This Week in History

August 4


1936: American athlete Jesse
Owens wins his 2nd gold medal at
the Berlin Olympics; beats German Luz Long in the long jump final with an Olympic record.

1944: Anne Frank arrested in
Amsterdam by German Security
Police (Grüne Polizei) following a
tip-off from an informer who was never identified.

1956: Elvis Presley releases
“Hound Dog.”

2015: Muppets Miss Piggy and
Kermit the Frog announce the end
to their relationship on Twitter.


August 5


910: The last major Viking army to raid England is defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King
Edward and Earl Aethelred.

1914: 1st electric traffic light installed in the USA on the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.

1926: Harry Houdini stays in a coffin under water for 1½ hrs before

1957: “American Bandstand”
premieres on network TV (ABC).


August 6


1661: The Treaty of The Hague is signed whereby the Dutch Republic sells New Holland (Brazil) for 63 tonnes of gold to Portugal.

1890: At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler becomes the 1st person to be executed by
electric chair.

1945: Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the US B-29
Superfortress “Enola Gay.”

1991: Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.


August 7


1428: Valais witch trial proceedings begin in Valais Canton, Switzerland, first organized witch trials.

1606: Possible first performance of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth,

performed in the Great Hall at





Hampton Court Palace for King James.

1955: Tokyo Telecommunications
Engineering, the precursor to Sony, begins selling its first transistor
radios in Japan.


August 8


1609: Venetian senate examines
Galileo Galilei’s telescope.

1786: US Congress unanimously chooses the dollar as the monetary unit for the United States of America.

1945: USSR establishes a communist government in North Korea

1988: Discovery of most distant
galaxy (15 * 10 ^ 12 light yrs)

1992: Metallica band member James Hetfield suffers second and third-degree burns during a pyrotechnics explosion on stage at Olympic
Stadium, Montreal.


August 9


1898: Rudolf Diesel of Germany
obtains patent #608,845 for his
internal combustion engine, later known as the diesel engine.

1930: Animated character Betty
Boop debuts in Max Fleischer’s
cartoon “Dizzy Dishes.”

1945: US drops second atomic bomb “Fat Man” on Nagasaki,
Japan, destroying part of the city.

2012: Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the London Olympics in 19.32 to become first
to win 100/200m double in
back-to-back Olympics.


August 10


1787: Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart completes his chamber
piece “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”
(A Little Serenade).

1846: U.S. Act of Congress passes
establishing the Smithsonian
Institution, now world’s largest
museum and research complex.

1885: Leo Daft opens America’s 1st commercially operated electric streetcar in Baltimore.

1960: Los Angeles premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” starring
Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh.

1993: Ruth Bader Ginsburg sworn in as a US Supreme Court Justice .