On This Date In 1492 Genoese navigator, colonizer and explorer Christopher Columbus set out on his first voyage to what came to be known as the New World. With three ships and a crew of ninety, Columbus hoped to find a western route to the Far East. Instead, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria landed in the Bahama Islands. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/aug03.html
On This Date In 1644 The Battle of Freiburg, also called the Three Day Battle, took place on August 3, August 5 and August 9, 1644 as part of the Thirty Years' War. The entrenched Bavarians led by Franz von Mercy retreated after three separate days of being assaulted by the French army under Louis II de Bourbon, Duc d'Enghien and marshal Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, and the French then went on to capture the city of Freiburg. The Battle of Freiburg produced the highest number of casualties of any battle in the war.
On This Date In 1645 During the Thirty Years' War, the second Battle of Nördlingen (or Battle of Allerheim) was fought southeast of Nördlingen near the village of Alerheim, France, and its Protestant German allies defeated the forces of the Holy Roman Empire and its Bavarian Catholic league allies.
On This Date In 1757 Through August 9, 1757, and during the French and Indian War, the Siege of Fort William Henry was conducted by French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm against the British-held Fort William Henry. The fort, located at the southern end of Lake George, on the frontier between the British Province of New York and the French Province of Canada, was garrisoned by a poorly supported force of British regulars and provincial militia led by Lieutenant Colonel George Monro. After several days of bombardment, Monro surrendered to Montcalm, whose force included nearly 2,000 Indians from a large number of tribes.
On This Date In 1846 Abraham Lincoln was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served one two-year term. He was the only Whig in the Illinois delegation, but he showed his party loyalty by participating in almost all votes and making speeches that echoed the party line.
On This Date In 1864 Through August 8, 1864, the Siege of Fort Gaines took place during the American Civil War. It was fought in the Mobile Bay area of Alabama as part of the larger battle of Mobile Bay, and resulted in the surrender of the fort and its defenders to Union forces.
On This Date In 1914 Two days after declaring war on Russia, Germany declared war on France, moving ahead with a long-held strategy, conceived by the former chief of staff of the German army, Alfred von Schlieffen, for a two-front war against France and Russia. Hours later, France made its own declaration of war against Germany, readying its troops to move into the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, which it had forfeited to Germany in the settlement that ended the Franco-Prussian War in 1871.
On This Date In 1916 During World War I, the Battle of Romani took place near the Egyptian town of Romani, 23 miles (37 km) east of the Suez Canal near the Mediterranean shore of the Sinai peninsula. On the night of August 3, 1916, an Ottoman army, under the command of Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, attacked the British Empire defences at Romani. The fort at Romani was strategic as it controlled the northern approach to the Suez canal. After a night and day of fighting, the Ottoman assault was defeated and thereafter the Allies were on the offensive, pushing the Ottoman army back across the Sinai.
On This Date In 1916 Sir Roger David Casement, an Irish-born diplomat, humanitarian campaigner and an Irish patriot, poet, revolutionary, and nationalist, who in 1911 was knighted by King George V, was executed by hanging for his role in Ireland's Easter Rising. In 1965, Casement's body was repatriated to Ireland and, after a state funeral, was buried with full military honours in the Republican plot in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.
On This Date In 1923 Calvin Coolidge took the presidential oath of office after the unexpected death in office of President Warren Harding. The new president inherited an administration plagued and discredited by corruption scandals. In the two remaining years of this term, Coolidge, long recognized for his own frugality and moderation, worked to restore the administration's image and regain the public’s trust. He went on to win the presidential election of 1924 in his own right.
On This Date In 1936 Through August 9, and at the 1936 Summer Olympics, Jesse Owens, American track and field athlete who specialized in the sprints and the long jump, won 4 gold medals. On August 3, 1936, he won the 100m sprint, defeating Ralph Metcalfe; on August 4, the long jump (later crediting friendly and helpful advice from Luz Long, the German competitor he ultimately defeated); on August 5, the 200m sprint; and, after he was added to the 4 x 100 m relay team, following a request by the Germans to replace a Jewish-American sprinter, he won his fourth on August 9 (a performance not equaled until Carl Lewis won gold medals in the same events at the 1984 Summer Olympics).
On This Date In 1940 During World War II, Italy began its offensive against the British colony of Somaliland, in East Africa, territory contiguous with Italian Somaliland. Italy would not enter the Somaliland capital, Berbera, until August 19, while Britain built up its African forces in Kenya. The war for East Africa was not over.
On This Date In 1943 During World War II, the massacre in Szczurowa took place, the murder of 93 Romani people (also known as Gypsies), including children, women and the elderly, by German Nazi occupiers in the Polish village of Szczurowa. Between ten and twenty families of settled Romani had lived in Szczurowa for generations, alongside ethnic Poles with whom they had friendly and neighborly relations. On August 3, 1943 German police rounded up almost all the Romani inhabitants of the village and transported them to the local cemetery where they were shot. A list of all the victims has been preserved in the documents of the local church.
On This Date In 1948 In hearings before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), Whittaker Chambers accused former State Department official Alger Hiss of being a communist and a spy for the Soviet Union. The accusation set into motion a series of events that eventually resulted in the trial and conviction of Hiss for perjury.
On This Date In 1949 After a damaging three-year battle to win both players and fans, the rival Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA).
On This Date In 1958 The U.S. nuclear submarine Nautilus accomplished the first undersea voyage to the geographic North Pole. The world's first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus dived at Point Barrow, Alaska, and traveled nearly 1,000 miles under the Arctic ice cap to reach the top of the world. It then steamed on to Iceland, pioneering a new and shorter route from the Pacific to the Atlantic and Europe.
On This Date In 1965 During the Vietnam War, CBS-TV news showed pictures of men from the First Battalion, Ninth Marines setting fire to huts in the village of Cam Na, six miles west of Da Nang, despite reports that the Viet Cong had already fled the area. The film report sparked indignation and condemnation of the U.S. policy in Vietnam both at home and overseas. At the same time, the Department of Defense announced that it was increasing the monthly draft call from 17,000 in August to 27,400 in September and 36,000 in October. It also announced that the Navy would require 4,600 draftees, the first such action since 1956.
On This Date In 1966 During the Vietnam War, U.S. Marine units commenced Operation Prairie, a sequel to an earlier operation in the area (Operation Hastings), which involved a sweep just south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) against three battalions of the North Vietnamese 324B Division. An additional 1,500 Marines from Seventh Fleet ships off Quang Tri Province conducted amphibious landings on September 15 to assist in the operation, which lasted until September 19 and resulted in a reported 1,397 communist casualties.
On This Date In 1973 “Innervisions,” the sixteenth album by American musician Stevie Wonder, was released on Motown Records; a landmark recording of his “classic period”. After reaching its peak position at the Billboard Album Charts of number 4 on September 15, the album remained inside the Top 20 until the end of the year and remained inside the whole Top 200 during the whole calendar year of 1975. It was also Wonder's second consecutive soul album to top the Black Albums chart where it remained for two weeks. (In the Cashbox charts, Innervisions actually reached #1 near the end of the year.) In the UK, Innervisions also achieved big success, and became Stevie Wonder's first album ever to reach the UK Top 10, peaking at #8.
On This Date In 1975 A Boeing 707 jetliner chartered to Royal Air Maroc crashed in the Atlas Mountains near Agadir, a coastal city in southern Morocco. All 188 people aboard the plane were killed, in the fourth worst air disaster to that date.
On This Date In 1977 “The Spy Who Loved Me,” starring Roger Moore as the suave superspy James Bond, known for his love of fast cars and dangerous women, was released in theaters across America. The film features one of the most memorable Bond cars of all time: a sleek, powerful Lotus Esprit sports car that does double duty as a submarine.
On This Date In 1981 More than 12,000 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization walked off the job, setting off a chain of events that would redefine labor relations in America. In response to the walkout, President Ronald Reagan issued one of the defining statements of his presidency. He said the striking air-traffic controllers were in violation of the law; if they did not report to work within 48 hours, their jobs would be terminated. On August 5, Reagan fired 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his order to return to work, busting the union. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5604656
On This Date In 1987 “Hysteria,” the fourth studio album by the English Heavy Metal band Def Leppard, was released through Mercury Records. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange, it is the band's best-selling album to date, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, and spawning six hit singles. The album charted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the UK Albums Chart.
On This Date In 1988 Soviet authorities freed Mathias Rust, the daring young West German pilot who landed a rented Cessna on Moscow's Red Square in 1987. Rust was serving a four-year sentence at a labor camp when the Soviets approved his extradition as a goodwill gesture to the West.
On This Date In 2009 President Evo Morales of Bolivia began work on his “indigenous autonomy” policy which he launched in the eastern lowlands department, making Bolivia the first country in the history of South America to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.
On This Date In 2011 Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith (February 28, 1945 – August 3, 2011), an American professional football player who became an actor after his retirement from the sport, died at age 66 from acute drug intoxication and heart disease. Phentermine, a weight-loss drug, was found in his system. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/04/us-nfl-bubbasmith-idUSTRE...
Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them. John Shirley
The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. C.S. Lewis
All parents believe their children can do the impossible. They thought it the minute we were born, and no matter how hard we've tried to prove them wrong, they all think it about us now. And the really annoying thing is, they're probably right. Cathy Guisewite
You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions. Adlin Sinclair
Most people are prisoners, thinking only about the future or living in the past. They are not in the present, and the present is where everything begins. Carlos Santana
American Gabby Douglas, a 16-year-old from Virginia, won the women's gymnastics all-around gold medal Thursday, topping silver medalist Viktoria Komova of Russia. Stu Woo has details on The News Hub. Don't want to wait for prime time to see the Olympics? Watch WSJ's Homemade Highlights HERE: http://bit.ly/NLOPY2
Starring: Jodi Miller, Production: Dialog New Media
Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings. William James
The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity. Benjamin Franklin