On This Day … 19 July

Events

  • AD 64 – The Great Fire of Rome causes widespread devastation and rages on for six days, destroying half of the city.
  • 484 – Leontius, Roman usurper, is crowned Eastern emperor at Tarsus (modern Turkey). He is recognized in Antioch and makes it his capital.
  • 711 – Umayyad conquest of Hispania: Battle of Guadalete: Umayyad forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad defeat the Visigoths led by King Roderic.
  • 939 – Battle of Simancas: King Ramiro II of León defeats the Moorish army under Caliph Abd-al-Rahman III near the city of Simancas.
  • 998 – Arab–Byzantine wars: Battle of Apamea: Fatimids defeat a Byzantine army near Apamea.
  • 1333 – Wars of Scottish Independence: Battle of Halidon Hill: The English win a decisive victory over the Scots.
  • 1544 – Italian War of 1542–46: The first Siege of Boulogne begins.
  • 1545 – The Tudor warship Mary Rose sinks off Portsmouth; in 1982 the wreck is salvaged in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology.
  • 1553 – Lady Jane Grey is replaced by Mary I of England as Queen of England after only nine days on the throne.
  • 1588 – Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines: The Spanish Armada is sighted in the English Channel.
  • 1701 – Representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy sign the Nanfan Treaty, ceding a large territory north of the Ohio River to England.
  • 1702 – Great Northern War: A numerically superior Polish-Saxon army of Augustus II the Strong, operating from an advantageous defensive position, is defeated by a Swedish army half its size under the command of King Charles XII in the Battle of Klissow.
  • 1817 – Unsuccessful in his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Hawaii for the Russian-American Company, Georg Anton Schäffer is forced to admit defeat and leave Kauai.
  • 1821 – Coronation of George IV of the United Kingdom.
  • 1843 – Brunel’s steamship the SS Great Britain is launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull and screw propeller, becoming the largest vessel afloat in the world.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Morgan’s Raid: At Buffington Island in Ohio, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s raid into the north is mostly thwarted when a large group of his men are captured while trying to escape across the Ohio River.
  • 1864 – Taiping Rebellion: Third Battle of Nanking: The Qing dynasty finally defeats the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.
  • 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: France declares war on Prussia.
  • 1916 – World War I: Battle of Fromelles: British and Australian troops attack German trenches as part of the Battle of the Somme.
  • 1940 – World War II: Battle of Cape Spada: The Royal Navy and the Regia Marina clash; the Italian light cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni sinks, with 121 casualties.
  • 1940 – Field Marshal Ceremony: First occasion in World War II that Adolf Hitler appoints field marshals due to military achievements.
  • 1940 – World War II: Army order 112 forms the Intelligence Corps of the British Army.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Second Happy Time of Hitler’s submarines comes to an end, as the increasingly effective American convoy system compels them to return to the central Atlantic.
  • 1943 – World War II: Rome is heavily bombed by more than 500 Allied aircraft, inflicting thousands of casualties.
  • 1961 – Tunisia imposes a blockade on the French naval base at Bizerte; the French would capture the entire town four days later.
  • 1963 – Joe Walker flies a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 106,010 meters (347,800 feet) on X-15 Flight 90. Exceeding an altitude of 100 km, this flight qualifies as a human spaceflight under international convention.
  • 1964 – Vietnam War: At a rally in Saigon, South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Khánh calls for expanding the war into North Vietnam.
  • 1972 – Dhofar Rebellion: British SAS units help the Omani government against Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman rebels in the Battle of Mirbat.
  • 1977 – The world’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) signal was transmitted from Navigation Technology Satellite 2 (NTS-2) and received at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at 12:41 a.m. Eastern time (ET).
  • 1979 – The Sandinista rebels overthrow the government of the Somoza family in Nicaragua.
  • 1981 – In a private meeting with US President Ronald Reagan, French President François Mitterrand reveals the existence of the Farewell Dossier, a collection of documents showing the Soviet Union had been stealing American technological research and development.
  • 1982 – In one of the first militant attacks by Hezbollah, David S. Dodge, president of the American University of Beirut, is kidnapped.
  • 1997 – The Troubles: The Provisional Irish Republican Army resumes a ceasefire to end their 25-year paramilitary campaign to end British rule in Northern Ireland.
  • 2014 – Gunmen in Egypt’s western desert province of New Valley Governorate attack a military checkpoint, killing at least 21 soldiers. Egypt reportedly declares a state of emergency on its border with Sudan.

People (Births)

  • 1800 – Juan José Flores, Venezuelan general and politician, 1st President of Ecuador (d. 1864).
  • 1827 – Mangal Pandey, Indian soldier (d. 1857).
  • 1869 – Xenophon Stratigos, Greek general and politician, Greek Minister of Transport (d. 1927).
  • 1917 – William Scranton, American captain and politician, 13th United States Ambassador to the United Nations (d. 2013).
  • 1919 – Ron Searle, English-Canadian soldier, publisher, and politician, 4th Mayor of Mississauga (d. 2015).
  • 1922 – George McGovern, American lieutenant, historian, and politician (d. 2012).
  • 1924 – Stanley K. Hathaway, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 40th United States Secretary of the Interior (d. 2005).

People (Deaths)

  • 806 – Li Shigu, Chinese general (b. 778).
  • 1814 – Matthew Flinders, English navigator and cartographer (b. 1774).
  • 1824 – Agustín de Iturbide, Mexican general and emperor (b. 1783).
  • 1943 – Yekaterina Budanova, Russian captain and pilot (b. 1916).
  • 1947 – Aung San, Burmese general and politician (b. 1915).
  • 1969 – Stratis Myrivilis, Greek soldier and author (b. 1890).
  • 2012 – Omar Suleiman, Egyptian general and politician, 16th Vice President of Egypt (b. 1935).
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