Today's History Trivia for August 2
PT-109 - John F. Kennedy
The PT boat, commanded by LTJG John F. Kennedy, is rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer during World War II. It is suspected that the captain of the enemy destroyer saw the PT boat and purposely ran over it. PT 109 was cut in half, killing two crew members. The eleven survivors clung to the hull of the ship until it began to sink. They then began swimming to shore, clinging to wreck debris. Kennedy, who had been on the Harvard University swim team, used a life jacket to tow one of the wounded to shore. After 4½ hours they made it to a small deserted island. Kennedy, in search of food and water, then swam to neighboring islands and found Olasana Island which had coconuts and drinkable water. The survivors relocated to Olasana Island for six days until they were found by islanders who were sent to search for them. Kennedy inscribed a message on a coconut for the islanders to bring back to the Australian coastwatchers to effect their rescue.
1993 Rocket explosion A Titan IV rocket explodes two minutes after liftoff from a California Air Force base. The cost of the rocket and the satellites it was carrying was $2 billion.
1990 Gulf War Iraqi president Saddam Hussein orders the invasion of Kuwait, claiming that Kuwait was threatening Iraq's economy by overproducing oil, and that Kuwait was historically part of Iraq. These actions were immediately condemned by the United Nations who demanded Iraq's immediate withdrawal from Kuwait.
1927 President Coolidge announces "I do not choose to run for president in 1928."
1909 The Lincoln head penny is first issued. Source: Famous First Facts
1909 First airplane purchased by the U.S. government A Wright biplane is purchased by the Army at a cost of $30,000.
Today's Birthdays for August 2
1962 Cynthia Stevenson American actress. TV: Cheers (Norm's secretary) and Bob (Bob's daughter).
1959 Victoria Jackson American comic, regular on Saturday Night Live.
1950 Lance Ito American judge. He presided over the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
1943 Kathy Lennon American singer, one of the Lennon Sisters. She and her sisters were a mainstay of The Lawrence Welk Show during the 50's and 60's.
1932 Peter O'Toole d. 2013 Irish actor. Film: Lawrence of Arabia (1962, title role).
1924 Carroll O'Connor d. 2001 American Emmy-winning actor. TV: All in the Family (1971-79, Archie Bunker) and In the Heat of the Night (1988-94, Police Chief Bill Gillespie).
1905 Myrna Loy d. 1993 (Myrna Williams), American actress. Film: The Jazz Singer (1927, as a chorus girl) and The Thin Man (1934, Nora Charles).
1892 Jack Leonard Warner d. 1978 Canadian-American film executive. Co-founder of Warner Bros. Pictures (1923).
1835 Elisha Gray d. 1901 American inventor. He filed a patent for the telephone the same day as Alexander Graham Bell (1876). A long legal battle ensued which Bell ultimately won (1888). He also invented a teleautograph for transmitting handwriting.
1834 Frederic Auguste Bartholdi d. 1904 French sculptor, designed the Statue of Liberty, using his mother as the model. The statue marked Franco-American alliance of 1778.
1754 Pierre Charles L'Enfant d. 1825 French-born American Revolutionary War officer, engineer. He designed the city of Washington D.C.
Deaths for August 2
1923 Warren Gamaliel Harding b. 1865 29th U.S. President (1921-23). He died while in office, making Vice-President Calvin Coolidge president. At the time of his death, he was one of the most popular presidents, however, subsequent exposure of scandals that took place under his administration, such as Teapot Dome and revelations of an affair, reduced his historical rankings and he is often rated among the worst presidents.
1887 Joseph Hayne Rainey b. 1832 American politician. First black member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1870-79). He was second black to serve in the U.S. Congress, and the first black presiding officer of the House of Representatives. Born into slavery, he was freed by his father purchasing the freedom of his entire family and himself.
1876 Wild Bill Hickok b. 1837 (James Butler Hickok), American frontiersman, U.S. marshal, and famous citizen of Deadwood, South Dakota. He was shot in the back during a poker game while holding two pair (black aces and black eights), since known as a "dead man's hand."
1998 Shari Lewis b. 1933 (Shari Hurwitz), American ventriloquist, with puppets Lamb Chomp and Charlie Horse.
1997 William S. Burroughs b. 1914 American author, Naked Lunch (1959). He is credited with being the first to use "heavy metal" to describe something hip.
1980 Donald Ogden Stewart b. 1894 American Oscar-winning screenwriter. Film: Laughter (1930), The Prison of Zenda (1937), and The Philadelphia Story (1940, Oscar).
1976 Fritz Lang b. 1890 Austrian-born film director. Film: Metropolis (1927), M (1931), and Fury (1936).
1956 Albert Woolson b. 1850 American Civil War soldier. He was last surviving member of the Union Army. He served as a drummer (1865-66).
1939 Harvey Spencer Lewis b. 1883 American spiritualist, founder of the Rosicrucian order Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (1915).
1936 Louis Blériot b. 1872 French aviator, inventor. He was the first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel (1909). See event and video
1924 Margaret Sidney b. 1844 (Harriet Lothrop), American children's author. Writings: Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1881).
1921 Enrico Caruso b. 1873 Italian tenor. Known for his power and control in performances such as Rigoletto and Pagliacci.
1859 Horace Mann b. 1796 American educator, "Father of Public Education" in the U.S. He was elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans (1900).
1811 William Williams b. 1731 American patriot, signer of the Declaration of Independence. He died on the 35th anniversary of his signing the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.
1799 Jacques étienne Montgolfier b. 1745 French inventor. He and his brother invented the hot-air balloon (1782).
1788 Thomas Gainsborough b. 1727 English artist. Paintings: Blue Boy (c. 1770).
686 John V b. ???? religious leader, 82nd Pope (685-686).
640 Severinus b. ???? Italian religious leader, 71st Pope (May - Aug. 640).
257 Saint Stephen I b. ???? Italian religious leader, 23rd Pope (254-257).