On August 9:
48 BC Battle of Pharsalus – Julius Caesar decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey fled to Egypt.
378 Gothic War: Battle of Adrianople – A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens was defeated by the Visigoths. Valens and more than half his army were killed.
1173 Construction of the Tower of Pisa began.
1483 Opening of the Sistine Chapel.
1631 John Dryden, English Poet Laureate, was born (d. 1700).
1814 Indian Wars: The Creek signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving up huge parts of Alabama and Georgia.
1842 Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed, establishing the United States-Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.
1854 Henry David Thoreau published Walden.
1862 Battle of Cedar Mountain – General Stonewall Jackson narrowly defeated Union forces under General John Pope.
1877 Battle of Big Hole – A small band of Nez Percé Indians clash with the United States Army.
1892 Thomas Edison received a patent for a two-way telegraph.
1896 Jean Piaget, Swiss psychologist, was born (d. 1980).
1899 P. L. Travers, Australian author, was born (d. 1996).
1908 The Great White Fleet – 16 American battleships and their escorts, under the command of Admiral C. S. Sperry – arrived in Auckland.
1922 Philip Larkin, English poet, was born (d. 1985).
1925 Kakori train robbery.
1930 George Nepia played his last test for the All Blacks.
1936 Games of the XI Olympiad: Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the games becoming the first American to win four medals in one Olympiad.
1942 Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement.
1942 Battle of Savo Island – Allied naval forces protecting their amphibious forces during the initial stages of the Battle of Guadalcanal are surprised and defeated by an Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser force.
1944 The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.
1944 Continuation war: Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive, the largest offensive launched by Soviet Union against Finland during Second World War, ended in strategic stalemate. Both Finnish and Soviet troops at Finnish front dug to defensive positions, and the front remained stable until the end of the war.
1949 Jonathan Kellerman, American writer, was born.
1961 John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born.
1963 Whitney Houston, American singer and actress. was born.
1965 Singapore seceded from Malaysia and gained independence.
1965 A fire at a Titan missile base near Searcy, Arkansas killed 53 construction workers.
1969 Members of a cult led by Charles Manson brutally murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, men’s hairstylist Jay Sebring, and recent high-school graduate Steven Parent.
1993 The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan lost a 38-year hold on national leadership.
2001 US President George W. Bush announced his support for federal funding of limited research on embryonic stem cells.
2007 Emergence of the Financial crisis of 2007-2008 when a liquidity crisis resulted from the Subprime mortgage crisis.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia