This Day in History - September 2

September 3

31BC – Roman leader Octavian defeats Roman Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt at the Battle of Actium off of the Western coast of Greece

1666 – The Great Fire of London begins in the house of King Charles II’s baker on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. More than four-fifths of London would be destroyed by the blaze, while miraculously, only 16 people were known to have died

1789 – The Treasury Department is created in New York City and led by Alexander Hamilton

1792 – Verdun, France surrenders to the Prussians

1798 – The Maltese people revolt against their French occupiers, forcing the French to take refuge in the citadel of Valletta in Malta

1838 – Lydia Kamakaeha Liliuokalani, the last sovereign of Hawaii before being annexed by the US, is born

1850 – Poet and journalist, Eugene Field, is born

1862 – After General John Pope’s disappointing performance at the Second Battle of Bull Run, President Abraham Lincoln reluctantly restores Union General George B. McClellan to full command to bolster the spirits of Union troops during the Civil War

1870 – Napoleon III capitulates to the Prussians at Sedan, France

1877 – Nobel prize-winning chemist, Frederick Soddy, is born

1885 – 28 Chinese laborers are killed and hundreds chased out of Rock Springs, Wyoming Territory by striking coal miners in the Old West

1898 – The Mahdists at Omdurman are defeated by Britain’s Sir Herbert Kitchener

1901 – Basketball coach at the University of Kentucky who achieved a record 876 victories, Adolph Rupp is born

1901 – Vice President Theodore Roosevelt gives his “speak softly and carry a big stick” speech regarding foreign policy at the Minnesota State Fair

1910 – French painter, Henri Rousseau, dies

1910 – Alice Stebbins Wells is admitted into the Los Angeles Police Force as the first woman police officer to receive an appointment based on the results of a civil service exam

1913 – Scottish soccer player and manager, Bill Shankly, is born

1915 – Austro-German armies capture Grodno, Poland

1917 – Militarist conservatives within Germany launch a new political party called the Vaterlandspartei or Fatherland Party during World War I

1923 – Following a massive earthquake, out-of-control fires spread across Tokyo, Japan. In total, 143,000 people died in what would be known as both the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Great Tokyo Fire

1944 – The US First Army enters Belgium during World War II

1944 – During World War II, future President George Herbert Walker Bush’s squadron is attacked by Japanese and he was forced to bail out of the plane over the ocean. His plane had been set ablaze but he managed to release his bombs and head back toward the aircraft carrier San Jacinto, and three other crew members died in the attack. His bravery in action earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross

1945 – Japan signs the document of surrender aboard the USS Missouri ending World War II

1945 – Vietnam declares its independence and Ho Chi Minh proclaims himself its first president

1946 – Politician who assassinated San Francisco mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, Dan White, is born

1946 – Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh opens at the Martin Beck Theater

1948 – First civilian passenger on a space mission, Christa McAuliffe is born. She and six others aboard the space shuttle Challenger died in an explosion shortly after launch

1948 – Athlete, TV sports analyst, actor and first quarterback to win four Super Bowls, Terry Bradshaw, is born

1951 – Actor, Mark Harmon, is born

1952 – Former World No. 1 tennis player that reached more Grand Slam quarterfinals than any other male, Jimmy Connors, is born

1953 – Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud is born

1956 – Rioters protesting the admission of 12 black children to schools in Clinton are halted by Tennessee National Guardsmen

1963 – Alabama Governor George Wallace calls state troopers to Tuskegee High School to prevent integration

1964 – Actor, Keanu Reeves, is born

1966 – Actress, director, and producer, Salma Hayek, is born

1969 – America’s first automatic teller machine (ATM) opens at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York

1969 – President Ho Chi Minh of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam dies

1970 – NASA cancels two planned missions to the moon

1973 – J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, dies

1975 – Joseph W. Hatcher of Tallahassee, Florida becomes the state’s first black supreme court justice since Reconstruction

1982 – English soccer player, Joey Barton, is born

1987 – The trial of Mathias Rust begins in Moscow. Rust, a 19-yr old West German, managed to fly his Cessna plane completely undetected in Soviet airspace and landed it near the Kremlin in Red Square. While many onlookers vied for his autograph, Soviet officials arrested him. He would be sentenced to 18 months in prison. Rust argued that he was promoting world peace and brought along a copy of a plan he developed for worldwide democracy. The Soviets embarrassed that he managed to penetrate Soviet airspace unseen, fired dozens of military officers over the ordeal

1991 – Tennis star, Jimmy Connors, celebrates his birthday with a fourth round win at the US Open

1992 – US and Russia agree to a joint venture to build a space station

1996 – A 26-year insurgency is ended when the Philippine government and Muslim rebels sign a pact

1996 – Michael Jackson earns his 12th and final solo #1 with “You Are Not Alone”

1998 – The UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda finds Jean-Paul Akayesu, former mayor of a town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide for slaughtering in mass the Tutsis minority population by allowing the Hutu tribesmen to hack them to death with machetes. This is the first international conviction for genocide handed down by a UN court

2013 – 64-year old Diana Nyad becomes the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage for protection


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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