Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in August 2015 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough 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. Please let us know of any errors you find.
The listing below is a small sample of the entries for August from The Date-A-Base Book 2015. There are 344 anniversaries for August in the book, which covers the whole of 2015 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.
Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy of the book many times over.
If you need to work further ahead, The Date-A-Base Book 2016 is also available.
ideas4writers lifetime members can download a 150-page preview of the 2017 edition from the members’ home page. (The preview lists all the newsworthy birth and death anniversaries in 2017 but not the events. The full version will be available from June.)
300 years ago (1 Aug 1715)
The Riot Act came into effect in England. Local authorities could declare any group of 12 or more people who disturbed the peace to be unlawfully assembled and required to disperse within 1 hour or face prosecution.
250 years ago (14 Aug 1765)
Colonists in Boston, Massachusetts staged their first challenge to British rule – a protest against the Stamp Act. The elm tree where they met became a famous rallying point for the resistance movement, and it became known as the Liberty Tree.
250 years ago (21 Aug 1765)
Birth of William IV, King of the United Kingdom and Hanover (1830-37).
150 years ago (12 Aug 1865)
British surgeon Joseph Lister became the first person in the world to use an antiseptic dressing (lint dipped in carbolic acid – now known as phenol) to treat a wound. The wound healed successfully and his results were reported in the medical journal The Lancet in 1867.
125 years ago (6 Aug 1890)
The first execution by electric chair in the USA. Convicted murderer William Kemmler was executed at Auburn Prison in New York.
100 years ago (4 Aug 1915)
Birth of Warren Avis, American entrepreneur. Founder of Avis Rent A Car.
100 years ago (22 Aug 1915)
Birth of Hugh Paddick, British actor. Best known for his sketches (such as Julian and Sandy) on the 1960s BBC radio show Round the Horne.
100 years ago (29 Aug 1915)
Birth of Ingrid Bergman, award-winning Swedish film actress. Best known for the films Casablanca and Notorious.
90 years ago (5 Aug 1925)
The Welsh nationalist political party Plaid Cymru was founded.
80 years ago (14 Aug 1935)
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, creating unemployment insurance and pension plans for the elderly.
80 years ago (15 Aug 1935)
Death of Wiley Post, famous American aviator. The first person to fly solo around the world. (Plane crash.)
80 years ago (15 Aug 1935)
Death of Will Rogers, popular American cowboy performer, humorist and actor. (Killed in the same plane crash as Wiley Post – see above.)
80 years ago (31 Aug 1935)
The U.S. Congress passed the Neutrality Act, prohibiting the export of ‘arms, ammunition, and implements of war’ to foreign nations at war.
75 years ago (10 Aug 1940)
Birth of Bobby Hatfield, American singer (the Righteous Brothers). (Died 2003.)
75 years ago (16 Aug 1940)
Death of Henri Desgrange, French cyclist and journalist who founded the Tour de France.
75 years ago (17 Aug 1940)
World War II: Germany began a naval blockade of the British Isles.
75 years ago (18 Aug 1940)
Death of Walter P. Chrysler, American engineer, car manufacturer and industrialist who founded the Chrysler Corporation.
75 years ago (20 Aug 1940)
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force in a famous House of Commons speech, saying, ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’
75 years ago (21 Aug 1940)
Death of Ernest L. Thayer, American writer and poet. Best known for his baseball-themed poem Casey at the Bat.
75 years ago (21 Aug 1940)
Death of Leon Trotsky, Russian Marxist revolutionary. (Assassinated in Mexico City with an ice axe.)
75 years ago (25 – 26 Aug 1940)
World War II: the British RAF bombed the German capital Berlin for the first time.
75 years ago (26 Aug 1940)
Birth of Don LaFontaine, American voice actor. The distinctive voice behind thousands of melodramatic movie trailers and TV advertisements. He often began his trailers with the words: ‘In a world where…’ (Died 2008.)
70 years ago (6 Aug 1945)
World War II: the U.S. Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. The centre of the city was totally destroyed and approximately 80,000 people were killed immediately. A further 60,000 people died by the end of the year due to injury or radiation. It was the first city in history to be hit by a nuclear weapon. (See also 9th August below.)
70 years ago (8 Aug 1945)
World War II: the Soviet Union entered the Pacific War exactly 3 months after the war in Europe ended, as agreed at the Yalta Conference in February. It declared war on Japan and immediately (12:01 am on 9th August) invaded the puppet state of Manchuria.
70 years ago (9 Aug 1945)
World War II: the U.S. Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, Japan. The north of the city was destroyed and approximately 40,000 people were killed immediately. A further 33,000+ died by the end of the year. It was the second (and last) city to experience a nuclear attack.
70 years ago (12 Aug 1945)
The Soviet Union began its occupation of North Korea.
70 years ago (14 Aug 1945)
World War II: V-J Day. Japan announced its unconditional surrender, ending WWII in the Pacific. (The war officially ended on 2nd September when Japan signed the surrender document.)
70 years ago (15 Aug 1945)
Korea was divided along the 38th parallel into the Soviet-occupied North Korea and the US-occupied South Korea.
70 years ago (17 Aug 1945)
Indonesia declared its independence from the Netherlands. (Recognised by the Netherlands in December 1949.)
60 years ago (5 Aug 1955)
Death of Carmen Miranda, (‘the Brazilian Bombshell’), popular Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer, dancer and Broadway actress. Noted for her signature Tutti Frutti hat which she wore in many films, including The Gang’s All Here.
60 years ago (8 Aug 1955)
The 26th of July Movement was founded in Mexico by a group of exiled revolutionaries including Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. They aimed to overthrow the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista – which they did in January 1959.
60 years ago (27 Aug 1955)
The first edition of the Guinness Book of Records (now Guinness World Records) was published.
50 years ago (1 Aug 1965)
The British Government banned cigarette advertising on television. (Cigars and loose tobacco continued to be advertised on TV until 1991.)
50 years ago (6 Aug 1965)
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 came into effect in the USA, guaranteeing every adult American’s right to vote, and banning electoral discrimination.
50 years ago (9 Aug 1965)
Singapore was expelled from Malaysia and became an independent country.
50 years ago (15 Aug 1965)
British rock group The Beatles played to more than 55,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, USA. The famous event set attendance and revenue records which paved the way for future stadium rock concerts.
50 years ago (18 -24 Aug 1965)
Vietnam War: Operation Starlite – the first major U.S. ground battle of the war. Result: indecisive.
50 years ago (20 Aug 1965)
The song (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones was released in the UK. (USA: 6th June. It was their first #1 hit in the USA.)
50 years ago (27 Aug 1965)
Death of Le Corbusier, Swiss-born French architect and city planner.
40 years ago (20 Aug 1975)
NASA launched its Viking 1 space probe on a mission to Mars. It became the first spacecraft to land successfully on Mars and complete its mission.
30 years ago (22 Aug 1985)
Manchester air disaster, England. A British Airtours Boeing 737 burst into flames at Manchester Airport after an engine caught fire and a fuel tank ruptured. 55 people were killed.
25 years ago (2 Aug 1990 – 28 Feb 1991)
Gulf War. On 2nd August Iraq invaded Kuwait. On 6th the United Nations Security Council ordered a global trade embargo against Iraq. On 7th the USA launched Operation Desert Shield, sending U.S. forces to Saudi Arabia to prevent an Iraqi invasion. On 8th Iraq took full control of Kuwait and installed a puppet government. This led to Operation Desert Storm (17 January – 28 February 1991). Coalition victory.
25 years ago (17 Aug 1990)
Death of Pearl Bailey, award-winning American stage, film and television actress, singer, entertainer and writer.
25 years ago (23 Aug 1990)
Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union. (Fully independent from 21st September 1991.)
25 years ago (27 Aug 1990)
Guinness Four found guilty. All 4 defendants in the long-running Guinness trial were found guilty of trying to drive up the share price of the Guinness company during takeover talks. (They were given prison sentences and heavy fines, though one, Jack Lyons, did not serve his sentence due to ill health.)
25 years ago (27 Aug 1990)
BBC Radio Five Live was launched.
20 years ago (14 Aug 1995)
The Battle of Britpop. British bands Blur and Oasis released competing singles on the same day, launching a chart battle that was spurred on by the media. Blur won the battle, with their song Country House reaching #1 by the end of the week while Oasis’s song Roll With It reached #2.
10 years ago (3 Aug 2005)
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became President of Iran.
10 years ago (4 Aug 2005)
A Russian mini-submarine carrying 7 crew became caught on fishing nets and a military antenna 190m (620 feet) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Russia. Russian attempts to release the submarine failed, but it was cut free on 7th August using a British-owned robotic craft. The crew were unharmed. (See also 12th Aug 2000 above.)
10 years ago (23 – 30 Aug 2005) Hurricane Katrina hit the Bahamas, Cuba and the southern U.S. states. The city of New Orleans, Louisiana was particularly badly affected when the levee system failed, flooding 80% of the city for several weeks. Florida and Mississippi also suffered severe damage. Over 1,800 people were killed. It was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
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