On This Day … 30 July


  • 762 – Baghdad is founded.
  • 1502 – Christopher Columbus lands at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.
  • 1609 – Beaver Wars: At Ticonderoga (now Crown Point, New York), Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs on behalf of his native allies.
  • 1619 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first Colonial European representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time.
  • 1635 – Eighty Years’ War: The Siege of Schenkenschans begins; Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, begins the recapture of the strategically important fortress from the Spanish Army.
  • 1656 – Swedish forces under the command of King Charles X Gustav defeat the forces of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth at the Battle of Warsaw.
  • 1676 – Nathaniel Bacon issues the “Declaration of the People of Virginia”, beginning Bacon’s Rebellion against the rule of Governor William Berkeley.
  • 1729 – Founding of Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 1811 – Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, leader of the Mexican insurgency, is executed by the Spanish in Chihuahua City, Mexico.
  • 1825 – Malden Island is discovered by captain George Byron, 7th Baron Byron.
  • 1863 – American Indian Wars: Representatives of the United States and tribal leaders including Chief Pocatello (of the Shoshone) sign the Treaty of Box Elder.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of the Crater: Union forces attempt to break Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia by exploding a large bomb under their trenches.
  • 1866 – Armed Confederate veterans in New Orleans riot against a meeting of Radical Republicans, killing 48 people and injuring another 100.
  • 1912 – Japan’s Emperor Meiji dies and is succeeded by his son Yoshihito, who is now known as the Emperor Taishō.
  • 1945 – World War II: Japanese submarine I-58 sinks the USS Indianapolis, killing 883 seamen. Most die during the following four days, until an aircraft notices the survivors.
  • 1969 – Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon makes an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and meets with President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and US military commanders.
  • 1971 – An All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 and a Japanese Air Force F-86 collide over Morioka, Iwate, Japan killing 162.
  • 1980 – Vanuatu gains independence.
    • Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Vanuatu from the United Kingdom and France in 1980.
  • 1990 – Ian Gow, Conservative Member of Parliament, is assassinated at his home by IRA terrorists in a car bombing after he assured the group that the British government would never surrender to them.
  • 2003 – In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.
  • Martyrs Day (South Sudan).

People (Births)

  • 1862 – Nikolai Yudenich, Russian general (d. 1933).
  • 1881 – Smedley Butler, American general, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1940).
  • 1920 – Walter Schuck, German lieutenant and pilot (d. 2015).
  • 1947 – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian soldier, Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, 38th Governor of California.

People (Deaths)

  • 1680 – Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory, Irish admiral and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (b. 1634).
  • 1832 – Lê Văn Duyệt, Vietnamese general, mandarin (b. 1763-4).
  • 1918 – Joyce Kilmer, American soldier, journalist, and poet (b. 1886).
  • 2005 – John Garang, Sudanese colonel and politician, 6th President of South Sudan (b. 1945).
  • 2009 – Mohammed Yusuf, Nigerian militant leader, founded Boko Haram (b. 1970).
  • 2012 – Mary Louise Rasmuson, American colonel (b. 1911).
  • 2013 – Harry F. Byrd Jr., American lieutenant, publisher, and politician (b. 1914).
  • 2018 – Michael A. Sheehan, American author, former government official and military officer (b. 1955).

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