On This Day … 02 September


  • 31 BC – Final War of the Roman Republic: Battle of Actium: Off the western coast of Greece, forces of Octavian defeat troops under Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
  • 1192 – The Treaty of Jaffa is signed between Richard I of England and Saladin, leading to the end of the Third Crusade.
  • 1649 – The Italian city of Castro is completely destroyed by the forces of Pope Innocent X, ending the Wars of Castro.
  • 1792 – During what became known as the September Massacres of the French Revolution, rampaging mobs slaughter three Roman Catholic bishops, more than two hundred priests, and prisoners believed to be royalist sympathizers.
  • 1807 – The British Royal Navy bombards Copenhagen with fire bombs and phosphorus rockets to prevent Denmark from surrendering its fleet to Napoleon.
  • 1856 – The Tianjing incident takes place in Nanjing, China.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: United States President Abraham Lincoln reluctantly restores Union General George B. McClellan to full command after General John Pope’s disastrous defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Union forces enter Atlanta, a day after the Confederate defenders flee the city, ending the Atlanta Campaign.
  • 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Sedan: Prussian forces take Napoleon III of France and 100,000 of his soldiers prisoner.
  • 1898 – Battle of Omdurman: British and Egyptian troops defeat Sudanese tribesmen and establish British dominance in Sudan.
  • 1939 – World War II: Following the start of the invasion of Poland the previous day, the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) is annexed by Nazi Germany.
  • 1944 – The last execution of a Finn in Finland will take place when soldier Olavi Laiho is executed by shooting in Oulu.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Japanese Instrument of Surrender is signed by Japan and the major warring powers aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
  • 1945 – Communist leader Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam after the end of the Nguyễn dynasty.
  • 1946 – The Interim Government of India is formed, headed by Jawaharlal Nehru as vice president with the powers of a Prime Minister.
  • 1958 – A US Air Force RC-130 is shot down by fighters over Armenia when it strays into Soviet airspace while conducting a signals intelligence (SIGINT) mission.
    • All crew members are killed.
  • 1968 – Operation OAU begins during the Nigerian Civil War.
  • 1985 – Sri Lankan Civil War: Sri Lankan Tamil politicians and former MPs M. Alalasundaram and V. Dharmalingam are shot dead.
  • 1998 – The UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda finds Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide.
  • 2010 – Israel-Palestinian conflict: the 2010 Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are launched by the United States.
  • National Day, celebrates the independence of Vietnam from Japan and France in 1945.
  • Victory over Japan Day (United States).

People (Births)

  • 1865 – Simeón Ola, Filipino general and politician (d. 1952).
  • 1878 – Werner von Blomberg, German field marshal (d. 1946).
  • 1897 – Fazlollah Zahedi, Iranian general and statesman, 36th Prime Minister of Iran (d. 1963).
  • 1933 – Mathieu Kérékou, Beninese soldier and politician, President of Benin (d. 2015).
  • 1944 – Janet Simpson, English sprinter (d. 2010).
  • 1953 – Ahmad Shah Massoud, Afghan commander and politician, Afghan Minister of Defence (d. 2001).
  • 1971 – Tom Steels, Belgian cyclist.
  • 1973 – Matthew Dunn, Australian swimmer.
  • 1976 – Aziz Zakari, Ghanaian sprinter.
  • 1993 – Zaza Nadiradze, Georgian sprint canoeist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1274 – Prince Munetaka, Japanese shōgun (b. 1242).
  • 1680 – Per Brahe the Younger, Swedish soldier and politician, Lord High Steward of Sweden (b. 1602).
  • 1765 – Henry Bouquet, Swiss-English colonel (b. 1719).
  • 1813 – Jean Victor Marie Moreau, French general (b. 1763).
  • 1877 – Konstantinos Kanaris, Greek admiral and politician, 16th Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1793).
  • 1937 – Pierre de Coubertin, French historian and educator, founded the International Olympic Committee (b. 1863).
  • 1953 – Hendrik Offerhaus, Dutch rower (b. 1875).
  • 1953 – Jonathan M. Wainwright, American general, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1883).
  • 1964 – Alvin C. York, American colonel, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1887).
  • 1979 – Otto P. Weyland, American general (b. 1903).
  • 2006 – Bob Mathias, American decathlete and politician (b. 1930).

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