1983—Mississippi’s execution of Jimmy Lee Gray goes poorly; executioner T. Berry Bruce is drunk. Officials clear the witness room after eight minutes, as Gray gasps, moans, and bangs his head on a steel pole.
1945—VJ Day—Japan surrenders to General “Dugout Doug” MacArthur aboard a battleship named after Harry S Truman’s home state.
1945—Cribbing freely from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam to be sovereign and independent.
1939—G-Man J. Edgar Hoover creates a “Custodial Detention Index,” a list of left wingers to detain without trial in case of “national emergency.”
1935—Recently rousted from Washington, D.C. by General Douglas MacArthur, 259 veterans working on the Overseas Highway are among those killed by the Labor Day Hurricane when it hits the Florida Keys.
1921—Two battalions of U.S. troops finally convince miners on Blair Mtn., W.Va. to begin disarming.
1898—At Omdurman, British Maxims firing Dum-Dums kill 15,000 spear-wielding Sudanese in one day.
1885—White railroad workers rioting in Rock Springs, Wyo. massacre 28 Chinese railroad workers.
1864—One day after Confederate troops bug out, Union forces enter and occupy Atlanta, Georgia.
1666—The Great Fire of London begins; 10,000 buildings in three days.