991 – Battle of Maldon: an English force, led by Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, were defeated by a band of inland-raiding Vikings near Maldon in Essex. One manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said a Norwegian, Olaf Tryggvason, led the Viking forces, estimated to have been between 2,000 and 4,000 fighting men. A source from the 12th century, Liber Eliensis, written by the monks at Ely, suggests that Byrhtnoth had only a few men to command: “he was neither shaken by the small number of his men, nor fearful of the multitude of the enemy”. Not all sources indicate such a disparity in numbers.
An account of the battle, embellished with many speeches attributed to the warriors and with other details, is related in an Old English poem which is usually named The Battle of Maldon.
1792 – French Revolutionaries imprisoned Louis XVI and the monarchy was suspended.
1842 – The Mines Act came into force in the UK, releasing all women and girls, as well as boys under the age of 10, from underground employment.
1909 – Leo Fender, inventor and musical instrument manufacturer, born.
1948 – Montague Summers died. English author and clergyman. He is known primarily for his scholarly work on the English drama of the 17th century, as well as for his idiosyncratic studies on witches, vampires, and werewolves, in all of which he professed to believe. He was responsible for the first English translation, published in 1928, of the notorious 15th-century witch hunter’s manual, the Malleus Maleficarum.
1961 – First use in Vietnam War of the Agent Orange by the U.S. Army.
Agent Orange was the code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects.
2008 – Isaac Hayes died. American songwriter, musician, singer, actor, and voice actor. Hayes was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. During the late 1960s, he also began recording music and had several successful soul albums such as Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and Black Moses (1971). In addition to his work in popular music, he worked as a composer of musical scores for motion pictures, probably best known for his musical score for the film Shaft (1971).