Today in History 8/15 – 8/21

HistoryToday in History

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

August 15:

  • War of 1812: After watching the Battle of Baltimore all night, Francis Scott Key writes Star Spangled Banner which becomes America’s national anthem (1814)
  • Mayflower sets sail from Southampton with 102 Pilgrims (1620)
  • The Wizard of Oz premieres at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood (1939)
  • Panama Canal opens under cost (1914)
  • First recorded US hurricane hit the Plymouth Colony (1635)
  • WW1: Japan joins side of allies (1914)
  • First Christian missionaries to reach Japan landed at Kagoshima (1549)
  • Freed American slaves establish Liberia on the West African coast through the American Colonization Society (1824)
  • Agnes Prest of Exeter, England martyred for her faith by being burned at the stake (1531)
  • National black convention meets in Buffalo, New York (1843)
  • In China, the Empress and some of her family, the court, and retainers flee while foreign troops move through Peking in an attempt to put down the Boxer Rebellion (1900)
  • India gains independence from Great Britain, remains a dominion until 1950 (1947)
  • Woodstock opens (1969)

August 16:

  • Second Great Awakening Revivalist Charles Finney died (1875)
  • IBM introduces software for artificial intelligence (1988)
  • Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, is granted political asylum by Ecuador (2012)
  • US Civil War: Chickamauga campaign in Georgia (1863)
  • Indian chiefs from the Sioux & Onondaga tribes met to urge their people to renounce Christianity & return to their old Indian faith (1894)
  • 11th Olympic games closes in Berlin (1936)
  • Gold first discovered in Klondike, Alaska (1896)
  • Yorktown, Virginia founded (1691)
  • A solar flare from the Sun creates a geomagnetic storm that affects micro chips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto’s stock market (1989)
  • War of 1812: General Hull surrenders Detroit & Michigan territory to British forces (1812)
  • Britain’s Queen Victoria telegraphs US President James Buchanan (1858)
  • US ends occupation of Haiti (1934)

August 17:

  • East German border guards shot and killed 18 year old Peter Fechter while he was attempting to cross Berlin Wall into western sector (1962)
  • Scottish preacher John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration of Independence, becomes president of Harvard (1768)
  • John White returns to Roanoke, NC to find no trace of colonists he had left there 3 years earlier (1590)
  • George Orwell publishes Animal Farm (1946)
  • Rudolf Hess becomes the last of Hitler’s henchmen to die when he is found strangled to death in Spandau Prison in Berlin at the age of 93, apparently the victim of suicide (1987)
  • Korean War: Korea is divided into North and South Korea along the 38th parallel (1945)
  • English Puritan Preacher Richard Mather first arrived in Boston (1635)
  • President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (1998)
  • Billy the Kid commits his first murder (1877)
  • Joe Pulitzer donated $1 million to Columbia University & begins Pulitzer Prizes (1903)
  • Robert Fulton’s steamboat Clermont begins first trip up Hudson River (1807)
  • Projection in Paris of the very first animated cartoon, Fantasmagorie realized by Émile Cohl (1908)
  • Solymon Merrick patents wrench (1835)
  • American Movement for Christian Unity which became Disciples of Christ denomination founded (1809)
  • Losantville, Ohio, now called Cincinnati, is founded (1788)

August 18:

  • 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is ratified (1920)
  • Mayor of Tokyo Yukio Ozaki presents Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees, which President Taft decides to plant near the Potomac River (1909)
  • US Revolutionary War: George Washington signs Jay Treaty with Great Britain (1795)
  • WW2: Battle of Britain becomes ‘The hardest day” as Luftwaffe attacks the RAF in largest ever air battle (1940)
  • First mail-order catalog issued by A M Ward (1872)
  • First commercial oral contraceptive, Enovid 10 debuts in Skokie Illinois (1960)
  • Helena, first Christian archeologist and mother or first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine, dies (328 AD)
  • Chinese evangelist John Sung, who led thousands to Christ in China, died at 43 years old (1944)
  • Meriwether Lewis, famous explorer of the US, is born (1774)
  • First US marine expedition (1838)
  • John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, preached his last sermon (1688)
  • American Society of Dental Surgeons founded in New York (1840)

August 19:

  • The Christian Union, a Pentecostal denomination now known as the Church of God, was founded in Monroe County, Tennessee (1886)
  • Indianapolis 500 race track opens (1909)
  • Roman General Andrew and 2,593 Romans soldiers he’d led to Christ were tortured and executed for their faith. None recanted. (302 AD)
  • WW2: Adolf Hitler becomes president of Germany (1934)
  • First electric taxis drive in London (1897)
  • Father Thomas Bilney burned at the stake for preaching, “the just shall live by faith”, and for distributing Bibles to laymen (1531)
  • New York Herald reports gold discovery in California (1849)
  • WW2: Over 4,000 Canadian & British soldiers killed, wounded or captured raiding Dieppe, France (1942)
  • ABC begins Saturday morning kid shows (1950)
  • The first All-American Soap Box Derby is held in Dayton, Ohio (1934)
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, with the last of the United States brigade combat teams crossing the border to Kuwait (2010)
  • American frontier murderer and outlaw John Wesley Hardin is killed by an off-duty policeman in a saloon in El Paso, Texas (1895)
  • Benjamin Banneker writes a letter to the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson using the United States Declaration of Independence to criticize Jefferson’s pro-slavery stance and to request justice for African Americans (1791)
  • Orville Wright is born in Dayton, Ohio (1871)

August 20:

  • New York Times sends first round the world telegram (1911)
  • Tchaikovsky‘s 1812 Overture opens in Moscow (1882)
  • Venus and Jupiter in conjunction – possible astrological explanation for Star of Bethlehem (2 AD)
  • First 20 known African Americans land at Jamestown Virginia (1619)
  • Alaska first sighted by Danish explorer Vitus Bering (1741)
  • US Civil War: President Andrew Johnson formally declares Civil War over (1866)
  • First US commercial radio station, 8MK-WWJ, Detroit begins daily broadcasting (1920)
  • Dial telephone patented (1896)
  • Sixty Anabaptists leaders met for the Synod of Martyrs to discuss how to evangelize Europe. Within five years, all but three were dead, most by persecution. (1527)
  • During the night 200,00 Warsaw Pact Soviet led troops begin to invade Czechoslovakia in response to the Prague Spring (1968)
  • First pilot to parachute from an aircraft (1913)
  • Viking 1 launched to orbit around Mars and make a soft landing (1975)
  • NASA launches Voyager 2 towards Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Neptune (1977)
  • The Church of God of All Nations Pentecostal denomination was formed out of the Church of God of Prophecy (1958)
  • The foundation of the Hungarian state (1000)
  • First Dutch East India Company ships return from the Far East (1597)

August 21:

  • First Lincoln-Douglas debate in Illinois (1858)
  • US Civil War: Lawrence, Kansas raid by William Quantrill and his raiders kill over 200 unarmed men and boys (1863)
  • Hawaii becomes 50th US state (1959)
  • Nat Turner leads unsuccessful slave revolt in Virginia (1831)
  • Oldsmobile begins operation as a General Motors Corp division (1897)
  • American Bar Association organizes (1858)
  • Theft of Mona Lisa discovered (1911)
  • American inventor William Seward Burroughs patents the adding machine (1888)
  • Democratic Convention opens in Chicago (1968)
  • Volcanic eruption Cameroon releases poison gas, killing 2,000 (1986)
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This entry was posted in History Sharpeners, This Week in History by Tamera Lynn Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Lynn Kraft

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio. Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise are two of her historical novellas that have been published. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest.

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