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The Rise and Fall of Telephone Operators

The Rise and Fall of Telephone Operators

As their numbers grew, women operators became a powerful force—for workers' rights and even serving overseas in WWI.In the earliest days of the telephone, people couldn’t dial one another directly. They needed an intermediary—a telephone operator—to manually relay...

How Democracy Developed in Ancient Greece

How Democracy Developed in Ancient Greece

Athens developed a system in which every free Athenian man had a vote in the Assembly.In the late 6th century B.C., the Greek city-state of Athens began to lay the foundations for a new kind of political system. This demokratia, as it became known, was a direct...

Potsdam Conference concludes

The last wartime conference of the “Big Three”—the Soviet Union, the United States and Great Britain—concludes after two weeks of intense and sometimes acrimonious debate. The conference failed to settle most of the important issues at hand and thus helped set the...

Wild Bill Hickok is murdered

“Wild Bill” Hickok, one of the greatest gunfighters of the American West, is murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota.Born in Illinois in 1837, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok first gained notoriety as a gunfighter in 1861 when he coolly shot three men who were trying to...

Sudden thunderstorm causes plane crash

On August 2, 1985, strong and sudden wind gusts cause a plane crash at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in Texas that kills 135 people. The rapid and unexpected formation of a supercell, an extremely violent form of thunderstorm, led to the tragedy.Delta Flight 191 left...

Man murdered near L.A. reservoir

On August 2, 1942, Jose Diaz is murdered, and his body is found at the Sleepy Lagoon reservoir, near Los Angeles, California. Two days later, police began to round up and arrest 22 men of Mexican descent in the Los Angeles area for conspiring to kill Diaz. Despite a...

CSS Shenandoah learns the war is over

The captain and crew of the C.S.S. Shenandoah, still prowling the waters of the Pacific in search of Yankee whaling ships, is finally informed by a British vessel that the South has lost the war.The Shenandoah was the last major Confederate cruiser to set sail....

Iraq invades Kuwait

On August 2, 1990, at about 2 a.m. local time, Iraqi forces invade Kuwait, Iraq’s tiny, oil-rich neighbor. Kuwait’s defense forces were rapidly overwhelmed, and those that were not destroyed retreated to Saudi Arabia. The emir of Kuwait, his family, and other...

Hitler becomes dictator of Germany

With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler becomes absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer, or “Leader.” The German army took an oath of allegiance to its new commander-in-chief, and the last remnants of Germany’s...

The first Six Flags opens in Texas

On August 1, 1961, amusement park lovers “head for the thrills” as Six Flags Over Texas, the first park in the Six Flags chain, has its soft opening. 5 days later, on August 5, the park had its grand opening. Located on 212 acres in Arlington, Texas, the park was the...

Warsaw Revolt begins

During World War II, an advance Soviet armored column under General Konstantin Rokossovski reaches the Vistula River along the eastern suburb of Warsaw, prompting Poles in the city to launch a major uprising against the Nazi occupation. The revolt was spearheaded by...

First World War erupts

Four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declare war against each other, France orders a general mobilization, and the first German army units cross into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. During the next...

Columbus lands in South America

Explorer Christopher Columbus sets foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela. Thinking it an island, he christened it Isla Santa and claimed it for Spain.Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451. Little is...

Anne Frank writes her last diary entry

Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl hiding out in Nazi-occupied Holland whose diary came to serve as a symbol of the Holocaust, writes her final entry three days before she and her family are arrested and placed in concentration camps.Frank, 15 at the time, received the...

The Harlem Riot of 1943 begins

Simmering racial tensions and economic frustrations boil over in New York City on the night of August 1, 1943, culminating in what is now known as the Harlem Riot of 1943. During an altercation in the lobby of the Braddock Hotel, a white police officer shoots a Black...

Third Battle of Ypres begins in Flanders

On July 31, 1917, the Allies launch a renewed assault on German lines in the Flanders region of Belgium, in the much-contested region near Ypres, during World War I. The attack begins more than three months of brutal fighting, known as the Third Battle of Ypres.While...

Preparations for the Final Solution begin

On July 31, 1941, Hermann Göring, writing under instructions from Hitler, ordered Reinhard Heydrich, SS general and Heinrich Himmler’s number-two man, “to submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary...

Hurricane sinks Spanish treasure ships

A hurricane strikes the east coast of Florida, sinking 10 Spanish treasure ships and killing nearly 1,000 people, on July 31, 1715. All of the gold and silver onboard at the time would not be recovered until 250 years later. From 1701, Spain sent fleets of ships to...

Ranger 7 photographs moon

Ranger 7, an unmanned U.S. lunar probe, takes the first close-up images of the moon—4,308 in total—before it impacts with the lunar surface northwest of the Sea of Clouds. The images were 1,000 times as clear as anything ever seen through earth-bound telescopes.The...

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