On This Day in History, July 29

In 1148, the Siege of Damascus came to an end when the regional crusader lords forced the three kings overseeing the siege to end it and retreated back to Jerusalem. The failure of this siege would lead to the end of the Second Crusade due to the lack of trust between the Christian kings and the failure of the crusade to approach its true destination, Edessa – a former crusader kingdom that fell to Turk conqueror Zengi in 1144.

In 1921, Austrian born German solider and politician Adolf Hitler became the leader of the NSDAP, later the Nazi Party, following an attempted resignation that would’ve scuttled the party. Under his leadership, the Nazi Party would become the dominant political force in Germany by 1933 and would control the country until its surrender to the Allied Forces in 1945.

In 1959, the first elections for the United States Congress were held in Hawaii. The former island nation had been admitted as a state earlier that year, beginning in March with the Hawaii Admission Act, then an overwhelming vote by the population via referendum to join the United States as a state.

A Notable Birth

1805 – Alexis de Tocqueville (d. 1859) was a French diplomat and writer. Born to an aristocratic family, he would travel outside of the country following the establishment of the July Monarchy. It was during one of these periods that he would write Democracy in America, a sociological view of America during the Jacksonian period.

A Notable Death

2003 – Foday Sankoh (b. 1937) was a Sierra Leonean revolutionary. Following a career as a soldier and a photographer, he helped found the Revolutionary United Front, which aimed to bring down the country’s present elites. A disastrous civil war broke out, one that later led to him being tried for war crimes.

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