It happened today – this day in history – August 2

Mick Ferris
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216BC: The Carthaginian army lead by Hannibal defeats numerically superior Roman army at the Battle of Cannae during the Second Punic War.

1100: William II is killed by an arrow shot by Sir Walter Tyrell while hunting in the New Forest.

1610: Henry Hudson enters the bay later named after him.

1701: The Great Peace of Montreal is signed between New France and North American Indian nations at the urging of Huron chief Kondiaronk.

1802: Napoleon is declared “Consul for Life”.

1819: The first parachute jump in the US.

1830: Charles X of France abdicates in favour of his grandson the Duc de Bordeaux.

1858: The Government of India is transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown.

1865: Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” is published. On the same day, the Transatlantic cable being laid by the SS Great Eastern snaps and is lost.

1870: The world’s first underground tube railway opens in London.

1876: Wild Bill Hickok (James Butler) is shot dead from behind by Jack McCall while playing poker aged 39.

1880: Parliament officially adopts Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

1887: Rowell Hodge patents barbed wire.

1894: Death duties are first introduced in Britain.

1914: German troops overthrow Luxembourg. On the same day, Great Britain mobilizes troops.

1918: Japan announces that it is deploying troops to Siberia in the aftermath of the First World War.

1922: China is hit by a typhoon which kills 60,000. On the same day, inventor Alexander Graham Bell dies aged 75.

1923: US President Warren G Harding dies from a heart attack at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, aged 57.

1928: Italian dictator Benito Mussolini signs a peace treaty with Abyssinia.

1934: Adolf Hitler becomes commander-in-chief of the German armed forces. On the same day, First World War general and President of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg, dies from lung cancer aged 86.

1936: Louis Blériot, French aviator who made the first flight across the English Channel, dies from a heart attack aged 64.

1940: Clermont-Ferrand sentences General Charles de Gaulle to death in his absence in France.

1943: An armed revolt breaks out in the Treblinka concentration camp. On the same day, John F Kennedy’s PT-boat 109 sinks at the Solomon islands.

1945: The surviving crew of the USS Indianapolis are spotted by a PV-1 Ventura pilot on a routine sector search.

1948: Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands wins the 100m in 11.9 at the London Olympics.

1952: Floyd Patterson wins the gold medal in the middleweight division at the Helsinki Olympic Games.

1959: Album chart:

  1. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  2. Gigi – Original Soundtrack
  3. Come Dance With Me – Frank Sinatra
  4. My Fair Lady – Original Broadway Cast
  5. A Date With Elvis – Elvis Presley
  6. West Side Story – Original Broadway Cast
  7. Cliff – Cliff Richard & The Shadows
  8. Songs By Tom Lehrer – Tom Lehrer
  9. The Buddy Holly Story – Buddy Holly & The Crickets
  10. Songs To Sing In Your Bath – Russ Conway

1961: Cyrille Adula becomes premier of Congo.

1964: North Vietnam fires on a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. which eventually escalates US involvement in the Vietnam War. On the same day, a race riot breaks out in Jersey City, New Jersey.

1965: Forest fires devastate the south of France

1967: The second Blackwall Tunnel opens in Greenwich.

Singles chart:

  1. All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
  2. San Francisco – Scott McKenzie
  3. Death Of A Clown – Dave Davies
  4. It Must Be Him – Vicki Carr
  5. Alternative Title – The Monkees
  6. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again – Tom Jones
  7. She’s Rather Be With Me – The Turtles
  8. I Was Made To Love Her – Stevie Wonder
  9. See Emily Play – Pink Floyd
  10. A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Procol Harum

1969: Bob Dylan makes a surprise appearance at his 10th high school reunion.

1970: Rubber bullets are used for the first time in Northern Ireland.

1973: More than 30 people die in a fire at the Summerland leisure resort on the Isle of Man.

1976: Peter “Puddy” Watts, road manager with Pink Floyd, who provided the manic laughter on the album “The Dark Side Of The Moon”, died of a heroin overdose. On the same day, legendary director Fritz Lang dies from a stroke aged 85.

1980: A huge bomb devastates Bologna railway station, killing at least 75 people. Although thought to be the work of right wing extremists, no one has ever been prosecuted. On the same day, at the Moscow Olympics, Cuban super-heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson becomes the first fighter to win three Olympic gold medals in the same division.

1983: Legendary bassist James Jamerson, who appeared on many Motown hits of the 1960s and early 70s, died of complications from cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure and pneumonia aged 47.

1984: Jeff Blatnick, in remission from Hodgkin’s disease, becomes the first American to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Los Angeles Olympics.

1985: England captain David Gower scores his 5,000th run in Test cricket during the drawn fourth Test v Australia at Old Trafford.

1987: David Martin, bass player with Sam The Sham & the Pharaohs and co-writer of the hit “Wooly Bully”, died of a heart attack aged 50.

1989: NASA confirms Voyager 2’s discovery of three more moons of Neptune.

1990: Iraq invades Kuwait. On the same day, US President George Bush orders troops to Saudi Arabia.

1995: Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd issues a decree replacing all members of the Council of Ministers who do not have blood ties to the royal Family.

1996: The star-studded US men’s basketball team win the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics.

1997: Writer William S Burroughs dies from a heart attack aged 83. On the same day, Nigerian Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti dies aged 58.

2001: New Orleans International Airport was re-named Louis Armstrong Airport in honour of the jazz legend.

2012: Swimmer Michael Phelps wins an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal in the 200m individual medley at the London Olympics.

2017: The Duke of Edinburgh makes his final solo public appearance before retiring from public engagements aged 96.

2018: Apple becomes the first American public listed company to reach $1 trillion in value.

2019: Saudi Arabia announces news rules for women including allowing them to travel independently abroad without a male guardian’s permission.

BIRTHDAYS: Garth Hudson, musician, 83; Joanna Cassidy, actress, 75; Andy Fairweather Low, singer-songwriter/guitarist, 72; Madeleine Smith, actress, 71; Ted Turner, guitarist (Wishbone Ash) 70; Joe Lynn Turner, singer (Rainbow) 69; Butch Patrick (Patrick Lilley) child actor, 67; Sammy McIlroy, former footballer, 66; Butch Vig, producer/drummer (Garbage) 63; Neil Morse, musician (Spock’s Beard/Transatlantic) 60; Lee Mavers. Singer-songwriter/guitarist (The La’s) 58; Mary-Louise Parker, actress, 56; Kevin Smith, director, 50; Jimmy Pop (James Moyer Franks) singer-songwriter (The Bloodhound Gang) 48; Sam Worthiington, actor, 44; Edward Furlong, actor, 43; Charli XCX (Charlotte Aitchison) singer-songwriter, 28.


Mick Ferris

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