Forthcoming historic anniversaries, August 2009

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.
We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research – just in case! Please let us know of any errors you find.

A greatly expanded list of anniversaries (over 100 per month) is available in The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which covers the whole year from January to December 2009, and The Date-A-Base Book 2010, which covers the whole of 2010. More details below.

400 years ago (25 Aug 1609)
Galileo demonstrated his first telescope to the Venetian senate

250 years ago (24 Aug 1759)
Birth of William Wilberforce, British politician and philanthropist, a prominent anti-slavery campaigner

200 years ago (6 Aug 1809)
Birth of Alfred Lord Tennyson, British poet laureate

200 years ago (10 Aug 1809)
Quito declared independence from Spain. (This date is now celebrated as independence day, although independence was not ratified until Oct 1822)

200 years ago (17/18 Aug 1809)
Death of Matthew Boulton, British manufacturer and engineer who financed James Watt’s steam engine and oversaw its introduction into many British industries

150 years ago (27 Aug 1859)
The first oil well in the USA was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania

100 years ago (4 Aug 1909)
Birth of Glenn Cunningham, American athlete, broke the world record for the mile in 1934 despite almost losing his legs in a fire as a child

100 years ago (10 Aug 1909)
Birth of Leo Fender, American inventor and manufacturer of electric guitars

100 years ago (15 Aug 1909)
Death of Euclides da Cunha, Brazilian writer and sociologist

100 years ago (25 Aug 1909)
Birth of Michael Rennie, British stage, film and television actor

100 years ago (25 Aug 1909)
Birth of Ruby Keeler, Canadian-born American actress and dancer

100 years ago (27 Aug 1909)
Birth of Lester Young (also known as ‘Prez’), American jazz saxophonist

75 years ago (2 Aug 1934)
Following the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler became absolute dictator of Germany, combining the roles of Chancellor and President into one: ‘Führer’

75 years ago (7 Aug 1934)
The Court of Appeal rejected the US Government’s attempt to ban James Joyce’s novel ‘Ulysses’, allowing it to be published in the USA

75 years ago (11 Aug 1934)
The first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay

75 years ago (13 Aug 1934)
The comic strip ‘Li’l Abner’ by Al Capp was first published

75 years ago (19 Aug 1934)
The first All-American Soap Box Derby was held in Dayton, Ohio

70 years ago (30 Aug 1939)
World War II: the evacuation of children from British cities began

70 years ago (31 Aug 1939)
World War II: Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, signed an order to attack Poland. German troops began massing on the Polish border

60 years ago (8 Aug 1949)
Bhutan became independent from India

60 years ago (24 Aug 1949)
The North Atlantic Treaty came into effect

60 years ago (29 Aug 1949)
The Soviet Union successfully exploded its first atomic bomb at a remote test site in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan

50 years ago (5 Aug 1959)
Death of Edgar Guest, British-born American poet who wrote popular sentimental, optimistic verses

50 years ago (6 Aug 1959)
Death of Preston Sturges, American film director, screenwriter and playwright, best known for his satirical comedies of the 1940s

50 years ago (7 Aug 1959)
The USA launched the Explorer 6 satellite, which sent back the first images of the Earth from space

50 years ago (17 Aug 1959)
Birth of David Koresh, American leader of the Branch Davidians religious cult whose members were killed by the FBI in the Waco siege of 1993

50 years ago (19 Aug 1959)
Death of Blind Willie McTell, American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist whose songs influenced many later artists

50 years ago (21 Aug 1959)
Hawaii became the 50th state of the USA

50 years ago (21 Aug 1959)
Death of Sir Jacob Epstein, American-born British modern art sculptor

50 years ago (24 Aug 1959)
British newspaper ‘The Manchester Guardian’ was renamed ‘The Guardian’

40 years ago (9 Aug 1969)
Death of Sharon Tate, American actress, killed at her home in Los Angeles by followers of cult leader Charles Manson

40 years ago (14 Aug 1969)
British troops were sent to Northern Ireland to intervene in the sectarian violence between Protestants and Catholics

40 years ago (15 Aug 1969)
The three-day Woodstock Music and Art Fair began, in Bethel, New York

30 years ago (9 Aug 1979)
Britain’s first nudist beach opened in Brighton

30 years ago (14 Aug 1979)
The Fastnet yacht race was hit by a freak storm in the Irish Sea. 15 people were killed and 23 yachts were sunk or abandoned

30 years ago (27 Aug 1979)
Death of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, British admiral and statesman, last viceroy of India, mentor of the Prince of Wales, killed by an IRA bomb on his boat in Ireland

25 years ago (4 Aug 1984)
Upper Volta changed its name to Burkina Faso

25 years ago (5 Aug 1984)
Death of Richard Burton, Welsh stage and film actor (‘Cleopatra’, ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, and many others)

25 years ago (11 Aug 1984)
There was controversy in the women’s 3,000 metres final at the Los Angeles Olympics when American favourite Mary Decker and South-African-born British athlete Zola Budd collided and Decker crashed out of the race. (The question of who was to blame has never been resolved)

25 years ago (14 Aug 1984)
Death of J. B. Priestley, British novelist and playwright

25 years ago (25 Aug 1984)
Death of Truman Capote, American novelist, short story writer, and playwright (‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, ‘In Cold Blood’, and other works)

20 years ago (17 Aug 1989)
Electronic tagging of a criminal was used for the first time in Britain

20 years ago (19 Aug 1989)
Pirate radio station Radio Caroline was raided by British and Dutch governments officials and vital equipment seized or destroyed

20 years ago (20 Aug 1989)
51 people were killed when a dredger crashed into the pleasure cruiser ‘Marchioness’ on the River Thames in London

15 years ago (28 Aug 1994)
Sunday trading was legalised in England and Wales

15 years ago (31 Aug 1994)
The IRA agreed to a complete ceasefire after 25 years

10 years ago (4 Aug 1999)
Death of Victor Mature, American film actor and matinee idol

10 years ago (15 Aug 1999)
Death of Sir Hugh Casson, British architect, artist and interior designer, a lead designer of the 1951 Festival of Britain, designed the interior of the royal yacht Britannia, taught the Prince of Wales to paint in watercolours

10 years ago (22 Aug 1999)
British farmer Tony Martin was arrested after he shot and killed a burglar at his farmhouse in Norfolk

cover09_3d_120_transFor more historic anniversaries see The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which covers the whole of 2009 and contains over 1,200 forthcoming anniversaries – twice as many entries per month than our standard lists featured above. For example, there are 49 anniversaries listed above for August 2009, but 104 anniversaries for the same month in the Date-A-Base Book 2009. Over the course of the year you’ll get to hear about hundreds of significant forthcoming anniversaries that other writers just won’t know about – giving you a huge advantage!

The Date-A-Base Book 2009 is an excellent 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 (many!) times over.

The Date-A-Base Book 2010And now the 2010 edition is available too. The 2010 edition covers whole of 2010 and is 30% bigger, featuring more than 1,600 anniversaries!

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

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