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This Day in History: August 9


1610 – The First Anglo-Powhatan War begins in colonial Virginia.

1814 – Indian Wars: the Creek sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving up huge parts of Alabama and Georgia.

1842 – The Webster–Ashburton Treaty is signed, establishing the United States–Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.

1854 – Henry David Thoreau publishes Walden.

1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Cedar Mountain – At Cedar Mountain, Virginia, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson narrowly defeats Union forces under General John Pope.

1877 – Indian Wars: Battle of the Big Hole – A small band of Nez Percé Indians clash with the United States Army

1892 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two-way telegraph.

1907 – The first Boy Scout encampment concludes at Brownsea Island in southern England.

1930 – Betty Boop makes her cartoon debut in Dizzy Dishes.

1936 – Summer Olympic Games: Games of the XI Olympiad – Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal at the games.

1942 – World War II: Battle of Savo Island – Allied naval forces protecting their amphibious forces during the initial stages of the Battle of Guadalcanal are surprised and defeated by an Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser force.

1944 – The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.

1944 – Continuation War: The Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive, the largest offensive launched by Soviet Union against Finland during the Second World War, ends to a strategic stalemate. Both Finnish and Soviet troops at the Finnish front dug to defensive positions, and the front remains stable until the end of the war.

1945 – World War II: Nagasaki is devastated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, is dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. 35,000 people are killed outright, including 23,200-28,200 Japanese war workers, 2,000 Korean forced workers, and 150 Japanese soldiers.

1945 – The Red Army invades Japanese-occupied Manchuria.

1965 – A fire at a Titan missile base near Searcy, Arkansas kills 53 construction workers.

1969 – Followers led by Charles Manson murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate (wife of Roman Polanski), coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, men's hairstylist Jay Sebring and recent high-school graduate Steven Parent.

1974 – As a direct result of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford, becomes president.

2014 – Michael Brown, a 18-year-old African American male in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, sparking protests and unrest in the city.


1788 – Adoniram Judson, American missionary and lexicographer (d. 1850)

1911 – William Alfred Fowler, American astronomer and astrophysicist, Nobel Laureate (d. 1996)

1925 – David A. Huffman, American computer scientist, developed Huffman coding (d. 1999)

1928 – Bob Cousy, American basketball player and coach

1931 – James Freeman Gilbert, American geophysicist and academic (d. 2014)

1931 – Paula Kent Meehan, American businesswoman, co-founded Redken (d. 2014)

1957 – Melanie Griffith, American actress and producer

1958 – Amanda Bearse, American actress and director

1963 – Whitney Houston, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress (d. 2012)

1967 – Deion Sanders, American football and baseball player

1982 – Tyson Gay, American sprinter


1962 – Hermann Hesse, German-Swiss author and poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)

1963 – Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, American son of John F. Kennedy (b. 1963)

1969 – Wojciech Frykowski, Polish-American actor and author (b. 1936)

1969 – Jay Sebring, American hair stylist (b. 1933)

1969 – Sharon Tate, American model and actress (b. 1943)

1969 – Steven Parent, American student (b. 1951)

1995 – Jerry Garcia, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Grateful Dead) (b. 1942)

2006 – James Van Allen, American physicist and academic (b. 1914)

2007 – Joe O'Donnell, American photographer and journalist (b. 1922)

2008 – Bernie Mac, American comedian, actor, screenwriter, and producer (b. 1957)

2012 – Al Freeman, Jr., American actor, director, and educator (b. 1934)

2015 – Frank Gifford, American football player, sportscaster, and actor (b. 1930)