On August 28

Certain moments send shockwaves through the following decades in a more influential way than one can fathom. The problem is, you can only recognize these moments once they have already passed. August 18th has seen its fair share of major events, and although we can’t walk you through each and every one of them, we can break down the most important among them. 

Famous Events on This Day in History

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his now-famous “I Have a Dream” speech near the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 250,000 people were gathered to hear King speak on this day, but they could scarcely have conceived how his address would change the civil rights landscape. 

At the urging of a nearby woman, King set aside the remarks he had prepared for the day, and improvised one of the most stirring speeches in American history. This speech was ripe with allusion that resonated with listeners, but it was entirely devoid of any calls for violence or upheaval. This is, perhaps, the most poignant fact about King’s speech on this day in history and the man himself: he dreamed of change and equality, but never at the expense of others. 

Today, the effects of the speech made on this day in that age of civil unrest can be seen all over the political and cultural landscapes, referenced in music, poetry, and public addresses alike. Each year on August 28th, many Americans are compelled to reflect on King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and ruminate on the ways it has impacted the modern world. 

Stirring as it may have been, the “I Have a Dream” speech isn’t the only significant event to have taken place on August 28th;

Other Notable Events on This Day:

  • The first photo of a tornado was taken on this day in 1884; the storm went on to kill 4 to 6 people and cause significant damage. The photo was taken by F.N. Robinson in South Dakota, and was later sold as a postcard. 
  • In 1996, Prince Charles and his much-loved wife Diana were officially divorced on August 28th. Diana had been known as the people’s princess, and she maintained a high level of popularity up until her tragic death almost exactly a year later on August 31, 1997. Charles later married Camilla Parker Bowles, his longtime mistress. 

Famous Birthdays on August 28th 

1774: Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton 

The first native born American canonized by the Catholic church, Elizabeth Ann Seton was born August 28th, and achieved sainthood in 1975. Having only turned to the Catholic church 16 years before her death, Elizabeth died at the age of 46. Saint Elizabeth is the patron saint of in-law problems. 

1965: Shania Twain 

Shania Twain

Canadian-born singing star Shania Twain entered this world on August 28th, 1965. Though she is one of the most successful country music stars of all time, Twain’s life has been wrought with tribulation and turmoil. After a 15-year hiatus, Twain has burst back into public consciousness, as popular as ever. 

The passing of time happens both so quickly and so slowly that we often don’t think to take a look around at what’s happening until it has already passed. With so many years of August 28th behind, and so many certainly ahead, it’s important to reflect on these and other important moments in history on this date. Whether the events are political, cultural, or simply entertaining, August 28th holds a lot of history in its bounds.

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