This Day in History — August 4, 2022

US jazz musician Louis Armstrong was born on this day in history.


2010: A crush of mud finally plugs the blown-out BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, three months after the offshore drilling rig explosion that unleashed one of the worst oil spills in US history and a summer of misery along the Gulf Coast.


1539: Ghent rebels fight against Mary of Hungary, Regent of the Netherlands.

1578: Portugal’s King Sebastian is killed when his forces, on a crusade to Morocco, are overwhelmed by a larger Moroccan army.

1621: French Royalist Army begins Siege of Montauban against Huguenot rebels.

1704: During the War of the Spanish Succession, Britain took control of Gibraltar on this day after Spain surrendered, and “the Rock” subsequently became a British colony and a symbol of British naval strength.

1790: US Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton established the Revenue Marine Service, which became the US Coast Guard.

1892: Andrew and Abby Borden are axed to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie Borden, Andrew’s daughter from a previous marriage, is accused of the killings and acquitted.

1907: French fleet bombards Casablanca, north-west Morocco, following anti-foreign outbreaks.

1914: Germany invades Belgium, opening World War I fighting; Britain declares war on Germany; United States declares its neutrality.

1916: Denmark sells Danish Virgin Islands to United States for $25 million.

1922: Fighting breaks out between fascists and socialists in Italian cities.

1944: Nazi police capture 14-year-old Anne Frank and seven other Jews in hiding place in Amsterdam during World War II.

1950: Moscow negotiates a trade and barter agreement with Iran, two days after large quantities of American machinery financed by loans arrive to start improvement projects meant to alleviate unemployment in Iran.

1958: The Greek Cypriots EOKA Underground declare a military truce in Cyprus with Turkish Cypriots and British security forces. They vow to continue fighting if provoked.

1964: The bodies of missing US civil rights activists Michael H Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E Chaney are found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.

1968: Israeli planes carry out a heavy raid on Arab guerrilla bases 10 miles (16 kilometres) inside Jordan, killing 23 civilians and 5 soldiers.

1971: US Apollo 15 spacecraft heads back to Earth after a six-day mission exploring the Moon.

1977: US President Jimmy Carter signs a measure establishing the Department of Energy.

1982: Three days after the UN Security Council demanded a ceasefire in the Lebanon war, Israeli tanks roll across the “green line” into west Beirut in an attempt to drive out the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Seventy people are killed.

1986: Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reluctantly offers to impose limited sanctions against South Africa.

1990: Twelve nations of European Community ban oil imports, embargo arms and suspend most trade with Iraq after invasion of Kuwait.

1993: Japan’s Cabinet resigns, ending 38 years of rule by the Liberal Democratic Party.

1994: Yugoslavia withdraws support for Bosnia’s Serbs, sealing the 300-mile (480-kilometre) border between Yugoslavia and Serb-held Bosnia and backing out of a war it bankrolled for more than two years at the expense of its own economy.

2000: Queen Mother Elizabeth celebrates her 100th birthday as thousands line the roads of London to cheer her. Her popularity stems in part from her activities during World War II, travelling with her husband, King George VI, and visiting and sympathising with their subjects.

2007: NASA launches the Phoenix Mars Lander, a robotic dirt and ice digger, rocketed on a nine-month, 422 million-mile (680-million-kilometre) journey that will culminate in the first ever landing within the red planet’s Arctic Circle to analyse soil and ice, looking for traces of organic compounds.

2009: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il issues a “special pardon” freeing two jailed American journalists after talks with former US President Bill Clinton.

2012: Gunmen snatch 47 Iranian pilgrims just outside Damascus in a brazen attack that reveals the growing instability at the centre of President Bashar Assad’s power.

2014: Israel and Hamas accept an Egyptian ceasefire proposal meant to halt a month-long war.


Percy Bysshe Shelley, English poet (1792-1822); Hans Christian Andersen, Danish fairy-tale writer (1805-1875); Britain’s Queen Mother Elizabeth (1900-2002); Louis Armstrong, US jazz musician (1901-1971); Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat (1912-1947); Rene Goscinny, French author of Asterix (1926-1977); Billy Bob Thornton, US actor (1955- )

— AP

On this day 1986 Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reluctantly offers to impose limited sanctions against South Africa.

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