Today in History
August 14

1385   Portuguese forces commanded by King John I and his general Nuno Álvares Pereira defeat the Castilian army of King John I in the Battle of Aljubarrota.  [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1457   The first book ever printed is published by a German astrologer named Faust. He is thrown in jail while trying to sell books in Paris. Authorities concluded that all the identical books meant Faust had dealt with the devil.
1900   The European allies enter Beijing, relieving their besieged legations from the Chinese Boxers.
1917   The Chinese Parliament declares war on the Central Powers.
1942   Dwight D. Eisenhower is named the Anglo-American commander for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa.
1945   Japan announces its unconditional surrender in World War II.
1947   Pakistan becomes an independent country.
1969   British troops arrive in Northern Ireland in response to sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.
1973   The United States ends the “secret” bombing of Cambodia.
1995   Shannon Faulkner becomes the first female cadet in the long history of South Carolina’s state military college, The Citadel. Her presence is met with intense resistance, reportedly including death threats, and she will leave the school a week later.
2007   Four coordinated suicide bomb attacks in Yazidi towns near Mosul, Iraq, kill more than 400 people.
Born on August 14
1777   Hans Christian Oersted, Danish scientist who discovered electromagnetism.
1863   Ernest L. Thayer, author of the poem “Casey at the Bat.”
1925   Russell Baker, author and columnist for The New York Times.
1938   Niara Sudarkasa, educator and first woman president of Lincoln University.
1945   Steve Martin, American comedian, actor, musician and screenwriter, his many awards include a Lifetime Achievement in Comedy (American Comedy Awards, USA), several Emmys, and  Grammys for Best Comedy Album (1977, 1979) and Best Bluegrass Album (2009, 2013)
1947   Danielle Steel, the fourth-bestselling author of all time.
1950   Gary Larson, cartoonist (The Far Side).
1966   Halle Berry, actress, her many awards include a Golden Globe (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, TV movie) and and an Oscar (Monster’s Ball).


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