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0216 At the Battle of Cannae, Hannibal seizes the large Roman Army depot after defeating the numerically superior Roman infantry.
0881 At the Battle at Saucourt, French King Louis III beats a Viking force.
1347 Six burghers of the surrounded French city of Calais surrender to Edward III of England in hopes of relieving the siege.
1460 King James II of Scotland is killed by an exploding cannon at Kelso.
1492 Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets sail in command of three ships, the Santa Mara, the Pinta, and the Nia, on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia. On 12 October, the expedition sighted land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas, and went ashore the same day, claiming it for Spain. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. The explorer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and "Indian" captives in March 1493 and was received with the highest honours by the Spanish court. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century. During his lifetime, Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, discovering various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South and Central American mainland, but never accomplished his original goal--a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve. He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.
1546 French printer Etienne Dolet, accused of heresy, blasphemy and sedition, is hanged and burned at the stake for printing reformist literature.
1553 Mary Tudor, the new Queen of England, enters London.
1596 David Fabricius discovers light variation of Mira (1st variable star).
1610 Henry Hudson of England discovers and names a great bay on the east coast of Canada.
1678 Robert LaSalle builds the first ship in America, the Griffon.
1692 French forces under Marshal Luxembourg defeat the English at the Battle of Steenkerke in the Netherlands.
1750 Christopher Dock completes the first book of teaching methods. It is titled "A Simple and Thoroughly Prepared School Management."
1805 Mohammed Ali becomes the new ruler of Egypt and never once make the claim to be the 'greatest of all times.'
1811 Birth: Elisha Graves Otis, inventor (safe elevator).
1851 Birth: Lady Isabella Caroline Somerset, temperance leader.
1858 Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile, is discovered by the English explorer John Speke.
1861 US Civil War: The pay of US Army nurses is raised from $8 per month, plus one ration per day, to $12 per month; it had been $8 per month since 1777.
1863 US Civil War: Governor Seymour asks Lincoln to suspend the draft in New York.
1864 US Civil War: Federal gunboats attack but do not capture Fort Gains, at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
1867 Birth: Stanley Earl Baldwin, (C) British Prime Minister (1923-24, 1924-29, 1935-37). Prime Minister during the general strike of 1926.
1882 The US Congress passes the Immigration Act, banning Chinese immigration for ten years.
1900 Birth: Ernie Pyle, journalist: Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, World War II correspondent who wrote about the common soldier. Died in 1945.
1908 Allan Allensworth files the site plan for the first African-American town, Allensworth, California.
1911 Airplanes are used for the first time in a military capacity when Italian planes reconnoiter Turkish lines near Tripoli. Note: The Italian Air Force is, at this time, the undisputed world leader in military aviation.
1914 WW1: Germany declares war on France.
1914 WW1: Adolf Hitler, a citizen of Austria residing in Munich (above), petitions King Ludwig III of Bavaria for permission to enlist in the Bavarian army.
1914 WW1: The French firm of Rothschilds Freres cables J.P. Morgan & Co. in New York suggesting the floatation of a loan of $100,000,000, a substantial part of which is to be left in the United States to pay for French purchases of American goods. (America Goes to War,Charles C. Tansill. Little, Brown. Boston, 1938)
1914 The first ship passes through the Panama Canal in Central America.
1916 WW1: German Gen. Kress von Kressenstein, with 15,000 Turkish troops and German machine gunners, makes a surprise attack on the British Sinai railhead at Rumani, but is repelled.
1916 Britain hangs Irish nationalist Sir Roger Casement for treason because of his attempts to induce Germany to support Irish independence.
1918 Birth: James MacGregor Burns, political writer (The Lion & the Fox).
1921 The first aerial cropdusting is undertaken in Troy, Ohio to kill caterpillars.
1930 Volkishness: Rudolf Gorsleben dies and Werner von Bulow takes over the Edda Society's periodical, soon renaming it Hagal All All Hagal, and later simply Hagal. (Roots)
1931 Church and Reich: August 3-5 The Fulda Bishop's Conference, attended by all the Prussian bishops, the bishops of the Upper Rhenish province, as well as the Archbishop of Munich, fail to adopt a clear position on Nazi party membership.
1933 Osthofen concentration camp is closed by the Gestapo.
1933 Police in Toronto, Canada, begin investigating the antisemitic Swastika Club.
1936 The Nazi Olympics: Black American Jesse Owens wins the first of his four Olympic gold medals.
1937 Holocaust: Italy bars foreign Jews from universities and institutions of higher learning.
1937 August 3-16 The Twentieth World Zionist Congress meeting in Zurich debates the partitioning of Palestine as proposed by the Peel Commission.
1938 New anti-Jewish legislation is introduced in Italy.
1939 Following a secret meeting in London between German Ambassador Herbert von Dirksen and Sir Horace Wilson, head of Britain's civil service and Chamberlain's closest adviser, a message is sent to Hitler informing him that Britain is prepared to increase trade with Germany, talk constructively about Germany's need for colonies, take a helpful view of Germany's need for expansion in southeast Europe, announce jointly a cooperative program to help improve the world economic situation, look seriously at the possibility of limiting armaments (including a possible loan to Germany to offset the financial difficulties limitation would bring), and finally, not to intervene in matters concerning the Greater Reich, which would include Danzig. There is only one precondition: Germany and Britain should sign a treaty of nonaggression, in which both sides would renounce unilateral aggressive action as a policy method. (Howarth)
1939 Jews in Memel are allowed to liquidate their property without Nazi interference.
1940 WW2: Horia Sima and other Legionaries have an audience with King Carol and tell him that only a Legionary government can save Romania from destruction by the Soviet Union.
1940 Holocaust: Hitler tells the new German ambassador to Paris, Otto Abetz, that he wants to resolve the Jewish problem for all of Europe and that he wants to force the conquered countries (and persuade Germany's allies) to send their Jewish citizens away, not to Madagascar, but to the United States. (Architect)
1941 Barbarossa: Guderian, who desires to continue the thrust toward Moscow, disobeys orders and intentionally gets caught up in fighting at Roslavl. Hitler, however, is not to be denied. Guderian is forced to move south. The German high command grows restless at the growing disobedience of forward commanders. Hitler is haunted by the ghost of Napoleon. He admits to Guderian, "had I known Russian tank strength...I would not have started this war." (Clark II)
1941 Church and Reich: Catholic Bishop August Graf von Galen publicly denounces the Nazi euthanasia program as both "murder under German law and in the eyes of God,"and demands the prosecution for murder of those perpetrating the killings. Galen tells in detail how the innocent sick are being killed while their families are misled by false death notices. Even invalids, cripples and wounded soldiers, he says, could no longer feel safe for their lives. News of Galens words, especially about the killing of wounded soldiers spreads like wildfire. Copies of his sermon are distributed in all corners of Germany and among the soldiers at the front. (Lewy)
1944 Holocaust: Of the total of 20,943 Gypsies registered as prisoners in Auschwitz, the last 2,897 are sent to the gas chambers. 3,461 had been transferred to other camps, while all the others died in Auschwitz from starvation, infectious disease, or by gassing. (Science)
1944 The Warsaw Uprising: Stalin promises Poles that the Red Army will attack Germans if the Uprising lasts for 6 days. It will last 63 days but no help will come.
1945 WW2: Chinese troops under American General Joseph 'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell take the town of Myitkyina from the Japanese. Detachment 101 harries the Japanese in Burma and provides close support for regular Allied forces.
1948 Cold War: Former Time editor Whittaker Chambers, also a former Communist, publicly accuses former State Department official Alger Hiss of having been part of a Communist underground, a charge Hiss denies. Note: It will later be proved beyond doubt that Hiss, along with many of his collegues in the State Department, are in fact, Soviet spies.
1956 Bedloe's Island has its name changed to Liberty Island.
1966 Death: Lenny Bruce, comedian, at the age of 41, from acute morphine poisoning in Hollywood, California. Born as Leonard Alfred Schneider in Mineola, New York, Bruce joined the Navy at the age of 16, serving in World War II (WWII) until 1946. After the war, he briefly studied acting but turned to stand-up comedy, making his national debut on the Arthur Godfrey television show. Bruce became one of the most influential comedians in show business history, the first to lace his routines with profanity and scatological language (he was arrested many times for obscenity and even banned from performing in England). He brutally satirised many of the taboo topics and sacred cows in American society, building a devoted group of fans and an equally large group of enemies. His 1965 autobiography How to Talk Dirty and Influence People was a bestseller. Bruce struggled with drug problems most of his life, finally dying of an overdose in 1966. After his death, he became a cult hero, many fans considering him a martyr to the cause of free speech.
1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson announces plans to send 45,000 more troops to Vietnam. Note: US complicity in the overthrow of South Vietnam's president made it impossible to stay uninvolved in the war.
1981 Death of The Labor Unions: U.S. Air Traffic Controllers with PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, go on strike. They are promptly fired, just as U.S. President 'I Used To Be A Labor Leader' Reagan has been warning for some time. Note: Reagan was, at one time, the elected leader of the Screen Actors Guild. Under his watch, creators rights and royalties were decimated, as Moe Howard relates in his quite interesting biography.
1989 Shiite Muslim kidnappers suspend their threat to execute another hostage. It has been reported that the terrorists in Lebanon had hung Lt. Col. William R. Higgins three days before.
1989 Hashemi Rafsanjani is sworn in as the president of Iran.
1990 Gulf War 1: Radio Kuwait goes off the air as thousands of Iraqi troops push within a few miles of the border of Saudi Arabia. This heightens world concerns that the invasion of Kuwait will spread.
1990 Gulf War 1: The US announces commitment of Naval forces to Gulf regions.
1992 The U.S. Senate votes to restrict and eventually end the testing of nuclear weapons.
1992 Russia and Ukraine agree to put the Black Sea Fleet under joint command. The agreement is to last for three years.
1994 For the first time in 32 years, Arkansas executes three prisoners.
1995 Eyad Ismoil is flown from Jordan to the U.S. to face charges that he had driven the van that blew up in New York's World Trade Center.
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