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What happened in the past Augusts?

22 Jul 2016 | Posted Under History

August 1, 1770 - William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition fame, was born. They explored the lands purchased from France called "The Louisiana Purchase."


August 1, 1781 - British forces, numbering 10,000  under General Cornwallis' comand occupied Yorktown, VA.  The battle that followed was won by the Patriots, but it took two years for the peace Treaty between England and the new United States to be drawn up and signed.


August 1, 1785 - Caroline Herschel discovered a comet, probably the first woman to do so. Herschel was born in Germany, but later joined her older brother in England. He was Astronomer to King George III. She became his assistant and discovered several comets. One is named for her: 35P/Herschel-Rigollet. George III put her on his payroll for fifty pounds a year as William's assistant.


August 1, 1779 - Francis Scott Key, who wrote "The Star Spangled Banner," was born.


August 1, 1818 - Maria Mitchell was born. She too was an astronomer and she discovered a comet in 1847. She was taught by her father and assisted him from the age of twelve. She taught at Vassar.


August 2, 1850  - The Underground Railroad was started by William Still.


August 5, 1876 - Mary Ritter Beard, an historian, archivist, women's suffrage activist and reformer, was born. She was married to the historian Charles Beard and they wrote books together.  Beard worked for the New York Suffrage Party and the World Center for Women's Archives.


August 6, 1965 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Bill into law.


August 7, 1907 - Dr.  Ralph  J. Bunche, the first African-American Nobel Peace Prize winner, was born. He later served in the Department of State and in several positions at the United Nations. See below.


August 9, 1974 - President Richard M. Nixon resigned, the first and only president to so do, in the wake of the Watergate scandal and cover-up.


August 9, 1978 - President Jimmy Carter signed a $1.6 billion bailout for New York City.


August 10 ,1989 - Then Gen. Colin Powell was nominated to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first African-American to hold that position. He later served as Secretary of State.


August 10, 1993 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Esq. was sworn in by President William J. Clinton as a Supreme Court Justice becoming only the second woman and the first Jewish woman to serve on the Court.  There are now three women Supreme Court Justices.


August 14, 1863 - President Abraham Lincolnwelcomed and spoke to an African-American audiencein the White House.


August 14, 1935 - President Franklin D. Rooseveltsigned the Social Security Act into law.  It was part of the New Deal, following the "Great Depression."


August 17, 1807 - The Clermont, Robert Fulton's steamboat, made its first trip, traveling from Manhattan up the Hudson River to Albany, ushering in a transformative era in transportation and commerce. It was not the first steamboat, but it was the first commercially successful one in the United States.


August 17, 1978 - Three Americans landed outside Paris, completing the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon. The trip from Maine to France took six days.


August 18, 1774 - Meriwether Lewis, Clark's partner, was born.


August 19, 1893 - Designer and taste maker Coco Chanel was born. She revolutionized the way women dress in the years after World War II and had a great influence on haute couture. Chanel was the only person in her industry to be in Time Magazine's 100  most influential people of the 20th century.


August 19, 1933 - Service began on the IND subway in New York City.


August 19, 1954 - Dr. Bunche was named Undersecretary of the United Nations.


August 21, 1959 - Hawaii became the 50th state.


August 22, 1893 - Writer and humorist Dorothy Parkerwas born. She was one of a group of prominent writers who met at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan and sat at the famous "Round Table."  Parker was one of the writers for  the script of  the 1937 "A Star is Born,"  starring Janet Gaynor. A 1954 musical version starred Judy Garland.  She wrote for various publications. Barbra Streisand starred in the 1976 version.


Editor's Note: one of my aunts worked in publishing and had lunch with her a few times at the "Round Table"!


August 23, 1956 - Elvis Presley's recording of "Hound Dog" topped the charts.


August 24,1814 -  British forces marched into Washington, D. C. during the War of 1812. When First Lady, Dolley Madison fled the White House, she took the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington with her.  The White House and the Library of Congress were burned.  In 2003,  Tony Blair, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, in a speech to the U. S. Congress, apologized!


August 25, 1928 - Admiral Richard Byrd left on an expedition to the South Pole on the ice breaker the "City of New York."


August 26, 1920 - The 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was ratified. It granted women the right to vote. This was the end of a long road which began with a Women's Rights meeting in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. President Woodrow Wilson  had announced his support for women's suffrage in 1918.


August 26, 1935 - Geraldine Ferraro, a lawyer, teacher and writer who was the first woman nominated to be Vice President of the United States, was born. She served in the House of Representatives.  She was also the first Italian-American to be on a ticket. Ferraro ran on the ticket with Vice President Walter Mondale in 1984. They lost to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Ms. Ferraro died in March of this year.


August 26, 1971 - Congress recognized this date as"Women's Equality Day." On this date in 1920. Congress passed the 19th amendment to the Constitutution giving women the right to vote.


August 28, 1963 - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his renowned "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D, C. before many , many thousands of people. It is known as "The March on Washington, D.C."


August 31, 1774 - John and Sam Adams, cousins, arrived in Philadelphia as delegates to the Continental Congress.


August 31, 1803 - Lewis set out from Pittsburgh on the first leg of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He joined up with  Clark on October 13th. The goal was to explore the Louisiana Purchase territory which had been bought from France. Their guides included a part Native American fur trapper and his Native American wife, Sacagawea. She  was the translator for part of the journey as well as a guide.


Your comments, additions and suggestions are encouraged






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