Lammas Day British festival day. It is the forerunner of America's Thanksgiving and Canada's Harvest Festival.
1966 Texas Tower Massacre 25-year-old University of Texas student Charles J. Whitman barricades himself into a university tower and shoots and kills 13 people, wounding 31 others, before being killed by police. His wife and mother were found slain in their homes.
1961 Six Flags Over Texas The first park of the Six Flags chain opens in Arlington, Texas.
1946 Atomic Energy Commission Pres. Truman signs the McMahan Act establishing the agency. It also authorized the Army and Navy to manufacture atomic weapons.
1944 World War II - Anne Frank The young diarist makes her last entry. Her family was found by the Nazis and taken to concentration camps. Her diary described their previous 756 days of hiding.
1944 World War II - Warsaw Uprising 200,000 Polish civilians and ill-equipped soldiers are slaughtered over the next two months while fighting German storm troopers. Russia refused to lend assistance.
1914 World War I Germany declares war on Russia, after Russia began a general mobilization in support of Serbia.
1906 First U.S. diamond mine John Huddleson discovers two diamonds (each about three carats) in Pike County, Arkansas, and establishes the only North American diamond mine.
1896 Atlantic Crossing in a Row Boat George Samuelson and Frank Harbo arrive in England after crossing the Atlantic in an 18-foot row boat. They had left New York on June 6.
1876 Colorado becomes the 38th state.
1834 Slavery Abolition Act Slavery is abolished in the British colonies. However, slaves had to continue to work without pay for four years to receive full emancipation.
1794 Whiskey Rebellion Western Pennsylvania farmers revolt in protest to an excise duty on stills and spirits distilled in the U.S. Pres. Washington later ordered in the militia and managed to end the rebellion without bloodshed.
1790 First U.S. Census The first counting of U.S. inhabitants is completed, showing a population of 3.9 million.
1789 First U.S. Customs officers Customs officers begin collecting revenues as per the Tariff Act of July 4, 1789.
1776 First Jew killed in the American Revolution Francis Salvador is killed by Indians who were fighting for the British.
1774 Oxygen English chemist Joseph Priestley discovers the element which composes one-fifth of our air.
1973 Tempestt Bledsoe American actress. TV: The Cosby Show (Vanessa).
1953 Robert Cray American blues guitarist, singer. Music: Strong Persuader (1986) and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1988).
1942 Jerry Garcia d. 1995 (Jerome John Garcia), American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist, singer, songwriter, with the Grateful Dead.
1942 Giancarlo Giannini Italian actor, the sad-eyed protagonist of Lina Wertmuller films. Film: Love and Anarchy (1973, Cannes Best Actor) and Seven Beauties (1976).
1941 Ron Brown d. 1996 American, Democratic National Party chairman, Commerce Secretary (1993-96). He and 34 other people died in a government plane crash, prompting government cover-up theories, based on Brown's being under investigation for corruption and having prepared to negotiate plea bargains implicating President Clinton.
1936 Yves Saint Laurent French fashion designer.
1922 Arthur Hill Canadian Tony-winning actor. Stage: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962, Tony). TV: Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (title role).
1893 Alexander I d. 1920 King of Greece (1917-20). Died of blood poisoning after being bitten by a pet monkey.
1889 John F. Mahoney d. 1957 American physician. He developed penicillin treatment for syphilis (1943). This virtualy eliminated tertiary syphilis of the brain, once a leading cause of insanity throughout the world.
1870 Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov d. 1932 Soviet biologist, specializing in artificial insemination. He tried to create a human-ape hybrid via artificial insemination as part of Stalin's quest for a super-warrior.
1843 Robert Todd Lincoln d. 1926 eldest son of Pres. Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, US Secretary of War (1881-85). He was present when President Garfield was shot in 1881 and when McKinley was shot in 1901. He also claimed that Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth who assassinated his father, saved him from serious injury at a railroad station in Jersey City in circa 1863.
1819 Herman Melville d. 1891 American author. Writings: Moby-Dick (1851).
1818 Maria Mitchell d. 1889 American astronomer. She was the first professional woman astronomer in the United States and the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in 1905.
1815 Richard Henry Dana d. 1882 American sailor, lawyer, author. Writings: Two Years Before the Mast (1840).
1779 Francis Scott Key d. 1843 American lawyer, poet. He wrote The Star-Spangled Banner (1814) during the British bombardment of Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812.
1770 William Clark d. 1838 American soldier, explorer, governor of the Missouri Territory. With Lewis he explored the American West (1804-06) establishing a route to the Pacific.
1744 Jean Baptiste Lamarck d. 1829 French naturalist. He was the first to distinguish vertebrates from invertebrates and was one of the first to use the term biology in its modern sense. He is best known for proposing that acquired traits are inheritable (Lamarckism), which was proved wrong, but initiated interest in the idea of evolution.
1520 Sigismund II d. 1572 King of Poland (1548-72).
10 B.C. Claudius I d. A.D. 54 Roman Emperor (41-54 A.D.), took office after the murder of Caligula. He was killed by his fourth wife Agrippina.
1981 Paddy Chayefsky b. 1923 (Sidney Chayefsky), American Oscar-winning screenwriter. Film: Paint Your Wagon (1969), Network (1976, Oscar), and Altered States (1979).
1977 Francis Gary Powers b. 1929 American CIA agent, U-2 pilot. In 1960 he was shot down over Russia, convicted of spying, and then exchanged in 1962 for Russian spy Rudolf Abel.
1944 Manuel Luis Quezon b. 1878 Philippine statesman, first president of the Philippine Commonwealth (1935).
1926 Israel Zangwill b. 1864 English-born writer, Zionist. He founded an organization called the Jewish Territorialist Organization (1905), to try to create a Jewish homeland, the location of which did not necessarily have to be in what is today the state of Israel. Quote: "The way [George Bernard] Shaw behaves himself is very refreshing in these atheistic days when so many people believe in no God at all." Source: Fifth 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said Writngs: Children of the Ghetto (1892) and The Melting Pot (1908).
1903 Calamity Jane b. circa 1852 (Martha Jane Canary), American wild west character, famous citizen of Deadwood, South Dakota.
1834 Robert Morrison b. 1782 English missionary, first Protestant minister to China (1807). In 1823 he completed his Chinese translation of the entire Bible. Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church