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This Day in History: August 1


1498 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to visit what is now Venezuela.

1620 – The Speedwell leaves Delfshaven to bring pilgrims to America by way of England.

1801 – First Barbary War: The American schooner USS Enterprise captures the Tripolitan polacca Tripoli in a single-ship action off the coast of modern-day Libya.

1842 – The Lombard Street riot erupts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

1876 – Colorado is admitted as the 38th U.S. state.

1907 – The start of the first Scout camp on Brownsea Island, the origin of the worldwide Scouting movement.

1911 – Harriet Quimby takes her pilot's test and becomes the first U.S. woman to earn an Aero Club of America aviator's certificate.

1944 – World War II: The Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation breaks out in Warsaw, Poland.

1957 – The United States and Canada form the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

1961 – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara orders the creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the nation's first centralized military espionage organization.

1966 – Charles Whitman kills 16 people at the University of Texas at Austin before being killed by the police.

1981 – MTV begins broadcasting in the United States and airs its first video, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles.

1993 – The Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood of 1993 comes to a peak.

2001 – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has a Ten Commandments monument installed in the judiciary building, leading to a lawsuit to have it removed and his own removal from office.

2007 – The I-35W Mississippi River bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses during the evening rush hour.


1770 – William Clark, American soldier, explorer, and politician, 4th Governor of Missouri Territory (d. 1838)

1779 – Francis Scott Key, American lawyer, author, and poet (d. 1843)

1819 – Herman Melville, American novelist, short story writer, and poet (d. 1891)

1843 – Robert Todd Lincoln, American lawyer and politician, 35th United States Secretary of War (d. 1926)

1929 – Ann Calvello, American roller derby racer (d. 2006)

1942 – Jerry Garcia, American singer-songwriter and guitarist  (d. 1995)

1960 – Chuck D, American rapper and producer

1963 – Coolio, American rapper, producer, and actor

1973 – Tempestt Bledsoe, American actress

1984 – Steve Feak, American game designer

1989 – Tiffany, American-South Korean singer, dancer, and actress


1866 – John Ross, American tribal chief (b. 1790)

1903 – Calamity Jane, American frontierswoman and scout (b. 1853)

1911 – Edwin Austin Abbey, American painter and illustrator (b. 1852)

1963 – Theodore Roethke, American poet (b. 1908)

1977 – Francis Gary Powers, American captain and pilot (b. 1929)

1980 – Strother Martin, American actor (b. 1919)

1981 – Paddy Chayefsky, American author, playwright, and screenwriter (b. 1923)

2006 – Iris Marion Young, American political scientist and activist (b. 1949)

2013 – Toby Saks, American cellist and educator (b. 1942)