On August 1, 1914, the First World War erupted. Four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declared war against each other, France ordered a general mobilisation, and the first German army units cross into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France.
During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium, and Great Britain all lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. The “Great War” that ensued was one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians.
Other historical highlights on this day
In 1461, Edward IV was crowned king of England.
In 1498, Christopher Columbus became the first European to visit Venezuela.
In 1774, dissenting British minister Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen while serving as a tutor to the sons of American sympathiser William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, at Bowood House in Wiltshire, England.
In 1831, a new London Bridge was opened. London Bridge is a bridge in London, England over the River Thames, between the City of London and Southwark.
In 1834, Slavery was abolished in the British Empire.
In 1902, The United States bought the rights to the Panama Canal from France.
In 1967, Israel annexed East Jerusalem. (With research inputs)
1873 – The first cable streetcar in America began operation on Clay Street Hill in San Francisco, CA.
1876 – Colorado, the 38th state, entered the United States of America this day. It is the only state to enter the union in the one hundredth year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Consequently, Colorado is called the Centennial State. The Rocky Mountains are Colorado’s most famous feature; which explains why the Rocky Mountain columbine is the state flower. The lark bunting is the state bird. Denver, Colorado’s largest city, is also the state capital.
1893 – Henry Perky and William Ford of Watertown, NY woke up early and found their patent sitting on the breakfast table. They had invented shredded wheat. Pass the bananas and milk, please…
1894 – George Samuelson and Frank Harbo completed a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean — in a rowboat! They landed in England after having left New York on June 6th. We can think of easier ways to cross the ocean…
1937 – Mutual radio debuted “The Goodwill Hour”, with its familiar phrase, “You have a friend and advisor in John J. Anthony.”
1940 – The first book written by 23-year-old John Fitzgerald Kennedy was published. It was titled, “Why England Slept”. Later, Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” would become a best-seller for the man who would become the United States’ 35th President.
1941 – “Parade” magazine called it “…the Army’s most intriguing new gadget.” The gadget was “a tiny truck which can do practically everything.” General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that America couldn’t have won World War II without it. The tiny truck was the Jeep, built at the time by the Willys Truck Company. “Parade” was so enthusiastic about the Jeep that it devoted three pages to the vehicle.
1942 – Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded “Charleston Alley”, on Decca Records.
1942 – The American Federation of Musicians went on strike. Union president James C. Petrillo told musicians that phonograph records were “a threat to members’ jobs.” As a result, musicians refused to perform in recording sessions over the next several months. Live, musical radio broadcasts continued, however.
1943 – This day marked the groundbreaking ceremony in Oak Ridge, TN for the first uranium 235 plant. (Uranium 235 was needed to build the A-bomb.) The uranium manufacturing facility cost $280,000,000 to build and was completed in the summer of 1944.
1944 – 13-year-old Anne Frank made the last entry in her diary; a diary she had kept for two years while hiding with her family to escape Nazi deportation to a concentration camp. Three days later the Grune Polizei raided the secret annex in Amsterdam, Holland, where the Jewish family was in hiding. Anne died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at age 15.
1950 – Pitcher Curt Simmons of the Philadelphia Phillies became the first major-league baseball player to be called to active military duty during the Korean War.
1953 – The first aluminum-faced building constructed in America was completed. It was the Alcoa (Aluminum Corporation of America) Building in Pittsburgh, PA.
1958 – After 26 years at 3 cents, the cost of mailing a first-class letter in the United States went up a penny.
1960 – Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” was released. The song inspired the dance craze of the 1960s. Round and around and around…
1971 – The Concert for Bangladesh was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar and Billy Preston performed. A multirecord set commemorating the event was a super sales success. Together, the concert and the album raised over $11 million to help the starving minions of Bangladesh.
1978 – Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds failed to get a hit in five times at bat in Atlanta. As a result, his consecutive hitting streak ended at 44 games — just 12 short of Joe DiMaggio’s major-league baseball record with the New York Yankees.
1981 – MTV (Music Television) made its debut at 12:01 a.m. The first music video shown on the rock-video cable channel was, appropriately, “Video Killed the Radio Star”, by the Buggles. MTV’s original five veejays were Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, J.J. Jackson and Alan Hunter.
1984 – Singer Jermaine Jackson made a guest appearance on the TV soap opera, “As the World Turns”.
1987 – Mike Tyson ‘out-pointed’ Tony Tucker in 12 rounds at Las Vegas, Nevada. He won the right to call himself the “Undisputed world heavyweight champion” as he won the IBF heavyweight title and retained the WBA/WBC heavyweight titles.
1996 – Here’s today’s Olympic wrap-up: Michael Johnson left his fellow runners in the dust to win gold in the 200 meters in a record 19.32 seconds. He was the first male Olympian to complete the 200/400-meter Olympic double. And French sprinter Marie-Jose Perec became only the second woman in history to win a gold medal in both the 200-meter and the 400-meter runs at the same Olympics. Perec joined American Valerie Brisco-Hooks, who won both the 200 and 400 races in 1984 in Los Angeles. The U.S. women’s soccer team claimed the gold medal and capped the first women’s soccer competition at the Olympics, beating China 2-1. And last, but certainly not least, Dan O’Brien won the gold in the decathlon, four years after failing to make the U.S. Olympic team.
Birthdays – August 1
1779 – Francis Scott Key (attorney, poet: The Star-Spangled Banner: U.S. national anthem; died Jan 11, 1843)
1818 – Maria Mitchell (astronomer: 1st woman to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 1st U.S. woman to become a professor of astronomy; died June 28, 1889)
1819 – Herman Melville (author: Moby Dick, Redburn, Typee, Omoo, White-Jacket; died Sep 28, 1891)
1843 – Robert Todd Lincoln (son of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln; rescued from train accident by Edwin Booth, brother of man who assassinated President Lincoln; died July 26, 1926)
1914 – Lloyd Mangrum (golf champ: winner of 36 professional tournaments including 1946 U.S. Open; died in 1973)
1916 – James Hill (producer: Vera Cruz, The Kentuckian, Trapeze, Sweet Smell of Success, The Unforgiven, The Happy Thieves; writer: His Majesty O’Keefe; died Jan 11, 2001)
1921 – Jack Kramer (tennis champion: Wimbledon , U.S. Open [1946, 1947])
1922 – Arthur Hill (actor: Harper, The Andromeda Strain, Revenge of the Stepford Wives, Futureworld, Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law, Glitter; died Oct 22, 2006)
1923 – George (Irvin) Bamberger (baseball: pitcher: NY Giants, Baltimore Orioles; manager: KC Royals; died Apr 4, 2004)
1929 – Michael Stewart (Rubin) (playwright: Midnight Edition, Bye Bye Birdie, Hello, Dolly!; died Sep 20, 1987)
1930 – Geoffrey Holder (dancer, actor: Live and Let Die, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Sex [But were Afraid to Ask], Doctor Dolittle)
1931 – Tom Wilson (cartoonist: Ziggy)
1932 – Bobby Isaac (International Motorsports Hall of Famer: In a race in 1973, Bobby Isaac heard a ghostly voice telling him to stop immediately or suffer the consequences. He pulled out of the race and, until the day he died of a heart attack in 1977, he believed that he had pulled out just in time.)
1933 – Dom Deluise (comedian, actor: Dean Martin Show, Loose Cannons, Cannonball Run 1 & 2, Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, Smokey and the Bandit, Part 2, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; host: New Candid Camera)
1936 – Yves Saint Laurent (Henry Mathieu) (fashion designer; died Jun 1, 2008)
1937 – Alfonse M. D’Amato (U.S. Senator from New York)
1939 – Robert James Waller (author: The Bridges of Madison County, Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend; professor of economics, business management)
1941 – Ronald Brown (U.S. Secretary of Commerce [Clinton Administration]; Democratic National Committee chairman: 1st African-American to head a major political party; killed in plane crash Apr 3, 1996)
1942 – Jerry Garcia (guitarist, banjo, lyricist: group: The Grateful Dead: Dark Star, Truckin’, Alabama Getaway; died Aug 9, 1995)
1942 – Giancarlo Giannini (actor: A Walk in the Clouds, Once Upon a Crime, Goodnight Michael Angelo, Swept Away…by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August)
1947 – Rick Anderson (musician: bass: group: The Tubes)
1947 – Rick Coonce (singer, drummer: group: The Grass Roots: Let’s Live for Today, Midnight Confessions)
1948 – Cliff Branch (football: Oakland Raiders wide receiver: Super Bowl XI, XV; LA Raiders: Super Bowl XVIII)
1950 – Milt (Milton Scott) May (baseball: catcher: Pittsburgh Pirates [World Series: 1971], Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, SF Giants)
1952 – Greg (Gregory Eugene) Gross (baseball: Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies [World Series: 1980, 1983])
1953 – Robert Cray (singer: group: Robert Cray Band: albums: Showdown, Strong Persuader; in film: Animal House)
1958 – Taylor Negron (comedian, actor: Hope & Gloria, Angels In The Outfield, Young Doctors In Love, Easy Money, Punchline, The Last Boy Scout)
1959 – Joe Elliot (singer: group: Def Leppard: Photograph, Rock of Ages, Foolin’)
1963 – Coolio (Artis Ivey Jr.) (rapper: LPs: It Takes a Thief, Gangsta’s Paradise, My Soul)
1970 – Jennifer Gareis (actress: Private Parts, Miss Congeniality, Venus on the Halfshell, Gangland)
1972 – Devon Hughes aka D-Von Dudley (pro wrestler/actor: Extreme Championship Wrestling, Raw Is War, Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania 2000, WWF Judgement Day, Armageddon)
1973 – Tempestt Bledsoe (actress: The Cosby Show, Dream Date, Monsters, Fire & Ice)