This Day in History – August 2
Today is the 214th day of 2023. There are 151 days left in the year.
2018: Pope Frances declares the death penalty unacceptable in all cases, reversing church teachings and adding to catechism of the Roman Catholic Church.
1790: The first US census is conducted and the population totals 3,939,214, including 697,624 slaves.
1791: Samuel Briggs and his son are granted a US patent for a nail-making machine.
1880: The British Parliament officially adopts Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
1892: George A Wheeler is granted a US patent for a prototype of the escalator.
1894: Death duties are first introduced in Britain.
1909: The Army Air Corps is formed as the army takes its first delivery from the Wright Brothers.
1920: Marcus Garvey presents his Back To Africa programme in New York City.
1921: After three hours’ deliberation a Chicago jury acquits eight Chicago White Sox accused in the Black Sox game-fixing scandal; they are banned from organised baseball for life the next day.
1922: About 60,000 die when China is hit by a typhoon.
1934: Germany’s President Paul von Hindenburg dies at age 87 and Adolf Hitler assumes the title of Der Fuehrer (The Leader).
1939: Scientist Albert Einstein tells USA President Franklin D Roosevelt in a letter that America should start an atomic research programme.
1943: United States Navy patrol torpedo boat PT-109, commanded by Lieutenant 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-US migrant labour treaty is signed, bringing 300,000 Mexicans to work on US harvests.
1963: The United States tells the United Nations it will halt all sales of military equipment to South Africa because of its apartheid policy.
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: Founding member of reform movement Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK), Galymzhan Zhakiyanov is sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption and abuse of power by Kazakh authorities.
2003: The United States State Department suspends two programmes that allowed foreign air travellers on certain routes to enter the country without a visa.
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 August’s planned withdrawal of all US 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; many Egyptians celebrate the chance at retribution against a long-time authoritarian ruler.
2012: Kofi Annan announces his resignation as peace envoy to Syria and issues a blistering critique of world powers following a frustrating six-month effort to achieve even a temporary ceasefire as the country plunges into civil war.
2017: The Lancet states more than a billion people around the world need glasses and 36 million are blind, according to a new study published. The first successful gene editing in human embryos to repair disease-causing mutation is reported by scientists in the Nature.
2018: Apple becomes the first American publicly listed company to reach US$1 trillion in value. TikTok, the video-sharing social network, becomes available worldwide after merging with Musical.ly.
2019: Saudi Arabia announces new rules for women, including allowing them to travel independently abroad without a male guardian’s permission. A seven-year-old boy is operated on after 526 teeth are found inside his mouth in Chennai, India.
2020: The Islamic State stages a jail break at a prison in the Afghan city of Jalalabad, placing bombs at its entrance; a 20-hour gunfight ensues with 29 deaths and over 300 prisoners at large. The United Arab Emirates starts up the Arab world’s first nuclear power station at the Barakah plant.
James Baldwin, US author (1924-1987); Isabel Allende, Chilean author (1942- ); Tajay Gayle, Jamaican long jumper and 2019 World Champion (1996- ).
– AP and Jamaica Observer