This Day in History

August 19


43BC  Octavian forces Roman Senate to elect him Consul   2060
14      Augustus Caesar, first emperor of the Roman Empire (41 years), dies, age 75   2004
1493      Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor dies after a reign of 53 years, age 77   525
1646      birth of John Flamsteed, first Astronomer Royal, in Surrey   372
1662      French mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal dies, age 39   356
1666      English admiral Robert Holmes leads fleet in an attack on Dutch merchant ships in the Vile Estuary—Holmes's Bonfire destroys 140 ships   352
1745      Bonnie Prince Charlie raises his royal standard and claims the Scottish and the English thrones in the name of his father James Stuart   273
1759      two-day Battle of Lagos off the coasts of Portugal ends—British navy defeats French naval forces   259
1782      Battle of Blue Licks is one of last battles of the American Revolution—British forces defeat Kentucky militia   236
1812      USS Constitution defeats HMS Guerrière earning nickname "Old Ironsides"   206
1822      French mathematician and astronomer Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre dies in Paris, age 72   196
1854      U.S. army led by John Grattan instigates battle when they invade a Lakota village to arrest a Sioux warrior—all 30 soldiers killed   164
1871      Orville Wright born in Dayton, Ohio   147
1887      American astronomer and telescope maker Alvan Clark dies, age 83   131
1895      American gunfighter and outlaw John Wesley Hardin is shot to death in El Paso, Texas, age 42   123
1909      first race at the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway   109
1932      French painter Louis Anquetin dies, age 71   86
1934      inaugural Soap Box Derby held in Dayton, Ohio   84
1940      first flight of the American twin-engine B-25 Mitchell medium bomber   78
1942      Dieppe Raid—Allied commando attack on the port of Dieppe ends with a German tactical victory   76
1950      Italian electrical engineer Giovanni Giorgi dies, age 78   68
1957      Swedish-American meteorologist Carl-Gustaf Arvid Rossby dies in Stocjholm, age 58   61
1960      Discoverer 14—first successful recovery of a photographic capsule from an orbiting spacecraft   58
1960      Belka and Strelka, two dogs launched by the U.S.S.R. aboard Sputnik 5 become the first animals to orbit and return safely   58
1964      launch of Syncom 3 first geostationary communication satellite—decommissioned five years later   54
1967      Luxembourgish-American writer, editor, and magazine publisher of the first science fiction magazine Hugo Gernsback dies, age 83   51
1968      Russian-American theoretical physicist George Gamow dies in Boulder, Colorado, age 64   50
1978      militants set fire to the Cinema Rex in Abadan, Iran, killing at least 422   40
1980      Saudia Flight 163, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar makes an emergency landing at Riyadh, Saudia Arabia—fire kills all 301 aboard   38
1982      Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya becomes second woman in orbit with launch of Soyuz T-7   36
1987      gunman kills 16, injures 15 others, and takes his own life in Hingerford, Berkshire, England   31
1994      American biochemist, peace activist, author, and Nobel laureate (1954 and Peace 1962) Linus Carl Pauling dies in Big Sur, California, age 93   24
2003      suicide truck bomb explodes near the Canal Hotel in Baghdad targeting United Nations headquartes kills 23 and injures over 100 others   15
2005      first ever joint military exercise between China and Russia commences—Peace Mission 2005   13
2009      three coordinated car bomb attacks across Bahgdad kill over 101 and injure at least 565 others   9
2013      American pianist and composer Cedar Anthony Walton, Jr. dies in Brooklyn, age 79   5
2013      American R&B, soul and jazz singer, and songwriter Donna Lubertha Hightower dies in Austin, Texas, age 86   5
2013      Express train strikes a large group of people at the Dhamara Ghat railway station in the Indian state of Bihar—37 killed and 24 others injured   5
2014      Iranian poet, lyricist, and activist Simin Behbahani dies in Tehran, age 87   4
2016      American physician and epidemiologist who directed the effort that eradicated smallpox Donald Ainslie "D.A." Henderson dies, age 87   2
2017      American comedian and civil rights activist Richard "Dick" Claxton Gregory dies in Washington D.C., age 84   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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