August 3

1492 - Christopher Columbus left Palos, Spain with three ships. The voyage would lead him to what is now known as the Americas. He reached the Bahamas on October 12. 

1750 - Christopher Dock completed the first book of teaching methods. It was titled "A Simple and Thoroughly Prepared School Management." 

1880 - The American Canoe Association was formed at Lake George, NY. 

1900 - Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. was founded. 

1914 - Germany declared war on France. The next day World War I began when Britain declared war on Germany. 

1922 - WGY radio in Schenectady, NY, presented the first full-length melodrama on radio. The work was "The Wolf", written by Eugene Walter. 

1923 - Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the U.S. after the sudden death of President Harding. 

1933 - The Mickey Mouse Watch was introduced for the price of $2.75. 

1936 - The U.S. State Department advised Americans to leave Spain due to the Spanish Civil War. 

1936 - Jesse Owens won the first of his four Olympic gold medals. 

1943 - Gen. George S. Patton verbally abused and slapped a private. Later, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered him to apologize for the incident. 

1949 - The National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed. The league was formed by the merger between the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League. 

1956 - Bedloe's Island had its name changed to Liberty Island. 

1958 - The Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. The mission was known as "Operation Sunshine." 

1979 - "More American Graffiti" was released. 

1979 - Johnny Carson, the "Tonight Show" host, was on the cover of the Burbank, CA, telephone directory. 

1981 - U.S. traffic controllers with PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, went on strike. They were fired just as U.S. President Reagan had warned. 

1984 - Mary Lou Retton won a gold medal at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. 

1985 - Mail service returned to a nudist colony in Paradise Lake, FL. Residents promised that they'd wear clothes or stay out of sight when the mailperson came to deliver. 

1988 - The Iran-Contra hearings ended. No ties were made between U.S. President Reagan and the Nicaraguan Rebels. 

1988 - The Soviet Union released Mathias Rust. He had been taken into custody on May 28, 1987 for landing a plane in Moscow's Red Square. 

1989 - Hashemi Rafsanjani was sworn in as the president of Iran. 

1990 - Thousands of Iraqi troops pushed within a few miles of the border of Saudi Arabia. This heightened world concerns that the invasion of Kuwait could spread. 

1992 - The U.S. Senate voted to restrict and eventually end the testing of nuclear weapons. 

1992 - Russia and Ukraine agreed to put the Black Sea Fleet under joint command. The agreement was to last for three years. 

1995 - Eyad Ismoil was flown from Jordan to the U.S. to face charges that he had driven the van that blew up in New York's World Trade Center. 

2004 - In New York, the Statue of Liberty re-opened to the public. The site had been closed since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. 

2004 - NASA launched the spacecraft Messenger. The 6 1/2 year journey was planned to arrive at the planet Mercury in March 2011. 

2009 - Bolivia became the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.