On This Day … 09 August


  • 48 BC – Caesar’s Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus: Julius Caesar decisively defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey flees to Egypt.
  • 378 – Gothic War: Battle of Adrianople: A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens is defeated by the Visigoths. Valens is killed along with over half of his army.
  • 1500 – Ottoman–Venetian War (1499–1503): The Ottomans capture Methoni, Messenia.
  • 1610 – The First Anglo-Powhatan War begins in colonial Virginia.
  • 1810 – Napoleon annexes Westphalia as part of the First French Empire.
  • 1814 – Indian Wars: The Creek sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving up huge parts of Alabama and Georgia.
  • 1830 – Louis Philippe becomes the king of the French following abdication of Charles X.
  • 1842 – The Webster–Ashburton Treaty is signed, establishing the United States–Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Cedar Mountain: At Cedar Mountain, Virginia, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson narrowly defeats Union forces under General John Pope.
  • 1877 – Indian Wars: Battle of the Big Hole: A small band of Nez Percé Indians clash with the United States Army.
  • 1892 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two-way telegraph.
  • 1902 – Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • 1914 – Start of the Battle of Mulhouse, part of a French attempt to recover the province of Alsace and the first French offensive of World War I.
  • 1942 – World War II: Battle of Savo Island: Allied naval forces protecting their amphibious forces during the initial stages of the Battle of Guadalcanal are surprised and defeated by an Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser force.
  • 1944 – The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.
  • 1944 – Continuation War: The Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive, the largest offensive launched by Soviet Union against Finland during the Second World War, ends to a strategic stalemate.
    • Both Finnish and Soviet troops at the Finnish front dug to defensive positions, and the front remains stable until the end of the war.
  • 1945 – World War II: Nagasaki is devastated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, is dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar.
    • Thirty-five thousand people are killed outright, including 23,200–28,200 Japanese war workers, 2,000 Korean forced workers, and 150 Japanese soldiers.
  • 1945 – The Red Army invades Japanese-occupied Manchuria.
  • 1960 – South Kasai secedes from the Congo.
  • 1965 – Singapore is expelled from Malaysia and becomes the only country to date to gain independence unwillingly.
    • National Day, celebrates the independence of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965.
  • 1971 – The Troubles: The British Army in Northern Ireland launches Operation Demetrius.
    • Hundreds of people are arrested and interned, thousands are displaced, and twenty are killed in the violence that followed.
  • Battle of Gangut Day (Russia).
  • National Peacekeepers’ Day, celebrated on Sunday closest to the day (Canada).

People (Births)

  • 1797 – Charles Robert Malden, English lieutenant and surveyor (d. 1855).
  • 1902 – Panteleimon Ponomarenko, Russian general and politician (d. 1984).
  • 1911 – John McQuade, Northern Irish soldier, boxer, and politician (d. 1984).
  • 1918 – Kermit Beahan, American colonel (d. 1989).
  • 1918 – Giles Cooper, Irish soldier and playwright (d. 1966).
  • 1921 – J. James Exon, American soldier and politician, 33rd Governor of Nebraska (d. 2005).
  • 1924 – Frank Martínez, American soldier and painter (d. 2013).
  • 1944 – Patricia McKissack, American soldier, engineer, and author.

People (Deaths)

  • 378 – Traianus, Roman general.
  • 1173 – Najm ad-Din Ayyub, Kurdish soldier and politician.
  • 1296 – Hugh, Count of Brienne, French crusader.
  • 1910 – Huo Yuanjia, Chinese martial artist, co-founded the Chin Woo Athletic Association (b. 1868).
  • 1945 – Robert Hampton Gray, Canadian lieutenant and pilot, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1917).
  • 1996 – Frank Whittle, English soldier and engineer, invented the jet engine (b. 1907).

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