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This Day in History: August 3


1492 – Christopher Columbus sets sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

1527 – The first known letter from North America is sent by John Rut while at St. John's, Newfoundland.

1678 – Robert LaSalle builds the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes.

1852 – Harvard University wins the first Boat Race between Yale University and Harvard. The race is also the first American intercollegiate athletic event

1900 – The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is founded.

1907 – Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis fines Standard Oil of Indiana a record $29.4 million for illegal rebating to freight carriers; the conviction and fine are later reversed on appeal.

1913 – A major labour dispute, known as the Wheatland hop riot, starts in Wheatland, California.

1914 – World War I: Germany declares war against France.

1921 – Major League Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis confirms the ban of the eight Chicago Black Sox, the day after they were acquitted by a Chicago court.

1936 – Jesse Owens wins the 100 meter dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.

1946 – Santa Claus Land, the world's first themed amusement park, opens in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States.

1948 – Whittaker Chambers accuses Alger Hiss of being a communist and a spy for the Soviet Union.

1958 – The nuclear submarine USS Nautilus travels beneath the Arctic ice cap.

1972 – The United States Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1977 – Tandy Corporation announces the TRS-80, one of the world's first mass-produced personal computers.

2004 – The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopens after being closed since the September 11 attacks.


1811 – Elisha Otis, American businessman, founded the Otis Elevator Company (d. 1861)

1895 – Neva Morris, American super-centenarian (d. 2010)

1900 – Ernie Pyle, American soldier and journalist (d. 1945)

1900 – John T. Scopes, American educator (d. 1970)

1901 – John C. Stennis, American lawyer and politician (d. 1995)

1905 – Dolores del Río, Mexican-American actress and singer (d. 1983)

1917 – Les Elgart, American trumpet player and bandleader (d. 1995)

1918 – James MacGregor Burns, American historian, political scientist, and author (d. 2014)

1918 – Sidney Gottlieb, American chemist and theorist (d. 1999)

1922 – John Eisenhower, American historian, general, and diplomat, 45th United States Ambassador to Belgium (d. 2013)

1924 – Leon Uris, American soldier and author (d. 2003)

1934 – Haystacks Calhoun, American wrestler and actor (d. 1989)

1941 – Martha Stewart, American businesswoman, publisher, and author, founded Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

1943 – Steven Millhauser, American author and academic

1951 – Jay North, American actor

1971 – DJ Spinderella, American DJ, rapper, and producer (Salt-N-Pepa)

1977 – Tom Brady, American football player

1984 – Ryan Lochte, American swimmer


1894 – George Inness, American painter (b. 1825)

1966 – Lenny Bruce, American comedian, actor, and screenwriter (b. 1925)

1983 – Carolyn Jones, American actress and singer (b. 1930)

1995 – Ida Lupino, English-American actress, singer, director, and screenwriter (b. 1918)

2012 – Paul McCracken, American economist and academic (b. 1915)