Today in Weapons History

Historical Events

  • 1776-05-02 France & Spain agreed to give weapons to American rebels
  • 1862-09-15 Confederates conquer Union-weapon arsenal at Harpers Ferry WV
  • 1895-06-29 Doukhobors burn their weapons as a protest against conscription by the Tsarist Russian government.
  • 1912-12-03 Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece & Bulgaria sign weapons pact
  • 1923-04-13 US Army wins 1st college three-weapon fencing championships
  • 1933-12-20 Bolivia & Paraguay sign cease fire
  • 1935-06-12 Weapons pact ends 3 year war of Gran Chaco (Bolivia vs Paraguay)
  • 1942-02-28 1st weapon drop on Netherlands
  • 1942-08-09 CBS radio broadcasts the debut of "Our Secret Weapon."

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942-12-22 World War II: Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket as a weapon.

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1944-01-04 Operation Carpetbagger begins (aerial dropping of supplies and weapons to resistance fighters in Europe)
  • 1944-10-28 Russia & Bulgaria sign weapons pact
  • 1948-10-21 UN rejects Russian proposal to destroy atomic weapons

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1950-05-08 Chiang Kai-shek asks US for weapons

Chinese Military and Political Leader Chiang Kai-shek
Chinese Military and Political Leader
Chiang Kai-shek

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1952-11-01 "Ivy Mike", the first thermonuclear weapon to utilize the H-bomb design of Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam, is detonated in the Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean

Physicist Edward Teller
Edward Teller

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1955-03-16 President Eisenhower upheld the use of atomic weapons in case of war

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1955-07-15 18 Nobel laureates sign the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by 34 more laureates
  • 1957-11-18 Tunisia refuses Russian weapons
  • 1958-03-25 West German parliament desires German atomic weapons
  • 1958-03-31 USSR suspends nuclear weapons tests, & urges US & Britain to do same
  • 1958-04-04 1st march against nuclear weapons (Aldermaston, England)
  • 1959-07-01 Israeli Knesset agrees to weapon sales to West Germany
  • 1960-11-22 French National Meeting decide to build own nuclear weapons
  • 1960-11-30 French Senate condemns building own nuclear weapons
  • 1961-10-30 Soviet Union tests a 58 megaton hydrogen bomb named Tsar Bomba - most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1962-11-19 Fidel Castro accepts removal of Soviet weapons

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • 1963-10-09 French air force gets first nuclear weapons
  • 1964-11-17 British Labour Party installs weapon embargo against South Africa
  • 1966-12-08 US & USSR sign treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space
  • 1967-01-27 Treaty signed banning military use of nuclear weapons in space
  • 1967-05-19 USSR ratifies treaty with Britain & US banning nuclear weapons in space
  • 1970-06-05 The Falls Road curfew in North Ireland, imposed by the British Army while searching for IRA weapons, is lifted after a march by women breaches the British Army cordon
  • 1970-07-03 The British Army imposed a curfew on the Falls Road area of Belfast as they search for weapons; during the operation they come under attack from the Official IRA (OIRA) and republican rioters
  • 1970-07-04 The Falls Road curfew in North Ireland, imposed by the British Army while searching for IRA weapons, continues throughout the day; a man is killed by the British Army.
  • 1970-08-07 Shootout at Marin Courthouse in San Rafael, California, kills 4, including the presiding judge
  • 1971-02-11 US, UK, USSR, others sign Seabed Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons
  • 1972-04-10 US, USSR & 70 other nations agree to ban biological weapons
  • 1973-10-17 OPEC oil ministers agree to use oil weapon in Arab-Israeli War, mandate cut in exports, and recommend embargo against unfriendly states
  • 1973-11-23 Arab summit conference adopts open and secret resolutions on the use of the oil weapons; embargo extended to Portugal, Rhodesia, and South Africa
  • 1974-01-18 Israel & Egypt sign weapons accord

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1974-11-24 Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-2 treaty to reduce each side's number of nuclear weapons

Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev
Soviet General Secretary
Leonid Brezhnev
38th US President Gerald Ford
38th US President
Gerald Ford
  • 1975-03-26 The Biological Weapons Convention enters into force.
  • 1977-11-04 UN Security council proclaims weapon embargo against South Africa
  • 1981-11-30 Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union begin to negotiate intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe (the meetings ended inconclusively on December 17).
  • 1982-12-08 Norman Mayer holds Washington Monument hostage, demanding an end to nuclear weapons. Is killed by police after 10 hrs (he had no explosives)
  • 1983-03-08 House Foreign Affairs Com endorses nuclear weapons freeze with USSR
  • 1983-05-03 Soviet leader Andropov decreases nuclear weapons in Europe
  • 1983-05-03 US bishops condemn nuclear weapons
  • 1983-11-18 Argentina announces its ability to produce enriched uranium for nuclear weapons
  • 1983-11-23 USSR leave weapon disarmament talks
  • 1985-02-04 Naval exercises canceled when US refuses to tell NZ of nuclear weapons

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986-11-13 US President Reagan confesses weapon sales to Iran

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1987-06-08 New Zealand's Labour government legislates against nuclear weapons and nuclear powered vessels in NZ. Only nation to legislate against nuclear power
  • 1988-09-03 Estimated by this date 50,000 Kurdish civilians and soldiers killed by Iraq, many using chemical weapons, in aftermath of Iran-Iraq War
  • 1989-01-07 International Conference on Limitation of Chemical Weapons opens in Paris
  • 1989-01-08 Soviet Union promises to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons
  • 1989-01-11 140 nations agree to ban chemical weapons (poison gas, etc)
  • 1989-09-26 Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze calls for total destruction of Soviet & US chemical weapons
  • 1991-07-31 Russia & US sign long range nuclear weapons reduction pact
  • 1991-09-28 UN weapons inspectors ends 5-day standoff with Iraq
  • 1991-10-05 USSR reduces nuclear weapons arsenal
  • 1994-05-06 US House of Representatives passes the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
  • 1996-01-29 France will no longer test nuclear weapons, its president Jacques Chirac says, following international outcry over tests in the Pacific
  • 1997-04-29 The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 comes into force, outlaws production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons among its signatories.
  • 1997-11-20 Iraq's Revolution Command Council formally endorses an agreement, arranged by Russia, that enables UN weapons inspection teams to resume operations in Iraq
  • 1998-10-31 Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
  • 2002-11-18 Iraq disarmament crisis: United Nations weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix arrive in Iraq.
  • 2004-04-24 The United States lifts economic sanctions imposed on Libya 18 years previously, as a reward for its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.
  • 2004-05-26 The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skeptism towards sources during the buildup to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
  • 2007-08-29 A United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident takes place at Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale Air Force Base.
  • 2007-09-11 Russia tests the largest conventional weapon ever, the Father of all bombs.
  • 2012-01-23 European Union agrees to embargo Iranian oil in protest against Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program
  • 2012-04-29 International Chemical Weapons Convention deadline for chemical weapon stockpiles comes into effect
  • 2013-02-12 North Korea confirms it has successfully tested a nuclear device that could be weaponized
  • 2013-08-06 An alleged chemical weapons attack on Damascus, Syria, is claimed by Syrian rebels
  • 2013-08-28 China and Russia walk out of a UN Security Council meeting after the US pushes for immediate action against Syria's use of chemical weapons
  • 2013-10-11 The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons wins the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize
  • 2016-01-06 North Korea states that they have successfully tested a thermonuclear weapon

Famous Birthdays

  • 1838-06-27 Paul von Mauser, German weapon designer (d. 1914)
  • 1855-01-21 John M Browning, US, weapons manufacturer
  • 1884-09-24 Hugo Schmeisser, German weapons designer (d. 1953)
  • 1900-11-18 George Kistiakowsky, Kiev, Ukrainian-American Chemist who helped develop the first atomic bomb (Manhattan Project), but later opposed nuclear weapons
  • 1903-01-12 Igor V Kurtshatov, Russian nuclear physicist - helped develop 1st Soviet nuclear weapon
  • 1920-02-20 Evgeny Dragunov, Russian weapons designer (d. 1991)
  • 1946-07-22 Danny Glover, actor (Lethal Weapon, Operation Dumbo Drop), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1950-08-11 Gennidy Nikonov, Russian weapons inventor
  • 1950-10-09 Gary Frank, actor (Enemy Territory, Deadly Weapon), born in Spokane, Washington

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1956-01-03 Mel Gibson, Peekskill NY, actor (Mad Max, Mrs Soffel, Lethal Weapon)

Actor and Film Director Mel Gibson
Actor and Film Director
Mel Gibson
  • 1961-07-15 Scott Ritter, UN weapons inspector in Iraq
  • 1968-03-04 Patsy Kensit, actress (Lethal Weapon 2, Hanover St), born in London, England

Famous Deaths

  • 1882-01-13 Wilhelm Mauser, German weapon designer and manufacturer (b. 1834)
  • 1926-11-26 John M Brown, US weapons constructer, dies
  • 1932-05-07 Albert Thomas, French socialist politician (Minister of Armament WW1), dies at 53
  • 1953-09-12 Hugo Schmeisser, German weapons designer (b. 1884)
  • 1982-12-07 George Kistiakowsky, Ukrainian-American Chemist who helped develop the first atomic bomb (Manhattan Project) but later opposed nuclear weapons, dies at 82
  • 1991-08-01 Stuart Wilson, actor (The Girl Who Had Everything), dies at 87
  • 2003-07-17 David Kelly, Welsh UN weapons inspector (b. 1944)