August 1

  • 1774 – British scientist Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen gas, corroborating the prior discovery of this element by German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.
  • 1798 – French Revolutionary Wars: The Battle of the Nile started between a British fleet commanded by Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson and a French fleet under Vice-Admiral François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers.
  • 1801 – First Barbary War: The American schooner Enterprise captured the Tripolitan polacca Tripoli in a single-ship action off the coast of modern-day Libya.
  • 1834 – The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 came into force, officially abolishing slavery in most of the British Empire.
  • 1907 – Robert Baden-Powell held the first scout camp at Brownsea Island in Dorset, England, beginning the Scouting movement.
  • 1927 – In the Nanchang Uprising, the first major engagement in the Chinese Civil War, Communist forces seized control over the entire city of Nanchang from the Kuomintang.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Polish Home Army began the Warsaw Uprising in Warsaw against the Nazi occupation of Poland, a rebellion that lasted 63 days until it was quelled by the Germans.
  • 1981 – The American cable television network MTV, the first dedicated video-based outlet for music, made its debut with the music video for the song "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles.
  • 1984 – Commercial peat-cutters discovered a preserved bog body of a man, called Lindow Man, at Lindow Moss, Cheshire, North West England.
  • 1995 – The first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
  • 2009 – A shooting attack at the Gay and Lesbian Association building in Tel-Aviv, Israel, resulted in the deaths of two people.

August 2

  • 338 BC – A Macedonian army defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea, securing Macedonian hegemony over the majority of Greece.
  • 216 BC – Second Punic War: Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal defeated a numerically superior Roman army, near the town of Cannae in Apulia in southeast Italy.
  • 1610 – English sea explorer Henry Hudson sailed into what is now known as Hudson Bay, thinking he had made it through the Northwest Passage to reach the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1790 – The first United States Census was conducted, as mandated by the United States Constitution to allocate Congressional seats and electoral votes.
  • 1870 – Tower Subway, one of the world's first underground tube railways, opened beneath the River Thames in London.
  • 1903 – The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation started the Ilinden Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in present-day Republic of Macedonia and Greece.
  • 1923 – Calvin Coolidge became the 30th President of the United States after Warren G. Harding suffered a fatal heart attack.
  • 1943 – The Holocaust: The prisoners of Treblinka in occupied Poland rebelled, causing enough damage to the extermination camp that it was forced to cease operations.
  • 1980 – A terrorist bomb exploded at the Central Station of Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people and wounding more than 200.
  • 1989 – The Indian Peace Keeping Force began killing 64 minority Sri Lankan Tamil civilians over a two-day period in Valvettiturai, Sri Lanka.
  • 1990 – Iraq invaded Kuwait, overrunning the Kuwaiti military within two days, and eventually sparking the outbreak of the Gulf War seven months later.

August 3

  • 435 – Nestorius, the originator of Nestorianism, was exiled by Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II to a monastery in Egypt.
  • 1645 – France and the Holy Roman Empire fought in the Second Battle of Nördlingen.
  • 1916 – Irish nationalist Sir Roger Casement was hanged at London's Pentonville Prison for treason for his role in the Easter Rising, a rebellion to win Irish independence from Britain.
  • 1940 – World War II: Italy began their invasion of British Somaliland.
  • 1948 – Before the House Un-American Activities Committee of the United States House of Representatives, former spy turned government informer Whittaker Chambers accused U.S. State Department official Alger Hiss of being a communist and a Soviet spy.
  • 1949 – The Basketball Association of America agreed to merge with the National Basketball League to form the National Basketball Association.
  • 1958 – The nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus made the world's first submerged voyage across the North Pole.
  • 1960 – Niger officially gained independence from France as part of the decolonisation of the French Community.
  • 2005 – President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya of Mauritania was overthrown in a military coup while he was attending the funeral of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia.

August 4

  • 1265 – Second Barons' War: Royal forces under Prince Edward defeated Baronial forces under Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester at the Battle of Evesham near Evesham, Worcestershire.
  • 1578 – King Sebastian I disappeared at the Battle of Alcácer Quibir near Ksar-el-Kebir, Morocco, leading to a dynastic crisis in Portugal.
  • 1704 – War of the Spanish Succession: A combined Anglo-Dutch fleet under the command of George Rooke and allied with Archduke Charles captured Gibraltar from Spain.
  • 1790 – A newly passed tariff act in the United States established the Revenue Cutter Service, an armed maritime law enforcement service that was the forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • 1892 – The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden were found murdered in Fall River, Massachusetts, USA, an incident that became a cause célèbre and entered into pop culture and folklore.
  • 1903 – Pope Pius X was elected as pope.
  • 1914 – World War I: Adhering to the terms in the 1839 Treaty of London, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany in response to the German invasion of Belgium.
  • 1964 – The bodies of three American civil rights activists were found by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
  • 1964 – The second of two U.S. Navy destroyers was reportedly attacked by North Vietnamese forces in the Gulf of Tonkin, sparking the U.S. Congress to pass a resolution giving President Lyndon Johnson authorisation for the use of military force in Southeast Asia.
  • 1984 – Exactly a year after he came to power in the Republic of Upper Volta through a military coup, President Thomas Sankara changed its name to Burkina Faso.
  • 2007 – Airport police officer María del Luján Telpuk discovered a suitcase containing an undeclared amount of US$800,000 as it went through an x-ray machine in Buenos Aires' Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, sparking an international scandal involving Venezuela and Argentina known as "Maletinazo".

August 5

  • 642 – King Penda of Mercia defeated and killed King Oswald of Northumbria at the Battle of Maserfield, traditionally believed to have been fought in Oswestry, Shropshire, England.
  • 1100 – Henry I was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey.
  • 1388 – Scottish forces defeated the English during a border skirmish near Otterburn, Northumberland.
  • 1583 – Explorer Humphrey Gilbert established the first English colony in North America at what is now St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
  • 1772 – Russia, Prussia and Habsburg Austria began the First Partition of Poland to help restore the regional balance of power in Eastern Europe among those three countries.
  • 1858 – American businessman and financier Cyrus West Field and his colleagues completed the first transatlantic telegraph cable, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Valentia Island in Ireland to Heart's Content in Newfoundland, Canada.
  • 1861 – The U.S. government issued its first income tax: 3% of all income over 800 dollars (later rescinded in 1872).
  • 1962 – Actress and model Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, an event that has become the centre of one of the most debated conspiracy theories.
  • 1995 – Operation Storm: Croatian forces recovered the town of Knin from the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
  • 2003 – A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside the lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel in Setiabudi, South Jakarta, Indonesia, killing twelve people and injuring 150.

August 6

  • 1538 – Spanish Conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada founded a European urban settlement in what is today Bogotá, Colombia.
  • 1806 – The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by its last emperor Francis II during the aftermath of the War of the Third Coalition.
  • 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: At the Battle of Wœrth, German troops under Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm defeated the French under Marshal Patrice MacMahon near the village of Wœrth.
  • 1890 – At Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York, U.S., William Kemmler became the first person to be executed in an electric chair.
  • 1914 – World War I: Germany's Atlantic U-boat Campaign began when ten U-boats sailed from their base in Heligoland to attack Royal Navy warships in the North Sea, the first ever submarine war patrol in history.
  • 1915 – World War I: The Allies launched the Battle of Sari Bair at Gallipoli.
  • 1926 – American competitive swimmer Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
  • 1930 – New York City judge Joseph Force Crater mysteriously disappeared, eventually earning him the title of "The Missingest Man in New York".
  • 1945 – World War II: The U.S. Army Air Force bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb named Little Boy on Hiroshima, Japan, killing as many as 140,000 people.
  • 1962 – Jamaica gained full independence from the United Kingdom, more than 300 years after the English captured it from Spanish colonists in 1655.
  • 1964 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, outlawing literacy tests and other discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for widespread disfranchisement of African Americans in the United States.
  • 1966 – Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became emir and ruler of Abu Dhabi, succeeding his brother Shaikh Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan who was deposed in a bloodless coup d'état.
  • 1988 – New York City Police officers charged a crowd protesting a curfew for the previously 24-hour Tompkins Square Park, sparking a riot that led to over 100 complaints of police brutality.
  • 1991 – British computer programmer Tim Berners-Lee first posted files describing his ideas for a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessible via the Internet, to be called a "World Wide Web".
  • 2008 – Mauritanian President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was ousted from power by a group of high ranking generals that he had dismissed from office several hours earlier.

August 7

  • 1461 – Ming Chinese general Cao Qin staged a failed coup against the Tianshun Emperor.
  • 1679 – Le Griffon, a brigantine built by René-Robert de LaSalle, became the first sailing ship to navigate the upper Great Lakes.
  • 1782 – The Badge of Military Merit, the original Purple Heart, was established as a military decoration in the Continental Army.
  • 1794 – U.S. President George Washington invoked the Militia Law of 1792 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.
  • 1927 – The official opening ceremony of the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, at the east end of Lake Erie was held two months after it opened to the public.
  • 1933 – An estimated 3,000 Assyrians were slaughtered by Iraqi troops during the Simele massacre in the Dahuk and Mosul districts.
  • 1942 – World War II: U.S. Marines initiated the first American offensive of the Guadalcanal campaign with landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
  • 1947 – An expedition led by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl on his raft, the Kon-Tiki, completed a 101-day journey across the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1965 – Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman of the Federation of Malaysia demanded that Singapore withdraw from the federation, choosing to "sever ties with a State Government that showed no measure of loyalty to its Central Government."
  • 1998 – Car bombs simultaneously exploded at the United States embassies in the East African capital cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, killing over 200 people and injuring over 4,500 others.
  • 2007 – Barry Bonds surpassed Hank Aaron's career home run total with his milestone 756th home run.

August 8

  • 1786 – Michel-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat completed the first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc in the Alps, one of the highest mountains in Europe.
  • 1870 – Liberal radicals in Ploiesti, Romania, revolted against Romanian Domnitor Carol I, only to be arrested the next day.
  • 1876 – Thomas Edison received a patent for his mimeograph machine, a printing device that was one of the forerunners to the photocopier.
  • 1918 – The Battle of Amiens began in Amiens, France, marking the start of the Allied Powers' Hundred Days Offensive through the German front lines that ultimately led to the end of World War I.
  • 1929 – German airship LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin embarked on a flight to circumnavigate the world.
  • 1942 – The All India Congress Committee in Bombay passed the Quit India Resolution and Mahatma Gandhi called for determined but passive resistance in a speech at Gowalia Tank, leading to a civil disobedience movement across British India.
  • 1946 – The first prototype of the B-36 Peacemaker, the first nuclear weapon delivery vehicle to be mass-produced, flew for the first time.
  • 1963 – In one of the largest robberies in British history, a gang of 15 train robbers stole £2.6 million in bank notes at Bridego Railway Bridge, Buckinghamshire, England.
  • 1967 – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand founded the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
  • 1988 – The 8888 Uprising, a series of marches, demonstrations, protests, and riots against the one-party state of the Burma Socialist Programme Party in Burma, began.
  • 1991 – The Warsaw radio mast, the tallest structure ever built at 646.38 metres , collapsed due to an error in exchanging the guys on the highest stock of the mast.

August 9

  • 48 BC – Julius Caesar and the Populares defeated Pompey and the Optimates at the Battle of Pharsalus, solidifying his control over the Roman Republic.
  • 378 – A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens was destroyed by the Goths in the Battle of Adrianople.
  • 1173 – The construction of a campanile, which would eventually become the Leaning Tower of Pisa, began.
  • 1483 – The first mass in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City was celebrated.
  • 1842 – The Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed, clarifying the Canada – United States border between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods, and the location of the Maine – New Brunswick border.
  • 1942 – British Raj authorities arrested Mahatma Gandhi and various leaders of the Congress Party, beginning the suppression of the Quit India Movement.
  • 1945 – World War II: USAAF bomber Bockscar dropped an atomic bomb named "Fat Man", devastating Nagasaki, Japan.
  • 1969 – Followers of cult leader Charles Manson murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in her home in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles.
  • 1974 – The Watergate scandal: Richard Nixon became the first (and to date only) President of the United States to resign from office.
  • 1988 – Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in one of the most controversial player transactions in ice hockey history.
  • 2001 – Fifteen people were killed and 130 others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his bomb at a Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem.

August 10

  • 955 – Forces under Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor were victorious at the Battle of Lechfeld near present-day Augsburg, Germany, holding off the incursions of the Magyar into Central Europe.
  • 991 – Inland-raiding Vikings defeated Byrhtnoth and the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Maldon in Essex, England.
  • 1628 – The Swedish warship Vasa sank after sailing less than a nautical mile into her maiden voyage from Stockholm on her way to fight in the Thirty Years' War.
  • 1675 – The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, today the basis of the Prime Meridian, was laid in Greenwich, London.
  • 1792 – French Revolution: Insurrectionists in Paris stormed the Tuileries Palace, effectively ending the French monarchy until it was restored in 1814.
  • 1821 – As per the conditions of the Missouri Compromise, Missouri was admitted into the United States as a slave state, despite the fact that most of its territory was north of the parallel 36°30' north.
  • 1846 – The United States Congress established the Smithsonian Institution, an educational and research institute and associated museum complex.
  • 1913 – Delegates of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece signed the Treaty of Bucharest, ending the Second Balkan War.
  • 1920 – Representatives of Sultan Mehmed VI signed the Treaty of Sèvres, recognising the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I.
  • 1953 – First Indochina War: The French Union withdrew its forces from Operation Camargue against the Viet Minh in central modern-day Vietnam.
  • 1981 – The severed head of kidnapped six-year-old Adam Walsh was found in a canal in Vero Beach, Florida, prompting his father John to become an advocate for victims' rights, helping to spur the formation of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
  • 1990 – The Magellan space probe reached Venus, fifteen months after its launch.
  • 2006 – British police arrested 25 people suspected in an alleged terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosives carried on board at least 10 airliners travelling from the UK to the United States and Canada.
  • 2009 – Twenty people were killed in Handlová, Trencín Region, in the deadliest mining disaster in Slovakia's history.

August 11

  • 3114 BC – The epoch of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, a non-repeating, vigesimal calendar used by the Maya civilisation and several other Mesoamerican cultures, occurred.
  • 1492 – The first papal conclave held in the Sistine Chapel elected Roderic Borja as Pope Alexander VI to succeed Pope Innocent VIII.
  • 1786 – Captain Francis Light founded the British colony of Penang, renaming it Prince of Wales Island in honour of the heir to the British throne.
  • 1828 – William Corder was hanged at Bury St Edmunds, England, for murdering Maria Marten at the Red Barn.
  • 1919 – The Weimar Republic adopted its constitution to establish a liberal democracy in Germany.
  • 1929 – Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic began its annual tradition, which is now the oldest and largest African American parade in the United States.
  • 1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil received a patent for their "Secret Communications System", an early technique of frequency-hopping spread spectrum that later became the basis for many forms of today's wireless communication systems.
  • 1952 – King Talal of Jordan abdicated due to health reasons and was succeeded by his eldest son Hussein.
  • 1965 – Violent race rioting began in the Watts district of Los Angeles, lasting for six days and leaving 34 people dead and 1,032 others injured.
  • 1988 – Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam and several senior leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad formed what is now known as Al-Qaeda to continue jihad elsewhere around the world after the Soviet war in Afghanistan ended.

August 12

  • 1099 – The First Crusade concluded with the Battle of Ascalon and Fatimid forces under Al-Afdal Shahanshah retreating to Egypt.
  • 1121 – Forces led by David the Builder decisively won the Battle of Didgori, driving Ilghazi and the Seljuk Turks out of Georgia.
  • 1676 – Praying Indian John Alderman shot and killed King Philip, the Wampanoag war chief, ending King Philip's War.
  • 1851 – American inventor Isaac Singer was granted a patent for his sewing machine.
  • 1877 – American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered Deimos, the smaller of the two moons of Mars.
  • 1883 – The last known Quagga, a subspecies of the Plains zebra, died at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.
  • 1953 – The first Soviet thermonuclear bomb, Joe 4, was detonated at Semipalatinsk, Kazakh SSR.
  • 1981 – The IBM Personal Computer, the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform, was introduced.
  • 1985 – Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed into the ridge of Mount Takamagahara in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, killing 520 of 524 on board in the world's worst single-aircraft aviation disaster.
  • 1990 – American paleontologist Sue Hendrickson found the most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus near Faith, South Dakota, US.
  • 1994 – Major League Baseball players went on a 232-day strike, forcing the cancellation of the rest of the season and the World Series.
  • 2000 – The Oscar class submarine K-141 Kursk of the Russian Navy exploded and sank in the Barents Sea during a military exercise.
  • 2005 – Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Lakshman Kadirgamar was fatally shot by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam sniper as he was getting out of his swimming pool at his home in Colombo.

August 13

  • 1521 – After an extended siege, forces led by Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés captured Tlatoani Cuauhtémoc and conquered the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.
  • 1704 – The combined forces of England, the Holy Roman Empire, and the United Provinces defeated France and Bavaria in the Battle of Blenheim, one of the turning points of the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • 1913 – English inventor Harry Brearley developed stainless steel using an electric furnace.
  • 1937 – The Battle of Shanghai broke out, eventually becoming one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the entire Second Sino-Japanese War.
  • 1954 – Qaumi Tarana, the national anthem of Pakistan, was first played properly on Radio Pakistan with its new lyrics before it was officially approved three days later.
  • 1960 – The Central African Republic gained its independence from France, with David Dacko as its first president.
  • 1961 – Construction of the Berlin Wall, a long barrier separating West Berlin from East Berlin and the surrounding territory of East Germany, began.
  • 1968 – Greek politician Alexandros Panagoulis attempted to assassinate Georgios Papadopoulos, dictator of the Greek military government.
  • 2004 – Black Friday: The Maldivian National Security Service cracked down on a peaceful protest in Malé, the capital of the Maldives, causing Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to declare a state of emergency in Malé and nearby islands.
  • 2004 – Hurricane Charley struck Florida, just 22 hours after Tropical Storm Bonnie inflicted its own damage to the U.S. state.

August 14

  • 1385 – Forces under John I defeated the Castilians in the Battle of Aljubarrota, ending the 1383–1385 Crisis in Portugal.
  • 1842 – American Indian Wars: United States general William Jenkins Worth declared the Second Seminole War to be over.
  • 1888 – A recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan's The Lost Chord (audio clip right), one of the first recordings of music ever made, was played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison's phonograph in London.
  • 1941 – After a secret meeting aboard warships in a secure anchorage near Argentia, Newfoundland, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the Atlantic Charter, establishing a vision for a post-World War II world despite the fact that the United States had yet to enter the war.
  • 1947 – The Partition of India: The Dominion of Pakistan was established, carved out of the two Muslim-majority wings in the eastern and northwestern regions of British India.
  • 1948 – Australian cricketer Donald Bradman, widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time, made a duck in his final Test innings.
  • 1980 – Lech Walesa and colleagues at Gdansk Shipyard began strike actions, which subsequently led to the founding of the Solidarity movement in Poland.
  • 1994 – Leftist revolutionary and mercenary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known as Carlos the Jackal, was handed over to French agents by his own bodyguards.
  • 2003 – A widescale power blackout occurred in the Northeastern United States and in central Canada.
  • 2005 – Helios Airways Flight 522 crashed into a mountain north of Marathon and Varnava, Greece, killing all 121 on board.
  • 2006 – The United Nations brokered a ceasefire in the Lebanon War between Lebanon and Israel.
  • 2007 – Four co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Iraqi towns of Qahtaniya and Jazeera, killing an estimated 796 people and wounding 1,562 others.

August 15

  • 778 – A Frankish army led by Roland was defeated by the Basques at Roncevaux Pass in the Pyrenees on the border between France and Spain.
  • 1248 – The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid.
  • 1534 – Ignatius of Loyola and six others at Montmartre near Paris took the vows that led to the establishment of the Society of Jesus.
  • 1695 – Nine Years' War: French forces ended their three-day bombardment of Brussels, leaving a third of the buildings in the city in ruins.
  • 1843 – Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens, the oldest amusement park which has survived intact to the present day, opened.
  • 1914 – The Panama Canal opened to traffic, providing a shortcut from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through the Isthmus of Panama.
  • 1945 – The Gyokuon-hoso was broadcast in Japan, announcing the unconditional surrender of the Japanese army and naval forces, bringing World War II to a close.
  • 1947 – The British Raj was partitioned into the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
  • 1969 – The Woodstock Music and Art Festival in Bethel, New York began.
  • 1977 – The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University's Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence project, received a strong radio signal from deep space that became known as the "Wow! signal".
  • 1998 – A car bomb attack carried out by the Real Irish Republican Army killed 29 people and injured approximately 220 others in Omagh, Northern Ireland.
  • 2007 – An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastated Ica and various regions of Peru.

August 16

  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: The Americans led by General John Stark routed British and Brunswick troops under Friedrich Baum at the Battle of Bennington in Walloomsac, New York.
  • 1819 – Fifteen people were killed and 400–700 others were injured after cavalry charged into a crowd of about 60–80,000 who were gathered at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.
  • 1896 – A group led by Skookum Jim Mason discovered gold near Dawson City, Yukon, Canada, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.
  • 1920 – Cleveland Indian shortstop Ray Chapman was hit by a pitch and died the following day.
  • 1929 – A long-running dispute between Muslims and Jews over access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem escalated into a week-long period of violent riots throughout Palestine.
  • 1960 – Joseph Kittinger parachuted from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,330 m), setting records for high-altitude jump, free-fall height, and fastest speed by a human without an aircraft.
  • 1977 – Elvis Presley, "The King of Rock and Roll", was officially pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, after he was found unresponsive on the floor of his Graceland bathroom.
  • 1987 – Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed after takeoff in Detroit, Michigan, USA, killing all of the crew and passengers except one.
  • 2008 – Trump International Hotel and Tower, which hosted the world's highest residence above ground-level, topped off its construction.
  • 2009 – Y. E. Yang won the 2009 PGA Championship becoming the first Asian-born golfer to win a men's major golf championship.

August 17

  • 986 – Byzantine–Bulgarian Wars: The Bulgarians defeated the Byzantine forces at the Gate of Trajan near present-day Ihtiman, with Byzantine Emperor Basil II barely escaping.
  • 1862 – A council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley in an effort to drive whites out of the area, sparking the Dakota War.
  • 1883 – The first public performance of Himno Nacional, today the national anthem of the Dominican Republic, took place.
  • 1896 – Bridget Driscoll became the first person to be killed in a petrol-driven car accident.
  • 1914 – World War I: Ignoring orders to retreat, Hermann von François led a successful counterattack defending East Prussia at the Battle of Stallupönen and scored the first German victory in the Eastern Front.
  • 1915 – American Jew Leo Frank was lynched by a mob of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia, for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl.
  • 1945 – Animal Farm, British author George Orwell's satirical allegory of Soviet totalitarianism, was first published.
  • 1945 – Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaimed the independence of Indonesia, igniting the Indonesian National Revolution against the Dutch Empire.
  • 1947 – A commission led by Cyril Radcliffe, 1st Viscount Radcliffe established the Radcliffe Line, the border between India and Pakistan after the Partition of India.
  • 1959 – An earthquake registering at least 7.3 Mw struck southwestern Montana, killing over 28 people and causing a landslide that blocked the flow of the Madison River and created Quake Lake.
  • 1959 – Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, cited by many music critics as one of the best selling and most acclaimed jazz recordings of all time, was released.
  • 1962 – East German border guards shot and killed Peter Fechter as he attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin.
  • 1969 – Hurricane Camille struck the Mississippi coast of the United States, killing 259 people and causing US$1.42 billion in damages.
  • 1978 – Double Eagle II became the first hot air balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean, landing in Miserey near Paris six days after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.
  • 1988 – President of Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was killed in a plane crash.
  • 1998 – U.S. President Bill Clinton admitted in a taped testimony that he had an "improper physical relationship" with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
  • 1999 – A 7.5 Mw earthquake struck northwestern Turkey, killing over 17,000 people and leaving approximately half a million people homeless.
  • 2009 – The Magna Carta for Women entered into force, allowing further protection for women in the Philippines.

August 18

  • 293 BC – The institution of Vinalia Rustica began at the oldest known Roman temple to Venus.
  • 1572 – French Wars of Religion: Marguerite de Valois was married to Huguenot King Henry of Navarre, in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics.
  • 1587 – Virginia Dare became the first child born in the Americas to English parents.
  • 1590 – John White, the governor of the Colony of Roanoke, returned from a supply trip to England and found his settlement deserted.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: At the Battle of Globe Tavern, Union forces attempted to sever the Weldon Railroad during the Siege of Petersburg.
  • 1868 – Astronomer Pierre Janssen discovered helium while analysing the chromosphere of the sun during a total solar eclipse in Guntur, India.
  • 1877 – Asaph Hall discovered Phobos, the larger of Mars' two moons, six days after discovering Deimos, the other one.
  • 1891 – A hurricane struck Martinique, killing about 700 people; injuring at least 1,000 others; and obliterating houses, trees, and crops across the entire island.
  • 1903 – German inventor Karl Jatho flew with his self-made motored gliding airplane, four months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers.
  • 1917 – A fire destroyed about 9,500 homes in Thessaloniki, Greece, leaving 70,000 homeless.
  • 1920 – The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women's suffrage in that country.
  • 1948 – Australia completed a 4–0 Ashes series win, earning them the nickname of "The Invincibles" for being the first Test cricket match side to play an entire tour of England without losing a match.
  • 1966 – Vietnam War: Members from D Company of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment were surrounded and attacked on all sides by a much larger Viet Cong unit at the Battle of Long Tan, but held them off for several hours until reinforcements arrived.
  • 1976 – North Korean soldiers killed two American soldiers in the Joint Security Area of the Korean Demilitarised Zone, heightening tensions over a 100-foot (30 m) poplar tree that blocked the line of sight between a United Nations Command checkpoint and an observation post.
  • 1989 – Leading Colombian presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán was assassinated during a public demonstration in the town of Soacha, Cundinamarca.
  • 2008 – President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf resigned under impeachment pressure.

August 19

  • 1612 – The "Samlesbury witches", three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury, were accused of practising witchcraft in one of the most famous witch trials in English history.
  • 1666 – Second Anglo–Dutch War: English Rear-Admiral Robert Holmes led a raid on Terschelling and on the Vlie estuary in the Netherlands, destroying 130 merchant ships within two days.
  • 1782 – American Revolutionary War: Ten months after the British surrender at the Siege of Yorktown, a combined force of British rangers and American Indians routed Kentucky militiamen at the Battle of Blue Licks.
  • 1812 – War of 1812: American Navy frigate USS Constitution defeated British Royal Navy frigate HMS Guerrière off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, earning her nickname "Old Ironsides".
  • 1929 – The radio comedy show Amos 'n' Andy made its debut.
  • 1942 – World War II: Allied forces suffered over 3,000 casualties when they unsuccessfully raided the German-occupied port of Dieppe, France.
  • 1953 – The government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq was overthrown in a coup d'état and was replaced by Fazlollah Zahedi.
  • 1960 – Russian space dogs Belka and Strelka began to orbit the Earth aboard the Korabl-Sputnik-2 spacecraft.
  • 1980 – Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 163 burned after making an emergency landing at Riyadh International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing all 301 people on board.
  • 1987 – A 27-year-old unemployed local labourer shot and killed sixteen people and wounded fifteen others before fatally shooting himself in Hungerford, Berkshire, England, one of the worst criminal atrocities involving firearms in British history.
  • 1991 – During a Soviet coup attempt led by Gennady Yanayev and other top level government officials, it was announced to the public that Mikhail Gorbachev had been relieved of his duties as President "due to illness".
  • 2003 – A car bomb destroyed the United Nations headquarters at Baghdad's Canal Hotel, killing Brazilian diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 others.

August 20

  • 636 – Rashidun Caliphate forces led by Khalid ibn al-Walid took control of Syria and Palestine in the Battle of Yarmouk, marking the first great wave of Muslim conquests after the death of Muhammad.
  • 917 – Byzantine–Bulgarian Wars: Bulgarians led by Tsar Simeon I drove the Byzantines out of Thrace with a decisive victory in the Battle of Achelous.
  • 1794 – American troops defeated the Western Confederacy, a Native American alliance, at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the decisive battle of the Northwest Indian War.
  • 1882 – Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture was first performed at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
  • 1977 – NASA's Voyager 2 lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, on a mission to explore the outer planets of the Solar System.
  • 1982 – Lebanese Civil War: A multinational force landed in Beirut to oversee the Palestine Liberation Organisation withdrawal from Lebanon.
  • 1989 – The final stage of the O-Bahn Busway in Adelaide, South Australia, was completed, becoming the world's longest and fastest guided busway with buses travelling a total of 12 kilometres at maximum speeds up to 100 km/h.
  • 1991 – Singing Revolution: Estonia regained its independence from the Soviet Union.
  • 1998 – The Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan was destroyed by a bomb attack launched by the United States in retaliation for the August 7 U.S. embassy bombings.
  • 1998 – The Supreme Court of Canada delivered its decision in Reference re Secession of Quebec, ruling that Quebec cannot legally secede from Canada without the federal government's approval.
  • 2008 – Spanair Flight 5022 crashed just after take off from Madrid's Barajas Airport, killing 154 people.

August 21

  • 1772 – A bloodless coup d'état led by Gustav III was completed with the adoption of a new Swedish Constitution.
  • 1831 – Nat Turner led a slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia, US, but it was suppressed about 48 hours later.
  • 1858 – The first of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, candidates for an Illinois seat in the United States Senate, was held in Ottawa, Illinois.
  • 1911 – Mona Lisa, an oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci, was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris. It was recovered two years later.
  • 1959 – Under the terms of the Hawaii Admission Act and a subsequent plebiscite, the Territory of Hawaii was officially admitted as the 50th U.S. state.
  • 1963 – The Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces loyal to Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem, raided and vandalised Buddhist pagodas across the country, arresting thousands and leaving an estimated hundreds dead.
  • 1968 – The Prague Spring, a period of political liberalisation in Czechoslovakia, abruptly ended after Warsaw Pact troops invaded the country, killing 72 Czechoslovaks and arresting their leader Alexander Dubček.
  • 1968 – Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. of the U.S. Marine Corps became the first African-American Marine Corps recipient of the Medal of Honour.
  • 1983 – Philippines opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. was assassinated moments after stepping off a plane at the Manila International Airport from his self-imposed exile in the United States.
  • 1986 – A limnic eruption from Lake Nyos in Cameroon killed up to 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby villages.

August 22

  • 1138 – English forces repelled a Scottish army at the Battle of the Standard near Northallerton in Yorkshire.
  • 1485 – Lancastrian forces under Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, defeated Yorkist forces under Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field, decisively ending the Wars of the Roses.
  • 1639 – The East India Company bought a small strip of land on what is today Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, from the King of the Vijayanagara Empire, Peda Venkata Raya.
  • 1791 – A slave rebellion erupted in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, starting the Haitian Revolution.
  • 1851 – The yacht America won the first America's Cup near the Isle of Wight, England.
  • 1864 – The Red Cross movement led by Henry Dunant officially began when twelve European nations signed the First Geneva Convention, establishing the International Committee of the Red Cross.
  • 1910 – Japan annexed Korea with the signing of the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, beginning a period of Japanese rule of Korea that lasted until the end of World War II.
  • 1922 – Irish Civil War: Irish National Army commander-in-chief Michael Collins was assassinated in an ambush while en route through County Cork at the village of Béal na mBláth.
  • 1934 – Australia won The Ashes against England, allowing Bill Woodfull to become the first (and to date only) captain to win the Test cricket series twice.
  • 1989 – Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers struck out the Oakland Athletics' Rickey Henderson, becoming the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to record 5,000 strikeouts.
  • 2006 – Pulkovo Airlines Flight 612 crashed near the Russian border over eastern Ukraine, killing all 170 people on board.
  • 2007 – The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Trojan horse Storm Worm, sent out a record 57 million e-mails in one day.

August 23

  • 1305 – After a show trial, William Wallace, leader of the Scottish resistance against England during the Wars of Scottish Independence, was executed in Smithfield Market, London.
  • 1514 – Ottoman forces defeated the Safavids at the Battle of Chaldiran, gaining control of eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq.
  • 1572 – The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, a wave of Catholic mob violence against the Huguenots, began, lasting for several months and resulting in an estimated tens of thousands deaths across France.
  • 1784 – Western North Carolina declared itself an independent state under the name of Franklin.
  • 1839 – As it prepared for war against China's Qing Dynasty, an ensuing conflict that became known as the First Opium War, Britain captured the southeast Asia port of Hong Kong.
  • 1866 – Prussia defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War, and dissolved the German Confederation.
  • 1896 – The Cry of Pugad Lawin: Andrés Bonifacio and his Katipunan comrades in Quezon City tore their residence certificates in defiance of Spanish rule, marking the beginning of the Philippine Revolution.
  • 1914 – In their first major action of World War I, the British Expeditionary Force defeated German troops in Mons, Belgium.
  • 1927 – After a controversial trial, and despite worldwide protests, Italian-born American anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti were executed via electrocution in Massachusetts for the charge of murder and theft.
  • 1929 – Palestine riots: Arabs began attacking Jews in Hebron in the British Mandate of Palestine, killing over sixty people in two days.
  • 1938 – English cricketer Len Hutton set a world record for the highest individual Test innings of 364, during a Test match against Australia.
  • 1939 – Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, a 10-year, mutual non-aggression treaty, which also included a secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence.
  • 1944 – King Michael's Coup: King Michael dismissed the pro-Axis government of General Ion Antonescu, putting Romania on the side of the Allies for the remainder of World War II.
  • 1958 – The People's Liberation Army began an intense artillery bombardment of Quemoy, sparking the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis.
  • 1966 – NASA's Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first photograph of Earth from the distance of the Moon.
  • 1989 – Singing Revolution: Approximately two million people joined their hands to form an over 600 kilometres long human chain across the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet republics to demonstrate the desire for independence for each of the three Baltic states.

August 24

  • 79 – According to estimates based on the Codex Laurentianus Mediceus, the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae in Italy.
  • 410 – Rome was sacked for the first time in 800 years, by the Visigoths under Alaric I.
  • 1814 – War of 1812: British forces invaded Washington, D.C., setting fire to various U.S. government buildings, including what is now the White House.
  • 1821 – The Treaty of Córdoba was signed in Córdoba, Veracruz, ratifying the Plan of Iguala and concluding Mexico's War of Independence from Spain.
  • 1857 – The New York City branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co., collapsed following widespread embezzlement, leading to a severe recession that caused about 5,000 businesses to fail.
  • 1892 – Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, one of the world's first purpose-built football grounds, opened.
  • 1942 – World War II: Bombers from the United States aircraft carrier Saratoga sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo near Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands, helping to lead to an Allied powers victory.
  • 1954 – President Getúlio Vargas of Brazil shot himself to death in the Catete Palace in Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1963 – Buddhist crisis: The U.S. State Department cabled Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, authorising him to encourage Army of the Republic of Vietnam officers to launch a coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem if he did not willingly remove Ngo Dinh Nhu, architect of the Xa Loi Pagoda raids, from his unofficial position of power.
  • 1992 – Hurricane Andrew made landfall in South Florida, the third most powerful Category 5 system to hit the United States during the 20th century.
  • 2004 – About 90 total people died after suicide bombers attacked two airliners flying out of Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport.
  • 2006 – The International Astronomical Union redefined the term "planet", reclassifying Pluto as a dwarf planet since it has not "cleared the neighbourhood" around its orbit.

August 25

  • 1248 – Ommen in the Netherlands received city rights and fortification rights from Otto III, the Archbishop of Utrecht, after the town was pillaged at least twice by a local robber baron.
  • 1258 – George Mouzalon, regent of the Empire of Nicea, was assassinated as part of a conspiracy led by the nobles under future emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.
  • 1537 – The Honourable Artillery Company, currently the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army, was formed by Royal Charter from King Henry VIII.
  • 1609 – Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope, a device that became known as a terrestrial or spyglass refracting telescope, to Venetian lawmakers.
  • 1758 – Seven Years' War: Prussian forces engaged the Russians at the Battle of Zorndorf in present-day Sarbinowo, Poland.
  • 1825 – The Thirty-Three Orientals, a revolutionary group led by Juan Antonio Lavalleja, declared Uruguayan independence from the Empire of Brazil.
  • 1835 – The New York Sun perpetrated the Great Moon Hoax, publishing articles about the supposed discovery of life on the Moon.
  • 1912 – The Kuomintang was founded by Sung Chiao-jen and Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Guangdong, China.
  • 1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act into law, establishing the National Park Service to manage all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties around the country.
  • 1920 – Polish forces under Józef Pilsudski successfully forced the Russians to withdraw from Warsaw at the Battle of Warsaw, the decisive battle of the Polish–Soviet War.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Free French Forces and the French Resistance liberated Paris from the Nazi German occupation.
  • 1945 – About ten days after World War II ended with Japan announcing its surrender, armed supporters of the Communist Party of China killed Baptist missionary John Birch.
  • 2001 – American singer Aaliyah and various members of her record company were killed when their airplane crashed shortly after takeoff from Marsh Harbour Airport in Marsh Harbour, The Bahamas.

August 26

  • 1071 – Byzantine–Seljuk wars: Seljuk Turks led by Alp Arslan captured Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV at the Battle of Manzikert.
  • 1346 – Hundred Years' War: English forces established the military supremacy of the English longbow over the French combination of crossbow and armoured knights at the Battle of Crécy.
  • 1748 – The first Lutheran denomination in North America, the Pennsylvania Ministerium, was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1768 – HMS Endeavour departed Plymouth, England, marking the start of the first voyage of explorer James Cook.
  • 1789 – French Revolution: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, defining a set of individual and collective rights of the people, was approved by the National Constituent Assembly at Versailles.
  • 1928 – At a cafe in Paisley, Scotland, May Donoghue found the remains of a snail in her bottle of ginger beer, causing her to launch one of the landmark civil action cases in British common law, Donoghue v Stevenson.
  • 1966 – SWAPO guerrilla forces launched an attack against the South African Defence Force at Omugulugwombashe, starting the Namibian War of Independence.
  • 1968 – The U.S. Democratic Party's National Convention began at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, sparking four days of clashes between anti–Vietnam War protesters and police.
  • 1978 – Pope John Paul I was elected as successor of Pope Paul VI.
  • 1978 – Aboard the Soviet Soyuz 31 spacecraft, Sigmund Jähn became the first German cosmonaut to fly in space.
  • 2008 – More than a week after a ceasefire was reached in the South Ossetia war, Russia unilaterally recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

August 27

  • 1776 – British forces led by William Howe defeated the American Continental Army under George Washington at the Battle of Long Island in Brooklyn, New York, the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1810 – Napoleonic Wars: The French Navy defeated the British Royal Navy, preventing them from taking the harbour of Grand Port on Île de France.
  • 1859 – Oil was successfully drilled in Titusville in Pennsylvania, US, resulting in the birth of the modern oil industry.
  • 1883 – Four enormous explosions from the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa generated tsunamis that destroyed many settlements on Java and Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • 1896 – The Anglo-Zanzibar War set the record for the shortest war in recorded history when Zanzibar surrendered less than an hour after the conflict broke out, with British forces destroying the Sultan's Palace and Harem.
  • 1922 – Turkish forces re-captured Afyon, the first victory of their counter-attack during the Greco-Turkish War.
  • 1928 – Over sixty nations signed the Kellogg–Briand Pact, renouncing war as an instrument of national policy.
  • 1939 – Flown by German test pilot Erich Warsitz, experimental jetplane Heinkel He 178 became the world's first aircraft to fly under turbojet power.
  • 1957 – The Constitution of Malaya came into force, three days before the Federation of Malaya achieved formal independence from the United Kingdom.
  • 1962 – Mariner 2 was launched toward Venus.
  • 1964 – In the wake of a failed attempt to augment his personal power, South Vietnamese junta leader Nguyen Khanh entered into a triumvirate power-sharing arrangement with rival generals Tran Thien Khiem and Duong Van Minh, who had been involved in plots to unseat Khanh.
  • 1979 – An IRA bomb killed British World War II admiral Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and three others while they were boating on holiday in Sligo, Ireland.
  • 1985 – The Nigerian government of Muhammadu Buhari was overthrown by Ibrahim Babangida.
  • 1991 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Moldova declared its independence during the aftermath of the failure of the Soviet coup d'état attempt.
  • 2000 – Moscow's Ostankino Tower caught fire, killing three people and disrupting television and radio signals around the city.
  • 2003 – The planet Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years: 55,758,006 kilometres (34,646,419 mi).
  • 2006 – Comair Flight 5191 crashed while inadvertently attempting to take off from the wrong runway at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, killing 49 of the 50 people on board, and causing the Federal Aviation Administration to modify rules regarding air traffic controllers.

August 28

  • 475 – Flavius Orestes took control of Ravenna, the capital of the Western Roman Empire, forcing Emperor Julius Nepos to flee.
  • 1565 – Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded St. Augustine in Spanish Florida, the oldest continually occupied European settlement in the continental United States.
  • 1640 – Bishops' Wars: Scottish Covenanter forces led by Alexander Leslie defeated the English army near Newburn, England.
  • 1845 – The first issue of the popular science magazine Scientific American was published, currently the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States.
  • 1850 – German composer Richard Wagner's romantic opera Lohengrin, containing the Bridal Chorus, was first performed under the direction of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt in Weimar, present-day Germany.
  • 1867 – Captain William Reynolds of the Lackawanna formally took possession of Midway Atoll for the United States.
  • 1901 – Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines, became the first American private school to be founded in the country.
  • 1914 – In the first naval battle of World War I, British ships defeated the German fleet in the Heligoland Bight area of the North Sea.
  • 1924 – The August Uprising, an unsuccessful insurrection against the Soviet rule in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, began.
  • 1955 – African-American teenager Emmett Till was murdered near Money, Mississippi, for flirting with a white woman, energising the nascent American Civil Rights Movement.
  • 1963 – During a large political rally in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, describing his desire for a future where blacks and whites would coexist harmoniously as equals.
  • 1988 – During an airshow at the Ramstein U.S. Air Force Base near Kaiserslautern, West Germany, three aircraft of the Italian Frecce Tricolori demonstration team collided and fell into the crowd, killing all three pilots and 67 spectators.

August 29

  • 1526 – Ottoman forces led by Suleiman the Magnificent defeated and killed Louis II, the last Jagiellonian king of Hungary and Bohemia, at the Battle of Mohács.
  • 1756 – As neighbouring countries began conspiring against him, Frederick II of Prussia launched a preemptive invasion of Saxony, starting the Seven Years' War.
  • 1786 – Disgruntled farmers in Western Massachusetts, United States, angered by high tax burdens and disenfranchisement, started Shays' Rebellion.
  • 1842 – The Treaty of Nanking, an Unequal Treaty ending the First Opium War, was signed, forcing the Chinese Qing Dynasty to give foreign trading privileges, war reparations, control of Hong Kong Island, and other concessions to the British.
  • 1882 – Australia defeated England by seven runs in a Test match at The Oval in London, beginning one of international cricket's most celebrated sports rivalries known as The Ashes.
  • 1903 – The Russian battleship Slava, the last of the five Borodinos, was launched.
  • 1907 – The Quebec Bridge, currently the longest cantilever bridge span in the world at 549 m (1800 ft) connecting Quebec City and Lévis, Quebec, Canada, across the St. Lawrence River, collapsed during construction, killing 75 workers.
  • 1944 – World War II: Slovak troops turned against the pro-Nazi government of Jozef Tiso and the German Wehrmacht, starting the two-month long Slovak National Uprising.
  • 1958 – United States Air Force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • 1984 – The first individuals were afflicted in the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack; the first, and single largest bioterrorist attack in United States history.
  • 2003 – Two car bombs exploded outside of the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, killing Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the spiritual leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, and over eighty others.
  • 2005 – Storm surges of Hurricane Katrina caused multiple breaches in levees around New Orleans, flooding about 80 percent of the city and many neighbouring areas for weeks.
  • 2007 – Six nuclear warheads were alleged to have been mistakenly loaded onto a United States Air Force heavy bomber that flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

August 30

  • 1574 – Guru Ram Das became the Fourth Sikh Guru/Master.
  • 1800 – Gabriel Prosser attempted a slave rebellion in Virginia, United States.
  • 1813 – Creek War: A force of Creeks, belonging to the Red Sticks faction killed hundreds of settlers in Fort Mims in Alabama.
  • 1813 – Napoleonic Wars: Forces of the Sixth Coalition under Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly captured French General Dominique Vandamme and thousands of his soldiers at the Battle of Kulm.
  • 1835 – European settlers landing on the north banks of the Yarra River in Southern Australia founded the city of Melbourne.
  • 1836 – Real estate entrepreneurs John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen founded the city of Houston on land near the banks of Buffalo Bayou in present-day Texas.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: James Longstreet and Stonewall Jackson led their Confederate troops to a decisive victory against John Pope's Union Army at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Prince William County, Virginia.
  • 1918 – Fanny Kaplan shot and wounded Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, helping to spark the Red Terror in the future Soviet Union, a repression against Socialist-Revolutionary Party members and other political opponents.
  • 1922 – Greco-Turkish War: Turkey defeated Greece at the Battle of Dumlupinar near Afyonkarahisar, Turkey.
  • 1952 – The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, crossing Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana, currently the longest bridge in the world by total length at 23.87 miles (38.42 km), opened.
  • 1984 – Discovery, currently the oldest, active NASA Space Shuttle, took off on its maiden voyage.
  • 1992 – Michael Schumacher won his first Formula One race at the Belgian Grand Prix.
  • 1999 – The people of East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia in a United Nations-supervised referendum.

August 31

  • 1056 – Byzantine Empress Theodora became ill, dying suddenly a few days later, without children to succeed the throne, ending the Macedonian dynasty.
  • 1422 – As the only heir to the throne, Henry VI became King of England at the age of eight months following the death of his father Henry V.
  • 1876 – Abdul Hamid II became Sultan of the Ottoman Empire when his brother Murad V was deposed.
  • 1888 – Mary Ann Nichols' body was found on the ground in front of a gated stable entrance in Buck's Row, London, allegedly the first victim of the unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.
  • 1907 – The Great Game: Russia and the United Kingdom signed the Anglo-Russian Entente, defining their respective spheres of interest in Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet.
  • 1920 – Polish forces, led by their cavalry, defeated the Bolshevik Red Army in the Battle of Komarów.
  • 1959 – A parcel bomb sent by Ngo Dinh Nhu, younger brother and chief adviser of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, failed to kill Sihanouk of Cambodia.
  • 1986 – Aeroméxico Flight 498 collided with a privately owned Piper Cherokee aircraft over Cerritos, California, killing 67 in the air and 15 on the ground.
  • 1986 – After a collision with a freighter, the Soviet ocean liner Admiral Nakhimov sank in the Tsemes Bay area of the Black Sea within seven minutes, killing more than 400 people on board.
  • 1992 – The one-party Marxist rule in the Republic of the Congo officially ended when Pascal Lissouba was inaugurated as its president after a multi-party election.
  • 1997 – Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayed, and their driver Henri Paul were killed in a high speed car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris.
  • 2005 – Up to 1,000 people died following a stampede on the Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad, the biggest loss of life in Iraq in one day since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
  • 2006 – Two years after it was stolen, Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream was recovered from a raid by Norwegian police.
 
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