by Graham Pierrepoint
Yes – we really are that deep into August now – meaning it’s time to take a look back at some of the most interesting historical moments from years and decades gone by as we wait for fall’s inevitable approach – what happened this week in history? We’re about to find out – sit back and strap in!
August 6th, 1965 – Johnson Signs the Voting Rights Act
One of several important milestones in US civil rights was reached this week back in 1965 – as then-President Lyndon B Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act to prohibit any form of voting discrimination against ethnic minorities.
Famous Birthday: Lucille Ball (TV Comedy Legend), 1911 - 1989
August 7th, 1428 – The First Organized Witch Trials Begin
Thank goodness we live in enlightened times – as the first-known organized witch trials began this day in 1428, over in Valais Canton, Switzerland.
Famous Birthday: Charlize Theron (Actor), 42
August 8th, 1974 – Nixon Announces Resignation
The end of an era – as ‘Tricky Dick’ Richard Nixon announces publicly that he will be stepping down as US President following what had become the most public political scandal in the country for some time – Watergate – and he would leave the White House at 12pm the following day.
Famous Birthday: Dustin Hoffman (Actor), 80
August 9th, 1898 – The Birth of the Diesel Engine
Yes – diesel really is that old – as its engine’s inventor, Rudolf Diesel, would today patent an internal combustion engine which would go on to be a standard alternative to gasoline or petrol for drivers all over the world.
Famous Birthday: Whitney Houston (Singer), 1963 - 2012
August 10th, 1846 – The World’s Biggest Museum is Born
Who hasn’t heard of the Smithsonian? The world’s largest museum was brought into reality on this day back in 1846 thanks to US Congress passing a motion for its establishment.
Famous Birthday: Riddick Bowe (Boxer), 50
August 11th, 1988 – Al-Qaeda Formed
Al-Qaeda, the cell which would later become the focus of George W Bush’s ‘War on Terror’, was formed on this day thirty years ago. Its figurehead, Osama Bin Laden, would eventually be killed by US forces in Pakistan.
Famous Birthday: Chris Hemsworth (Actor), 34
August 12th, 1981 – The World’s First PC Launched
IBM are responsible for bringing the world’s first Personal Computer, or PC, to the masses – with PC-DOS version 1.0 ready installed. DOS is still used to this day to some ends – though it’d be some years before Bill Gates and Microsoft would revolutionize the game and the market with their Windows operating system.
Famous Birthday: Pete Sampras (Tennis Star), 46
Join us again for more time travelling next week!