Forthcoming historic anniversaries, Aug 2008

You may wish to write about the following historical events. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing. Dates and facts are taken from a reliable source, but we cannot guarantee their accuracy. Please cross-check all information as part of your research and let us know of any errors.

200 years ago (19 Aug 1808)
Birth of James Nasmyth (or Nasmith), Scottish engineer who invented the steam hammer

175 years ago (12 Aug 1833)
The city of Chicago was founded – as a small town with a population of 350

175 years ago (23 Aug 1833)
Slavery was abolished in the British colonies

150 years ago (2 Aug 1858)
The British Government took control of the East India Company

150 years ago (3 Aug 1858)
British explorer John Speke discovered Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile

150 years ago (7 Aug 1858)
Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of Canada

150 years ago (11 Aug 1858)
The first ascent of the Eiger was made by Irish mountaineer Charles Barrington and Swiss guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren

150 years ago (15 Aug 1858)
Birth of E. Nesbit, British children’s writer and poet

150 years ago (16 Aug 1858)
The first successful transatlantic telegraph cable was inaugurated by US President James Buchanan and Queen Victoria, who exchanged greetings

125 years ago (12 Aug 1883)
The last quagga in the world died at Artis Magistra zoo, Amsterdam, and the species became extinct

125 years ago (26 Aug 1883)
Krakatoa erupted, destroying two-thirds of the island and causing massive tidal waves that killed 36,000 people in Java and Sumatra

100 years ago (8 Aug 1908)
American aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright made his first public flight at a racecourse in Le Mans, France

100 years ago (12 Aug 1908)
Henry Ford’s first ‘Model T’ rolled off the assembly line

100 years ago (14 Aug 1908)
The first beauty contest was held, in Folkestone, England

100 years ago (22 Aug 1908)
Birth of Henri Cartier-Bresson, French photographer

100 years ago (25 Aug 1908)
Death of Henri Becquerel, French physicist, Nobel Prize winner

100 years ago (27 Aug 1908)
Birth of Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States

100 years ago (27 Aug 1908)
Birth of Don Bradman, Australian cricketer

100 years ago (31 Aug 1908)
Birth of William Saroyan, American novelist and playwright

75 years ago (7 Aug 1933)
The Iraqi government massacred over 3,000 Assyrians in the town of Simele (also known as Sumail)

75 years ago (18 Aug 1933)
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the ‘Thousand Islands Bridge’ over the St. Lawrence River, linking the USA and Canada

75 years ago (28 Aug 1933)
A BBC radio appeal was used for the first time to help police track down a wanted man

60 years ago (15 Aug 1948)
The Republic of Korea (South Korea) was formally established

60 years ago (23 Aug 1948)
The World Council of Churches was founded

50 years ago (3 Aug 1958)
USS Nautilus, an American nuclear-powered submarine, became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater

50 years ago (14 Aug 1958)
Death of Frédéric Joliot, French physicist, Nobel Prize winner

50 years ago (26 Aug 1958)
Death of Ralph Vaughan Williams, British composer

50 years ago (29 Aug 1958)
The US Air Force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, Colorado

40 years ago (11 Aug 1968)
The last regular steam passenger train service ran in Britain

40 years ago (20 Aug 1968)
The Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations invaded Czechoslovakia

40 years ago (27 Aug 1968)
Death of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent

30 years ago (6 Aug 1978)
Death of Pope Paul VI

30 years ago (22 Aug 1978)
Death of Jomo Kenyatta, President and founding father of Kenya

30 years ago (26 Aug 1978)
Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice was elected as Pope John Paul (he died one month later)

25 years ago (8 Aug 1983)
Twenty-two members of the IRA were jailed for a total of more than 4,000 years in one of Northern Ireland’s biggest ‘supergrass’ mass trials

25 years ago (17 Aug 1983)
Death of Ira Gershwin, American lyricist

25 years ago (18 Aug 1983)
Hurricane Alicia caused 22 deaths and more than $1 billion of damage when it hit the coast of Texas

25 years ago (18 Aug 1983)
Death of Nikolaus Pevsner, German-born British historian of art and architecture, produced the 46-volume series ‘The Buildings of England’

25 years ago (21 Aug 1983)
Death of Benigno Aquino, Jr., Philippines opposition leader, assassinated at Manila airport as he returned home from exile in the USA

15 years ago (24 Aug 1993)
Los Angeles police announced that they were investigating allegations of child abuse made against singer Michael Jackson

10 years ago (2 Aug 1998)
Death of Shari Lewis, American puppeteer and ventriloquist (‘Lamb Chop’)

10 years ago (7 Aug 1998)
Al Qaeda exploded bombs at the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people and injuring more than 5,500

10 years ago (15 Aug 1998)
A car bomb in Omagh, N. Ireland, killed 29 people and injured 370. This was the deadliest act of violence in the 30-year history of the ‘troubles’

10 years ago (17 Aug 1998)
US President Bill Clinton admitted having an inappropriate relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky

10 years ago (26 Aug 1998)
Libya agreed to send two Pan Am/Lockerbie bombing suspects to the Netherlands for trial

For more historic anniversaries check out The Date-A-Base Book 2008 and The Date-A-Base Book 2009, each spanning a whole year and containing over 1,200 forthcoming anniversaries – more than twice as many entries per month than in our standard lists featured here.

The Date-A-Base Books are a fantastic source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners. Just one article sale will pay for your copy many times over!

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk

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