August 14


1842: The Second Seminole War ended, forcing the Seminoles from Florida to Oklahoma.

1848: Oregon Territory was organized by act of Congress.

1893: France became the first country to introduce motor vehicle registration.

1935: The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1975: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the longest-running release in film history, opened at the USA Theatre in Westwood, Los Angeles, Calif.


August 15


1965: The Beatles played to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York, New York, an event later regarded as the birth of stadium rock.

1977: The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University as part of the SETI project, received a radio signal from deep space. The event was named the “Wow! signal” from the notation made by a volunteer on the project.


August 16


1939: The last stage performance was held at the Hippodrome vaudeville hall in New York.

1954: The first issue of Sports Illustrated was published.

1977: Elvis Presley died at age 42 of a drug overdose at his home in Memphis, Tenn.

2005: Violin virtuoso Vassar Clements died of lung cancer at his daughter’s home near Nashville, Tenn. He was 77.


August 17


1920: Ray “Chappie” Chapman, shortstop for the Cleveland Indians baseball team, was killed when a submarine ball thrown by Carl Mays hit him in the temple. Chapman collapsed at the plate, and died about 12 hours later. He remains the only baseball player killed by a pitched ball.

1959: An earthquake struck the Madison River Canyon in southwest Montana, causing a massive landslide that buried a highway and a campground, and formed Earthquake Lake.

1977: The Soviet icebreaker Arktika became the first surface ship to reach the North Pole.

1982: The first Compact Discs (CDs) were released to the public in Germany.


August 18


1587: Virginia Dare, granddaughter of Gov. John White of the Colony of Roanoke, became the first English child born in the Americas.

1868: French astronomer Pierre Janssen discovered helium.

1920: The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.

1938: The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting New York, United States, with Ontario, Canada, over the Saint Lawrence River, was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1969: Actors Christian Slater and Edward Norton were born on this day.


August 19


1991: The dissolution of the Soviet Union began with a coup as Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was placed under house arrest while on holiday in the town of Foros, Ukraine.


August 20


1858: Charles Darwin first published his theory of evolution through natural selection in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside the same theory presented by Alfred Russel Wallace.

1866: President Andrew Johnson formally declared the American Civil War over.

1882: Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” debuted in Moscow.

1910: The “Big Blowup” forest fire burned approximately 3 million acres in northern Idaho, eastern Washington and western Montana for three days starting Aug. 20.