This day in history (Aug. 4)

Staff Writer

1796 – French Revolutionary Wars: Napoleon leads the French Army of Italy to victory in the Battle of Lonato.
1821 – The Saturday Evening Post is published for the first time as a weekly newspaper.
1824 – The Battle of Kos is fought between Turkish and Greek forces.
1854 – The Hinomaru is established as the official flag to be flown from Japanese ships.
1863 – Matica slovenská, Slovakia's public-law cultural and scientific institution focusing on topics around the Slovak nation, is established in Martin.
1873 – American Indian Wars: While protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, the United States 7th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer clashes for the first time with the Cheyenne and Lakota people near the Tongue River; only one man on each side is killed.
1889 – The Great Fire of Spokane, Washington destroys some 32 blocks of the city, prompting a mass rebuilding project.
1892 – The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden are found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home. She was tried and acquitted for the crimes a year later.
1914 – In response to the German invasion of Belgium, Belgium and the British Empire declare war on Germany. The United States declares its neutrality.
1915 – World War I: The German 12th Army occupies Warsaw during the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive and the Great Retreat of 1915.
1924 – Diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Soviet Union are established.
1936 – Prime Minister of Greece Ioannis Metaxas suspends parliament and the Constitution and establishes the 4th of August Regime.
1944 – The Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others.
1946 – An earthquake of magnitude 8.0 hits northern Dominican Republic. One hundred are killed and 20,000 are left homeless.
1947 – The Supreme Court of Japan is established.
1964 – Civil rights movement: Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21.
1964 – Gulf of Tonkin incident: U.S. destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy report coming under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin.
1965 – The Constitution of the Cook Islands comes into force, giving the Cook Islands self-governing status within New Zealand.
1969 – Vietnam War: At the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, American representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuân Thuỷ begin secret peace negotiations. The negotiations will eventually fail.
1974 – A bomb explodes in the Italicus Express train at San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Italy, killing 12 people and wounding 22.
1975 – The Japanese Red Army takes more than 50 hostages at the AIA Building housing several embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The hostages include the U.S. consul and the Swedish Chargé d'affaires. The gunmen win the release of five imprisoned comrades and fly with them to Libya.
1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.
1984 – The Republic of Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso.
1987 – The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to present controversial issues "fairly".
1993 – A federal judge sentences Los Angeles Police Department officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in prison for violating motorist Rodney King's civil rights.
1995 – Operation Storm begins in Croatia.
2006 – A massacre is carried out by Sri Lankan government forces, killing 17 employees of the French INGO Action Against Hunger (known internationally as Action Contre la Faim, or ACF).
2007 – NASA's Phoenix spacecraft is launched.

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