On This Day … 03 September


  • 36 BC – In the Battle of Naulochus, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, admiral of Octavian, defeats Sextus Pompey, son of Pompey, thus ending Pompeian resistance to the Second Triumvirate.
  • 301 – San Marino, one of the smallest nations in the world and the world’s oldest republic still in existence, is founded by Saint Marinus.
  • 673 – King Wamba of the Visigoths puts down a revolt by Hilderic, governor of Nîmes (France) and rival for the throne.
  • 863 – Major Byzantine victory at the Battle of Lalakaon against an Arab raid.
  • 1189 – Richard I of England (aka Richard “the Lionheart”) is crowned at Westminster.
  • 1260 – The Mamluks defeat the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut in Palestine, marking their first decisive defeat and the point of maximum expansion of the Mongol Empire.
  • 1411 – The Treaty of Selymbria is concluded between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice.
  • 1650 – Victory over the royalists in the Battle of Dunbar opens the way to Edinburgh for the New Model Army in the Third English Civil War.
  • 1651 – The Battle of Worcester is the last significant action in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.
  • 1658 – The death of Oliver Cromwell; Richard Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: During the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, the Flag of the United States is flown in battle for the first time.
  • 1783 – American Revolutionary War: The war ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • 1798 – The week long battle of St. George’s Caye begins between Spain and Britain off the coast of Belize.
  • 1812 – Twenty-four settlers are killed in the Pigeon Roost Massacre in Indiana.
  • 1843 – King Otto of Greece is forced to grant a constitution following an uprising in Athens.
  • 1855 – American Indian Wars: In Nebraska, 700 soldiers under United States General William S. Harney avenge the Grattan massacre by attacking a Sioux village and killing 100 men, women and children.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Confederate General Leonidas Polk invades neutral Kentucky, prompting the state legislature to ask for Union assistance.
  • 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: The Siege of Metz begins, resulting in a decisive Prussian victory on 23 October.
  • 1879 – Siege of the British Residency in Kabul: British envoy Sir Louis Cavagnari and 72 men of the Guides are massacred by Afghan troops while defending the British Residency in Kabul.
    • Their heroism and loyalty became famous and revered throughout the British Empire.
  • 1914 – William, Prince of Albania leaves the country after just six months due to opposition to his rule.
  • 1914 – French composer Albéric Magnard is killed defending his estate against invading German soldiers.
  • 1914 – World War I: Start of the Battle of Grand Couronné, a German assault against French positions on high ground near the city of Nancy.
  • 1916 – World War I: Leefe Robinson destroys the German airship Schütte-Lanz SL 11 over Cuffley, north of London; the first German airship to be shot down on British soil.
  • 1925 – USS Shenandoah, the United States’ first American-built rigid airship, was destroyed in a squall line over Noble County, Ohio. Fourteen of her 42-man crew perished, including her commander, Zachary Lansdowne.
  • 1939 – World War II: France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia declare war on Germany after the invasion of Poland, forming the Allied nations.
    • The Viceroy of India also declares war, but without consulting the provincial legislatures.
  • 1939 – World War II: The United Kingdom and France begin a naval blockade of Germany that lasts until the end of the war.
    • This also marks the beginning of the Battle of the Atlantic.
  • 1941 – The Holocaust: Karl Fritzsch, deputy camp commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, experiments with the use of Zyklon B in the gassing of Soviet POWs.
  • 1942 – World War II: In response to news of its coming liquidation, Dov Lopatyn leads an uprising in the Ghetto of Lakhva (present-day Belarus).
  • 1943 – World War II: British and Canadian troops land on the Italian mainland.
    • On the same day, Walter Bedell Smith and Giuseppe Castellano sign the Armistice of Cassibile, although it is not announced for another five days.
  • 1944 – Holocaust: Diarist Anne Frank and her family are placed on the last transport train from the Westerbork transit camp to the Auschwitz concentration camp, arriving three days later.
  • 1945 – A three-day celebration begins in China, following the Victory over Japan Day on 02 September.
    • Armed Forces Day (Republic of China).
    • V-J Day (People’s Republic of China).
  • 1954 – The People’s Liberation Army begins shelling the Republic of China-controlled islands of Quemoy, starting the First Taiwan Strait Crisis.
  • 1967 – Dagen H in Sweden: Traffic changes from driving on the left to driving on the right overnight.
  • 1987 – In a coup d’état in Burundi, President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza is deposed by Major Pierre Buyoya.
  • 2004 – Beslan school siege results in over 330 fatalities, including 186 children.
  • 2017 – North Korea conducts its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
  • Merchant Navy Remembrance Day (Canada).
  • Merchant Navy Day (United Kingdom).

People (Births)

  • 1693 – Charles Radclyffe, English captain and politician (d. 1746).
  • 1724 – Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, Irish-English general and politician, 21st Governor General of Canada (d. 1808).
  • 1781 – Eugène de Beauharnais, French general and politician (d. 1824).
  • 1875 – Ferdinand Porsche, Austrian-German engineer and businessman, founded Porsche (d. 1951).
  • 1920 – Tereska Torrès, French soldier and author (d. 2012).
  • 1936 – Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisian soldier and politician, 2nd President of Tunisia (d. 2019).

People (Deaths)

  • 1120 – Gerard Thom (The Blessed Gerard), founder of the Knights Hospitaller (b. c. 1040).
  • 1658 – Oliver Cromwell, English general and politician (b. 1599).
  • 1720 – Henri de Massue, Earl of Galway, French general and diplomat (b. 1648).
  • 1981 – Alec Waugh, English soldier and author (b. 1898).
  • 2003 – Alan Dugan, American soldier and poet (b. 1923).
  • 2008 – Donald Blakeslee, American colonel and pilot (b. 1917).
  • 2012 – Siegfried Jamrowski, Russian-German soldier and pilot (b. 1917).
  • 2014 – A. P. Venkateswaran, Indian soldier and politician, 14th Foreign Secretary of India (b. 1930).
  • 2015 – Zhang Zhen, Chinese general and politician (b. 1914).

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