Cover of the reference book offering daily historical events and solutions to modern-day political dilemmas.

August History

August History

August 1: France becomes the first country to begin using the metric system; 1793. Britain abolishes slavery throughout their empire; 1834. Bank of Italy (later Bank of America) opens first branch on Mission Street San Francisco; 1907. 

August 2: The Declaration of Independence is signed by 56 founding fathers; 1776. Warren G. Harding dies suddenly in a San Francisco Hotel; 1923. Survivors of the USS Indianapolis are rescued after surviving for three and half days in shark invested waters in the Philippine sea; 1945.

August 3: Christopher Columbus sets sail on his first voyage with three ships, the Santa Maria, Pinta and Nina from Palos de la Frontera which is about an hour from Seville by car; 1492. One of the first agriculture riots in the USA happens on a hop farm in Wheatland California, a sheriff deputy, the District Attorney and 2 field workers are killed in a skirmish over working conditions on the farm of Ralph H. Durst; 1913.

August 4: Jesse Owens wins his 2nd gold medal at the Berlin Olympics; 1936. Anne Frank arrested; 1944. Eisenhower signs a bill to fund the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia; 1955. Nelson Mandela captured by South African police; 1962. A second attack in the Gulf of Tonkin is thought to have happened resulting in a resolution a few days later setting the stage for the Vietnam war, this second attack never happened; 1964. 

August 5: William Wallace of Scotland is captured by the English and transported to London for trial and execution; 1305. President Lincoln signs the USA’s first Personal Income Tax into Law; 1861. The First cornerstone of the Statue of Liberty is laid on Bedloe’s Island NYC; 1884. 

August 6: The first draft of the Constitution begins to be debated in Philadelphia; 1787. Cy Young makes his major league debut; 1890. The B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” drops the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan; 1945. Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965; 1965. Pope Paul VI passed away, he led the second Vatican council and was canonized as a saint by Pope Francis in 2018; 1978. 

August 7: Construction of the Florence Cathedral begins using the design of Filippo Brunelleschi; 1420. The Progressive (Bull Moose) Party nominates Theodore Roosevelt for President; 1912. Howard Hughes is presented with the Congressional Gold Medal; 1939. 

August 8: Public Law 62-5 known as the Apportionment act of 1911 sets the number of seats in the House of Representatives to 435; 1911. President Truman signs the UN Charter; 1945. 

August 9: Julius Caesar defeats Pompey at Pharsalus; 48 b.c. Henry David Thoreau publishes the book Walden where he documented 2 years living near a bond in Concord MA disconnected from all the luxuries of life. A minimalist way of life; 1854. Chicago resident Alva Fisher receives a patent for the electric washing machine marketed by Hurley Machine Company of Chicago it was sold under the name “Thor”; 1910. The B-29 named Bockscar flown by Major Charles W. Sweeney diverts from its primary target of Kokura Japan towards its secondary target of Nagasaki and drops the second atomic bomb known as “Fat Man.” It destroyed about half the city and killed an estimated 70,000 people. Nagasaki was a major port city of strategic importance but many homes were constructed with timber that dated back hundreds of years. The damage was total; 1945. Richard Nixon resigns as President of the United States of America; 1974. 

August 10: Word of the United State’s Declaration of Independence reaches London England; 1776. The Louvre palace officially opens as The Museum Central des Arts; 1793. Chicago is incorporated as a city of 200 people; 1833. 

August 11: The goal of $100,000 for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is reached through small donations across the country organized by Albert Pulitzer; 1885. Green Bay Packers football club is formed named after the sponsor Indian Packing Company; 1919. Watts riots in Los Angeles California begin; 1965. 

August 12: The Ford Motor company builds the first Model T car; 1908. 

August 13: The Manhattan Project begins; 1942. Construction of the Berlin Wall begins; 1961. 

August 14: President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act; 1935. The Atlantic Charter is issued by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill; 1941. Japan accepts the terms of surrender which the allies gave Japan after the Potsdam conference. Emperor Hirohito gave the announcement over the radio at noon the following day, a formal ceremony would occur a few weeks later on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. President Truman announced the surrender of Japan on August 14th American Time. August 14th is known as Victory over Japan Day or VJ Day; 1945. 

August 15: Technically some of what also happened on the 14th 1945. Japan is geographically located on the other side of the international date line which made the events of Japan surrendering happen on the 15th in Japan and the 14th in USA and Europe; 1945. Napoleon Bonaparte was born; 1769. The Woodstock Music Festival began; 1969. 

August 16: George Carmack discovers gold along Bonanza Creek in the Yukon area of Canada beginning what is known as the Klondike gold rush; 1896. The Ramones make their debut at CBGB’s in NYC; 1974. Cristiano Ronaldo makes his debut for Manchester United at 18 years old; 2003. 

August 17: Nicolas Fouquet outshines the King by throwing a massive party, in the aftermath he will be arrested and the King expands his hunting lodge at Versailles; 1661. The Wizard of Oz opens at Los Capitol Theatre, NYC; 1939. President Bill Clinton testifies to a grand jury for more than 4 hours and says “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” He goes on national television later that night and admits to having an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky; 1998. 

August 18: The First Ascent of Mt. Whitney California is accomplished. Mt. Whitney is the tallest peak within the 48 states. Named after Josiah Dwight Whitney who was chief of the state Geological Survey from 1860-1874. He forbid anything be named after him including what is Mt. Hamilton. His subordinates climbed what is known as Mt. Brewer and assumed it was the tallest peak of the Sierra Nevada, they decided to disregard the wishes of their boss and name it after him any way. In 1871 Clarence King climbed what he thought was Mt. Whitney but was is now known as Mt. Langley. Two years later John Lucas, Charles D. Begole, and A.H. Johnson all from Inyo County made the first ascent to Mt. Whitney. They attempted to rename it Fisherman’s Point, however, in 1881 Professor S.P. Langley reached the summit for observations on solar heat and firmly established the name to be Mt. Whitney; 1873. The 19th Amendment is ratified granting women the right to vote; 1920. 

August 19: Benjamin Banneker sends a letter to Thomas Jefferson criticizing his stance on slavery using words from the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Banneker was a surveyor of the District of Columbia an inventor of clocks and a writer of Almanacs like Benjamin Franklin used to do. Benjamin Banneker also was a fairly wealthy free black man living in Virginia during the time of the American Revolution; 1793. President Bill Clinton was born; 1946. 

August 20: Rolling Stones release their single “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction; 1965. Postal worker Patrick Sherrill kills 14 of his coworkers in Edmond Oklahoma, creating the idiom “going postal”; 1986. 

August 21: Hawaii becomes the 50th state; 1959. The flag would add a 50th star the following July 4th in 1960. 

August 22: Charles De Gaulle survives an assassination attempt; 1962. 

August 23: Mount Vesuvius begins to stir on the feast day of Vulcan the Roman God of Fire; 79. William Wallace is executed in London; 1305. Hurricane Katrina becomes a named storm; 2005. 

August 24: Mt. Vesuvius is believed to have erupted because of the writing of Pliny the Younger who was 17 at the time and staying with his uncle the famous naval commander and naturalist Pliny the Elder in Naples. The date on his eye witness account was translated to August 24, however, in 2018 a new discovery in the city of Pompei was made and it is now believed the date of the eruption is October 24th and Pliny the Younger’s account has been mistranslated for the last couple hundred years. The British reach Washington D.C and set fire to government buildings, only a rainstorm and possible tornado prevent the Capitol and White House from burning to the ground completely; 1814. 

August 25: General Charles de Gaulle walks along the Champs Elysees in Paris after the liberation of Paris from nazi occupation; 1944. Momofuko begins marketing instant ramen for the first time; 1958. Elton John makes his first US appearance at the Troubadour in West Hollywood L.A. CA.; 1970.

August 26: American inventor Lee De Forest was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Lee De Forest was a pioneer in wireless technology creating a wireless telegraph as well as improving on the design of the radio and wireless radio communication similar to the modern day CB radio. He also helped early Hollywood move out of the silent film era and into the audio era, his patents were used on the John Barrymore film Don Juan which was released on August 6, 1926 which synchronized the score with the sound effects using a Vitaphone sound on disc; 1873. First major league telecast the Cincinnati Reds vs the Brooklyn Dodgers; 1939. 

August 27: Mary Poppins premiers in Los Angeles California; 1964. Barack Obama becomes the first African American nominated for President of the United States by a major political party; 2008. 

August 28: The first American born Catholic Saint is born in New York; Ann Seton founded schools beginning the parochial school system in the USA; 1774. The first known photograph of a tornado is made in South Dakota; 1884. Toyota Motors is formed; 1937. The March on Washington happens with over 250,000 people in attendance. They witness Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. give his famous “I have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. 

August 29: The first Carnegie library opens in Dunfermline Scotland; the first of over 2,000 libraries that would open around the world; 1883. San Francisco International Airport opens; 1954. The Air Force Academy opens a permanent campus in Colorado; 1958. Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast causing massive destruction to the city of New Orleans and Alabama; 2005. 

August 30: William Penn leaves England for the New World; 1682. Mary Shelley the author of Frankenstein is born; 1797. John C. Fremont issues an emancipation proclamation freeing the slaves of Missouri without consent from Washington D.C. or Abraham Lincoln; 1861. 


Back to blog