Today in History

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July 31st

  • In 1498 on his third voyage, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover Trinidad.
  • In 1930 the radio mystery program The Shadow airs for the first time.
  • In 1948 at Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport is dedicated.

August 1st

  • In 1498 Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to visit what is now Venezuela.
  • In 1774 British scientist Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen gas.
  • In 1831 a new London Bridge opens.

August 2nd

  • In 1610 Henry Hudson sails into what is now Hudson Bay thinking he reached the Pacific Ocean.
  • In 1776 the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place.
  • In 1870 Tower Subway, the world's first underground tube railway, opens in London, England.

August 3rd

  • In 1527 the first known letter from North America is sent by John Rut while at Newfoundland.
  • In 1852 Harvard wins the 1st Boat Race against Yale. It is the 1st intercollegiate athletic event.
  • In 1900 the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is founded.

August 4th

  • In 1789 in France members of the National Constituent Assembly take an oath to end feudalism.
  • In 1947 the Supreme Court of Japan is established.
  • In 1958 the Billboard Hot 100 is published for the first time.

August 5th

  • In 1620 the Mayflower departs from Southampton, England on its 1st attempt to reach North America.
  • In 1861 in order to help pay for the civil war effort, the U.S. gov. levies the first income tax.
  • In 1901 Peter O'Connor sets the first long jump world record of 24 ft 11 in.

August 6th

  • In 1819 Norwich University is founded in Vermont as the first private military school in the U.S.
  • In 1825 Bolivia gains independence from Spain.
  • In 1926 Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

August 7th

  • In 1420 construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore begins in Florence.
  • In 1782 George Washington creates the Badge of Military Merit, which is now Purple Heart.
  • In 1944 IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Harvard Mark I.

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