This Day in History — August 9
Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the London Olympics in 19.32 on this day, 2012 — becoming the first to win the 100/200m double in back-to-back Olympics.

Today is the 221st day of 2022. There are 144 days left in the year.


1936: In a blow to Adolf Hitler's plan to have the Berlin Olympics prove Aryan superiority, black US athlete Jesse Owens becomes the first Olympian to win four Olympic gold medals.


480 BC: Greek troops led by Spartan King Leonidas are overcome by the Persians at Thermopylae after a heroic stand.

1173: Construction of the Tower of Pisa begins, and it takes two centuries to complete.

1483: The Sistine Chapel opens in the Vatican.

1615: Second War of Religion breaks out in France.

1638: Jonas Bronck of Holland becomes first European settler in Bronx.

1655: Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell divides England into 11 districts.

1666: Rear Admiral Robert Holmes leads a raid on the Dutch island of Terschelling, destroying 150 merchant ships in the Vlie estuary and pillaging the town of West-Terschelling, an act later known as Holmes' Bonfire.

1790: Robert Gray's Columbia Rediviva returns to Boston after three-year journey, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe and carry the American flag around the world.

1803: First horses arrive in Hawaii. Robert Fulton tests his steam paddle-boat on the River Seine, France, but it sinks.

1830: Louis-Philippe formally accepts crown of France, following abdication of Charles X.

1831: First US steam engine train run takes place from Albany to Schenectady, New York in the United States.

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte sets sail for exile on St Helena on-board British ship the Northumberland.

1849: Hungarian Republic is crushed by Austria and Russia.

1859: Otis Tufts patents the first passenger elevator in the US.

1877: Journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley's party reaches Boma, Congo, after 999 days, losing half of the 228 members.

1898: Rudolf Diesel of Germany obtains patent #608,845 for his internal combustion engine, later known as the diesel engine. Spain formally accepts peace terms, ending Spanish-American War.

1902: Edward VII is crowned king of England following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.

1905: Major League Baseball (MLB) Ty Cobb's mother, Amanda kills her husband after mistaking him for a burglar.

1904: Libanus McLouth Todd of Rochester, New York, patents his cheque-writing machine, the Protectograph, designed to protect against cheque forgers.

1910: Chicago resident Alva Fisher receives US patent for an electric washing machine.

On this day, 1910, Chicago, USA, resident Alva Fisher receives a US patent for an electric washing machine.

1917: Canadian Parliament passes the Compulsory Military Act which is opposed by many French Canadians from Québec

1930: Animated character Betty Boop debuts in Max Fleischer's cartoon Dizzy Dishes.

1942: Mahatma Gandhi and 50 others are arrested by Britain in Bombay after the passing of a "quit India" motion and campaign by the All-India Congress. Gandhi is interned until 1944.

1945: US plane drops second atomic bomb, destroying more than half of Nagasaki, Japan, and killing an estimated 74,000 people. Despite nuclear proliferation, it marks the last time any country has used such a device for mass destruction in combat.

1965: Singapore proclaims its independence from the Malaysian Federation.

1969: US actress Sharon Tate and four other people are found murdered in her Los Angeles home. Cult leader Charles Manson and his disciples are later convicted.

1974: Richard Nixon becomes the first United States president to resign from office. Gerald R Ford succeeds him.

1984: France and Britain start an international effort by dispatching ships at the Suez Canal to help clear the Red Sea of mines.

1985: Fighting in Beirut breaks out between Christian and Muslim militiamen. Thousands of rocket, mortar and artillery rounds crash into residential areas on both sides, killing at least 43 people.

1988: Army troops in Yangon, Myanmar, open fire on thousands of demonstrators who call for overthrow of President Sein Lwin.

1991: Hundreds of police use guns and tear gas to battle pro-apartheid activists who try to stop President F W de Klerk from speaking in Ventersdorp, South Africa.

1992: Thousands of frightened Afghans flee Kabul as warring guerrilla factions pound the capital with rockets.

1994: Hijackers kill a Cuban navy lieutenant and force four sailors overboard before setting sail in the commandeered vessel for the United States.

1996: Chechen rebels in the centre of Grozny repel Russian attacks, supported by artillery and aircraft fire.

1999: Russian President Boris Yeltsin fires his Cabinet, naming Vladimir Putin as his new prime minister.

2000: Lebanese security forces move into the former Israeli-occupied zone in southern Lebanon, restoring for the first time in 24 years a semblance of State authority to a region torn by conflict.

2005: A Cuban official calls on the US Government to release five Cuban men serving long terms on espionage conspiracy charges after a US federal appeals court threw out their convictions and sentences.

2006: Louise Bennett-Coverley "Miss Lou" is laid to rest at Jamaica's National Heroes' Park. Riot police in a divided corner of Northern Ireland block supporters of Irish Republican Army dissidents from parading in a hard-line Protestant town, as Irish Republican Army (IRA) dissidents are accused of firebombings.

2007: Mauritania passes a law promising jail time for slaveholders, an important step in the north-west African country's push to eliminate a practice that has quietly persisted despite a 25-year-old ban.

2008: The fatal stabbing of the father of a former Olympian at a Beijing landmark casts a sad shadow over the first full day of Olympic competition, just hours after China's jubilant opening of the Summer Games.

2009: A typhoon pummels China's eastern coast, toppling houses, flooding villages and forcing nearly a million people to flee to safety.

2010: Rescuers lift muddy bodies into trucks, and aid convoys choke the road into the remote Chinese town of Zhouqu where hundreds died and more than 1,100 went missing from landslides caused by heavy rain that flooded swaths of Asia and spread misery to millions.

2011: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rejects growing international criticism of its airstrike on Libyan television in the prievious month, saying it has no evidence the attack caused any casualties.

2012: Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the London Olympics in 19.32 to become first to win 100/200m double in back-to-back Olympics.

2020: Disputed Belarusian presidential election sees long-time dictator Alexander Lukashenko officially win 80 per cent of the votes but unofficially lose 60-70 per cent of the votes to main Opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. This sparks widespread protests in Belarus and international condemnation.


American singer and actress Whitney Elizabeth Houston is born on this day, 1963.

Isaak Walton, English biographer (1593-1683); John Dryden, English poet-dramatist (1631-1700); Tove Jansson, Finnish author (1914-2001); Leonid Kuchma, former president of Ukraine (1938- ); Melanie Griffith, US actress (1957- ); Whitney Houston, US singer (1963-2012); Gillian Anderson, US actress (1968- ); Eric Bana, Australian actor (1968- ).

– AP and Jamaica Observer

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