by CABPRO Staff
August 1, 1819 – American author Herman Melville was born in New York City.
August 1, 1914 – World War I erupts in Europe.
August 3, 1492 – Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on the first of four voyages of discovery to the Americas.
August 5, 1861 – President Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act, thereby imposing the first Federal income tax, a 3% tax on annual incomes over $800.
August 5, 1914 – The first electric traffic signal was installed in Cleveland, Ohio.
August 5, 1981 – President Ronald Reagan began firing 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers.
August 6, 1945 – The Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, eventually resulting in the surrender of the Japanese and the end of World War II.
August 7, 1782 – General George Washington created the “Badge for Military Merit,” later to become known as the “Order of the Purple Heart,” the oldest American military decoration for military merit.
August 8, 1974 – President Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
August 9, 1945 – The U.S. dropped the second atomic bomb on Japan, at Nagasaki, resulting in Japan’s unconditional surrender, ending World War II.
August 10, 1776 – News reached London that the Americans had drafted the Declaration of Independence.
August 10, 1861 – Missouri Confederates defeated Union forces at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek during the Civil War.
August 11, 1973 – The movie American Graffiti, directed by George Lucas, opened in theatres, launching Lucas’s exceptional Hollywood career.
August 12, 1898 – Armistice was signed between Spain and the U.S. ending the Spanish-American War.
August 13, 1981 – President Ronald Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act, a historic package of tax and budget reductions that set the tone for his administration’s overall economic policy.
August 14, 1935 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.
August 14, 1945 – V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day, when Japan formally surrendered to the Allies marking the end of World War II.
August 15, 1914 – The American-built Panama Canal, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was inaugurated with the passage of the U.S. cargo and passenger steamship SS Ancon.
August 16, 1896 – Gold was discovered in Canada’s Yukon Territory, sparking the last great gold rush in the American West.
August 16, 1977 – Singing idol Elvis Presley died at 42 at Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee.
August 17, 1786 – Davy Crockett was born in what is now Greene County, Tennessee.
August 17, 1943 – U.S. General George S. Patton arrived in Messina with his 7th Army, winning the “Race to Messina” and completing the Allied conquest
of Sicily during World War II.
August 19, 1909 – The inaugural race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500. The race was won by automotive engineer Louis Schwitzer before a crowd of 12,000.
August 19, 1964 – The Beatles kicked off their first U.S. tour at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. They performed a dozen songs in about 38 minutes and were pelted with jelly beans by the crowd.
August 20, 1911 – The first around-the-world telegram was sent. The commercial cablegram message sent from New York circled the globe and arrived back in 16.5 minutes.
August 20, 1975 – The Viking 1 Orbiter was launched by NASA on its mission to Mars.
August 21, 1863 – William Quantrill’s raiders attacked the abolitionist town of Lawrence, Kansas, during the Civil War.
August 21, 1935 – The Swing Era began with Benny Goodman’s exuberant performance at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles.
August 21, 1959 – Hawaii became America’s 50th State.
August 22, 1992 – The armed stand-off between Randy Weaver, his family and a friend, and Federal agents, ended in violence, leaving three dead at Ruby Ridge, in northern Idaho.
August 24, 1814 – British forces under General Robert Ross won the Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland, then captured and burned Washington, DC, during the War of 1812.
August 25, 1835 – The first in a series of six articles announcing the supposed discovery of life on the moon, appeared in the New York Sun newspaper; these became known collectively as “The Great Moon Hoax.”
August 25, 1939 – The Wizard of Oz opened in theatres across America.
August 25, 1950 – President Harry Truman, in anticipation of a strike by railroad workers, issued an executive order putting America’s railroads under control of the U.S. Army; the strike lasted 21 months.
August 27, 1776 – The Battle of Brooklyn took place during the Revolutionary War. Redcoats defeated Patriot forces.
August 28, 1963 – Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech before 250,000 during the March on Washington.
August 29, 1862 – The Second Battle of Bull Run was fought during the Civil War.
August 30, 1945 – General Douglas MacArthur landed in Japan to oversee the formal surrender and to organize the postwar Japanese government at the end of World War II.
August 31, 1886 – A very large, perhaps 7.6 magnitude, earthquake struck Charleston, South Carolina, leaving more that 100 people dead; it was the strongest recorded in the southeastern U.S. and was felt as far away as Boston, Chicago and Cuba.