31 B.C.E. Roman leader Octavian defeated the alliance of fellow Roman Mark Antony and Egypt’s Queen Cleopatra in the naval battle of Actium. The victory gave Octavian control of the entire Roman world, and he became Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor. Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide the next year.
1666 The Great Fire Of London broke out in the early morning inside a baker’s shop. The fire burned 80 percent of London, claiming thousands of homes, and destroying St. Paul’s Church. However, only six people were killed in the several days that the fire burned.
1752 Britain and its colonies — including the American colonies — made the adjustment from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, which had been in use in most Catholic countries for almost two centuries. According to the British Calendar Act Of 1751, the day after September 2nd, 1752, would be September 14th, 1752.
1864 Union General William T. Sherman‘s forces marched into and occupied Atlanta during the Civil War.
1901 Speaking at a Minnesota State Fair, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered this advice from an African proverb: “Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far.”
1944 Navy pilot and future president George H. W. Bush was shot down by the Japanese during World War II in the Bonin Islands. Bush was rescued, but his two crew members died.
1945 After informally surrendering to the U.S. in August after two atomic bombs were dropped on them, Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
1963 Alabama Governor George C. Wallace prevented the integration of Tuskegee High School by encircling the building with state troopers. Eight days later, President John F. Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard to ensure integration.
1963 The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite was lengthened from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, becoming network TV’s first half-hour nightly newscast.
1965 ”Help!” by the Beatles is certified gold.
1965 The Rolling Stones appear on the British TV show Ready Steady Go!, and Mick Jagger and manager-producer Andrew Loog Oldham do a parody of Sonny & Cher‘s “I Got You Babe.”
1965 ”Yesterday” by the Beatles is released.
1969 The final episode of the original Star Trek series aired on NBC.
1972 ”Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” by the Hollies peaks at Number Two on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.
1972 ”You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” by Jim Croce peaks at Number Eight on the pop ,chart, where it stays for two weeks.
1973 Author J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord Of The Rings) dies at age 81.
1974 Lucille Ball ended 23 years on network TV when Here’s Lucy last aired on CBS.
1985 It was announced that a U.S.-French expedition had located the wreckage of the Titanic about 560 miles off Newfoundland.
1988 The Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour begins at Wembley Stadium in London. The acts include Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N’Dour.
1995 The Concert for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is held. It features Chuck Berry, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Al Green, Melissa Etheridge, John Mellencamp, and others.
1998 A Swissair jet crashed off Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people on board.
2005 The National Guard arrived in New Orleans four days after Hurricane Katrina. President George W. Bush toured the Gulf Coast and acknowledged the government’s failure to stop crime and help people during the storm and its aftermath.