Aug. 3 (BP) — On this date in history:
In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain, seeking a western route to India, with a convoy of three small ships — the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria — and fewer than 100 crew. They reached land at Guanahani, an island in the Caribbean, on Oct. 12.
In 1914, Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. The following day, Britain declared war on Germany and World War I was underway.
In 1923, by the dim light of a flickering oil lamp in a little farmhouse at Plymouth, Vt., his birthplace, Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office as president of the United States following the unexpected death President Warren G. Harding.
In 1943, Gen. George Patton slapped Private Charles Kuhl, who was in a military hospital in Sicily. Kuhl was the first of two privates hospitalized for shock that Patton slapped and berated that month, accusing them of cowardice. The general was later forced to apologize.
In 1958, the U.S. nuclear submarine Nautilus crossed under the North Pole.
File Photo courtesy the U.S. Navy/BP
In 1975, a chartered Boeing 707 jetliner carrying Moroccan immigrant workers home from France to their families for the summer holidays crashed into a mountainside in Agadir, Morocco, killing all 188 persons aboard.
In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike. The strikers were fired within one week.
In 2004, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor was opened to the public for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
In 2005, in the first emergency repair conducted in space, astronauts fixed a potentially dangerous problem by removing two strips of protruding cloth from the underside of the space shuttle Discovery.
In 2007, the U.S. Congress passed a bill allowing the National Security Agency to monitor email and telephone communications between the United States and foreign countries without a court warrant if terrorism was believed to be involved.
File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/BP
In 2008, once-exiled Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose works revealed the harshness of the Soviet penal system, died at the age of 89. The Nobel Prize-winning author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich had been ill for years.
In 2008, People magazine published the first photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s newborn twins, Vivienne and Knox, after paying up to $14 million, the most ever paid for baby pictures.
In 2010, a Manchester, Conn., beer and wine distributorship driver who was allegedly caught stealing beer, went on a shooting rampage after a disciplinary hearing at the company, killing eight people and himself.
In 2014, an earthquake in southern China’s Yunnan province killed nearly 400 people, injured 1,800 and destroyed thousands of homes.
In 2019, a gunman targeting immigrants opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 23 people and injuring another 22.
In 2020, amid multiple financial scandals, former Spanish King Juan Carlos I announced he planned to leave the country in a self-imposed exile.
File Photo by David Silpa/BP