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This Day in History - August 19

Monday, August 19, 2019

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Today is the 231st day of 2019. There are 134 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

2010: A line of heavily armoured American military vehicles lumbers past the barbed wire and metal gates marking the border between Iraq and Kuwait and rolls into history as the last American combat brigade to leave Iraq.

OTHER EVENTS

636: Khalid ibn Walid's forces defeat Byzantine army at Battle of Yarmuk, sealing the Muslim conquest of Syria.

1587: Pope Sixtus V proclaims Catholic Crusade for invasion of England.

1601: Michael the Brave, Prince of Moldavia, is assassinated by Hungarian patriots.

1691: Louis of Baden defeats Turks at Slankamen, Bulgaria, and Grand Vizier Mustafa Pasa is killed in action. The Turks cede a large portion of Hungary in the subsequent peace.

1796: France and Spain sign Alliance of San Ildefonso against Britain.

1856: European powers decide to unite Moldavia with Wallachia.

1914: British Navy torpedoes and damages German battleship Westfalen in North Sea; German fleet bombards English coast.

1936: Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca is shot by supporters of Franco after being forced to dig his own grave.

1940: Italian forces take British Somaliland.

1942: About 6,000 Canadian and British soldiers launch a disastrous raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France, suffering 50 per cent casualties.

1944: A week before liberation by Allied troops, the French Resistance starts open warfare against the Germans in Paris.

1945: Start of the August Revolution against French rule in Vietnam, led by Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh.

1953: In Iran, the nationalist government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq collapses in a US-backed military coup; Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi returns to the country in triumph.

1955: Severe flooding in US north-east caused by Hurricane Diane claims 200 lives.

1960: Soviet scientists safely bring back to earth a 4,600-kilogramme (10,120-pound) satellite carrying two dogs into orbit. The dogs were sent into space the day before.

1966: More than 500 people die in earthquake in eastern Turkey.

1971: General Duong van Minh withdraws from presidential elections in South Vietnam, leaving President Nguyen van Thieu unopposed.

1974: US Ambassador Rodger P Davies is shot and killed at the American embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, during a protest by Greek Cypriots.

1979: Pope John Paul II makes major diplomatic gesture by calling for resumption of ties between Vatican and China's Roman Catholics.

1982: Svetlana Savitskaya is the second Russian woman to go into space when she is launched with two crewmates aboard a Soyuz T-7 spacecraft.

1986: Car bomb explodes during morning rush hour in central Tehran, Iran, killing 20 people.

1988: Hundreds of UN observers deploy along Iran-Iraq war front on eve of a cease-fire, the first step toward ending nearly eight years of bloodshed.

1989: India's Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi says his country must play bigger role in world affairs as superpowers shift to greater dialogue.

1990: Refugees fleeing occupied Kuwait say resistance fighters are staging attacks including suicide bombings and that Iraq has been unable to wipe them out.

1991: Communist hard-liners stage coup against Soviet President Mikhail S Gorbachev.

1992: United States and its allies fly reconnaissance missions over southern Iraq to monitor treatment of dissident Shiites and warn they will attack Iraqi planes that interfere.

1993: Eight Israeli soldiers are killed in bombings by Islamic militants.

1994: Muslim militants cross border from Afghanistan and attack Russian troops in Tajikistan's civil war.

1995: On their way to deliver a US-sponsored peace plan to the Bosnian Government, three American peace negotiators are killed when their carrier plunges from a mountain road on Mount Igman outside Sarajevo.

1996: Philippine president, Fidel Valdez Ramos, and a rebel leader announce a settlement of the 26-year Muslim secessionist rebellion.

1997: Lebanese guerrillas fire dozens of rockets onto towns in northern Israel one day after a pro-Israeli militia kills at least six civilians in south Lebanon.

1999: Nearly 150,000 demonstrators converge on Belgrade to demand Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic resign. Protests began after the NATO air campaign leaves the country impoverished, isolated and without control over the southern province of Kosovo.

2001: An underground methane and coal dust explosion in Ukraine kills at least 50 people.

2002: An Islamic high court in Nigeria's Katsina state upholds a sentence of death by stoning for Amina Lawal, who had been convicted of adultery by a village court in March for having a child more than nine months after her divorce.

2003: A suicide bomber drives a large truck packed with explosives into the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, killing at least 23 people, including the UN's representative, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

2004: Georgian Government forces engage separatists in a battle for strategic areas near the centre city of separatist South Ossetia in some of the worst fighting in the breakaway region since a war more than a decade ago.

2005: A former Hutu rebel leader is elected Burundi's president, culminating a three-year peace process after almost 12 years of ethnic war. Pierre Nkurunziza appeals for support from all Burundians to heal ethnic divisions and rebuild a shattered economy.

2006: A boat loaded with illegal immigrants heading from North Africa to Italy sinks south of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, killing at least 10 people.

2007: A major Gaza power company shuts off the last of its generators because fuel to power them was blocked after Israel closed the Nahal Oz fuel crossing the previous week, citing security threats.

2008: Pirates seize a Malaysian palm oil tanker with a crew of 39 in the Gulf of Aden.

2009: Nearly simultaneous truck bombs strike Iraq's Foreign and Finance ministries as a wave of explosions kills at least 95 people, bringing the weaknesses of Iraqi security forces into sharp focus less than two months after US forces withdrew from urban areas.

2011: Moammar Gadhafi's forces launch a fierce counterattack in a strategic western city of Zawiya, firing rockets, mortar shells and anti-aircraft guns in a bid to keep the rebels from gaining complete control and advancing toward the capital, only 30 miles (50 kilometres)away.

2012: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange portrays himself as a victim of an American “witch-hunt” over his secret-spilling website in a defiant address from the balcony of the Ecuadoean embassy in London, where he has holed up to avoid extradition to face sexual assault allegations.

2013: Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds swarm across a bridge into neighbouring Iraq's northern self-ruled Kurdish region in one of the biggest waves of refugees since the rebellion against President Bashar Assad began.

2014: Egyptian attempts to broker an end to a month-long war between Israel and Hamas collapse in heavy fighting.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Jeanne Becu du Barry, French mistress of Louis XV (1746-1793); Bernard Baruch, US financier (1870- 1976); Orville Wright, US aviation pioneer (1871-1948); Georges Enesco, Romanian composer (1881- 1955); Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, French fashion designer (1883-1971); Ogden Nash, US poet (1902-1971); Bill Clinton, former US president (1946- ); Peter Gallagher, US actor (1955- ); Adam Arkin, US actor (1956- )

— AP


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