On August 2

We make war so we may live in peace. On this day, that age in history, August 2 is a day that is full of battles, wars, and armed conflicts from across the globe. There’s something about these hot, muggy August days that have people throughout history feeling pugnacious. Let’s see who won, who lost, and who went on to fight another day on this day in history, August 2. 

Famous Historical Events

216 BC: The Battle of Cannae commences as part of the Second Punic War. The Carthaginian army is lead by Hannibal, the guy on the elephant not the one with a penchant for fava beans and chianti. His opponents? The Roman army under the command of consuls Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus. The battle took place in Cannae, Italy, and Hannibal’s army was surrounded and grossly outnumbered. Plus, the Romans were a superior fighting force. They were organized and experienced. But irony of all ironies, Hannibal and his troops are superior, defeating Rome. This battle is considered one of history’s great tactical victories and one of Rome’s worst defeats. 

War Elephant

1776: This day in history is considered the official signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Fifty-six people sign the document. A significant number of the signers are later punished in some form by British authorities and their supporters. Five signers are hunted down as traitors, captured, and tortured before being killed. Several more have their home’s ransacked and burned. 

US Declaration of Independence

1790: August 2, 1790, is the day in history when the first US census was conducted. At the time, the total population of the fledgling nation was 3,939,214. But wait. 697,624 of those people were slaves. It takes another several generations of Americans to realize that yes, children, enslaving other human beings is wrong. But unfortunately, it takes a war to end the practice. 

1990: The Invasion of Kuwait begins on this day. After only two days of fighting, Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces manage to topple Kuwait. As a result, Hussein declares Kuwait the 19th province of Iraq. 

The invasion continued apace, worrying leaders from around the globe. Iraqi forces set fire to more than 700 oil wells and oil lakes as part of their scorched earth policy. About seven months later, the UN had had enough of Hussein’s pyromania, and a UN-authorized coalition led by the US military intervened in the conflict and put a stop to the invasion. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the conflicts from continuing well into the future. 

Invasion of Kuwait

1998: The Second Congo War begins on this day in history. As we said, there’s something about August 2 that just sets people off. This war goes on to become one of the deadliest conflicts in African history, killing an estimated 5.4 million people from armed conflicts directly and the aftermath – disease and starvation. The Second Congo War also sparks a mutiny in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and it soon spirals out of control when nine other countries get involved in the fighting. The war lasts for five years. 

The Second Congo War

Famous Birthdays

1905: Myrna Loy

Myrna Loy was born on this day in history and went on to become a famous American dancer and actress. She got her start in silent films before being typecast for more exotic roles. Her career soared after she starred in The Thin Man as Nora Charles in 1934. 

Famous Deathdays

1876: Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok

Hickok was a skilled frontiersman, gunman, and an inveterate gambler. On this day in history, Jack McCall shot Wild Bill in the back of the head, killing him. Hickok was holding the eight of clubs and eight of spades, the jack of diamonds, ace of clubs, and ace of spades. It’s now known as the “dead man’s hand.”

What other wars were fought on this day that age in history? Check out this page for more exciting factoids on August 2.

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