This Day In History : August 2

1776 United States

Formal signing of the United States Declaration of Independence

The formal signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place on August 2, 1776. The Declaration had been adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, declaring the thirteen American colonies as independent states, no longer part of the British Empire. The signing marked a significant moment in the American Revolutionary War and the establishment of the United States of America as a sovereign nation.    

Also on This Day in History August 2

Discover what happened on August 2 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, August 2
  • 1867 Frank Alvord Perret

    American engineer and inventor who later became a pioneer field volcanologist.

  • 1788 Leopold Gmelin

    German chemist who discovered potassium ferrocyanide (1822), devised Gmelin's test for bile pigments and researched the chemistry of digestion.

  • 2024 John Tyndall

    Irish physicist who demonstrated why the sky is blue. He became known to the scientific world in 1848 as the author of a substantial work on Crystals.

  • 1835 Elisha Gray

    American inventor who filed his ideas for a telephone at the patent office (14 Feb 1876) mere hours after Alexander Graham Bell.

  • 1754 Pierre-Charles L'Enfant

    L'Enfant came to the U.S. as a French engineer who assisted the American Continental Army in its fight against the British during the American Revolution.

Deaths on This Day, August 2
  • 1823 Lazare-Nicolas-Marguerite Carnot

    French mathematician and military engineer who wrote several works on mathematics and military engineering.

  • 1974 Fred Allison

    American physicist who promoted a magneto-optical technique to detect isotopes (ultimately shown to be non-existent by D. Morey under Merritt at Cornell).

  • 1963 Oliver La Farge

    Oliver Hazard Perry La Farge II was an American writer and anthropologist. In 1925 he explored early Olmec sites in Mexico, and later studied additional sites in Central America and the American Southwest.

  • 1922 Alexander Graham Bell

    Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born Canadian-American inventor, scientist and engineer who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone.

  • 1921 Enrico Caruso

    Enrico Caruso was an Italian operatic first lyric tenor then dramatic tenor.


Discovery of the Positron

1932 Carl David Anderson discovers and photographs a positron, the first known antiparticle  

The Transition of Power

Government of India transferred from East India Company to the British Crown.

Einstein's Letter to FDR

1939 Albert Einstein writes to US President FDR informing him of recent research on fission chain reactions making possible the construction of "extremely powerful bombs".

The world's first underground tube railway, the Tower Subway opened in London, England

The Tower Subway, the world's first underground tube railway, opened in London, England on August 2, 1870. It was a short-lived project, spanning only 410 meters beneath the River Thames between Tower Hill on the north bank and Vine Lane (near Tooley Street) on the south bank. The tunnel operated as a pedestrian walkway with small carriages pulled by cable.
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