On This Day … 01 August


  • 30 BC – Octavian (later known as Augustus) enters Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman Republic.
  • AD 69 – Batavian rebellion: The Batavians in Germania Inferior (Netherlands) revolt under the leadership of Gaius Julius Civilis.
  • 902 – Taormina, the last Byzantine stronghold in Sicily, is captured by the Aghlabid army, concluding the Muslim conquest of Sicily.
  • 1203 – Isaac II Angelos, restored Byzantine Emperor, declares his son Alexios IV Angelos co-emperor after pressure from the forces of the Fourth Crusade.
  • 1291 – The Old Swiss Confederacy is formed with the signature of the Federal Charter.
  • 1469 – Louis XI of France founds the chivalric order called the Order of Saint Michael in Amboise.
  • 1498 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to visit what is now Venezuela.
  • 1571 – The Ottoman conquest of Cyprus is concluded, by the surrender of Famagusta.
  • 1664 – Ottoman forces are defeated in the battle of Saint Gotthard by an Austrian army led by Raimondo Montecuccoli, resulting in the Peace of Vasvár.
  • 1759 – Seven Years’ War: The Battle of Minden, an allied Anglo-German army victory over the French.
    • In Britain this was one of a number of events that constituted the Annus Mirabilis of 1759 and is celebrated as Minden Day by certain British Army regiments.
  • 1774 – British scientist Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen gas, corroborating the prior discovery of this element by German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.
  • 1798 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of the Nile (Battle of Aboukir Bay): Battle begins when a British fleet engages the French Revolutionary Navy fleet in an unusual night action.
  • 1800 – The Acts of Union 1800 are passed which merge the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • 1801 – First Barbary War: The American schooner USS Enterprise captures the Tripolitan polacca Tripoli in a single-ship action off the coast of modern-day Libya.
  • 1893 – Henry Perky patents shredded wheat.
  • 1894 – The First Sino-Japanese War erupts between Japan and China over Korea.
  • 1907 – The start of the first Scout camp on Brownsea Island, the origin of the worldwide Scouting movement.
  • 1914 – The German Empire declares war on the Russian Empire at the opening of World War I.
    • The Swiss Army mobilises because of World War I.
  • 1927 – The Nanchang Uprising marks the first significant battle in the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party.
    • This day is commemorated as the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.
  • 1943 – World War II: Operation Tidal Wave also known as “Black Sunday”, was a failed American attempt to destroy Romanian oil fields.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi German occupation breaks out in Warsaw, Poland.
  • 1946 – Leaders of the Russian Liberation Army, a force of Russian prisoners of war that collaborated with Nazi Germany, are executed in Moscow, Soviet Union for treason.
  • 1950 – Guam is organised as a United States commonwealth as the President Harry S. Truman signs the Guam Organic Act.
  • 1957 – The United States and Canada form the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).
  • 1960 – Dahomey (later renamed Benin) declares independence from France.
  • 1960 – Islamabad is declared the federal capital of the Government of Pakistan.
  • 1961 – US Defence Secretary Robert McNamara orders the creation of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the nation’s first centralised military espionage organisation.
  • 1964 – The former Belgian Congo is renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • 1965 – Frank Herbert’s novel, Dune was published for the first time. It was named as the world’s best-selling science fiction novel in 2003.
  • 1974 – Cyprus dispute: The United Nations Security Council authorises the UNFICYP to create the “Green Line”, dividing Cyprus into two zones.
  • 1988 – A British soldier was killed in the Inglis Barracks bombing in London, England.
  • Armed Forces Day (Lebanon).
  • Armed Forces Day (China) or Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Liberation Army (People’s Republic of China).
  • Victory Day (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam).

People (Births)

  • 1738 – Jacques François Dugommier, French general (d. 1794).
  • 1744 – Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, French soldier, biologist, and academic (d. 1829).
  • 1770 – William Clark, American soldier, explorer, and politician, 4th Governor of Missouri Territory (d. 1838).
  • 1809 – William B. Travis, American colonel and lawyer (d. 1836).
  • 1843 – Robert Todd Lincoln, American lawyer and politician, 35th United States Secretary of War (d. 1926).
  • 1894 – Ottavio Bottecchia, Italian cyclist (d. 1927).
  • 1910 – Gerda Taro, German war photographer (d. 1937).
  • 1946 – Richard O. Covey, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut.
  • 1973 – Veerle Dejaeghere, Belgian runner.
  • 1978 – Björn Ferry, Swedish biathlete.
  • 1980 – Romain Barras, French decathlete.
  • 1983 – David Gervasi, Swiss decathlete.
  • 1984 – Francesco Gavazzi, Italian cyclist.
  • 1990 – Jean Hugues Gregoire, Mauritian swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 30 BC – Mark Antony, Roman general and politician (b. 83 BC).
  • 1227 – Shimazu Tadahisa, Japanese warlord (b. 1179).
  • 1796 – Sir Robert Pigot, 2nd Baronet, English colonel and politician (b. 1720).
  • 1798 – François-Paul Brueys d’Aigalliers, French admiral (b. 1753).
  • 1812 – Yakov Kulnev, Russian general (b. 1763).
  • 1943 – Lydia Litvyak, Russian lieutenant and pilot (b. 1921).
  • 1944 – Manuel L. Quezon, Filipino soldier, lawyer, and politician, 2nd President of the Philippines (b. 1878).
  • 1973 – Walter Ulbricht, German soldier and politician (b. 1893).
  • 1977 – Francis Gary Powers, American captain and pilot (b. 1929).

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