August 4: This Day in History

lizzie bordenAugust 4, 2014 – Segment 1

Marc shares some of the events that happened on this day in history, including the destruction of the second ancient Jewish Temple, the arrest of Lizzie Borden, and the birth of Louis Armstrong.


On this day

70 – Destruction of the Second Temple (515 -70 AD), during war between the people of Jeruslem and the Roman Empire. War broke out in 66 AD when Emporor Nero sent a military force to Jerusalem to put down rebellion.  Roman Army surrounded the city, blockading the city for years and literally starving out the residents of the city as goods were allowed into the city in a very limited supply.  The rebels held out for 4 years before the Romans were able to breach the city’s defenses.  The Romans ransacked he city during a fierce battle that culminated in the looting and burning of the Second Temple that stood at the heart of Jerusalem.  The fury the Romans unleashed on the Jewish people culminated in nearly 1 million deaths and the enslavement of a 97,000.  Sacred relics were stolen from the Temple and sent to Rome to be displayed as symbols of Rome’s victory over her enemies. The rebellion was finally put down three years later in 73 AD.

1790 –  On this day Congress authorizes funds to be allocated to The Cutters and the creation of the ‘Revenue Marine’; the predecessors of the United States Coast Guard.  The Cutters were the brainchild of Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was charged with the task of ameliorating the strained economy of the new republic.  The collection of tariffs on imported goods was a vital stream of revenue for the nation which was stretched to the limit with debts incurred from the Revolution.  The proposed 10 manned armed cutters were to collect tariffs and safeguard the payments from smugglers and thieves; they were outfitted with Military Naval ranking

1821 –Atkinson and Alexander publish the Saturday Evening Post, for the first time as a weekly newspaper.

1870 –British Red Cross society forms. The British Red Cross society was formed during the Franco- Prussian war and 7 years after the International Red Cross movement was founded in Switzerland.  The movement in England was prompted by a letter written to The Times by Crimean War veteran Colonel Robert James Lloyd Lindsay, expressing concern for the suffering that would be caused by the war in Europe.  He proposed the organization of a national humanitarian relief society that would provide neutral and impartial help to relieve suffering in times of war.  In 1908 the organization received its first Royal Charter and was reconstituted as the British Red Cross.

1876 –the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers is formed.  The AAISW was a unification of smaller unions such as the ‘Sons of Vulcan’ and the ‘National Molders Union’.  The association represented primarily English speaking, white skilled workers and was formed to fight for better wages and improved working conditions.  The AAISW was disbanded in 1942 to form the new organization, United Steelworkers.

1892 –Sunday school teacher Lizzie Borden arrested in Falls River, Massachusetts for the axe murder of her father and stepmother.

1914 –World War I: United Kingdom declares war on Germany.  The British government had committed to the protection of Belgium Neutrality under the 1839 Treaty of London. As Germany invaded Belgium a great debate began in Great Britain as there was much reluctance to engage in war on the continent.  British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith cited the Treaty of 1839 and a “moral responsibility’ to France, in his push to mobilize troops to Belgium. Though, war was declared at 11pm on the evening of the 4th of August, British involvement in what some saw as a “European War” was debated for the remainder of the war.

1931 –Daniel Hale Williams, the first African American cardiologist in the United States died. Born on the 18th of January 1856 in Hollidaysburg, PA, Williams moved in with relatives in Baltimore, MD at the age of 10 after the death of his parents .  As an adult he moved to Chicago where he completed his medical training at Chicago Medical College (now Northwest University Medical School).  He founded Provident Hospital, the first integrated hospital and school for black nurses in Chicago 1891.  Williams performed an operation on man with a severe chest wound.  The wound required Williams to open the chest cavity to work in and around the heart.  This is considered the first open heart surgery to be performed in the United States.  Daniels Co-founded the National Medical Association of Black Doctors in 1895 and was the only black member in the American College of Surgeons.

1942 –U.S. and Mexico agreement to deliver contracted Mexican labor to American farmers in order to serve as cheap replacement labor during World War II, known as The Bracero Program of 1942. During the Mexican repatriation (1929 -1939) 500,000 Mexicans were forced to return to Mexico to free up jobs for so called “real Americans” during the Great Depression.  Of the 500,000 deported, 60% of them were American citizens.  As American involvement in the war in Europe and Japan was proving to be inevitable the US Government signed the Bracero Treaty, to prop up the agricultural and railroad work force whilst thousands Americans were heading off to war.  By 1945 110,000 Braceros (manual laborers) were working in agriculture and on the railroads.  The majority of the workers were used in the fields picking cotton and planting and harvesting crops.  The labor contracts were only written in English and were controlled by the national Farm Bureau.  Workers could only return back to Mexico in the case of an emergency and had to possess written permission by their employers.  When contracts expired, Braceros had to turn in their work permits and return to Mexico.  At the end of WWII many of the workers were ousted from their positions by returning servicemen.  From 1942-1964 more than 4 million Mexican farm workers had come to the United States.  The program was terminated by the U.S. in 1964 citing the overflow of “illegal” agricultural workers.

1944 –Dutch informant leads Gestapo to a secret annex in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Anne Frank and her family.  The arrest took happened between 10:00-10:30am when Nazi Staff Sargent Karl Silberbaur arrived at the Amsterdam warehouse accompanied by Dutch police officers.  The family was deported to the Westerbork Transit Camp and on September 3rd were sent on to Auschwitz.  Edith Frank died of starvation at Auschwitz while Margot and Anne died in October after they had been transported to Bergen Belsen.  Both women are believed to have succumbed to Typhus.  Otto Frank was the only member to have survived Auschwitz.   Though the informant is still unknown three people were officially investigated for the betrayal of the refugees in the secret annex: Wilhelm Van Maaren, Lena Van Baderen-Hartog and Tonny Ahlers.  Nobody has ever come forward and the informant is still unknown to this day.

1958 –Billboard hot 100 is published for the first time

1964 –Bodies of three missing civil right workers, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman are found buried in an earthen dam outside of Philadelphia Mississippi. The three CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) activists were arrested for speeding on June 21st and detained until 10:30pm that evening when they were released and ordered to leave the county.  They were never seen alive again.  The FBI launched an investigation as the disappearance of the three civil rights workers was making national headlines.  After the burnt out station wagon that the men were driving was found on the 23rd of June, Attorney General Robert F Kennedy ordered an escalation of FBI efforts in Mississippi and a further 150 agents were sent to Neshoba County.  The bodies were found on the 4th of August.  Shwerner and Goodman had been shot in the chest at point blank range, the body of Chaney had been badly beaten and was riddled with three separate bullet wounds.

1964 –Vietnam War: 2nd Gulf of Tonkin incident.  The second incident in as many days that saw military action between the North Vietnamese and the United States Navy.  After the second strike against the US on the 4th of August, President Lyndon B. Johnson submitted the Tonkin resolution which was passed soon after by Congress.  The resolution authorized “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the US and to prevent further aggression.”  Controversy surrounding the second Tonkin incident surfaced shortly after the resolution was passed as Commanders of the U.S. Destroyer could not definitely confirm that they had been fired upon; and no wreckage or bodies of North Vietnamese soldiers were ever recovered.

1975 –Japanese Red Army take more than 50 hostages at AIA Building housing several embassies in Kuala Lumpur.  The gunmen win the release of five imprisoned comrades and fly with them to Libya.

1977 –President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.  The creation of the Department of Energy was prompted by the 1975 oil crisis.  The DOE brought all federal energy agencies under the control of a single entity, save for nuclear energy which was overseen by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The Department of Energy was created to come up with new technology and methods in energy, whilst upholding environmental standards.  The DOE officially began operation on October 1st1977.

1984 –The Republic of Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso.  The name Burkina Faso translates to “Land of Upright People”.  The name was chosen to mark a new era of national uplifting in the history of the nation, ushered in revolutionary President Thomas Sankara.  Sankara’s time in the presidency saw sweeping positive change to the country.  He fought for women’s rights and outlawed arranged marriages, polygamy and genital mutilations.  He also implemented programs of mass vaccination and the building of infrastructure throughout the country with ambition road and railroad projects.

1992 –Federal judge sentences Los Angeles Police Department officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in Prison for violating motorist Rodney King’s civil rights.

1993 –Rwandan Hutu’s &Tutsi’s sign peace treaty in Arusha.

1994 –Operation Storm begins in Croatia.  Operation Storm was the largest land ballet on European soil since WW2 and marked the end of the war for Croatian independence.  The Croatian army regained control of large swaths of occupied territory, restoring sovereignty to 1/5 of the country.  The advancement of the Croats sparked a refugee crisis that saw the mass exodus of 200,000 Serbian civilians.

1996 –Josia Thugwane becomes the first black South African to win an Olympic Gold Medal when he won the marathon at the Atlanta Olympic Games.


1697 –Susanna Wright, Poet and pioneer

1792 –Percy Bysshe Shelley, English Romantic poet

1810 –Robert Purvis, American abolitionist, born in Charleston South Carolina.  Purvis and his brothers were ¾ European and inherited a large fortune from his English father, but they identified themselves as African American.  Purvis dedicated his life to the fight against slavery and used his education and wealth to support the abolitionist movement and education programs in African American Communities.  Purvis served as President of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, and co-edited “The History of the Underground Railroad in Chester and Neighboring Counties in Pennsylvania.”

1816 –Maco Bolling Allen, the first African American to practice law in the United States and the first black Justice of the Peace.

1839 –Walter Pater, British critic, essayist and humanist

1900 –Elizabeth, Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain and Ireland 1936-1952)

1912 –Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish businessman and diplomat; rescued thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Wallenberg was given the title of Diplomat and recruited by the World Refugee Board to lead a humanitarian mission in Hungary to assist the Jews of Hungary as news of mass deportation and genocide in the eastern European nation made international headlines.  Wallenberg and fellow diplomat Per Anger went to Budapest and began to negotiate the release the remaining 200,000 Jews in Hungary (original population of nearly 500,000).  The men, working closely with the World Jewish Congress and the World Refugee Board began to issue protective Swedish passports to members of the Jewish populace which identified bearers as Swedish subjects awaiting repatriation. Wallenberg also rented 32 buildings with money raised by the board, creating an extraterritorial haven that was protected by diplomatic immunity.  Swedish flags hung from the window and the rooftops of these buildings that housed up to 10,000 refugees.  Raoul was arrested as a spy by the Soviet Army in 1945 and died in 1947 in a Moscow prison. Posthumously nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 1948 and again in 1949.

1913 –Robert Hayden, the first African American Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress. Born Asa Bundy Sheffey in Detroit Michigan, Hayden received his MA from the University of Michigan.  His first publication “Heart Shape in Dust” was well received upon its release in 1958.  He won the Grand Prize for Poetry at the first World festival of Negro Arts in Senegal in 1966 for his book “Ballad of Rememberance”.  Hayden was appointed consultant in Poetry, renamed Poet Laureate at the Library of Congress in 1976.  Received an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Brown University in 1976.

1920 –Helen Thomas, journalist

Sources: The People HistoryThis Day in Labor HistoryWikipedia List of Historical AnniversariesThis Day in Women’s HistoryThis Day in African History;History.comHistory OrbYenobaSelected Black FactsPhil Konstantin’s North American Indian History; and This Day in Music