On This Day in History, August 1

In 902, the Muslim conquest of Sicily, overseen by the Aglabid dynasty of the Abbasid Caliphate, finished their conquest with the fall of Taormina, the final stronghold upon the island. The city would overthrow its Muslim conquerors later that year and would retain their independence until 965, when the Fatimid Caliphate, who seized power from the Abbasids, laid siege to the city.

In 1834, the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 went into effect, abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire. While the selling and trafficking of slaves had been banned years before, the holding of slaves was still legal until this point. An exception was made for territories that belonged to the East India Company until the passage of the Indian Slavery Act, 1843.

In 1944, preparations in Poland came to ahead and the Warsaw Uprising was initiated. The Home Army, having been planning a resistance against the occupying Nazi forces, had their hand forced with the arrival of the Red Army in the former Polish territory. By the end of the uprising in October, the Germans were able to retain possession of Warsaw, the Soviet advance halted, and the vast majority of Warsaw had been destroyed.

A Notable Birth

1960 – Chuck D, born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, is an American rapper and activist. While at Adelphi University, he met William Drayton, best known as Flavor Flav, and the duo founded Public Enemy in 1985. He is turning 60 today.

A Notable Death

984 – Æthelwold (b. 904/9) was an English noble and priest. After years of study and training, he was made the Bishop of Winchester in 963. He had some political involvement, but was primarily involved with monastic reform, in part due to Danish influence in England.

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