

0902

The Aghlabid rulers of Ifriqiyah (modern day Tunisia) capture Taormina, Sicily.

1096

The crusaders under Peter the Hermit reach Constantinople.

1464

Piero de Medici succeeds his father, Cosimo, as ruler of Florence.

1664

The Turkish army is defeated by French and German troops at St. Gotthard, Hungary.

1689

James II's siege of Londonderry, Ireland, ends in failure. James' force had suffered some 8,000 casualties to the defenders' 3,600.

1740

Thomas Arne's song "Rule Britannia" is performed for the first time.

1759

British and Hanoverian armies defeat the French at the Battle of Minden, Germany.

1791

Robert Carter III, a Virginia plantation owner, frees all 500 of his slaves in the largest private emancipation in U.S. history. An 1839 mutiny aboard a Spanish ship in Cuban waters raised basic questions about freedom and slavery in the United States.

1798

Admiral Horatio Nelson routs the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile at Aboukir Bay, Egypt.

1801

The American schooner Enterprise captures the Barbary cruiser Tripoli. Often venturing into harm's way, America's most famous sailing ship, the Constitution, twice came close to oblivion.

1834

Slavery is abolished throughout the British Empire.

1864

Union General Ulysses S. Grant gives general Philip H. Sheridan the mission of clearing the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate forces. After nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Virginia, suddenly collapsed.

1872

The first long-distance gas pipeline in the U.S. is completed. Designed for natural gas, the two-inch pipe ran five miles from Newton Wells to Titusville, Pennsylvania.

1873

San Francisco's first cable cars begin running, operated by Hallidie's Clay Street Hill Railroad Company.

1880

Sir Frederick Roberts frees the British Afghanistan garrison of Kandahar from Afghan rebels.

1893

A machine for making shredded wheat breakfast cereal is patented.

1937

The Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany becomes operational.The Nuremberg Trial would later bring high-ranking Nazis to justice.

1939

Synthetic vitamin K is produced for the first time.

1941

The Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo plane makes its first flight.

1942

Ensign Henry C. White, while flying a J4F Widgeon plane, sinks U-166 as it approaches the Mississippi River, the first U-boat sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.

1943

Over 177 B-24 Liberator bombers attack the oil fields in Ploesti, Romania, for a second time.

1944

The Polish underground begins an uprising against the occupying German army, as the Red Army approaches Warsaw.

1946

President Harry S Truman establishes the Atomic Energy Commission.

1950

Lead elements of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division arrive in Korea from the United States.

1954

The Geneva Accords divide Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel.

1957

US and Canada create North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).

1960

Singer Chubby Checker releases "The Twist," creating a new dance craze. The song had been released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters the previous year but got little attention.

1964

Arthur Ashe becomes the first African-American to play on the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.

1966

Charles Whitman, shooting from the Texas Tower at the University of Texas, kills 16 people and wounds 31 before being killed himself.

1988

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh begins his national radio show.

2004

In Asuncion, Paraguay, a fire in the Ycua Bolanos V supermarket complex kills nearly 400 people and injures 500.

2007

The I-35W bridge at Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145.