On August 2 in …
1610 –- English explorer Henry Hudson, in the employ of Dutch financial backers, sails his ship the Half Moon into what now is known as Hudson Bay, Canada, thinking he had made it through the fabled Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean.
1776 -– The Declaration of Independence is formally signed by representatives of the 13 founding states.
1923 –- Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes President of the United States upon the death of President Warren G. Harding.
1934 –- Adolf Hitler becomes führer — a title meaning “leader” or “guide” — of Germany following the death of President Paul von Hindenburg.
1990 -– The Iraqi army, under Saddam Hussein, invades neighboring Kuwait, an action that touches off the First Gulf War.