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Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Today in History: August 2

1100: While hunting in the New Forest, English King William II is "accidentally" shot through the heart by an arrow after getting separated from the rest of the party.

1754: Pierre Charles L’Enfant is born at Paris, France. Hired to design the new U.S. capital at Washington, he gets into a dispute with the government and never makes a dime off the job.

1835: Elisha Gray, co-inventor of the telephone and founder of Western Electric, is born at Barnesville, Ohio.

1870: The Tower Subway, the world’s first, opens in London. Its small 12-person cars, operated by cable, turn out to be inefficient, and it’s subsequently turned into a pedestrian walkway.

1876: At Nuttall & Mann’s Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok is shot to death from behind while playing poker. The two pair he holds in his hand -- aces and eights -- will come to be known as the "dead man’s hand."

1892: John Leonard "Jack" Eichelbaum is born, the youngest of 12 children, in London, Ontario. He and his brothers will change their last name to "Warner" and create one of Hollywood’s biggest film studios.

1943: The Japanese destroyer Amagiri ("Misty Rain") runs over and sinks PT-109, which had been idling in the middle of the Blackett Strait. General MacArthur wants to court-martial the American commander for negligence, but he’s given a medal instead.

1951: Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral receives a patent for Velcro.

1975: The New Orleans Superdome opens with a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Oilers.

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