August 29 is the day that a devastating hurricane forever changed New Orleans, while the testing of an atomic bomb kept an entire generation on edge. The Beatles played their final concert and the first seeds of an internet giant called Netflix were planted.
Here are some of the notable events that happened on this day:
1842: Treaty of Nanking Ends Opium War
The Opium War of 1839 was China’s first conflict with a western nation. It came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Nanking on August 29, 1842. China made a number of concessions to Britain as a result: ceding the territory of Hong Kong, allowing Britain to trade at five ports instead of one, and paying an indemnity. It was the first of a number of unequal treaties that weakened the Qing dynasty.
1949: Soviet Union Detonates Its First Atomic Bomb
Hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union intensified when the USSR tested its first atomic bomb on August 29, 1949. American experts didn’t expect the Soviet Union to have developed this capability so soon, and the nuclear arms race began in earnest. Both countries began creating more powerful bombs and tested hydrogen bombs within the next six years.
1966: The Beatles Say Goodbye
On a cold and foggy night on August 29, 1966, the Beatles stepped onto the stage in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. None of the 25,000 fans in attendance knew that this would be the band’s final scheduled concert. The Beatles went on to play an impromptu rooftop concert in London in early 1969 before breaking up a year later.
1997: Netflix is Founded
Netflix co-founders Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph made their first foray into the video business by establishing a start-up called Kibble. Their business model was based on renting DVDs by mail. Kibble was later renamed Netflix. By 2002, the company was mailing 190,000 DVDs per day to 670,000 subscribers. It made its first venture into streaming in 2010, and had more than 100 million subscribers worldwide by 2018, creating the new concept of binge-watching.
2005: New Orleans is Devastated by Hurricane Katrina
One of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history made landfall in New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Hurricane Katrina generated winds of up to 175 miles per hour, peaking as a Category 5 hurricane. The storm surge resulted in the failure of 53 levees, causing flooding throughout the city. By August 30, 80% of New Orleans was under water. While many evacuees made their way to Houston, thousands of residents were stranded. Homes and businesses were destroyed and more than 1,800 people died.
1632: John Locke
The work of English scholar John Locke helped form the foundation of western philosophy. He is credited with inspiring the Enlightenment as well as the French and American Revolutions with his theories about social contracts and individual rights.
1958: Michael Jackson
Known as the King of Pop, Michael Jackson began his musical career at the age of five as part of the Jackson 5. He went on to release best-selling albums such as Thriller and Bad and became one of the most influential cultural icons of modern history.
1982: Ingrid Bergman
Legendary actor and three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman appeared in more than 50 movies. Her role in Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart established her as a Hollywood star in the 1940s. Bergman appeared in a number of movies including For Whom The Bell Tolls, Notorious, Spellbound and Murder on the Orient Express. Born on August 29, 1915, the Swedish actor died on her birthday in 1982.