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5th August in History

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25 – Guangwu claims the throne as emperor, restoring the Han dynasty after the collapse of the short-lived Xin dynasty.
642 – Battle of Maserfield: Penda of Mercia defeats and kills Oswald of Northumbria.
910 – The last major Danish army to raid England is defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward the Elder and Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians.
939 – The Battle of Alhandic is fought between Ramiro II of León and Abd-ar-Rahman III at Zamora in the context of the Spanish Reconquista. The battle resulted in a victory for the Emirate of Córdoba.
1068 – Byzantine–Norman wars: Italo-Normans begin a nearly-three-year siege of Bari.
1100 – Henry I is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey.
1278 – The Siege of Algeciras ends in the context of the Spanish Reconquista pitting the forces of the Kingdom of Castile against the Emirate of Granada. The battle resulted in a Granadan victory.
1305 – William Wallace, who led the Scottish resistance against England, is captured by the English near Glasgow and transported to London where he is put on trial and executed.
1388 – The Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish between the Scottish and the English in Northern England, is fought near Otterburn.
1583 – Sir Humphrey Gilbert establishes the first English colony in North America, at what is now St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
1600 – The Gowrie Conspiracy against King James VI of Scotland (later to become King James I of England) takes place.
1620 – The Mayflower departs from Southampton, England on its first attempt to reach North America.
1689 – One thousand five hundred Iroquois attack the village of Lachine in New France.
1716 – The Battle of Petrovaradin takes place.
1763 – Pontiac’s War: Battle of Bushy Run: British forces led by Henry Bouquet defeat Chief Pontiac’s Indians at Bushy Run.
1772 – The First Partition of Poland begins.
1781 – The Battle of Dogger Bank takes place.
1796 – The Battle of Castiglione in Napoleon’s first Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars.
1816 – The British Admiralty dismisses Francis Ronalds’s new invention of the first working electric telegraph as “wholly unnecessary”, preferring to continue using the semaphore.
1824 – Greek War of Independence: Constantine Kanaris leads a Greek fleet to victory against Ottoman and Egyptian ships in the Battle of Samos.
1858 – Cyrus West Field and others complete the first transatlantic telegraph cable after several unsuccessful attempts. It will operate for less than a month.
1860 – Charles XV of Sweden of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Norway in Trondheim.
1861 – American Civil War: In order to help pay for the war effort, the United States government levies the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872).
1861 – The United States Army abolishes flogging.
1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Baton Rouge: Along the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Confederate troops attempt to take the city, but are driven back by fire from Union gunboats.
1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Mobile Bay begins at Mobile Bay near Mobile, Alabama, Admiral David Farragut leads a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and seals one of the last major Southern ports.
1914 – World War I: The German minelayer SS Königin Luise lays a minefield about 40 miles (64 km) off the Thames Estuary (Lowestoft). She is intercepted and sunk by the British light-cruiser HMS Amphion.
1914 – World War I: The guns of Point Nepean fort at Port Phillip Heads in Victoria (Australia) fire across the bows of the Norddeutscher Lloyd steamer SS Pfalz which is attempting to leave the Port of Melbourne in ignorance of the declaration of war and she is detained; this is said to be the first Allied shot of the War.
1916 – World War I: Battle of Romani: Allied forces, under the command of Archibald Murray, defeat an attacking Ottoman army under the command of Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, securing the Suez Canal and beginning the Ottoman retreat from the Sinai Peninsula.
1940 – World War II: The Soviet Union formally annexes Latvia.
1941 – World War II: The Battle of Smolensk concludes with Germany capturing about 300,000 Soviet Red Army prisoners.
1943 – World War II: Anti-Nazi resistance fighter Eva-Maria Buch guillotined at Plötzensee Prison, Berlin.
1944 – World War II: Possibly the biggest prison breakout in history occurs as 545 Japanese POWs attempt to escape outside the town of Cowra, New South Wales, Australia.
1944 – World War II: Polish insurgents liberate a German labor camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.
1944 – World War II: The Nazis begin a week-long massacre of anywhere between 40,000 and 100,000 civilians and prisoners of war in Wola, Poland.
1960 – Burkina Faso, then known as Upper Volta, becomes independent from France.
1962 – Apartheid in South Africa: Nelson Mandela is jailed. He would not be released until 1990.
1963 – The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union sign a nuclear test ban treaty.
1964 – Vietnam War: Operation Pierce Arrow: American aircraft from carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation bomb North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes against U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.
1965 – The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 begins as Pakistani soldiers cross the Line of Control dressed as locals.
1969 – Mariner program: Mariner 7 makes its closest fly-by of Mars (3,524 kilometers).
1971 – The first Pacific Islands Forum (then known as the “South Pacific Forum”) is held in Wellington, New Zealand, with the aim of enhancing cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean.
1974 – Vietnam War: The U.S. Congress places a $1 billion limit on military aid to South Vietnam.
1979 – In Afghanistan, Maoists undertake an attempted military uprising.
1981 – President Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.
1995 – Yugoslav Wars: The city of Knin, Croatia, a significant Serb stronghold, is captured by Croatian forces during Operation Storm. The date is celebrated in Croatia as Victory Day.

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