#TodayInHistory – July 30
July 30 – Some important events on this day.
101 BC 👉🏼 Battle of Vercellae: Roman army under Gaius Marius defeats the Cimbri in Cisalpine Gaul, ending the Celto-Germanic threat on Italy’s border with over 100,000 Cimbri killed
762 👉🏼 City of Baghdad founded by Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur, just north of ancient Baghdad.
Baghdad, now the second-largest city in the Arab world, was founded in the 8th century by Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur and eventually became the capital of the Abbasid caliphate. Baghdad in this era was a hub of learning and commerce, particularly during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age.
From shortly after its founding until the 930s, it is likely that Baghdad was one of the largest cities in the world. This period of expansion and of Baghdad as a hub of Islamic learning was ended when the Mongol Empire conquered the city in 1258, and destroyed the Abbasid caliphate. This also ended the Islamic Golden Age.
1178 👉🏼 Frederick I (Barbarossa), Holy Roman Emperor, crowned King of Burgundy
1419 👉🏼 First defenestration of Prague: anti-Catholic Hussites, followers of executed reformer Jan Hus, storm Prague town hall and throw the judge, mayor and several city council members out the windows. They die in the fall or killed by crowd outside.
1619 👉🏼 House of Burgesses Virginia forms, 1st elective American governing body
1792 👉🏼 500 Marseillaisian men sing France’s national anthem for 1st time
1863 👉🏼 Indian Wars: Chief Pocatello of the Shoshone tribe signs the Treaty of Box Elder, promising to stop harassing the emigrant trails in southern Idaho and northern Utah
1869 👉🏼 The Charles, considered the world’s first “oil tanker”, departs from the United States headed for Europe with a bulk capacity of 7,000 barrels of oil
1914 👉🏼 After initial reluctance, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia is persuaded to decree a general mobilizations in response to Austria; ‘Think of the thousands and thousands of men who will be sent to their deaths!’ he claims
1935 👉🏼 1st Penguin book is published, starting the paperback revolution
1937 👉🏼 Russian Politburo issues NKVD Order no. 00447, to repress former kulak and anti-soviets, 269,100 to be arrested, 76,000 to be shot. Part of the Great Purge.
1945 👉🏼 After delivering the Atomic Bomb across the Pacific, the cruiser USS Indianapolis is torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-58. 880 of the crew died, many after being attacked by sharks, the inspiration for the movie Jaws.
The death toll from the sinking of the Indianapolis is the largest in US naval history. It was sunk in the Philippine Sea during WWII on this day by Japanese naval torpedoes a few days after delivering parts for the bomb that would level Hiroshima.
Of the 1196 men on board about 800 made it into the water after the ship sunk in 12 minutes. The remaining men began a horrendous 4-day ordeal in the water being picked off by sharks and suffering from heat, thirst and exhaustion. On the fourth day a US naval plane finally spotted the survivors, but by then only 300 had survived.
2003 👉🏼 The last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line in Mexico.
Commissioned by Adolf Hitler as a “People’s Car” in the 1930s the Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche and his design team at Porsche. Significantly the car had a rear engine, unusual for the time. Only small numbers were made before WWII halted production.
After the war, production soared aided by an iconic advertising campaign “Think small”. Nicknamed “the Beetle” it overtook the Model T Ford as the best-selling car in the world in 1972, selling over 15 million. It was only after 80 years that Volkswagen announced in 2018 that it would finally cease production in 2019.