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10 Incredible Events in August

A lot has happened in the month of August throughout history. From natural disasters to amazing inventions and feats of bravery, there are some exciting events to explore. Here are 10 interesting historical events to recognize and learn about in the eighth month of our year.

August 3, 1492 – Christopher Columbus Set Sail

The explorer Christopher Columbus set sail with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria on August 3, 1492.

He landed in the Bahamas a little more than two months later, on October 12. In total, he would complete four round-trip voyages between Spain and the Americas from 1492 to 1504.

August 6, 1945 – The Atomic Bomb

Atomic Bomb dropped in August

Scientists developed and tested the first atomic bomb in New Mexico. It was a top secret project called the Manhattan Project. J. Robert Oppenheimer headed the lab. Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves charged all Army activities related to the project.

Enola Gay deployed the bomb. It killed an estimated 140,000 people by the end of the year. A second atomic bomb deployed over Nagasaki three days later.

August 6, 1965 – Voting Rights Act Passed

President Johnson passed a law. The purpose of this law was to ensure that black people could vote. The law aimed to prevent tests on literacy, knowledge, and character from stopping them.

Another thing the Act did was to approve Federal voting examiners to register people to vote. This bill aimed to increase the number of voters in areas with historical discrimination.

August 11, 1841 – Frederick Douglass Gives his First Anti-Slavery Speech

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became an anti-slavery campaigner. He gave an account of his life as a slave at an anti-slavery convention on Nantucket Island on this date. The Massachusetts Anti-slavery Society asked Douglass to be a lecturer after his resoundingly successful speech.

Douglass learned to read as a child and knew that education was the way to escape slavery and gain freedom. He successfully escaped by train in 1838.

August 1933 – The Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, is a creature commonly referred to in Scottish Folklore. In August 1933, a published story documented George Spicer’s account of sighting. Public, world wide interest in the alleged sea creature grew radically.

No one knows when Nessie was spotted for the first time. However, stories date back all the way to sixth century AD.

August 16, 1896 – The Start of the Gold Rush

On this date, prospectors discovered gold in Rabbit Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River. This sparked the incredible event of the Great Klondike Gold Rush. This event saw around 100,000 people migrate to the Canadian Yukon region in the hope of finding gold. The gold rush lasted until 1899.

August 17, 1978 – The First Balloon Trip Across the Atlantic

The first hot air balloon trip across the Atlantic Ocean began on this day in 1978. Max Anderson, Larry Newman, and Ben Abruzzo, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, flew from Presque Isle, Maine on August 11.

Their balloon, the Double Eagle II, took them 3,000 miles across the ocean in a journey that lasted 137 hours. On August 17, they landed in Miserey in France, about 60 miles away from the capital of Paris.

August 18, 1920 – Women Gain the Right to Vote in the US

August 18,1920 Women get to vote

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution came into effect on this day in 1920. It gave women the right to vote. Women fought for a long time to get this, starting from the beginning of the United States.

In 1865, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton signed a petition to let women vote. Women gained the right to vote in the Constitution 55 years later.

August 21, 1959 – Hawaii Becomes the 50th State

President Dwight D. Eisenhower made Hawaii the 50th state in the Union when he signed a proclamation on this day.

A small group of white planters and businessmen overthrew Hawaii’s last queen, Queen Lili’uokalani, in 1893. President Grover Cleveland condemned the coup, but the temporary government established the Republic of Hawaii. Hawaii became a part of the United States in 1898. However, it took more than 60 years for Hawaii to achieve statehood.

August 24, 79 A.D. – Vesuvius Erupts

Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., destroying Pompeii, an Italian city, in its famous volcanic eruption. It also affected the cities of Stabiae and Herculaneum. Today, you can visit Pompeii and see much of the city preserved as it was when the eruption took place.

These events show amazing things that have happened in the USA and globally throughout history. To learn more about important days in history in August, check out our free lesson plans and videos. Our, Anne Frank, World War II, and Adolf Hitler lesson plans are great lessons to begin your search in!