On This Day in History, September 2

In 1192, the Treaty of Jaffa was signed between Muslim ruler Saladin and Richard the Lionheart of England, bringing an end to the Third Crusade. Guaranteeing a three-year truce between Christian and Islamic forces in the region, the treaty set down the status of Jerusalem, the capacity for pilgrims to visit the city, and the boundaries for the shrinking Latin kingdom along the Mediterranean coast.

In 1792, a series of killings began in Paris that has been come to known as the September Massacres. While nobody is certain who exactly is fully responsible for the massacres, radical figures in the French Revolution did little to nothing to qualm the brutality. Over a course of five days, over a thousand people were killed. On this date in particular, George Danton gave a speech that called citizens to arms against perceived enemies.

In 1885, white miners brutally attacked and murdered Chinese miners in Rock Springs, Wyoming in response to their prejudiced assumption those miners were taking their jobs. The riot destroyed dozens of Chinese homes while killing at least 28 Chinese miners. Along with the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, this massacre was one of several incidents in the Western United States provoked by anti-Chinese views.

A Notable Birth

1838 – Lili’uokalani (d. 1917) was the final monarch of Hawaii before it was overthrown in 1893, following her attempt to institute a new constitution that would restore some of the monarchy’s power and franchise those suffering from economic hardship. She would be placed on house arrest after the overthrow, and eventually became a private citizen after annexation.

A Notable Death

1973 – J. R. R. Tolkien (b. 1892) was an English academic and writer who are considered the father of modern fantasy. Following his experiences in the First World War, he began his academic career in earnest, along with writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. His academic career was in part involved with linguistics, especially Anglo-Saxon.

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