History: August 14

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August 14

0410 Alaric sacks Rome.

1040 King Duncan of Scotland is murdered by Macbeth, who then becomes king and rules for 17 years.

1248 The rebuilding of the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, begins after being destroyed by fire.

1385 Portuguese forces thwart an attempted invasion by John I of Castille at the battle of Aljubarrota, securing independence for the Portuguese.

1457 The first book ever printed (that could be exactly dated, this is circa 3 years after Gutenberg), is published by a German astrologer named Faust. He is thrown in jail while trying to sell the books in Paris. The authorities conclude that all the identical books meant Faust had dealt with the devil.

1551 Turkish forces capture Tripoli.

1559 Spanish explorer de Luna enters Pensacola Bay, Florida.

1598 Earl of Tyrone, Irish rebel, annihilates the English force at Yellow Ford on Blackwater River.

1607 The Popham expedition reaches the Sagadahoc River in present-day Maine and settles there. The Popham Colony was the first organized attempt to establish an English colony on the shores of what we now know as New England. It was planted at the mouth of the Kennebec River but lasted for little over a year until it was abandoned in the fall of 1608. Popham was not the first European colony in New England. The French were earlier with a brief settlement on an island in the St. Croix River between Maine and New Brunswick in 1604. Although Popham was the first claim of possession of what was then called Northern Virginia by the English, the honor of the actual founding of a "New" England belongs to the Pilgrims who established the first permanent settlement in Massachusetts Bay thirteen years later. Despite its precedence, the failure of the Popham Colony to endure has rendered it a nearly forgotten historical footnote. Its failure, however, was an important step in the ongoing experience of English colonization and the lessons learned contributed directly to the ultimate success of the Pilgrims.

1678 William of Orange attacks the French army near Mons. The French, caught by surprise, rally and repulse William who loses several thousand men.

1733 The War of Polish Succession begins.

1756 French commander Louis Montcalm and a 3,000-strong force of French regulars, Canadian militia and Indian allies, march from Fort Carillion (Ticonderoga) to the Oswego River. In the face of this advance, the British withdraw their soldiers from Fort Ontario on this day and prepare to make a stand at Fort Oswego. On the following day, Montcalm opens fire on the British position, using cannon taken earlier from Braddock's fleeing forces. The British commander is killed in the fighting and the garrison surrenders shortly thereafter. Montcalm rewards his Indian allies by allowing them much of the victory spoils and hopes to placate other local natives by destroying both of the forts. The general and his force then depart for the St. Lawrence, taking with them 1,700 prisoners and captured British flags that will soon be displayed in the churches of Montreal and Québec.The French victory at Fort Oswego is significant to the overall war effort, due to a deep impression it makes on many of the Indian tribes who then believe that the British are likely to lose the conflict. Some members of the Six Nations decide to maintain their neutrality and others, the Seneca and Oneida, move to the French side.The forts remain in disrepair for much of the remainder of the war, but in 1759 the British begin reconstruction efforts. They continued in possession until 1796, when Jay's Treaty will provide for the fort to be turned over to the United States.

1756 Daniel Boone marries 16-year-old Rebecca Bryan.

1765 Massachusetts colonists challenge British rule by an Elm (Liberty Tree).

1774 Birth: Meriwether Lewis, in Charlottsville, Virginia, captain of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

1777 Birth: Hans Christian Oersted, in Denmark, physicist, chemist, discovered electromagnetism (View of Chemical Law).

1784 Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founds the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska on Kodiak Island.

1793 French Revolution: Republican troops in France lay siege to the city of Lyons.

1811 Paraguay declares itself independent of Spain; the British occupy Java.

1813 War of 1812: The British warship Pelican attacks and captures the US war brigantine Argus.

1814 War of 1812: American patriot Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) is held overnight as a British prisoner during their shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. In the morning, Key pens what later becomes the American national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

1842 Second Seminole War: The war ends with the forced relocation of most Seminoles from Florida to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The war, which had lasted for seven years, pitted between 3,000 to 5,000 poorly armed warriors against more than 200,000 US troops. The Seminoles resisted successive attacks by white soldiers and settlers.

1846 Henry David Thoreau is jailed for tax resistance.

1848 The Oregon Territory is established.

1860 Birth: Ernest Thompson Seton, naturalist, painter, author (Buffalo Wind-1938).

1862 Lincoln receives the first group of blacks to confer with a US president.

1880 The construction of the Cologne Cathedral, which began in 1248, is finally completed.

1883 Birth: Ernest E. Just, marine biologist. Died in 1941.

1893 France becomes the first country to introduce motor vehicle registration plates. Driving licenses and parking restrictions are also introduced. The licenses are issued when the driver passes the test carried out by the Chief Engineer of Mines.

1894 Belgium's King Leopold II abandons claims to Upper Nile territory after France protests.

1896 Gold is discovered in Canada's Yukon Territory. Within the next year more than 30,000 people rush to the area to look for gold.

1900 An international force, consisting of eight nations, lifts the siege of Peking.  It is the end of the Boxer Rebellion, which was aimed at purging China of foreigners.

1901 Birth: Sir James Pitman, in England, educator, publisher, phonetic speller.

1910 The 6th International Congress of Esperantists is held in Washington, DC.

1912 US Marines land in Nicaragua to protect American economic interests there, and stay until 1925.

1914 The US Congress appropriates the funds to construct the Pentagon (approximately $83 million). The building is the new home of the US War Department.

1914 WW1: A full-scale French offensive, the Battle of Lorraine, begins southeast of Metz. Following a planned withdrawal, the Germans counterattack, throwing the French back to the fortified heights of Nancy.

1914 WW1: Kaiser Wilhelm II leaves Berlin, choosing to live at Pless, in Silesia, or near the Western front for the remainder of the war.

1917 WW1: China declares war on Germany and Austria.

1923 German Chancellor Stresemann outlines his program to the German Reichstag; the end of passive resistance and the enforced taxation of war and postwar profiteers.

1930 The use of contraceptives is approved by the Church of England.

1933 Women Against the Persecution of Jews in Germany, a committee of non-Jews, announces its establishment in New York City.

1936 Death: Rainey Bethea, by hanging, the last US public execution.

1936 Arthur S. Leese, publisher of the Fascist, a periodical of the Imperial Fascist League, is tried in London on charges of seditious libel against British Jews.

1936 Count Jean Szembeck reports that during a recent conversation with Joachim von Ribbentrop that the German Foreign Minister "insisted upon the necessity of Polish-German collaboration." Both Poland and Germany, Ribbentrop said, "are under the threat of a very great danger. Bolshevism plans to destroy all of the fruits of Western civilization"

1939 New York Congressman Hamilton Fish, president of the US delegation to the Interparliamentary Union Congress conference in Oslo, Norway, meets with Ribbentrop. Fish is a vocal isolationist and staunch opponent of Roosevelt. The congressman advocates better relations with Germany and hopes to solve the Danzig question during the August 15-19 conference in Norway. Ribbentrop tells Fish that Germany has lost its patience and unless Danzig is restored to Germany war will break out. (Secrets)

1939 Chamberlain and Halifax receive details of Ciano's meetings with Hitler and Ribbentrop. They consider the idea of sending a German-speaking Briton to negotiate directly with Hitler.

1939 Hitler orders Ribbentrop to telegraph Ambassador von der Schulenberg in Moscow, ordering him to secure "a speedy clarification of German-Russian relations." Ribbentrop says that he is prepared to personally fly to Moscow and present Hitler's views to Stalin "because only through such a direct discussion can a change be brought about, and it should not be impossible therefore to lay the foundation for a final settlement of German-Russian relations."

1940 WW2: The all-Polish, RAF 302 City of Poznan Fighter Squadron, begins operations in Britain.

1940 WW2: Bad weather reduces the number of German fighters attacking Britain to 500. (Duffy)

1941 WW2: The Germans occupy Smolensk.

1941 WW2: Britain and America issue the Atlantic Charter, proclaiming the establishment of a "new world order." The following month fifteen anti-Axis governments endorse its provisions. (See September 24, 1941 & January 1, 1942)

1941 The last execution in the Tower of London takes place.

1942 Dwight D. Eisenhower is named the Anglo-American commander for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa.

1944 WW2: The federal government allows the manufacture of certain domestic appliances to resume on a limited basis.

1945 WW2: Kumagaya and several other targets northwest of Tokyo are bombed in the last air raid of the war.

1945 WW2: Emperor Hirohito orders an end to the war and then records a radio message saying that the Japanese people must "Bear the unbearable." Even though Japan's War Council, urged by Emperor Hirohito, had already submitted a formal declaration of surrender to the Allies, via ambassadors, on August 10, fighting continued between the Japanese and the Soviets in Manchuria and between the Japanese and the United States in the South Pacific. In fact, two days after the Council agreed to surrender, a Japanese submarine sank the Oak Hill, an American landing ship, and the Thomas F. Nickel, an American destroyer, both east of Okinawa. In the afternoon of 14 August, Japanese radio announced that an Imperial Proclamation was soon to be made, accepting the terms of unconditional surrender drawn up at the Potsdam Conference. That proclamation had already been recorded by the emperor.

1945 WW2: During the night a group of more than 1,000 Japanese officers attack the Imperial Palace in an unsuccessful attempt to steal the Emperor's radio announcement and prevent its broadcast. Soldiers still loyal to Emperor Hirohito repulse the attackers. That evening, General Anami, the member of the War Council most adamant against surrender, commits suicide. His reason: to atone for the Japanese army's defeat, and to be spared having to hear his emperor speak the words of surrender.

1945 V-J Day: US President Harry Truman announces that Japan has surrendered to the Allies. After the Soviet attack and two atomic bombs, Japan surrenders unconditionally to the Allied forces.

1946 Death: Robert Wagner, Reichswehr officer who participated in Hitler's Munich putsch. One of Hitler's earliest supporters, he served as party provincial boss of Baden, 1925-1945. In 1940, he became chief of the civilian administration in Alsace, a position he held until the end of the war. Sentenced to death by a French military court; he is executed at Strasbourg.

1947 Pakistan becomes independent as British rule over the region ends and the Asian subcontinent is partitioned into Islamic Pakistan and predominantly Hindu India. Pakistan comprises two portions, West (now Pakistan) and East, which will later become independent Bangladesh.

1949 West Germans vote for the first time since the end of the war, after a 'reeducation' program creates proper conditions for the vote.

1949 Konrad Adenauer becomes the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

1950 Birth: Gary Larson, cartoonist: The Far Side.

1951 Death: William Randolph Hearst, Newspaper magnate, a dominant figure in US journalism since 1896, aged 88 in Beverly Hills, California, of a cerebral hemorrhage.

1958 NATO countries announce relaxation of trade restrictions with the Soviet bloc and China, but the United States maintains its embargo on trade with China, North Korea and North Vietnam.

1962 Two Soviet spacecraft circle the Earth in adjacent orbits and are in visual and radio contact.

1971 The British begin internment without trial in Northern Ireland.

1971 Bahrain declares itself a fully independent and sovereign state.

1973 The US bombing of Cambodia ends.

1974 Greece withdrew troops from NATO after the breakdown of Geneva peace talks and new fighting on the island of Cyprus.

1974 The US Congress allows US citizens to legaly own gold.

1975 Bangladesh President Mujibur Rahman is killed in a military coup that overthrows the country's three-year-old government.

1976 The USSR launches Luna 24 to the Moon.

1986 Riots break out across Pakistan against the government of President Zia ul-Haq; three people are shot dead and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto is arrested.

1987 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini threatens the United States with punishment, blaming it for the deaths of hundreds of pilgrims in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

1987 A Sri Lankan soldier in a guard of honor for visiting Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi breaks ranks and strikes him with his rifle butt.

1989 P.W. Botha resigns as South African president.

1990 Desert Shield: King Hussein of Jordan flies to Washington in an attempt to mediate the US-Iraq confrontation; Syrian troops begin arriving in Saudi Arabia.

1991 The US Justice Department accuses General Electric of fraud for billing the Pentagon $30 million for the nonexistent sale of F-16 parts to the Israeli military.

1992 Spain, France and Turkey offer to send troops to Bosnia under a United Nations (UN) resolution authorizing military force.

1992 The 13th round of the EC-sponsored Yugoslav peace talks ends in stalemate in Brussels, Belgium.

1994 Several thousand IRA supporters rally outside Belfast's city hall, 25 years after Britain deployed troops in Northern Ireland as supposed peacekeepers.

1994 The notorious international terrorist known as 'Carlos the Jackal' is captured in Sudan. He is extradited to France the next day.

1995 Bowing before a huge bank of flowers, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko pay respect to the dead of a war that ended 50 years ago, when Japan's emperor asked his people to "bear the unbearable."

1996 The National Party, the architects of South African apartheid, move to the opposition benches for the first time in 48 years.

1996 The Republicans nominate Bob Dole for president.

1997 US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright grants a visa to Gerry Adams, head of the Sinn Fein political party in Northern Ireland.

1997 Timothy McVeigh is formally sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.

1998 A US federal appeals court in Richmond VA, rules that the Food and Drug Administration has no authority to regulate tobacco. Note: The FDA had established rules to make it harder for minors to buy cigarettes.

1999 Texas Governor George W. Bush places first in a presidential straw poll by Iowa Republicans.

2000 The Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kursk sinks to the bottom of the Barrent Sea. All 118 sailors are pronounced dead on August 22.



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