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  Daily Almanac
Today's Events | On Horizon | On This Day | Newslink | Notable | Almanac archive

Saturday, August 1, 1998

quote   I am looking forward to the opportunity in the next few days of testifying. I will do so completely and truthfully and I am anxious to do it.

-- U.S. President Bill Clinton


today's events

  • A memorial service for Alan Shepard, the first American in space, is scheduled at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

on the horizon

  • On Sunday, August 2, the 1998 National Urban League's annual conference is scheduled to begin in Philadelphia.

  • On Monday, August 3, a ceremony officially dedicating a postage stamp honoring film director Alfred Hitchcock is scheduled in Los Angeles.

  • On Tuesday, August 4, Christie's auction house begins displaying legendary baseball player "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's personal belongings in Chicago. The items will be auctioned off in New York in November.

  • On Wednesday, August 5, the 27th annual convention of the Tuskegee Airmen is scheduled to begin in Washington. This year's gathering marks 50th anniversary of the Truman executive order paving the way to desegregation in the military.


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  • Barbados observes Emancipation Day.
  • Benin marks National Day.
  • Guyana celebrates Freedom Day.
  • It's Emancipation Day in Jamaica.
  • Switzerland marks National Day.
  • Trinidad and Tobago observe Emancipation Day.
  • Actress Tempestt Bledsoe is 25.
  • Singer Robert Cray is 45.
  • Comedian Dom DeLuise is 65.
  • Actor Giancarlo Giannini 56.
  • Actor Arthur Hill is 76.
  • Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent is 62.
  • Cartoonist Tome Wilson is 67.

on this day

  • In 1137, Louis VI (The Fat) of France died and was succeeded by his son Louis VII, who launched the disastrous Second Crusade.

  • In 1291, the three cantons of Uri, Unterwalden and Schwyz formed the Everlasting League, a confederation from which Switzerland was formed.

  • In 1498, Christopher Columbus landed on mainland America, but thinking it was an island, called it Isla Santa.

  • In 1714, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, was named King George I of Great Britain upon the death of Queen Anne.

  • In 1774, Joseph Priestley, the British Presbyterian minister and chemist, identified a gas which he called "dephlogisticated air" -- later known as oxygen.

  • In 1778, the World's first savings bank was opened in Hamburg, Germany.

  • In 1793, France became the first country to use the metric system of weights and measures, a byproduct of the French Revolution.

  • In 1798, the British fleet under Lord Nelson defeated the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile, thwarting Napoleon's conquest of the Middle East.

  • In 1808, British troops landed on Portuguese soil to push back Napoleon's French forces who had occupied the whole of the Iberian peninsular.

  • In 1834, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire; an estimated 770,280 slaves became free.

  • In 1876, Colorado became the 38th state of the United States.

  • In 1894, Sino-Japanese hostilities began as China and Japan declared war over the question of Korea.

  • In 1936, Adolf Hitler opened the 11th Olympic Games in Berlin.

  • In 1939, band leader Glenn Miller recorded "In the Mood" which would later become his theme tune.

  • In 1944, the 63-day Warsaw uprising began when Poles rose against the Nazi occupation.

  • In 1950, King Leopold III of Belgium abdicated in favor of Prince Baudouin, effective July 1951.

  • In 1960, Benin (formerly Dahomey) proclaimed its independence.

  • In 1962, Ghana's president Kwame Nkrumah escaped an assassination attempt when a hand grenade was thrown into a crowd greeting him.

  • In 1963, talks in London on Malta's future ended with some Maltese delegates staging a walkout and Britain announcing that independence would take place in May 1964.

  • In 1966, Yakubu Gowon assumed power in Nigeria following an army coup.

  • In 1975, the Final Act of the Helsinki Agreement on human rights was signed by the west and the Soviet Union.

  • In 1976, Trinidad and Tobago became an independent republic within the Commonwealth.

  • In 1990, a five-day coup attempt in Trinidad and Tobago ended with the surrender of the Black Muslim rebels and the release of their captives.

  • In 1994, German President Roman Herzog apologized for the suffering his nation caused Poland in World War II.

  • In 1996, Bishop Pierre Claverie was assassinated hours after meeting French foreign minister Herve de Charette in Algiers.

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