This Day In History – August 14

August 14, 1776 – American Revolution
Stamp Act remembered

The city of Boston observes the 11th anniversary of the popular resistance that prevented the execution of the Stamp Act there on this day in 1776. The celebration included the erection of a pole at the site of the original “Liberty Tree.”

The Stamp Act, passed on March 22, 1765, by the British Parliament, caused uproar in the colonies over an issue that was to be a major cause of the American Revolution: taxation without representation. Enacted in November 1765, the controversial act forced colonists to buy a British stamp for every official document they obtained. The stamp displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word “America” and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense–“Shame to him who thinks evil of it.” –Read more at This Day In History

Further reading >>
The Stamp Act – U.S. History.org The fifty-five resolutions of the Stamp Bill:

“there shall be raised, levied, collected, and paid unto his majesty, his heirs, and successors, throughout the colonies and plantations in America, which now are, or hereafter may be, under the dominion of his majesty, his heirs and successors

Liberty Tree – Wikipedia

1846 artist's impression of the Boston Tea Party


Russian Alaska

August 14, 1784 – Russian America – Русская Америка – Alaska
Russians settle Alaska

On Kodiak Island, Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founds Three Saints Bay, the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska.

The European discovery of Alaska came in 1741, when a Russian expedition led by Danish navigator Vitus Bering sighted the Alaskan mainland. Russian hunters were soon making incursions into Alaska, and the native Aleut population suffered greatly after being exposed to foreign diseases. The Three Saints Bay colony was founded on Kodiak Island in 1784, and Shelikhov lived there for two years with his wife and 200 men. From Three Saints Bay, the Alaskan mainland was explored, and other fur-trade centers were established. In 1786, Shelikhov returned to Russia and in 1790 dispatched Aleksandr Baranov to manage his affairs in Alaska. Read more at This Day In History

Further reading >>
Alaska’s Heritage
Russian America
Russia, Alaska, and the Russian American Company

The settlement of Grigory Shelekhov in Kodiak Island.


Portrait of CSA General Edmund Kirby Smith during the American Civil WarAugust 14, 1862 – American War Between The States
Confederate invasion of Kentucky begins

Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith begins an invasion of Kentucky as part of a Confederate plan to draw the Yankee army of General Don Carlos Buell away from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and to raise support for the Southern cause in Kentucky.

Smith led 10,000 troops out of Knoxville, Tennessee, on August 14 and moved toward the Cumberland Gap—the first step in the Confederate invasion of Kentucky. After a Federal force evacuated the pass in the face of the invasion, Smith continued north. On August 30, he encountered a more significant force at Richmond, Kentucky. In a decisive battle, the Confederates routed the Yankees and captured most of the 6,000-man army. The Confederates occupied Lexington a few days later. Read more at This Day In History

Further reading >>
Edmund Kirby Smith
Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
Confederate Heartland Offensive

The Battle of Perryville battlefield as depicted in Harper's Weekly


August 14, 1831 – American Old West
Montana “Vigilante X” is born

John X. Beidler, one of the best known of the notoriously secretive Montana vigilantes, is born in Pennsylvania.

Beidler, who preferred to be called simply “X,” had little formal education and tried his hand at a variety of trades. Initially a shoemaker, he also worked briefly as a brick maker and then traveled to Kansas where he took up farming. A supporter of John Brown’s radical abolitionist movement, he left Kansas for Texas after Brown was captured and executed for his abortive raid on the Harper’s Ferry armory in Virginia. From Texas, Beidler wandered northward, eventually joining the Gold Rush to Montana Territory in 1863. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/montana-vigilante-x-is-born

Further reading >>
Vigilante Committees

View of Virginia City, Nevada, from a nearby hillside, 1867-68


Japanese Artillery

August 14, 1917 – World War I
China declares war on Germany

On this day in 1917, as World War I enters its fourth year, China abandons its neutrality and declares war on Germany.

From its inception, the Great War was by no means confined to the European continent; in the Far East, two rival nations, Japan and China, sought to find their own role in the great conflict. The ambitious Japan, an ally of Britain since 1902, wasted no time in entering the fray, declaring war on Germany on August 23, 1914 and immediately plotting to capture Tsingtao, the biggest German overseas naval base, located on the Shantung Peninsula in China, by amphibious assault. Some 60,000 Japanese troops, assisted by two British battalions, subsequently violated Chinese neutrality with an overland approach from the sea towards Tsingtao, capturing the naval base on November 7 when the German garrison surrendered. That January, Japan presented China with the so-called 21 Demands, which included the extension of direct Japanese control over most of Shantung, southern Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia and the seizure of more territory, including islands in the South Pacific controlled by Germany. Read more at This Day In History

Further reading >>
China’s Declaration of War Against Japan, Germany and Italy

German Governor von Truppel with Chou Fu, Chinese Governor of the province, in 1903


Emperor Hirohito

August 14, 1945 – World War II
Japan’s surrender made public

On this day in 1945, an official announcement of Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies is made public to the Japanese people.

Even though Japan’s War Council, urged by Emperor Hirohito, had already submitted a formal declaration of surrender to the Allies, via ambassadors, on August 10, fighting continued between the Japanese and the Soviets in Manchuria and between the Japanese and the United States in the South Pacific. In fact, two days after the Council agreed to surrender, a Japanese submarine sank the Oak Hill, an American landing ship, and the Thomas F. Nickel, an American destroyer, both east of Okinawa. Read more at This Day In History

Further reading >>
Surrender of Japan

Japanese foreign affairs minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on board USS Missouri as General Richard K. Sutherland watches, September 2, 1945



A people who do not know their history are rudderless in the face of the whims of the “well meaning” and gales of tyrants. What their ancestors gained by struggles and sorrows, and hoped to bequeath to their posterity will count for nothing. All will have to be struggled for and learned once again.

America remember and honor your history – it will give direction, purpose and security to your future.


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