1783 Treaty of Peace signed ending American Revolution
1833 The New York Sun newspaper first appeared
1939 Britain and France declare war on Germany.
1943 Italy signed an armistice with the Allies during World War II in Europe.
1533 Queen Elizabeth I born. 1822 Brazil declared its independence from Portugal after 322 years as a colony. 1940 The German Luftwaffe began its Blitz bombing campaign against London during World War II.
490 B.C. Battle of Marathon.
1683 John Sobieski, King of Poland, defeats Turks at Vienna.
1953 Nikita Khrushchev was elected First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR.
Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto born, 1518.
Lord Nelson born, 1758.
1789 - Congress created the United States Army, consisting of 1,000 enlisted men and officers.
Otto von Bismarck delivers "Blood and Iron" speech, 1862.
Nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) was born in Rome.
1861 - President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the first Federal income tax, a 3 percent tax on incomes over $800, as an emergency wartime measure during the Civil War. However, the tax was never actually put into effect.
2011 - Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency downgraded the United States debt from its highest rating of AAA to a lesser AA+ rating, marking the first-ever decline of credit worthiness for the U.S.
1676 - King Philip's War ended with the assassination of Metacom, leader of the Pokanokets, a tribe within the Wampanoag Indian Federation. Nicknamed 'King Philip' by colonists, he led a Native American uprising against white settlers which went on for nearly two years.
Birthday - Film pioneer Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959). He produced over 70 major films including Cleopatra, The Ten Commandments, and The Greatest Show on Earth.
1961 - The Berlin Wall came into existence after the East German government closed the border between east and west sectors of Berlin with barbed wire to discourage emigration to the West.
Birthday - British film director Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980). His suspenseful films included classics such as The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Suspicion, Notorious, Rear Window, The Birds, Psycho and Frenzy, in addition to his American TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Birthday - Cuban President Fidel Castro. He led a rebellion in 1959 that drove out Dictator Fulgencio Batista.
1935 - President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act establishing the system which guarantees pensions to those who retire at age 65. The Social Security system also aids states in providing financial aid to dependent children, the blind and others, as well as administering a system of unemployment insurance.
August 14, 1941 - After three days of secret meetings aboard warships off the coast of Newfoundland, the Atlantic Charter was issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Charter set forth eight goals for the nations of the world, including; the renunciation of all aggression, right to self-government, access to raw materials, freedom from want and fear, freedom of the seas, and disarmament of aggressor nations. By September, fifteen anti-Axis nations signed the Charter.
August 14, 1945 - Delegates of Emperor Hirohito accepted Allied surrender terms originally issued at Potsdam on July 26, 1945, with the exception that the Japanese Emperor's sovereignty would be maintained. Japanese Emperor Hirohito, who had never spoken on radio, then recorded an announcement admitting Japan's agreement of peace. The announcement was broadcast via radio to the Japanese people at noon the next day.
August 14, 1945 - V-J Day, commemorating President Truman's announcement that Japan had surrendered to the Allies.
Birthday - French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was born on the island of Corsica. Originally an officer in King Louis' Army, he rose to become Emperor amid the political chaos that followed the French Revolution.
1943 - During World War II in Europe, the Allies completed the conquest of the island of Sicily after just 38 days. This gave the Allies control of the Mediterranean and also led to the downfall of Benito Mussolini
1978 - The first transatlantic balloon trip was completed by three Americans; Max Anderson, Ben Abruzzo, and Larry Newman, all from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Starting from Maine on August 11th, they traveled in Double Eagle II over 3,000 miles in 137 hours, landing about 60 miles west of Paris.
1883 - One of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in recorded history occurred on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa. Explosions were heard 2,000 miles away. Tidal waves 120 ft. high killed 36,000 persons on nearby islands, while five cubic miles of earth were blasted into the air up to a height of 50 miles.
1776 - The Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the following resolution, originally introduced on June 7, by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia: "Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation."
July 2, 1788 - Congress announced the United States Constitution had been ratified by the required nine states and that a committee had been appointed to make preparations for the new American government.
July 2, 1881 - President James A. Garfield was shot and mortally wounded as he entered a railway station in Washington, D.C. He died on September 19th.
1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations, publicly owned or operated facilities, employment and union membership and in voter registration. The Act allowed for cutoff of Federal funds in places where discrimination remained.
1775- The Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition expressing hope for a reconciliation with Britain. However, King George III refused even to look at the petition and instead issued a proclamation declaring the colonists to be in a state of open rebellion.
Birthday - Promoter and showman P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) was born in Bethel, Connecticut. His American Museum opened in 1842, exhibiting unusual acts such as the Feejee Mermaid, Siamese Twins Chang and Eng, and General Tom Thumb. In 1871, Barnum opened "The Greatest Show on Earth" in Brooklyn, New York. He later merged with rival J.A. Bailey to form the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Birthday - Cecil J. Rhodes (1853-1902) was born at Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. As a South African millionaire and politician, he was said to have once controlled 90 percent of the world's diamond production. His will established the Rhodes Scholarships at Oxford University for young scholars aged 18-25. Rhodesia was also named for him.
1868 - The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The Amendment defined U.S. citizenship and prohibited individual States from abridging the rights of any American citizen without due process and equal protection under the law. The Amendment also barred individuals involved in rebellion against the U.S. from holding public office.