August 2

1776 - Members of the Continental Congress began adding their signatures to the Declaration of Independence. 

1791 - Samuel Briggs and his son Samuel Briggs, Jr. received a joint patent for their nail-making machine. They were the first father-son pair to receive a patent. 

1824 - In New York City, Fifth Avenue was opened. 

1858 - In Boston and New York City the first mailboxes were installed along streets. 

1861 - The United States Congress passed the first income tax. The revenues were intended for the war effort against the South. The tax was never enacted. 

1887 - Rowell Hodge patented barbed wire. 

1892 - Charles A. Wheeler patented the first escalator. 

1921 - Eight White Sox players were acquitted of throwing the 1919 World Series. 

1926 - John Barrymore and Mary Astor starred in the first showing of the Vitaphone System. The system was the combining of picture and sound for movies. 

1938 - Bright yellow baseballs were used in a major league baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago Cardinals. It was hoped that the balls would be easier to see. 

1939 - Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Roosevelt urging the U.S. to have an atomic weapons research program. 

1939 - U.S. President Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act. The act prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns. 

1943 - The U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, sank after being attacked by a Japanese destroyer. The boat was under the command of Lt. John F. Kennedy. 

1945 - The Allied conference at Potsdam was concluded. 

1964 - The Pentagon reported the first of two North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. 

1983 - U.S. House of Representatives approved a law that designated the third Monday of January would be a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The law was signed by President Reagon on November 2. 

1987 - "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was re-released. The film was 50 years old at the time of its re-release. 

1990 - Iraq invaded the oil-rich country of Kuwait. Iraq claimed that Kuwait had driven down oil prices by exceeding production quotas set by OPEC. 

1995 - China ordered the expulsion of two U.S. Air Force officers. The two were said to have been caught spying on military sights.