1129-The warrior Yoritomo is made Shogun without equal in Japan. The Japanese warrior chieftain founded Japan’s first military government, or shogunate, in 1185 and thereby inaugurated the medieval period of Japanese history, which lasted until 1573.
1227- Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who forged an empire stretching from the east coast of China west to the Aral Sea, dies in camp during a campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia. The great Khan, who was over 60 and in failing health, may have succumbed to injuries incurred during a fall from a horse in the previous year. Genghis Khan was born as Temujin around 1162. His father, a minor Mongol chieftain, died when Temujin was in his early teens. Temujin succeeded him, but the tribe would not obey so young a chief. Temporarily abandoned, Temujin’s family was left to fend for themselves in the wilderness of the Steppes.
1485-Henry Tudor (the future Henry VII) defeated the Yorkist king Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, effectively ending the Wars of the Roses and establishing the Tudor dynasty on the English throne.
1525-Estevao Gomes returns to Portugal after failing to find a clear waterway to Asia. He also sailed at the service of Castile (Spain) in the fleet of Ferdinand Magellan, but deserted the expedition when they had reached the Strait of Magellan, and returned to Spain in May 1521. In 1524 he explored present-day Nova Scotia. While historical accounts vary, Gomes may have entered New York Harbor and seen the Hudson River. Because of his expedition, the 1529 Diogo Ribeiro world map outlines the East coast of North America almost perfectly.
1587-In the Roanoke Island colony, Ellinor and Ananias Dare become parents of a baby girl whom they name Virginia, the first English child born in what would become the United States.
1590- John White, the leader of 117 colonists sent in 1587 to Roanoke Island (North Carolina) to establish a colony, returns from a trip to England to find the settlement deserted. No trace of the settlers is ever found.
1619-The first group of twenty Africans is brought to Jamestown, Virginia.
1698-After invading Denmark and capturing Sweden, Charles XII of Sweden forces Frederick IV of Denmark to sign the Peace of Travendal.
1759-The French fleet is destroyed by the British under “Old Dreadnought” Boscawen at the Battle of Lagos Bay. The British fleet was commanded by Sir Edward Boscawen and the French fleet under Jean-François de La Clue-Sabran. The battle lasted over two days during the Seven Years’ War. They fought southwest of the Gulf of Cádiz and to the east of the small Portuguese port of Lagos, after which the battle is named.
1794-American General “Mad Anthony” Wayne defeats the Ohio Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in the Northwest territory, ending Indian resistance in the area.
1831-Nat Turner leads a slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia that kills close to 60 whites. The rebellion was put down within a few days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months afterward. The rebellion was effectively suppressed at Belmont Plantation on the morning of August 2.
1862-Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart’s headquarters is raided by Union troops of the 5th New York and 1st Michigan cavalries.
1858-The first of a series of debates begins between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Douglas goes on to win the Senate seat in November, but Lincoln gains national visibility for the first time.
1870-Prussian forces defeat the French at the Battle of Gravelotte during the Franco-Prussian War. Named after Gravelotte, a village in Lorraine, it was fought about 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Metz, where on the previous day, having intercepted the French army’s retreat to the west at the Battle of Mars-La-Tour, the Prussians were now closing in to complete the destruction of the French forces. The combined German forces under King Wilhelm I were the Prussian First and Second Armies of the North German Confederation with 210 infantry battalions, 133 cavalry squadrons, and 732 heavy cannons totaling 188,332 officers and men. The French Army of the Rhine, commanded by Marshal François Achille Bazaine, dug in along high ground with their southern left flank at the town of Rozerieulles, and their northern right flank at St. Privat.On 18 August, the Prussian First Army under General Karl Friedrich von Steinmetz launched its VII and VIII Corps in repeated assaults against the French positions, backed by artillery and cavalry support. All attacks failed with enormous casualties in the face of French infantry and mitrailleuse firepower. The French did not counter-attack Steinmetz’s weakened army. On the Prussian left, the Prussian Guards attacked the French position at St. Privat at 16:50 hours. With the support of the Prussian II and Saxon XII Corps of Prince Friedrich Karl’s Second Army, the Guards conquered St. Privat by 20:00 hours after heavy losses, pushing back the French right-wing. Bazaine’s Army of the Rhine withdrew into Metz fortress on the morning of 19 August. The German victory at Gravelotte ended Bazaine’s army’s last chance of retreating west to Verdun.
1904-Dublin’s Abbey Theatre is founded, an outgrowth of the Irish Literary Theatre founded in 1899 by William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory. There were three performances including premieres of On Baile’s Strand by W.B. Yeats and Spreading the News by Lady Gregory.
1911-The Mona Lisa is Stolen in France. The thief, Vincenzo Peruggia, dressed in a white worker’s smock entered the Louvre, closed because it was a Monday. In the Salon Carré, the Louvre’s gallery of Renaissance treasures, he lifted a small wooden painting off the wall and removed its glass shadow box. Hiding the artwork under his smock, he then walked out into the streets of Paris with his loot.
1913-700 feet above Buc, France, parachutist Adolphe Pegoud becomes the first person to jump from an airplane and land safely.1920-Tennessee becomes the thirty-sixth state to ratify the nineteenth amendment granting women’s suffrage, completing the three-quarters necessary to put the amendment into effect.
1929-The first cross-country women’s air derby begins. Louise McPhetridge Thaden wins first prize in the heavier-plane division, while Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie finishes first in the lighter-plane category.
1939-The film The Wizard of Oz opens in New York City.
1940-After a previous machine gun attack failed, exiled Russian Leon Trotsky is assassinated in Mexico City, with an alpine ax to the back of the head.
1940-Radar is used for the first time, by the British during the Battle of Britain. Also on this day, in a radio broadcast, Winston Churchill makes his famous homage to the Royal Air Force: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
1941-German troops attack Leningrad as part of Operation Barbarossa, but fail in it’s capture and are forced to start a siege of the city known as the “Siege of Leningrad” when all railway links were cut and all routes that could supply Leningrad closed including by water, and the city was encircled by German-controlled troops until January 18th, 1943. The siege lasted 872 days and resulted in the deaths of some one million of the city’s civilians and Red Army defenders.
1942-U.S. Marines turn back the first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal in the Battle of Tenaru. Commanded by Col Kiyono Ichiki, the Japanese sent 900 soldiers to reinforce their existing forces and drive the Marines off Guadalcanal. On 19 August at 0118 the Ichiki attachment attacked into the strength of the Marine defense. Held up by that single strand of barbed wire, they hacked at it with their bayonets as the waiting Marines opened fire. Using their machine guns, Springfield rifles, and hand grenades, the Marines cut huge holes in the Japanese who attacked directly into the Marine 37mm anti-tank weapon. The 37 mm was firing canister shot that cut down entire squads at a time, however, the Ichiki’s charged again and again and finally broke through the barbed wire.
Screaming “Marine you die” they were into the Marine lines and the Marines and Japanese fought hand-to-hand. The non-stop hammering of the Marine machine guns and the incessant ‘wham’ of the anti-tank gun began to take a toll. By morning, more than 700 dead Japanese were counted at the cost of 34 Marines killed and 75 wounded, with the Japanese commander, Col Ichiki burning his colors and shooting himself in the head. The report radioed to Tokyo said “The attack of the Ichiki Detachment was not entirely successful.”
1960-USSR recovers 2 dogs, Belka and Strelka, the first animals to be launched into orbit and returned alive (Sputnik 5).
1961-East Germany begins erecting a wall along western border to replace barbed wire put up Aug 13; US 1st Battle Group, 18th Infantry Division arrives in West Berlin.
1964-US President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act, an anti-poverty measure totaling nearly $1 billion, as part of his War on Poverty.
1966-Australian troops repulse a Viet Cong attack at Long Tan. 105 Australians, along with a three-man New Zealand artillery team, entered the Long Tan rubber plantations. About 3.30pm, a group of Viet Cong walked into the middle of the patrolling Australian soldiers who opened fire, wounding one and forcing the others to flee. The Australian soldiers continued their advance, the three platoons of D Company – designated 10,11 and 12 – taking up positions around the rubber plantation. Three-and-a-half hours after the battle had started, the Vietnamese disengaged and the fighting stopped as quickly as it had begun. 100 Australian soldiers effectively held off 2000 Viet Cong.
1969-Two concert goers die at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, New York, one from an overdose of heroin, the other from a burst appendix.
1988-Two hundred and forty-one Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed since the December 9th Palestinian protest broke out in the territories seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Three Palestinians attempted to sabotage the Israeli army by launching attacks inside Israel. All three were killed by the Israeli army.
1991-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is placed under house arrest during a coup by high-ranking members of his own government, military and police forces.
2013-US officials admitted that the NSA (National Security Agency) illegally collected tens of thousands of personal emails between US citizens. The emails had no links to suspected terrorists and the program was deemed illegal by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2011. This only added to the criticism of the US surveillance program after leaks furnished by Edward Snowden.