This Day in History — August 30

Today is the 242nd day of 2022. There are 123 days left in the year.


1983: Guion S Bluford Jr becomes the first black American astronaut to travel in space, blasting off aboard the Challenger.


30 BC: Cleopatra of Egypt commits suicide by allowing an asp to bite her.

1282: The Aragonese land at Trapani in support of the Sicilian revolt against Charles I, Angevin king of Naples-Sicily. The revolt had begun with the Sicilian Vespers, a massacre of the French.

1481: Two Latvian monarchs are executed for conspiracy to KILL Polish king Casimir IV.

1563: The Jewish community of Neutitschlin, Moravia, is expelled.

1682: William Penn leaves England to sail to the New World.

1791: HMS Pandora sinks after running aground on a reef the previous day, on her return from her search for the Bounty and the mutineers who had taken her.

1800: Gabriel, an African American bondsman, assembles an army of about 1,000 enslaved people outside Richmond, Virginia, in the first major slave rebellion in US history; alerted government officials thwart the revolt, and Gabriel and others are executed.

1862: Confederate forces win victories against the Union at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia, and the Battle of Richmond in Kentucky.

1914: The Battle of Tannenberg (WWI) in East Prussia ends in destruction of the Russian Second Army, with 122,000-170,000 killed, injured or captured by the German 8th Army led by Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff.

1918: Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin is shot twice in an unsuccessful assassination attempt.

1928: Independence of India League is formed in India.

1941: During World War II German forces approaching Leningrad cut off the remaining rail line out of the city.

1944: Russian forces enter Bucharest, Romania, in World War II.

1945: Britain re-establishes its governance of Hong Kong, ending three years and seven months of Japanese occupation. US General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Japan to set up Allied occupation headquarters.

1963: The “Hot Line” communications link between Washington and Moscow goes into operation.

1967: Thurgood Marshall becomes the first black American appointed to the US Supreme Court.

1968: The first record released on the Apple label in UK is The Beatles single Hey Jude.

1976: Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of NBC’s Today Show.

1979: Hurricane David devastates island nation of Dominica as it rampages through the Caribbean and US eastern seaboard, claiming 1,000 lives.

1984: The space shuttle Discovery is launched on its inaugural flight.

1986: Soviet authorities arrest Nicholas Daniloff, a correspondent for US News and World Report, as a spy a week after American officials arrested Gennadiy Zakharov, a Soviet employee of the United Nations, on espionage charges in New York. (Both men were later released.)

1989: A federal jury in New York finds “hotel queen” Leona Helmsley guilty of income tax evasion but acquitted her of extortion. (Helmsley ended up serving 18 months behind bars, a month at a halfway house, and two months under house arrest.)

1991: Azerbaijan declares its independence, joining the stampede of republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.

1993: The Late Show with David Letterman — which offered an innovative and frequently off-the-wall approach to the talk show format — debuts on CBS; Letterman’s previous show, Late Night with David Letterman (1982–93), had aired on NBC.

1997: Britain’s Princess Diana, her boyfriend Emad Mohammed al-Fayed, the Harrod’s heir, and driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris after being chased by photographers.

2001: More than 430 refugees rescued from a sinking ferry, most of them Afghans, languish on a Norwegian cargo ship as Australia refuses them entry.

2003: American actor Charles Bronson—who was best known for his portrayal of tough guys, notably an architect turned vigilante in Death Wish (1974) — dies in Los Angeles at age 81.

2005: A day after Hurricane Katrina hit, floods cover 80 per cent of New Orleans, looting continues to spread, and rescuers in helicopters and boats pick up hundreds of stranded people.

2006: Israel rejects demands from visiting UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that it immediately lift its sea and air blockade of Lebanon and withdraw its forces once 5,000 international troops are deployed.

2007: In a serious breach of nuclear security, a B-52 bomber armed with six nuclear warheads flies cross-country unnoticed; the air force later punishes 70 people.

2008: Gustav howls into Cuba’s Isla de Juventud as a monstrous category four hurricane while both Cubans and Americans scramble to flee the path of the storm which has already killed 81 people.

2009: Japan’s Opposition sweeps to a historic victory in elections, crushing the ruling conservative party that has run the country for most of the post-war era and assuming the daunting task of pulling the economy out of its worst slump since World War II.

2010: An enormous drill begins preliminary work on carving a half-mile (nearly a kilometre) chimney through solid rock to free the 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine, their ordeal now having equalled the longest-known survival in an underground disaster.

2011: Libyan rebels say they are closing in on Moammar Gadhafi, and to regime loyalists in the fugitive dictator’s hometown of Sirte, his main remaining bastion, they issue an ultimatum: Surrender this weekend or face an attack.

2013: Indonesia’s highest court upholds a death sentence for Lindsay Sandiford, a British woman convicted of smuggling US$2.5 million worth of cocaine into the resort island of Bali. Seamus Heaney, 74, who won the Nobel Prize for literature and gained a global reputation as Ireland’s greatest poet since William Butler Yates, dies in Dublin.

2015: The Jamaican quartet of Novlene Williams-Mills, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Christyine Day and Shericka Jackson win gold in the women’s 4x400m relay at the World Championships in Beijing China. British neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, who won acclaim for his sympathetic case histories of patients with unusual neurological disorders, dies in New York, New York, at age 82.

2017: The former Hurricane Harvey completes a U-turn in the Gulf of Mexico and rolls ashore for the second time in six days, hitting south-western Louisiana as a tropical storm with heavy rains and winds of 45 miles an hour; flood waters begin to recede in Houston where thousands of homes are flooded. A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocks most of a new state law that would have let police officers ask people during routine stops whether they are in the country legally; the law also threatens sheriffs with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities. (The crackdown on “sanctuary cities” took effect the following March after a federal appeals court upheld the law.)

2021: Following a chaotic withdrawal, the last US troops leave Afghanistan, some seven years after the war in that country had officially ended.


John Gunther, US journalist/author (1901-1970); Fred MacMurray, US actor (1908-1991); Cameron Diaz, US actress (1972- ); Lisa Ling, US TV personality (1973- ); Ben Jones, actor (1941- ); Andy Roddick, tennis player (1982- ).

— AP/ Jamaica Observer

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