This Day in History: August 1

The forerunner to the US Air Force is established; MTV debuts

On this day, Aug. 1 … 

1981: MTV makes its debut.

Also on this day:

  • 1907: The U.S. Army Signal Corps establishes an aeronautical division, the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force.
  • 1936: The Olympics opens in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.
  • 1944: An uprising against Nazi occupation breaks out in Warsaw, Poland; the revolt would last two months before collapsing. 
  • 1957: The United States and Canada announce they have agreed to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).
  • 1973: The movie "American Graffiti," directed by George Lucas, opens.
  • 1994: Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley confirm they'd been secretly married 11 weeks earlier. (Presley would file for divorce from Jackson in January 1996, citing irreconcilable differences.)
  • 2013: Defying the United States, Russia grants Edward Snowden temporary asylum, allowing the National Security Agency leaker to slip out of the Moscow airport where he had been holed up for weeks.
  • 2014: President Obama, in a televised news conference, says that the United States had "tortured" al-Qaeda detainees captured after 9/11. “We did some things that were contrary to our values," he says.
  • 2014: A medical examiner rules that a New York City police officer’s chokehold caused the death of Eric Garner, whose videotaped arrest and final pleas of “I can’t breathe!” sparked outrage nationwide.
  • ​​​​​​2018: The remains of dozens of presumed casualties of the Korean War are returned to U.S. soil; in an emotional ceremony in Hawaii, military members carry 55 boxes draped with American flags off two military transport planes.