This Week In History August 27 – September 2

August 27

1776 – Battle of Long Island: In what is now Brooklyn, New York, British forces under General William Howe defeat Americans under General George Washington.

1798 – Wolfe Tone’s United Irish and French forces clash with the British Army in the Battle of Castlebar, part of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, resulting in the creation of the French puppet Republic of Connacht.

1832 – Black Hawk, leader of the Sauk tribe of Native Americans, surrenders to U.S. authorities, ending the Black Hawk War.

1859 – Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world’s first commercially successful oil well.

1927 – Five Canadian women file a petition to the Supreme Court of Canada, asking, “Does the word ‘Persons’ in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons?”

1928 – The Kellogg–Briand Pact outlawing war is signed by fifteen nations. Ultimately sixty-one nations will sign it.

1956 – The nuclear power station at Calder Hall in the United Kingdom was connected to the national power grid becoming the world’s first commercial nuclear power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale.

1979 – A Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb kills British retired admiral Lord Mountbatten and three others while they are boating on holiday in Sligo, Republic of Ireland. Shortly after, 18 British Army soldiers are killed in an ambush near Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland.

2003 – The first six-party talks, involving South and North Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, convene to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

2011 – Hurricane Irene strikes the United States east coast, killing 47 and causing an estimated $15.6 billion in damage.

August 28

1833 – The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 receives royal assent, abolishing slavery through most of the British Empire.

1859 – The Carrington event is the strongest geomagnetic storm on record to strike the Earth. Electrical telegraph service is widely disrupted.

1867 – The United States takes possession of the (at this point unoccupied) Midway Atoll.

1898 – Caleb Bradham’s beverage “Brad’s Drink” is renamed “Pepsi-Cola”.

1917 – Ten Suffragettes are arrested while picketing the White House.

1943 – Denmark in World War II: German authorities demand that Danish authorities crack down on acts of resistance. The next day, martial law is imposed on Denmark.

1955 – Black teenager Emmett Till is brutally murdered in Mississippi, galvanizing the nascent Civil Rights Movement.

1957 – U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond begins a filibuster to prevent the Senate from voting on Civil Rights Act of 1957; he stopped speaking 24 hours and 18 minutes later, the longest filibuster ever conducted by a single Senator.

1963 – March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his I Have a Dream speech

1964 – The Philadelphia race riot begins.

1968 – Rioting takes place in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention, triggering a brutal police crackdown.

August 29

708 – Copper coins are minted in Japan for the first time (Traditional Japanese date: August 10, 708).

1758 – The Treaty of Easton establishes the first American Indian reservation, at Indian Mills, New Jersey, for the Lenape.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: British and American forces battle indecisively at the Battle of Rhode Island.

1786 – Shays’ Rebellion, an armed uprising of Massachusetts farmers, begins in response to high debt and tax burdens.

1831 – Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.

1885 – Gottlieb Daimler patents the world’s first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen.

1949 – Soviet atomic bomb project: The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, known as First Lightning or Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.

1966 – The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

2005 – Hurricane Katrina devastates much of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, killing an estimated 1,836 people and causing over $108 billion in damage.

2007 – United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident: Six US cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads are flown without proper authorization from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base.

August 30

1836 – The city of Houston is founded by Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen.

1945 – Hong Kong is liberated from Japan by British Armed Forces.

1945 – The Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Douglas MacArthur lands at Atsugi Air Force Base.

1945 – The Allied Control Council, governing Germany after World War II, comes into being.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

1992 – The 11-day Ruby Ridge standoff ends with Randy Weaver surrendering to federal authorities.

August 31

1798 – Irish Rebellion of 1798: Irish rebels, with French assistance, establish the short-lived Republic of Connacht.

1864 – During the American Civil War, Union forces led by General William T. Sherman launch an assault on Atlanta.

1888 – Mary Ann Nichols is murdered. She is the first of Jack the Ripper’s confirmed victims.

1897 – Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector.

1920 – The first radio news program is broadcast by 8MK in Detroit.

1939 – Nazi Germany mounts a false flag attack on the Gleiwitz radio station, creating an excuse to attack Poland the following day, thus starting World War II in Europe.

1997 – Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul were murdered in a car crash in Paris.

September 1

1774 – Massachusetts Bay colonists rise up in the bloodless Powder Alarm.

1939 – World War II: Nazi Germany and Slovakia invade Poland, beginning the European phase of World War II.

1939 – Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people.

1951 – The United States, Australia and New Zealand sign a mutual defense pact, called the ANZUS Treaty.

1952 – The Old Man and the Sea, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ernest Hemingway, is first published.

1983 – Cold War: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 is shot down by a Soviet Union jet fighter when the commercial aircraft enters Soviet airspace, killing all 269 on board, including Congressman Lawrence McDonald.

1985 – A joint American–French expedition locates the wreckage of the RMS Titanic.

September 2

1192 – The Treaty of Jaffa is signed between Richard I of England and Saladin, leading to the end of the Third Crusade.

1666 – The Great Fire of London breaks out and burns for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral.

1789 – The United States Department of the Treasury is founded.

1792 – During what became known as the September Massacres of the French Revolution, rampaging mobs slaughter three Roman
Catholic Church bishops, more than two hundred priests, and prisoners believed to be royalist sympathizers.

1901 – Vice President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt utters the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” at the Minnesota State Fair.

1939 – World War II: Following the start of the invasion of Poland the previous day, the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) is annexed by Nazi Germany.

1963 – CBS Evening News becomes U.S. network television’s first half-hour weeknight news broadcast, when the show is lengthened from 15 to 30 minutes.

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