On This Day in History August 9

August 9 – Events:

  • 48 BC – Caesar’s civil war: Battle of Pharsalus – Julius Caesar decisively defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey flees to Egypt.
  • 378 – Gothic War: Battle of Adrianople – A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens is defeated by the Visigoths in present-day Turkey. Valens is killed along with over half of his army.
  • 681 – Bulgaria is founded as a Khanate on the south bank of the Danube, after defeating the Byzantine armies of Emperor Constantine IV south of the Danube delta.
  • 1048 – Pope Damasus II dies in Rome, after reigning for only 23 days.
  • 1173 – Construction of the Tower of Pisa begins, and it takes two centuries to complete.
  • 1329 – Quilon the first Indian Diocese was erected by Pope John XXII and Jordanus catalani de Severac was appointed the first Bishop
  • 1483 – Opening of the Sistine Chapel
  • 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’s Bonfire.”
  • 1810 – Napoleon annexes Westphalia as part of the First French Empire.
  • 1842 – Webster-Ashburton Treaty is signed, establishing the United States-Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Cedar Mountain – At Cedar Mountain, Virginia, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson narrowly defeats Union forces under General John Pope.
  • 1877 – Indian Wars: Battle of Big Hole – A small band of Nez Percé Indians clash with the United States Army.
  • 1892 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two-way telegraph.
  • 1902 – Edward VII is crowned king of the United Kingdom.
  • 1907 – The first Boy Scout encampment concludes at Brownsea Island in Southern England.
  • 1936 – Summer Olympic Games: Games of the XI Olympiad: Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal at the games becoming the first American to win four medals in one Olympiad.
  • 1942 – Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement.
  • 1942 – World War II: Battle of Savo Island – Allied naval forces protecting their amphibious forces during the initial stages of the Battle of Guadalcanal are surprised and defeated by an Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser force.
  • 1944 – The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey the Bear for the first time.
  • 1945 – World War II: Nagasaki is devastated when an atomic bomb, “Fat Man,” is dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. 70,000 people are killed instantly.
  • 1965 – Singapore seceded from Malaysia and gained independence.
  • 1965 – A fire at a Titan missile base near Little Rock, Arkansas kills 53 construction workers.
  • 1969 – Members of a cult led by Charles Manson brutally murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate (wife of convicted child rapist Roman Polanski), coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, men’s hairstylist Jay Sebring, and recent high-school graduate Steven Parent at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1974 – As a direct result of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford, becomes president.
  • 1993 – The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan loses a 38-year hold on national leadership.
  • 1999 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin fires his Prime Minister, Sergei Stepashin, and for the fourth time fires his entire cabinet.
  • 1999 – The Diet of Japan enacts a law establishing the Hinomaru and Kimi Ga Yo as the official national flag and national anthem.

August 9 – Birthdays:

  • 1201 – Arnold Fitz Thedmar, English chronicler (d. 1274)
  • 1593 – Izaak Walton, English angler (d. 1683)
  • 1631 – John Dryden, English Poet Laureate (d. 1700)
  • 1648 – Johann Michael Bach, German composer (d. 1694)
  • 1653 – John Oldham, English poet (d. 1683)
  • 1669 – Eudoxia Lopukhina, Tsarina of Russia (d. 1731)
  • 1674 – František Maxmilián Kanka, Czech architect (d. 1766)
  • 1722 – Augustus William, Prince of Prussia (d. 1758)
  • 1726 – Francesco Cetti, Italian Jesuit scientist (d. 1778)
  • 1757 – Thomas Telford, Scottish civil engineer (d. 1834)
  • 1776 – Amedeo Avogadro, Italian chemist (d. 1856)
  • 1783 – Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna of Russia (d. 1801)
  • 1797 – Charles Robert Malden, British naval officer (d. 1855)
  • 1805 – Joseph Locke, English railway and civil engineer (d. 1860)
  • 1809 – William Barret Travis, commander at Battle of the Alamo
  • 1845 – André Bessette, Canadian religious figure (d. 1937)
  • 1847 – Maria Victoria al Pozzo della Cisterna, queen consort of Spain (d. 1876)
  • 1871 – Leonid Andreyev, Russian writer (d. 1919)
  • 1872 – Archduke Joseph August of Austria, Austrian field marshal (d. 1962)
  • 1874 – Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan composer and conductor (d. 1947)
  • 1875 – Albert Ketèlbey, English pianist, conductor and composer (b. 1959)
  • 1896 – Jean Piaget, Swiss psychologist (d. 1980)
  • 1896 – Erich Hückel, German physicist (d. 1980)
  • 1899 – P. L. Travers, Australian author (d. 1996)
  • 1901 – Charles Farrell, American actor (d. 1990)
  • 1902 – Zino Francescatti, French violinist (d. 1991)
  • 1909 – Adam von Trott zu Solz, German diplomat opposing the Nazi regime (d. 1944)
  • 1911 – William Alfred Fowler, American physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1996)
  • 1911 – Eddie Futch, American boxing trainer (d. 2001)
  • 1914 – Tove Jansson, Finnish author, the creator of the Moomins (d. 2001)
  • 1914 – Ferenc Fricsay, Hungarian conductor (d. 1963)
  • 1914 – Joe Mercer, English footballer (d. 1990)
  • 1919 – Joop den Uyl, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (d. 1987)
  • 1919 – Ralph Houk, American baseball player and manager
  • 1920 – Enzo Biagi, Italian journalist and writer
  • 1921 – J. James Exon, American politician, (d. 2005)
  • 1921 – Ernest Angley, televangelist
  • 1922 – Philip Larkin, English poet (d. 1985)
  • 1925 – David A. Huffman, creator of Huffman coding (d. 1999)
  • 1927 – Daniel Keyes, American author
  • 1927 – Robert Shaw, English actor (d. 1978)
  • 1928 – Bob Cousy, American. basketball player
  • 1930 – Jacques Parizeau, Quebec economist and politician
  • 1931 – Mário Zagallo, Brazilian football coach and player
  • 1931 – Chuck Essegian, American baseball player
  • 1932 – John Gomery, Canadian jurist
  • 1933 – Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, Japanese television personality and children’s author
  • 1936 – Julián Javier, American baseball player
  • 1936 – Patrick Tse Yin, Hong Kong film director
  • 1938 – Leonid Kuchma, Ukrainian politician
  • 1938 – Rod Laver, Australian tennis player
  • 1939 – Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy, former President of the European Commission
  • 1939 – Brito, Brazilian footballer
  • 1940 – Beverlee McKinsey, American actress
  • 1942 – Tommie Agee, American baseball player (d. 2001)
  • 1942 – David Steinberg, Canadian comedian
  • 1943 – Ken Norton, American boxer
  • 1944 – Sam Elliott, American actor
  • 1945 – Posy Simmonds, English cartoonist
  • 1946 – Jim Kiick, American football player
  • 1947 – Barbara Mason, American soul singer
  • 1948 – Bill Campbell, baseball player
  • 1949 – Jonathan Kellerman, American writer
  • 1952 – Prateep Ungsongtham Hata, Thai politician
  • 1955 – John E. Sweeney, American politician
  • 1955 – Peter Schmuck, American sportswriter
  • 1957 – Melanie Griffith, American actress
  • 1959 – Kurtis Blow, American rapper
  • 1959 – Stuart Hughes, Canadian actor
  • 1961 – Brad Gilbert, American tennis player
  • 1961 – John Key, New Zealand politician
  • 1961 – Amy Stiller, American actress
  • 1962 – Kevin Mack, American football player
  • 1962 – Louis Lipps, American football player
  • 1963 – Whitney Houston, American diva and actress
  • 1964 – Brett Hull, Canadian-born hockey player
  • 1967 – Deion Sanders, American football player
  • 1968 – Gillian Anderson, American actress
  • 1968 – Eric Bana, Australian actor
  • 1968 – Karyn Parsons, American actress
  • 1968 – Sam Fogarino, American musician
  • 1968 – McG, American film producer and director
  • 1969 – Divine Brown, American convicted felon
  • 1969 – Troy Percival, baseball player
  • 1970 – Rod Brind’Amour, hockey player
  • 1970 – Chris Cuomo, American TV journalist
  • 1970 – Thomas Lennon, American actor
  • 1970 – Arion Salazar, American musician (Third Eye Blind)
  • 1971 – Davide Rebellin, Italian cyclist
  • 1971 – Mack 10, American rapper
  • 1971 – James Kim, technology reporter (d. 2006)
  • 1972 – Juanes, Colombian singer
  • 1972 – A-Mei, Taiwanese singer
  • 1973 – Kevin McKidd, Scottish actor
  • 1973 – Filippo Inzaghi, Italian footballer
  • 1974 – Mahesh Babu, Indian film actor
  • 1974 – Derek Fisher, American basketball player
  • 1974 – Matt Morris, baseball player
  • 1974 – Kirill Reznik, American politician
  • 1974 – Nicola Stapleton, English actress
  • 1975 – Mike Lamb, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Robbie Middleby, Australian soccer player
  • 1976 – Jessica Capshaw, American actress
  • 1976 – Rhona Mitra, English actress
  • 1977 – Jason Frasor, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Chamique Holdsclaw, American basketball player
  • 1977 – Adewale Ogunleye, American football player
  • 1977 – Mikael Silvestre, French footballer
  • 1978 – Audrey Tautou, French actress
  • 1978 – Michael Scofield, Fox River Eight Fugitive
  • 1980 – Ryu Seung-beom, South Korean actor
  • 1982 – Tyson Gay, American sprinter
  • 1982 – Danieal Manning, American football player
  • 1983 – Ashley Johnson, American actress
  • 1983 – Shane O’Brien, Canadian hockey player
  • 1984 – Paul Gallagher, Scottish footballer
  • 1985 – Luca Filippi, Italian racing driver
  • 1985 – Hayley Peirsol, American swimmer
  • 1985 – JaMarcus Russell, American football player
  • 1986 – Vanessa Morley, American actress
  • 1989 – Stefano Okaka Chuka, Italian footballer
  • 1990 – Adelaide Kane, Australian actress

August 9 – Deaths:

  • 117 – Trajan, Roman Emperor (b. 53)
  • 378 – Valens, Roman Emperor (killed in battle) (b. 328)
  • 803 – Byzantine Empress Irene (b. 752)
  • 1107 – Emperor Horikawa of Japan (b. 1079)
  • 1173 – Najm ad-Din Ayyub, father of Saladin
  • 1250 – King Eric IV of Denmark (b. 1216)
  • 1534 – Cardinal Cajetan, Italian theologian (b. 1470)
  • 1601 – Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia (b. 1558)
  • 1634 – William Noy, English jurist (b. 1577)
  • 1720 – Simon Ockley, English orientalist (b. 1678)
  • 1744 – James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos, English patron of the arts (b. 1673)
  • 1816 – Johann August Apel, German jurist and writer (b. 1771)
  • 1837 – Xavier Sigalon, French painter (b. 1787)
  • 1886 – Samuel Ferguson, Northern Irish poet and artist (b. 1810)
  • 1919 – Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Italian composer (b. 1857)
  • 1942 – Edith Stein, (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) (executed) (b. 1891)
  • 1945 – Harry Hillman, American athlete (b. 1881)
  • 1945 – Robert Hampton Gray, last Canadian Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1917)
  • 1957 – Carl Clauberg, Nazi doctor (b. 1898)
  • 1962 – Hermann Hesse, German-born writer, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1877)
  • 1967 – Joe Orton, English writer (b. 1933)
  • 1969 – Cecil Frank Powell, British physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1903)
  • 1969 – Abigail Folger, American heiress (murdered) (b. 1943)
  • 1969 – Wojciech Frykowski, Polish writer (murdered) (b. 1936)
  • 1969 – Jay Sebring, American hair stylist (murdered) (b. 1933)
  • 1969 – Sharon Tate, American actress (murdered) (b. 1943)
  • 1969 – Steven Parent, American student (murdered) (b. 1951)
  • 1974 – Bill Chase, American trumpet player and bandleader (b. 1934)
  • 1975 – Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian composer (b. 1906)
  • 1979 – Walter O’Malley, baseball executive (b. 1903)
  • 1985 – Clive Churchill, Australian rugby league player (b. 1927)
  • 1988 – Giacinto Scelsi, Italian composer (b. 1905)
  • 1990 – Joe Mercer, English footballer (b. 1914)
  • 1995 – Jerry Garcia, American musician (Grateful Dead) (b. 1942)
  • 1996 – Sir Frank Whittle, invented the jet engine (b. 1907)
  • 1999 – Fouad Serageddin, Egyptian politician (b. 1910)
  • 2000 – John Harsanyi, Hungarian-born economist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1920)
  • 2000 – Nicholas Markowitz-kidnapped and murder by Jesse James Hollywood (b. 1984)
  • 2002 – Paul Samson, British guitarist (Samson) (b. 1953)
  • 2002 – Peter Neville, anarchist, sociologist, and peace activist
  • 2003 – Ray Harford, English footballer and manager (b. 1945)
  • 2003 – Gregory Hines, American actor and dancer (b. 1946)
  • 2003 – Jacques Deray, French film director (b. 1929)
  • 2003 – Chester Ludgin, American baritone (b. 1925)
  • 2004 – Tony Mottola, American guitarist (b. 1918)
  • 2004 – David Raksin, American film director (b. 1912)
  • 2005 – Matthew McGrory, American actor (b. 1973)
  • 2005 – Judith Rossner, American novelist (b. 1935)
  • 2006 – James van Allen, American physicist (b. 1914)
  • 2006 – Philip E. High, science fiction author (b. 1914)
  • 2007 – Joe O’Donnell, American documentary photographer, photojournalist (b. 1922)

August 9 – Holidays:

  • Singapore: National Day
  • National Women’s Day in South Africa
  • International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
  • Baltimore, Maryland: Official “Frank Zappa Day” in honor of the Baltimore-born composer and musician (born 1940, died 1993).
  • Feast day of the great martyr Saint Panteleimon in Russian Orthodox Church
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