by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the end of summer already – but let’s delay our sadness for the end of warmer days for the time being with our regular trip down memory lane. Here’s what happened this week back in time – years, decades and beyond.
August 20th, 1866 – The US Civil War Ends
Still one of the most iconic conflicts the US has ever faced – its Civil War was officially declared to be ‘over’ by then-President Andrew Johnson on this day in 1866.
Famous Birthday: Andrew Garfield (Actor), 36
August 21st, 1959 – The 50th State Unveiled
In further US news, leaping forward by almost a century – the 50th, and thus far final state, Hawaii, was officially unveiled on this day. That means the Stars and Stripes have gone unedited now for almost 60 years!
Famous Birthday: Usain Bolt (World Record Athlete), 32
August 22nd, 565 – The First Nessie Sighting?
While it wouldn’t be until the 1930s that the Loch Ness Monster would really capture the public’s attention – and imagination – the first recorded sighting of a ‘water beast’ in the Loch appears to date back to the time of Saint Columba, an Irish monk – who, reportedly, helped to dissuade the beast with the power of the cross.
Famous Birthday: Kristen Wiig (Actor / Comedian), 45
August 23rd, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina Looms
It’s hard to believe, but it’s 13 years this week since the rise of Hurricane Katrina, inarguably one of the most devastating natural storms to ever hit the US mainland. On this day in 2005, the storm began forming over the Bahamas. It would go on to claim homes and lives alike in the wake of its devastation.
Famous Birthday: River Phoenix (Actor), 1970 - 1993
August 24th, 1853 – The Birth of Chips?
Yes, we can even pinpoint when potato chips first became a ‘thing’ – and you can thank George Crum of Saratoga Springs, NY – though it’s though there may be recipes dating back even earlier for the popular snack. Regardless, Crum is largely credited as the father of chips and crisps.
Famous Birthday: Rupert Grint (Actor), 30
August 25th, 1609 – Galileo Shows Off the Telescope
Where would we be in terms of space exploration and understanding if not for Galileo Galilei? On this day in 1609, he offered his first demonstration of what remains a hugely popular way for stargazers to marvel at the night sky – the humble (not Hubble!) telescope.
Famous Birthday: Tim Burton (Director), 60
August 26th, 1907 – Harry Houdini’s Great Escape
Inarguably the most famous escapologist of all time, Harry Houdini would perform his iconic underwater chains routine on this day in 1907 – in 57 seconds – has he ever really been bested by modern illusionists and daredevils?
Famous Birthday: Melissa McCarthy (Actor / Comedian), 48
Join us for more time travelling this time next week!