On This Day … 09 July


  • 455 – The military commander Avitus is proclaimed Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
  • 491 – Odoacer makes a night assault with his Heruli guardsmen, engaging Theoderic the Great in Ad Pinetam. Both sides suffer heavy losses, but in the end Theodoric forces Odoacer back into Ravenna.
  • 660 – Korean forces under general Kim Yu-sin of Silla defeat the army of Baekje in the Battle of Hwangsanbeol.
  • 969 – The Fatimid general Jawhar leads the Friday prayer in Fustat in the name of Caliph al-Mu’izz li-Din Allah, thereby symbolically completing the Fatimid conquest of Egypt.
  • 1357 – Emperor Charles IV assists in laying the foundation stone of Charles Bridge in Prague.
  • 1386 – The Old Swiss Confederacy makes great strides in establishing control over its territory by soundly defeating the Archduchy of Austria in the Battle of Sempach.
  • 1401 – Timur attacks the Jalairid Sultanate and destroys Baghdad.
  • 1701 – A Bourbon force under Nicolas Catinat withdraws from a smaller Habsburg force under Prince Eugene of Savoy in the Battle of Carpi.
  • 1745 – French victory in the Battle of Melle allows them to capture Ghent in the days after.
  • 1755 – The Braddock Expedition is soundly defeated by a smaller French and Native American force in its attempt to capture Fort Duquesne in what is now downtown Pittsburgh.
  • 1762 – Catherine the Great becomes Empress of Russia following the coup against her husband, Peter III.
  • 1776 – George Washington orders the Declaration of Independence to be read out to members of the Continental Army in Manhattan, while thousands of British troops on Staten Island prepare for the Battle of Long Island.
  • 1789 – In Versailles, the National Assembly reconstitutes itself as the National Constituent Assembly and begins preparations for a French constitution.
  • 1790 – The Swedish Navy captures one third of the Russian Baltic fleet.
  • 1807 – The Treaties of Tilsit are signed by Napoleon I of France and Alexander I of Russia.
  • 1810 – Napoleon annexes the Kingdom of Holland as part of the First French Empire.
  • 1816 – Argentina declares independence from Spain.
    • Independence Day, celebrates the declaration of independence of the United Provinces of South America by the Congress of Tucumán in 1816. (Argentina).
  • 1821 – Four hundred and seventy prominent Cypriots including Archbishop Kyprianos are executed in response to Cypriot aid to the Greek War of Independence.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Siege of Port Hudson ends, giving the Union complete control of the Mississippi River.
  • 1875 – The Herzegovina Uprising against Ottoman rule begins, which would last until 1878 and have far-reaching implications throughout the Balkans.
  • 1900 – The Federation of Australia is given royal assent.
  • 1932 – The state of São Paulo revolts against the Brazilian Federal Government, starting the Constitutionalist Revolution.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Allied invasion of Sicily soon causes the downfall of Mussolini and forces Hitler to break off the Battle of Kursk.
  • 1944 – World War II: American forces take Saipan, bringing the Japanese archipelago within range of B-29 raids, and causing the downfall of the Tojo government.
  • 1944 – World War II: Continuation War: Finland wins the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in northern Europe. The Red Army withdraws its troops from Ihantala and digs into a defensive position, thus ending the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive.
  • 1955 – The Russell–Einstein Manifesto calls for a reduction of the risk of nuclear warfare.
  • 1962 – Starfish Prime tests the effects of a nuclear test at orbital altitudes.
  • 1979 – A car bomb destroys a Renault motor car owned by “Nazi hunters” Serge and Beate Klarsfeld outside their home in France in an unsuccessful assassination attempt.
  • 1995 – The Navaly church bombing is carried out by the Sri Lanka Air Force killing 125 Tamil civilian refugees.
  • 2002 – The African Union is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, replacing the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The organisation’s first chairman is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa.
  • 2011 – South Sudan gains independence and secedes from Sudan.

People (Births)

  • 1577 – Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, English-American soldier and politician, Colonial Governor of Virginia (d. 1618).
  • 1753 – William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock, English admiral and politician, 34th Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland (d. 1825).
  • 1808 – Alexander William Doniphan, American lawyer and colonel (d. 1887).
  • 1819 – Elias Howe, American inventor, invented the sewing machine (d. 1867).
  • 1887 – Samuel Eliot Morison, American admiral and historian (d. 1976).
  • 1915 – Lee Embree, American sergeant and photographer (d. 2008).
  • 1916 – Edward Heath, English colonel and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 2005).
  • 1917 – Krystyna Dańko, Polish orphan, survivor of Holocaust (d. 2019).
  • 1921 – David C. Jones, American general (d. 2013).
  • 1929 – Chi Haotian, Chinese general.
  • 1932 – Donald Rumsfeld, American captain and politician, 13th United States Secretary of Defence.
  • 1943 – John Casper, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut.
  • 1949 – Raoul Cédras, Haitian military officer and politician.
  • 1955 – Lindsey Graham, American colonel, lawyer, and politician.

People (Deaths)

  • 1706 – Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, Canadian captain and explorer (b. 1661).
  • 1795 – Henry Seymour Conway, English general and politician, Secretary of State for the Northern Department (b. 1721).
  • 1850 – Zachary Taylor, American general and politician, 12th President of the United States (b. 1784).
  • 1882 – Ignacio Carrera Pinto, Chilean captain (b. 1848).
  • 1937 – Oliver Law, American commander (b. 1899).
  • 1947 – Lucjan Żeligowski, Polish-Lithuanian general and politician (b. 1865).

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