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|<<||Selected anniversaries for August||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page
2016 day arrangement
- 1291 – Three Swiss cantons signed the Federal Charter to form the Old Swiss Confederacy.
- 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.
- 1834 – The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 came into force, officially abolishing slavery in most of the British Empire.
- 1966 – Charles Whitman climbed the University of Texas at Austin tower and went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 10 with sniper fire before being shot and killed by police.
- 1991 – US President George H. W. Bush (pictured) delivered a speech in the parliament of the Ukrainian SSR in which he warned against Ukrainian independence.
- 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.
- 1830 – His hand forced by the recent July Revolution, Charles X of France abdicated the throne in favor of his grandson, Henry.
- 1916 – An explosion sank the Italian dreadnought Leonardo da Vinci (pictured), which was blamed on Austro-Hungarian saboteurs.
- 1985 – Delta Air Lines Flight 191 crashed in Dallas, Texas, US, due to a microburst, resulting in 137 deaths.
- 1811 – A climbing team led by the Meyer brothers from Aarau became the first to reach the summit of the Jungfrau, one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps.
- 1913 – A strike by agricultural workers in Wheatland, California, US, degenerated into a riot, one of the first major farm labor confrontations in California.
- 1936 – African American athlete Jesse Owens (pictured) won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Summer Olympics, dashing Nazi leaders' hopes of Aryan domination.
- 1960 – Niger officially gained independence from France as part of the decolonization of the French Community.
- 2007 – Former Deputy Director of the Chilean secret police Raúl Iturriaga was captured after having been on the run following a conviction for kidnapping.
- 1783 – A cataclysmic eruption of Mount Asama (pictured), the most active volcano in Japan, killed roughly 1,400 people and exacerbated a famine, resulting in another 20,000 deaths.
- 1914 – First World War: Adhering to the terms in the 1839 Treaty of London, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany in response to the latter's invasion of Belgium.
- 1964 – A second US Navy destroyer was reportedly attacked by North Vietnamese forces in the Gulf of Tonkin, leading Congress to authorize the use of military force in Southeast Asia.
- 2006 – Sri Lankan Civil War: Seventeen employees of the French INGO ACF International were massacred in Muttur.
- 25 – Guangwu claimed the throne as emperor of the Han dynasty after Wang Mang, who had seized the throne himself and proclaimed the Xin dynasty, died when peasant rebels besieged Chang'an.
- 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.
- 1888 – Bertha Benz made the first long-distance automobile trip, going 106 km (66 mi) from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany, in a Benz Patent-Motorwagen (pictured).
- 1916 – First World War: The British Empire's Sinai and Palestine Campaign began with a victory in the Battle of Romani.
- 1981 – US President Ronald Reagan fired the 11,345 striking members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization en masse.
- 1506 – Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars: The Grand Duchy of Lithuania achieved one of the greatest Lithuanian victories against the Tatars in the Battle of Kletsk.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Oriskany, one of the bloodiest battles in the North American theater of the war, was fought about six miles (10 km) east of Fort Stanwix, New York.
- 1806 – The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by its last emperor, Francis II, during the aftermath of the War of the Third Coalition.
- 1956 – DuMont, one of the world's first television networks, aired its last program.
- 1996 – NASA announced that the meteorite known as ALH 84001 (pictured), discovered in the Allan Hills of Antarctica, may contain evidence of life on Mars, but further tests were inconclusive.
- 1461 – Ming Chinese general Cao Qin staged a failed coup against the Tianshun Emperor.
- 1794 – US President George Washington invoked the Militia Acts of 1792 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.
- 1946 – The Soviet Union informed Turkey that the way the latter was handling the Turkish Straits no longer represented the security interests of its fellow Black Sea nations, escalating the Turkish Straits crisis.
- 1978 – Two years after the discovery of toxic waste that had been negligently disposed of, US President Jimmy Carter declared a federal health emergency in the Love Canal neighborhood (pictured in 2012) of Niagara Falls, New York.
- 2008 – Georgia launched a large-scale military offensive against the separatist region of South Ossetia, opening the six-day Russo-Georgian War.
- 1576 – The cornerstone of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe's observatory Uraniborg was laid on the island of Hven.
- 1786 – Michel-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat completed the first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc in the Alps, an act considered to be the birth of modern mountaineering.
- 1946 – The prototype of the Convair B-36 Peacemaker (pictured), the first purpose-designed nuclear weapon delivery vehicle to be mass-produced, made its maiden flight.
- 1956 – A major mining disaster killed 262 workers, mainly Italian nationals, at the Bois du Cazier coal mine in Belgium.
- 2008 – Eight people died and 64 more were injured when a EuroCity express train en route to Prague struck a part of a motorway bridge that had fallen onto the track near Studénka station in the Czech Republic and derailed.
- 1173 – Construction began on a campanile, which would eventually become the Leaning Tower of Pisa (pictured).
- 1945 – World War II: USAAF bomber Bockscar dropped a "Fat Man" atomic bomb, devastating Nagasaki, Japan.
- 1971 – The Troubles: British authorities began arresting and interning (without trial) people accused of being republican paramilitary members.
- 2006 – British police arrested 24 people for conspiring to detonate liquid explosives carried on board at least 10 airliners travelling from the United Kingdom to the United States and Canada.
- 1270 – Yekuno Amlak deposed the last Zagwe king and seized the imperial throne of Ethiopia, beginning the reign of the Solomonic dynasty that would last for more than 700 years.
- 1628 – The Swedish warship Vasa (salvaged wreck pictured) sank after sailing less than a nautical mile on her maiden voyage from Stockholm on her way to fight in the Thirty Years' War.
- 1792 – French Revolution: Insurrectionists in Paris stormed the Tuileries Palace, effectively ending the French monarchy until it was restored in 1814.
- 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 Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
- 1492 – The first papal conclave held in the Sistine Chapel elected Roderic Borja as Pope Alexander VI to succeed Pope Innocent VIII.
- 1828 – William Corder was hanged at Bury St Edmunds, England, for the murder of Maria Marten at the Red Barn.
- 1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr (pictured) 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.
- 1965 – Violent race riots began in Watts, Los Angeles, California, lasting for six days and leaving 34 people dead and 1,032 others injured.
- 2012 – At least 306 people were killed and 3,000 others injured in a pair of earthquakes near Tabriz, Iran.
- 30 BC – Cleopatra, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, committed suicide, allegedly by means of an asp bite.
- 1323 – Sweden and the Novgorod Republic signed the Treaty of Nöteborg resulting in a temporary hiatus in the Swedish–Novgorodian Wars.
- 1877 – American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered Deimos, the smaller of the two moons of Mars.
- 1953 – The first Soviet thermonuclear bomb, Joe 4, was detonated at Semipalatinsk, Kazakh SSR.
- 1981 – The IBM Personal Computer (pictured), the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform, was introduced.
- 1521 – After an extended siege, forces led by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés captured Tlatoani Cuauhtémoc and conquered the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.
- 1624 – Cardinal Richelieu (pictured) became the chief minister to King Louis XIII, and transformed France's feudal political structure into one with a powerful central government.
- 1906 – The all-black infantrymen of the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Regiment were accused of killing a white bartender and wounding a white police officer in Brownsville, Texas, despite exculpatory evidence; all were later dishonorably discharged.
- 1937 – The Battle of Shanghai broke out, eventually becoming one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the entire Second Sino-Japanese War.
- 1996 – Marc Dutroux was arrested for the kidnapping of 14-year-old Laetitia Delhez, revealing a number of other victims and one of Belgium's biggest child molestation cases.
- 1816 – The United Kingdom formally annexed the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, ruling it from the Cape Colony in South Africa.
- 1901 – Gustave Whitehead allegedly made a successful powered flight of his Number 21 aircraft in Fairfield, Connecticut, US; if true, this predates the Wright brothers by two years.
- 1941 – After a secret meeting in Newfoundland, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (both pictured) 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.
- 1973 – The current Constitution of Pakistan came into effect.
- 1996 – Greek Cypriot refugee Solomos Solomou was shot to death by Turkish forces while trying to remove a Turkish flag from a flagpole in the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus.
- 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.
- 1261 – Michael VIII Palaiologos (pictured) was crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople.
- 1812 – War of 1812: Potawatomi warriors destroyed the United States Army's Fort Dearborn in what is now Chicago, Illinois, and captured the survivors.
- 1941 – Corporal Josef Jakobs was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London for espionage, making him the last person to be executed at the Tower.
- 2005 – The Helsinki Agreement between the Free Aceh Movement and the Government of Indonesia was signed, ending 28 years of fighting.
- 1513 – War of the League of Cambrai: King Henry VIII of England and his Imperial allies defeated French cavalry, who were then forced to retreat.
- 1819 – Fifteen people were killed and 400–700 others were injured when cavalry charged into a crowd gathered at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.
- 1891 – The San Sebastian Church in Manila, the only all-steel church in Asia, was officially consecrated.
- 1946 – A day of widespread riot and manslaughter between Hindus and Muslims took place in the city of Calcutta as a result of the Muslim League's call for an independent Pakistan.
- 1977 – Elvis Presley (pictured), "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.
- 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.
- 1560 – The Scottish Parliament adopted a Protestant confession of faith to initiate the Scottish Reformation and disestablishing Catholicism as the national religion.
- 1943 – Second World War: The Royal Air Force began a strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany's V-weapon programme by attacking the Peenemünde Army Research Center.
- 1980 – Two-month-old Australian Azaria Chamberlain was taken from her family's campsite at Uluru by a dingo, for which her mother was wrongly convicted of murder.
- 2008 – With the victory in the 4×100 m medley relay at the Beijing Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps (pictured) set the records for the most gold medals won by an individual in a single Olympics (8) as well as total career gold medals (14) in modern Olympic history.
- 1487 – Reconquista: After a four-month siege, the Catholic Monarchs conquered the city of Málaga from the Muslims.
- 1783 – An unusually bright meteor procession blazed across the night sky over Great Britain.
- 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 (RAAF helicopter pictured), 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 Demilitarized 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.
- 1745 – Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan in the Scottish Highlands to begin the Second Jacobite Rising.
- 1934 – A German referendum supported the recent merging of the posts of Chancellor and President, consolidating Adolf Hitler's assumption of supreme power.
- 1953 – The intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States orchestrated a coup d'état of Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh (pictured) and restored the constitutional monarchy of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
- 2002 – The single deadliest helicopter crash took place when a team of Chechen separatists brought down a Russian Mil Mi-26 with a man-portable air-defense system, resulting in 127 deaths.
- 14 – The adopted son of Roman emperor Augustus Agrippa Postumus, was executed by his guards while in exile under mysterious circumstances.
- 1710 – War of the Spanish Succession: The Spanish-Bourbon army commanded by the Marquis de Bay was soundly defeated by a multinational army led by the Austrian commander Guido Starhemberg.
- 1882 – The 1812 Overture by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was first performed at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
- 1962 – NS Savannah (pictured), the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, made her maiden voyage.
- 1998 – The Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan was destroyed by a missile attack launched by the United States in retaliation for the August 7 US embassy bombings.
- 1680 – Several tribes of Pueblo Indians captured the town of Santa Fe in Nuevo México.
- 1831 – Nat Turner led a slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia, US; it was suppressed about 48 hours later.
- 1944 – Second World War: A combined Canadian–Polish force captured the strategically important town of Falaise, France, in the final offensive of the Battle of Normandy.
- 1969 – An Australian tourist set the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on fire, a major catalyst of the formation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
- 1986 – In the Lake Nyos disaster, 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock were suffocated by a cloud of carbon dioxide emitted during a limnic eruption at Lake Nyos (pictured) in Cameroon.
- 1711 – Queen Anne's War: A British attempt to attack Quebec failed when eight ships wrecked on the Saint Lawrence River.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: Benedict Arnold used a ruse to convince the British that a much larger force was arriving, causing them to abandon the Siege of Fort Stanwix (reconstructed fort pictured).
- 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.
- 1944 – World War II: Wehrmacht infantry carried out an assault operation against the civilian residents of nine villages located in the Amari Valley on the Greek island of Crete.
- 1961 – Ida Siekmann jumped from a window in her tenement building trying to flee to West Berlin, becoming the first person to die at the Berlin Wall.
August 23: Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism/Black Ribbon Day in Canada, the European Union and the United States; Day of the National Flag in Ukraine
- 1514 – Ottoman forces defeated the Safavids at the Battle of Chaldiran, gaining control of eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq.
- 1896 – Andrés Bonifacio and his Katipunan comrades in modern-day Quezon City rose up in revolt against Spanish rule, marking the beginning of the Philippine Revolution.
- 1929 – Palestine riots: Arabs began attacking Jews in Hebron in the British Mandate of Palestine, killing over sixty people in two days.
- 1970 – The United Farm Workers, led by Cesar Chavez (pictured), began the Salad Bowl strike, the largest farmworker strike in U.S. history.
- 2006 – Natascha Kampusch, who had been abducted at the age of 10 in Vienna, escaped from her captor Wolfgang Přiklopil after eight years in captivity.
- 79 – According to estimates based on the Codex Laurentianus Mediceus, Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Italian towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae in rock and ash.
- 1814 – War of 1812: British forces invaded Washington, D.C., setting fire to various US government buildings, including what is now the White House (damage pictured).
- 1914 – World War I: The Battle of Cer ended as the first Allied victory in the war.
- 1941 – Adolf Hitler ordered the official termination of the T4 euthanasia program of the mentally ill and disabled, although killings continued in secret for the remainder of the war.
- 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.
- 1258 – George Mouzalon, regent of the Empire of Nicaea, 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.
- 1920 – Polish forces under Józef Piłsudski (pictured) successfully forced the Russians to withdraw from Warsaw at the Battle of Warsaw, the decisive battle of the Polish–Soviet War.
- 2001 – American singer Aaliyah and several members of her record company were killed when their overloaded aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Marsh Harbour Airport in Marsh Harbour, The Bahamas.
- 1748 – The first Lutheran denomination in North America, the Pennsylvania Ministerium, was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- 1810 – Juan José Castelli ordered the execution of Santiago de Liniers, during the Argentine War of Independence.
- 1966 – The South African Defence Force launched an attack against SWAPO guerrilla fighters at Omugulugwombashe, starting the Namibian War of Independence.
- 1978 – Aboard the Soviet Soyuz 31 spacecraft, Sigmund Jähn (pictured) became the first German in space.
- 2008 – More than a week after a ceasefire was reached in the Russo-Georgian War, Russia unilaterally recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
- 1859 – Edwin Drake (pictured) successfully drilled for oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania, resulting in the Pennsylvania oil rush, the first oil boom in the United States.
- 1896 – The United Kingdom and Zanzibar went to war, with Zanzibar surrendering less than an hour after the conflict broke out.
- 1979 – In two separate attacks, IRA bombs killed 18 British soldiers near Warrenpoint, and British admiral Louis Mountbatten and three others in County Sligo.
- 1991 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Moldova declared its independence during the aftermath of the failure of the Soviet coup d'état attempt.
- 2009 – The Burmese military junta and ethnic armies began three days of violent clashes in the Kokang Special Region.
- 1850 – German composer Richard Wagner's romantic opera Lohengrin (2015 production pictured), containing the Bridal Chorus, was first performed under the direction of Franz Liszt in Weimar, present-day Germany.
- 1859 – A massive solar storm began, causing a coronal mass ejection to strike the Earth's magnetosphere that generated aurorae that were visible in the middle latitudes.
- 1901 – Silliman University in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines, became the first American private school to be founded in the country.
- 1937 – Toyota Motors, now the world's largest automobile manufacturer, was spun off from Toyota Industries as an independent company.
- 1963 – Two young women were murdered in New York City; the mistreatment of the suspect by the police and his forced confession led New York to abolish its death penalty.
- 1831 – Michael Faraday (pictured) discovered electromagnetic induction, leading to the formation of his law of induction.
- 1885 – Gottlieb Daimler patented the world's first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen.
- 1916 – The United States Congress passed the Philippine Autonomy Act, the first formal and official declaration of the US commitment to grant independence to the Philippines.
- 1991 – Italian businessman Libero Grassi was killed by the Sicilian Mafia after taking a public stand against their extortion demands.
- 1996 – Vnukovo Airlines Flight 2801 crashed on approach to Svalbard Airport, Norway, killing all 141 aboard.
- 1799 – Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland: A squadron of the navy of the Batavian Republic surrendered to the Royal Navy without a fight near Wieringen.
- 1813 – Creek War: A force of Creeks belonging to the Red Sticks faction killed hundreds of settlers in Fort Mims in Alabama.
- 1918 – Fanny Kaplan shot and wounded Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, one of the events leading to the Red Terror in the future Soviet Union, a repression against Socialist Revolutionary Party members and other political opponents.
- 1942 – Second World War: Erwin Rommel (pictured) launched the last major Axis offensive of the Western Desert Campaign, attacking the British Eighth Army position near El Alamein, Egypt.
- 1981 – President Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Prime Minister Mohammad-Javad Bahonar of Iran were assassinated in a bombing committed by the People's Mujahedin of Iran.
- 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.
- 1897 – Thomas Edison was granted a patent for the Kinetoscope (pictured), a precursor to the movie projector.
- 1939 – Nazi forces, posing as Poles, staged an attack against the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany, creating an excuse to invade Poland the next day.
- 1978 – Musa al-Sadr, the Iranian-born Shia cleric and then religious leader of Lebanon, disappeared in Libya while on an official visit.
- 1986 – Aeroméxico Flight 498 collided with a privately owned Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft over Cerritos, California, killing 67 in the air and 15 on the ground.