Saturday, August 2
Today is Saturday, August 2, the 214th day of 2014. There are 151 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1637 - Dutch expel Portuguese from Gold Coast in Africa.
1776 - Members of the Continental Congress begin adding their signatures to the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
1824 - Turkey captures island of Psara from Greeks.
1830 - France’s King Charles X abdicates after July Revolution against his conservative policies.
1903 - Macedonians take up arms to free themselves from Turkish rule. The rebellion is crushed in 11 days.
1928 - Italy signs 20-year treaty of friendship with Ethiopia.
1934 - Germany’s President Paul von Hindenburg dies at age 87, and Adolf Hitler assumes the title of “Der Fuehrer.”
1935 - Britain passes the Government of India Act, separating Burma and Aden from India and granting self-government with a central legislature in New Delhi.
1939 - Scientist Albert Einstein says in letter to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt that America should start an atomic research program.
1940 - Hermann Goering, Germany’s chief of the Luftwaffe, gives the “Eagle Day” directive to destroy British air power and start to invade Britain.
1943 - A U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, sinks after being hit by a Japanese destroyer off the Solomon Islands. Kennedy is credited with saving members of the crew.
1951 - In an effort to slow down the influx of illegal immigrants to the United States, a Mexican-U.S. migrant labor treaty is signed, bringing 300,000 Mexicans to work on U.S. harvests.
1959 - The U.S. military discloses it has successfully tested heat-seeking missiles to be used by infantrymen targeting low-flying planes.
1962 - North Vietnamese patrol boats fire on U.S. destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin, prompting the U.S. Congress to authorize intervention in Vietnam.
1963 - The United States tells United Nations it will halt all sales of military equipment to South Africa because of its apartheid policy.
1977 - North Korea creates a “military sea boundary” off its coastline and says foreign military, civilian ships and planes need permission to enter the zone.
1980 - A bomb explodes at the train station in Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people.
1990 - Iraqi tanks and infantry overrun Kuwait in a predawn strike; Kuwaiti royal family flees to Saudi Arabia.
1992 - Security forces arrest 50 armed Islamic extremists and seize an arms cache containing 130 bombs in Algiers.
1993 - Serb gunners destroy a vital bridge in Croatia, severing the only land link between the southern Dalmatian coast and the rest of the country.
1995 - King Fahd replaces his oil and finance ministers in Saudi Arabia’s most significant leadership shakeup since he came to power in 1982.
1996 - The first 1,700 Rwandan refugees begin returning home, despite fear of reprisals from the new Tutsi government.
1997 - The United States ends a 20-year-old ban on the sale of most advanced weapons to Latin America.
1999 - In India, 226 people die when two trains crash head-on in the predawn darkness near Gaisal, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of Calcutta.
2000 - In Kashmir, Islamic guerrillas open fire on a crowd of unarmed Hindu pilgrims and Muslim porters during supper; the 24-hour wave of violence that follows leaves 101 dead.
2001 - Muslim extremists seize 36 Filipinos on the southern Philippine island of Basilan; at least four are beheaded.
2002 - Kazakh authorities sentence Galymzhan Zhakiyanov, founding member of the reform movement Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK), to seven years in prison for corruption and abuse of power.
2003 - The U.S. State Department suspends two programs that allowed foreign air travelers on certain routes to enter the country without a visa.
2005 - Snipers and soldiers in green berets keep watch as King Fahd, one of the world’s wealthiest monarchs, is laid to rest in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia.
2006 - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushcheno says that he is nominating his former Orange Revolution foe, Viktor Yanukovych, to become prime minister.
2007 - An overnight train derails in central Congo after its brakes failed, killing about 100 people.
2008 -Two French humanitarian aid workers kidnapped on July 18 in Afghanistan are released.
2009 - Nigerian government forces hunt for surviving members of a radical Islamist sect after heavy fighting leaves at least 700 people dead and buildings and cars scorched.
2010 - President Barack Obama hails this month’s planned withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops from Iraq — “as promised and on schedule” — as a major success despite deep doubts about the Iraqis’ ability to police and govern their country.
2011 - Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, 83 and ailing, goes on trial on charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising that toppled him, and many Egyptians are celebrating the chance at retribution against a longtime authoritarian ruler.
2012 - Kofi Annan announces his resignation as peace envoy to Syria and issues a blistering critique of world powers, bringing to a dramatic end a frustrating six-month effort to achieve even a temporary cease-fire as the country plunges into civil war.
2013 — President Francois Hollande injects a new dose of funds to help cure one of France’s most persistent problems areas— the suburban housing projects with their volatile mix of joblessness, high immigration, crime and despair.
Edward A. Freeman, English historian (1823-1892); Romulo Gallegos, Venezuelan president and novelist (1884-1969); Myrna Loy, U.S. actress (1905-1993); James Baldwin, U.S. author (1924-1987); Peter O’Toole, British actor (1932-2013); Isabel Allende, Chilean author (1942--); Joanna Cassidy, U.S. actress (1945--).
Thought for Today:
A man who does not lose his reason over certain things has none to lose — Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, German dramatist (1729-1781).