On August 25

Galileo Galilei

It may sometimes feel like weeks on end pass without anything significant happening in the world, but that’s just present blindness, and hindsight is 20/20. If you dig deep enough into any date, you’ll find all sorts of significant events that have happened on that day in history. Though we can’t list every single event that has ever taken place on August 25th, we can discuss the most major ones, and the ways they have affected the world. 

Famous Events on This Day in History 

On August 25, 1609 astronomer Galileo Galilei first demonstrated his telescope to Venetian lawmakers. Though Galileo did not invent the telescope, he did perfect it by creating glass that magnified objects by 8 or 9 times.

Galileo eventually endorsed Copernicus’ theory that the planets in our solar system revolve around the sun. Galileo made this assertion after observing Jupiter’s moons through his telescope; these moons are now named after him. Copernicus and Galileo were part of a minority in their beliefs about the center of the solar system, as the masses held on to the idea that every other celestial body actually rotated around Earth.

In the years that followed, Galileo’s research, and the publishing of that research, landed him a heresy conviction in 1633 by the Roman Inquisition. Following that conviction, Galileo remained under house arrest for the duration of his life, which lasted about nine more years. Whether Galileo regretted his demonstration of the telescope on this day all those years ago given the way it impacted his life is unclear, but we unwittingly celebrate his scientific pursuit to understand our place in the universe every time we look up at the night sky, and recognize where we fit in. 

Though Galileo’s first demonstration of the telescope was certainly an important event on August 25th, it wasn’t the only one. In fact, it wasn’t even the only important event related to space that has occurred on this day.

Other Major Happenings Include:

  • In 1835, the first of six articles claiming the discovery of life on the moon appeared in The New York Sun on August 25th. This series eventually came to be known as “The Great Moon Hoax,” and it’s likely they were intended as satire. 
  • NASA’s Voyager 1 entered Interstellar Space on August 25, 2012. The spacecraft was launched on September 5, 1977, and transmitted an overview picture of the solar system in February of 1990. Now, Voyager 1 is the most distant object in space made by man. 

Famous Birthdays on August 25th 

1530: Ivan The Terrible

Ivan The Terrible

Named for enacting a reign of terror against the nobility of his own people, the first Tsar of Russia was born on this day in history, and eventually came to be known as Ivan The Terrible. This sort of autocracy was upheld in Russia for nearly 400 years, until the revolution in 1917. Despite his mistreatment of some Russians, Ivan was very successful in pushing Russian borders forward in Europe. 

1958: Tim Burton

Tim Burton

Tim Burton was born August 25, 1958 and has gained immense fame as an American filmmaker, writer, and artist. Known for his distinctly dark, sardonic style, Burton has amassed a cult following for his most famous works like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. 

From the beginning of time to now, plenty more has transpired on August 25th than we can possibly fit in a single article. It is a date marked by progress and innovation; whatever August 25th holds from here on out, it will always have a special place in history.

On August 17

Joe Pulitzer

Time waits for no man, it merely marches on without reverence for plans, hopes, or dreams. When the sun rises in the morning, it’s impossible to know exactly what, a day will hold. Indeed, the only real certainty is that the sun will set again that evening. Though there have been far too many sunrises on August 17th to speak to every single event, here are some of the most influential moments that have occurred on this day throughout time. 

Famous Events on This Day in History 

On August 17, 1903, Joseph Pulitzer donated $1 million (an amount that today translates to more than $29 million with inflation) to Columbia University for the expressed purpose of establishing a School of Journalism, and thereby creating the Pulitzer Prizes

Today, the Pulitzer Prizes are a well-known hallmark of both journalism and literature, rewarding truly exceptional writing with repute and a monetary prize. At its conception, the Pulitzer Prize was meant to encourage good journalism by incentivizing strong reporting in an era prone to sensationalism (though this sort of “yellow journalism” isn’t something Pulitzer shied away from in times of poor circulation). 

Beyond establishing these prizes, Pulitzer felt it was important that journalists receive a college education—something that had not previously been commonplace for the profession. With Joseph Pulitzer’s generous endowment, Columbia University was able to establish their School of Journalism in 1912. Five years later, in 1917, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. 

Joseph Pulitzer was a truly self-made man. Hailing from Hungary, this eventual magnate had a humble beginning. He started out as a newspaper reporter in St. Louis, eventually merging two of the major publications in that city to form the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In his later years, Pulitzer turned his attention to New York and became a professional rival of William Randolph Hearst. Whether it was Pulitzer’s disillusion with the path of the industry, or his belief that journalism is a truly noble and necessary profession that led him to leave a chunk of his fortune to Columbia University, the impact of that decision cannot be denied today. 

Each Spring, the reverberations of Pulitzers choice on this day, that year can be felt as the Pulitzer Prize winners are announced. This is a celebration of the written word at its highest caliber, and it wouldn’t be possible without Pulitzer’s donation all those years ago on this day. 

Some of the other impactful moments that occurred this day in history:

  • On this day in 1978, the first transatlantic balloon flight was completed by Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman. The trio departed from Presque Isle, Maine in a balloon called the Eagle II. They flew for 6 days before finally landing in a barley field about 50 miles West of Paris on the evening of August 17th. The team was blown slightly off course toward the end of their journey; they had intended to land in Le Bourget field in Paris, as Charles Lindbergh had upon completing the first solo transatlantic flight in 1927. 
  • Following a drawn out turn of events, this day in 1998 President Bill Clinton admitted to engaging in an “improper physical relationship” with intern Monica Lewinsky. Also on August 17th of that year, Clinton admitted to having misled the American people about the nature of his relationship with Lewinsky. Articles of impeachment were filed against Clinton following this revelation, though he was later acquitted and never removed from office. 
  • In 2008, Michael Phelps earned his eighth Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympics when he came first in the 4×100 meter medley relay race. This medal asserted the American champion swimmer as truly legendary on August 17th, as it broke the record for the most gold medals won by an athlete in a single Olympic Games; the record was previously held by another famed American swimmer, Mark Spitz. Phelps’ full list of Olympic Medals is truly expansive. 

Famous Birthdays on August 17th 

1786: Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett

Well known as a rough and tumble frontiersman, Davy Crockett was born on August 17th, 1786. The event for which he is perhaps most famous, the battle of the Alamo, is also the one that led to his demise in 1836 at the age of 39. Crockett climbed military ranks and forayed into politics before he engaged in that fateful battle. Crockett, along with a handful of others, was captured and executed when the Alamo fell. Richard Penn Smith published an account of Crockett’s life and death in the summer of 1836, and although it was riddled with creative licenses on Penn’s part, it did contain an accurate account of his death. 

1893: Mae West

A decade’s long American institution, Mae West was born August 17th, 1893 in Brooklyn, New York. She performed for the first time around age 8, and had taken on the Vaudeville circuit by 14. This early exposure to show biz may have influenced West’s easy attitude toward sexuality—something that was strictly taboo at the time. These conservative attitudes were the subject of ridicule in West’s own writing; she began to create, produce, and star in her own Broadway shows in the mid-20s. Mae West became an icon in the following decades as she moved her attention to Hollywood, and starred in a number of hit films. 

1943: Robert De Niro

Robert D Niro

Heralded as one of the greatest actors in history, Robert De Niro was born on this day in 1943. De Niro gained stardom around age 30 when he appeared in Bang The Drum Slowly. Since then, his iconic film performances have been too many to name, and have earned him four Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor. With roles ranging from deranged to comedic, there is no doubt that Robert De Niro can take on any character with ease. 

There is no way to know exactly what the future holds, but staying aware of the past’s historical moments, like these and others that have occurred on August 17th, is well within grasp.

On August 15

Indian Independence Day

With so many days having slipped through our collective fingers, it’s easy to let some fall by the wayside and out of memory. Particular days are more important in some cultures than others, and we’re often too wrapped up in our own worlds to expand our historical knowledge. Though we cannot walk you through every moment of every iteration of this day in history, we can break down some of the most influential versions of August 15th, and shed light on the ways this day’s events have shaped our modern world.

Famous Events on This Day in History

On August 15, 1947 India gained its independence from Britain. This, in turn, means that Pakistan gained independence on the same day, as the two countries had heretofore been one unit under British rule. British colonialism in this part of the world had been a long standing tradition that took decades to shake off, but Indians fought for their independence without ever taking up arms or demanding a violent revolution. 

The Indian independence movement began all the way back in the 1920s, when Mahatma Gandhi inspired Indians to call for greater civil rights through non-violent means. Though Gandhi was certainly the de facto leader of the independence movement, plenty of other activists moved to the forefront as well, encouraging better conditions for lower castes. In the sense that they influenced through peaceful inspiration rather than encouraging violence, the Indian independence leaders mirror other great civil rights icons from around the world, maybe even influencing some. 

In 1942, when Britain was in the throes of World War II, they agreed to grant India its independence when the war was over. When this finally happened in 1947, it marked the end of almost 200 years of official British rule in India. Britain decided that a line should be drawn through the territory to allow for religious separation, and although this proved useful in some ways, it also sparked issues. Though the fallout of independence was messy between India and Pakistan, the fledgeling countries eventually found their strides following mass migrations and conflict. 

Like many countries, India celebrates its independence each year on August 15th with a great show of patriotism, particularly in Delhi. The day’s celebrations are marked by parades, pageants, kite flying, and national addresses. No matter how they choose to celebrate, it’s clear that this day in that age will hold a special place in Indian hearts forever. 

Some Other Major Events That Occurred on This Day:

  • On August 15, 1914 one of famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses was set ablaze by a handyman; Wright’s mistress and her two children were killed in the attack. The handyman was later found in the basement of the house, having poisoned himself. To this day, the reason for the attack is unknown, and will likely remain a mystery forever. 
  • In 1969 on this day, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair opened to the masses in upstate New York. Simply known as Woodstock to most, the music festival became an iconic event, emblematic of the 1960s and of the mounting anti-establishment movement in the United States. More than 400,000 people attended Woodstock, which was held on a 600 acre farm. Those attendees took the Woodstock experience home with them, hoping to affect change in some positive manner. 
  • The U.S. ended its military involvement in Vietnam on this day in 1973. This end came about following the Case-Church Amendment, which was passed by Congress the same year, and set August 15th as the deadline for the U.S. military to withdraw from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. In accordance with that deadline, August 15th marked the official end of one of America’s most controversial wars. 

Famous Birthdays on August 15th 

1769: Napoleon Bonaparte 

Napoleon Bonaparte

The famed French military leader and emperor was born August 15th, 1769. Napoleon was a conqueror with a shrewd mind for military, so he rose quickly through the French ranks during the revolution, which took place throughout his 20s. Following a 1799 coup d’etat wherein Napoleon seized political power, he crowned himself emperor in 1804. This glory was somewhat short lived, though. By a mere 11 years later, Napoleon had abdicated his throne and been exiled—twice. 

1912: Julia Child

The incomparable Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California on this day in 1912. Though she is famous for bringing the art of French cuisine into the average American home, she did not become immersed in the culinary arts until she was nearly 40 years old and living in Paris with her husband. Child had already written best-selling cookbooks when she began hosting a cooking show on Boston Public Television in 1961, and went on to write several more throughout her tenure as a culinary icon. The French Chef became famous for her unique character and fun-loving attitude toward cooking, never seeming ruffled even after a mistake.

1972: Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

Born in Berkeley, California on August 15th, 1972, Ben Affleck has achieved a level of stardom in Hollywood that most don’t even dare dream about. Acclaimed by both critics and the masses, Afleck began acting at the tender age of 12 and has taken part in such lauded productions as Dazed and Confused, Good Will Hunting, and Argo, among many others. Well-documented battles with addiction have done little to tarnish the reputation of this titan in the film industry. 

As the sand in the hourglass continually trickles down, there are bound to be many more showings of August 15th, with many more important cultural, artistic, and political events housed in the date’s hours. While we should always look to the future, we must not forget the past; ruminate on where we came from by taking time to reflect on the ways that these and other historic events of August 15th have shaped the modern landscape in which we live.

On August 12

On this Day that Age - August 12

The wheel of the world must continually turn over, and certain moments in time are lost in that forward motion, forgotten to posterity. Though we can’t take you back through every August 12th since the dawn of man, we can offer some insight into the most significant, often history-making events of this date throughout time. 

Famous Events on This Day in History

On August 12, 1908, Henry Ford’s company built the first Model T car, totally revolutionizing transportation. The Model T was one of the first cars mass produced and sold at a reasonable price, and therefore one of the first cars that was available to the average individual. Though the Model T stopped production in 1928, it is subconsciously celebrated everyday when so many drive their personal cars that wouldn’t exist at all without the Model T to blaze the trail

Other important historical events on August 12th include: 

  • Mars’ moon, Deimos, was discovered in Washington D.C. at the United States Naval Observatory by Asaph Hall in 1877. Hall, an American astronomer, discovered both of Mars’ moons during his career. 
  • Similar to the revolutionary nature of the Model T was IBM’s Personal Computer being stocked in stores for the first time on this day in 1981. This brought a futuristic concept within reach of consumers for the price of $1,500. 

Famous Birthdays on August 12th 

1904: Alexei Nikolaevich

Alexei Nokolaevich

On this day that age, the last Tsarevich of Russia was born. Alexei would have succeeded his father as Tsar and continued the centuries-old Romanov dynasty had a revolution not transpired in Russia in 1917. Unfortunately, Alexei suffered from hemophilia, for which there was no treatment at the time. The Tsar and Tsarina chose to hide their son’s condition and turn to the “mad monk” Rasputin for treatment. Alexei, along with the rest of his family, faced an untimely demise at the hands of radical revolutionaries in 1918. 

1930: George Soros 

George Soros was born in Hungary in 1930 on this day in history, and therefore lived through the turbulent Nazi occupation in his teens. Soros emigrated to the United States at 26 and began a career in finance, where he eventually amassed the lavish fortune for which he is known. Now, Soros is an internationally known investor and philanthropist, having both founded organizations and given away more than $30 billion of his personal fortune. 

1990: Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

The young Gahnaian-Itallian footballer was born on this day in Palermo, and was identified as a future football standout from a young age. Balotelli’s quirky personality has earned him a large fan base—even those outside of the club for which he currently plays. Following his contract expiration, the Italian striker became a free agent in the summer of 2019, drawing a great deal of interest from many clubs.

Though there are many, many iterations of August 12th that still lie ahead, it’s important to look back on this day in history and appreciate how far we have come. Glorious triumphs, crushing defeats, and plenty of events that shaped history have transpired on this day during a different age. The best judge of the future is the past, so remember to treat every August 12th like history in the making.

On August 6

Atomic Bomb

August 6th, the 218th day of the year (or 219th in leap years) marks the celebration or commemoration of an important number of historical and cultural events. At the same time, it is the birthday of many contemporary or past public figures or the day that marks their death. Sifting through what has happened in history on the exact same date is an interesting journey of knowledge, perspective, and appreciation, which is why we have compiled some of the most iconic facts about the 6th of August with a focus on the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

1945 – Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

The Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

The first atomic bomb used in warfare was named Little Boy and was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945, at about 8:15 AM (JST) by the American bomber aircraft, Enola Gay. 

It had a shockwave of 3.5 km in diameter where the pressure of the bomb blast reached 5 psi, killing everyone in the area instantly. Damaged buildings served as fuel for a firestorm that devoured a large part of the city. Besides the incredible destructive power of the blast and the fire caused by Little Boy, its radioactive fallout killed about 6,000 people who survived the initial blast and fire. 

How It’s Commemorated 

To pay tribute to the huge number of victims of the Hiroshima bombing, a vigil is held every year in the city on the 6th of August. The Peace Memorial Ceremony is held at the Peace Memorial Park, where tens of thousands gather to spiritually support the ones that perished and those who they left behind by praying for lasting world peace. At 8:15, sirens and bells ring around the city and a solemn moment of silence precedes it. In the evening of August 6, thousands of paper lanterns are lit and released on the Motoyasu River to float peacefully, carrying messages of good hope and love for peace from locals and people all around the world. 

Perhaps the most important event that happened on this day in history, the Hiroshima bombing should remind us all of the horrors that wars are bearing and the importance of humanitarian aid, responsible world politics and the power of educating regular people by principles of tolerance and understanding. 

Historical Events That Happened on the 6th of August

We will mainly focus on the two World Wars when listing the most important historical events that took place on August 6th, as they have shaped the way conflicts are handled today and how we perceive the horrors of war. From the battles of the First World War to the atrocious bombings of the Second World War, what happened on this day that age is meant to be remembered and learned from. 

WWI

World War I has shaped the geopolitical destiny of Europe and the world, engaging the most important and powerful countries in an armed conflict that was described at the time as “the war to end all wars.” On the 6th of August, a few tense moments happened during WWI, as following:

  • 1914 – The first battle of the Atlantic took place between Germany and the UK after Germany had invaded Belgium. At the same time, other countries engage in the conflict, with Serbia declaring war on Germany and Austria declaring war on Russia.

WWII

World War II

A war that is still lingering in the minds of people all around the world, WWII was nothing short than a man-made earthquake that rearranged the face of geopolitical maps, taking countless victims as it did so. It was the bloodiest war in human history, causing nearly 85 million fatalities and being the only war where nuclear weapons were used. 

Cultural Events That Happened on the 6th of August

Technological breakthroughs and political changes that shaped the present as we know it has happened on this day in history, as the following list shows.  

  • 1965 – The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed by the President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. Through this newly proclaimed law, discrimination against racial minorities was forbidden in the context of voting. In order words, state and local governments were not allowed anymore to apply various methods that kept minorities from voting. 
  • 1991 – The World Wide Web debuts as an Internet public service and details about the network are revealed by its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. This is a crucial moment for contemporary technology. 
  • 1996 – The first evidence of primitive life forms that were found from outside of Earth are published by NASA after analyzing the ALH 84001 meteorite that is thought to come from Mars. 
  • 2012 – Curiosity, NASA rover that has explored the surface of Mars for over 6 years, landed on the surface of the red planet. 

Famous Birthdays on the 6th of August

1881 – Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming

The inventor of Penicillin, an antibiotic that revolutionized medical treatments, was born in Lochfield, Scotland.

1929: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh. He was one of the most influential American pop artists of the time, a socialite and a movie producer. 

1972: Geri Horner

The singer best known as “Ginger Spice” from Spice Girls, Geri Horner is born in Watford, England. 

August 6th is a big day to commemorate. So many things to learn from and remind ourselves of! Take your time to read more about what else happened on this day and enjoy your new trivia knowledge by starting the discussion on these events with your family and friends.

On August 3

Columbus Day

On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus embarked on his first voyage to the Indies, only to arrive at want is now known as The New World. 

He left Palos de la Frontera on this day in history with three ships: Santa Maria, Pinta, and Nina. Their objective was to find a new route to China, India, and the rest of Asia through the Western sea, as it was believed it would be a lot shorter than the known Eastern route.

But the expedition it lead to is considered by many as the greatest discoveries of all time. 

Historical Significance 

In the 15th century, traveling to Asia from Europe on land was next to impossible because of the long travel times and the many armies one could encounter along the way. One solution was to travel via ship from the West African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope, which was generally accepted as a viable option.

But Christopher Columbus had an idea that hadn’t been really discussed until then: sailing across the Atlantic ocean and reaching Asia through the West. This idea was initially rejected, but after years of pressure, the Catholic Monarchs in Spain finally agreed to sponsor Columbus’ journey through the west, a move that would be done in the name of the Crown of Castile.

Columbus sets sail

Columbus then left the coast of Spain on August 3, 1492, and arrived in America on October 12 (which is now known as Columbus Day in the U.S.) of the same year. It is reported he landed somewhere in the Bahamas, though no exact location is known.

Columbus then went to Cuba and established a colony in the present-day Haiti, which was the first European settlement in the New World since the Norse colonies which settled nearly 500 years earlier. 

Though not the first-ever discovery of the New World, Columbus’ accidental arrival to the Americas was instrumental in shaping modern history and started centuries of European conquest and colonization. In a way, it is believed Columbus stumbled upon the new continent at the right time, meaning when the European powers were prepared enough to take advantage of the new land and act.

How It Unfolds

The most common day of celebrating Columbus’ discovery is October 12, the day he discovered the New World and not the day he set sail.

Many countries in America celebrate this day in history, apart from Canada. Spain and Italy also hold national celebrations of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America. However, this holiday and its celebrations have gathered many critiques over the years, and as a result, it’s popularity continues to decline

Christopher Columbus

Some Italian-American citizens continue to celebrate this day with street fairs and parades. In other areas, this day is used to educate people on Native American history and culture, which a lot of people feel was disrupted by Columbus’ arrival to the Americas. 

The primary goal for why Columbus left Spain on August 3, 1492, was to conquer and exploit new lands in the name of the Spanish monarchy. As he arrived in the Americas, Columbus and his crew began to pillage the land for riches and committed countless crimes in the process. There is a lot of proof that Columbus and his crewmen mistreated the locals and forced them to convert to Christianity.

Moreover, the Europeans brought over diseases which quickly killed entire communities of Natives. Because of all these dark spots in history, many people think it is not appropriate to celebrate Columbus Day or other similar national days which such fanfare, as it is a sign of disrespect to the Native Americans who were pillaged in the process. 

Instead, some propose to shift away from the celebration of this day to a more educational-based program where the accurate history of the discovery of the Americas and Native people is focused on. 

Related Events on That Date 

  • In 1527, John Rut sends the first known letter from North America (St. John’s, Newfoundland). The letter was sent to King Henry VIII, and contained a detailed description of Rut’s journey;
  • In 1804, Alexander von Humboldt arrives in Bordeaux, France, finally completing a 5-year expedition to Latin America. He is the first person to describe these lands from a scientific point of view. He is also believed to be one of the first people to describe the notion of human-induced climate change;
  • In 1882, the US Congress passed its first law restricting immigration. The Immigration Act of 1882, which defined undesirable people who will not be allowed access to the country, and gave enforcement power to the secretary of the treasury.

Famous Birthdays

1811: Elisha Otis

Elisha Otis was the founder of the Otis Elevator Company and the inventor of a safety device that keeps elevators from falling in the event the hoisting cable breaks. He also experimented with ovens and train brakes and patented several inventions, like the steam plow in 1857, a rotary oven, as well as the oscillating steam engine in 1860. He died in 1861, at age 49, of diphtheria. 

1926: Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett is a prominent American singer known for his jazz, show tunes, and big band styles. He is also the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York. His first number-one song was ‘Because of You’, released in 1951 under Columbia Records. Other popular songs include ‘The Beat of My Heart’, ‘Rags to Riches’, and ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’. 

1941: Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is a very successful American businesswoman, writer, and former model. She gained popularity through several of her business ventures and has managed to build quite a successful career in the public eye, mostly focusing on lifestyle advice given through different media platforms. 

Want to find out more about what went on this day in history? Check out this page for more historical moments from August 3.

On July 20

Apollo 11 Lunar Module Lands on the Moon

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” These are Neil Armstrong’s famous words uttered on this day that age when he made his first steps on the surface of the moon in 1969. Though it seems that Armstrong has actually been misquoted all these years (there was an “a” that got lost in there, which clarifies the statement quite a bit, ) it didn’t stop the phrase from becoming one of the most used one-liners in culture.

And the event it symbolizes also sits at the forefront of one of the greatest achievements of (a) man in history.

Historical Significance

In was in 1969 on this day when the Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon. The United States was in the midst of a Cold War with Russia. One consequence of this non-military war was a great development in terms of spatial sciences. The two countries were in an unofficial race of which could finally conquer the great outer space.

At first, it seems like the Soviets had a great advantage as Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel into space on April 1961. That same year, in May, President John F. Kennedy set a fairly ambitious goal that would later become the purpose of Apollo 11: to have a ship land on the surface of the moon, have its crew walk on the surface, and then return to earth.

landing on the surface of the moon

Of course, this was not the only objective of the Apollo 11. Once arrived, the crew would also:

  • Transmit signals to Earth, live;
  • Conduct a solar wind composition experiment and a seismic experiment;
  • Gather samples from the surface;
  • Photograph the terrain.

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, from Cape Kennedy with Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin on board. The first steps, broadcasted live to roughly 650 million people, were taken four days later, on July 20. 20 minutes later, Aldrin followed. 30 minutes after they had returned to the Apollo 11, President Nixon spoke to the astronauts to congratulate them. 

Armstrong and Aldrin spent roughly 21 hours on the surface of the moon, took a 7-hour rest, and finally set to return to Earth. Re-entry procedures were started on July 24, 44 hours after leaving the lunar orbit.

How it Unfolds

In 2019, the Apollo 11 mission celebrates its 50th anniversary, for which the U.S. Mint prepared special coins to mark the occasion. 

The Smithsonian Institution also announced it’s remodeling the moon gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., planning for a 2021 launch. There will be several national events celebrating the Apollo 11 landing. In fact, some will even remain open until December this year. You can see a full list of these events here.

Though widely celebrated at the time, America’s excitement for space travel quickly diminished after Apollo 11, the following trip never getting the same reaction from the public. Many believe this was partially due to the complexity of the following missions – Apollo 11’s goal of landing on the moon was simple enough for most Americans to follow, while the other missions needed further astronomy knowledge to be understood. 

But even if space missions aren’t what they used to be, the public’s interest still gravitates towards the memory of Apollo 11 every July on this day. In 2019, the NASM hosted a gala for Apollo 11-s 40th anniversary and enjoyed the presence of all three crew members. When the autograph session launched, the queues of people quickly covered the entire floor of the museum. It’s very likely for something similar to repeat this year.

Related Events on This Date

  • In 1960, 9 years before the launching of Apollo 11, the USSR recovers two dogs from space. While the U.S. was sending monkeys into space, the Soviets used dogs, though generally, these were one-way trips. But in 1960, the Soviets managed to successfully return the dogs to Earth. 
  • In 1976, the US Viking 1 landed on Mars at Chryse Planitia, becoming second Martian landing, but the first to complete its mission. The first-ever Martian landing was achieved by the Soviet Union’s Mars 3 on December 2, 1971, but it completely stopped transmitting after 14.5 seconds.

Famous Birthdays

356 BC: Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Macedon. He took the throne of the kingdom at the age of 20 and spent most of his reigning years conquering various areas of Asia and Africa. By the time he reached 30, he had created one of the biggest empires of ancient times, from Greece all the way to parts of India. Records attest he was undefeated in battle, was tutored directly by Aristotle in his youth, founded nearly 20 cities that had its name, and is still regarded as one of the great military leaders of the world. At age 32, he dies but it is not exactly known what lead to his death.

1919: Edmund Hillary

Edmund Hillary

Edmund Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer and, together with Tenzing Norgay, became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1953. From 1985 to 1988, Hillary becomes New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Bangladesh, as well as Ambassador to Nepal. After climbing Mount Everest, the mountaineer dedicated a good part of his career helping the Sherpa people in Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, a humanitarian organization he established to help the local people.

1962: Julie Bindel

Julie Bindel is an English writer, feminist, and co-founder of the Justice of Women group which helps give legal counsel to women prosecuted for killing their violent male partners. Much of her professional activity concerns violence against women and children, focusing on subjects such as pornography, prostitution, or human trafficking. 

This day in history seems filled with many more stories, doesn’t it? Discover some of them here.

On July 14

Bastille Day

July 14 is the national day of France or, as English-people would call it, Bastille Day, marking a great turning point in the French Revolution of the 18th Century which ultimately lead to the unity of the French people. 

Since that day, July 14 is a day of celebration in France, marked by several events held all throughout the country, but none as grand as the military parade marching along the Champs-Elysees in Paris in front of the President of the country and other prominent state officials.

What This Day Represents

In the 18th century, France was lead by King Louis XVI and was facing one of the worst economic crises of its time. It was in part due to its involvement in the American Revolution in combination with a draining taxing system.

There had been tension building between the first estate (royalty,) second estate (nobility,) and third estate (commoners) in France for a while, and soon the third estate founded the National Assembly and pushed for the creation of the French constitution. Though things at first seemed to be going as the National Assembly planned, the dismissal of Jacques Necker, the finance minister who was supportive of the third estate’s views and values, quickly changed the pace and sparked an outcry among people. 

News of Necker’s firing reached Paris on July 12, which lead the Parisians to think it was the sign of a coup from the conservative, who greatly opposed the new changes to French society. Armed conflict quickly ensued, and on the morning of July 14, 1789, the third estate had reached the Hotel des Invalides. Their plan was to gather weapons and move on to the Bastille to store them.

At this time, the Bastille was only housing seven prisoners and was not all that difficult to storm. However, it was seen by many as a symbol of tyranny of the monarchy. The fortress has a limited purpose but needed a great deal of resources to run, so it was considered by the revolutionaries as an immense achievement when it fell. 

After this day, the 14 of July became a day of great celebration for the French people. From 1798 until today, these festivities are meant to celebrate France’s unity and its national identity, while also giving tribute to the revolutionaries that freed the country from the monarchy’s reign.

How This Day Unfolds

The most important part of Bastille Day is undoubtedly the military parade which has been held in Paris each year on the morning of 14 July since 1880. The fanfare marches down the Champ-Elysee from the Arc de Triomphe, and right towards the Palace de la Concorde where the president of the republic and his guests (generally meaning his administration, foreign ambassadors, and other prominent figures) stand. 

The event itself is broadcast live on television and is one of the oldest military parades in the entire world. Other, smaller, military parades also take place on this day in Toulon or Marseille, for instance. 

Other events such as concerts or plays also take place around this time, but a common tradition is to go for a picnic in a public park, waiting for the traditional fireworks show from Place de la Concorde to close off the night right.

Additionally, Bastille Day is also celebrated in many other countries around the world:

  • Belgium – In Liege, who started celebrating on 14 July right after the end of the First World War;
  • Canada – organized by the local French community.

Many other former colony countries or areas with high French populations also organize certain events around this day. Local French Institutes often put together several educational and entertaining events around this time as well.

Related Events on This Date

  • In 1795, The French National Convention makes “La Marseillaise” by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle France’s national anthem. The song’s name comes from the Marseille volunteers who marched to Paris while singing this tune. It’s considered one of the first examples of the European march style of songs and has been used in many pieces of classical and popular music through the years.  
  • In 1964, 14 of July was cause for a double celebration. Jacques Anquetil won the 51st Tour de France for the fifth time. He is the first cyclist to ever win this many times.

Famous Birthdays

1868: Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell was an English writer, political officer, and archaeologist, most famous for her role in establishing and administering the modern state of Iraq. As a frequent traveler, Gertrude would routinely visit Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, or Arabia and keep a detailed journal of her adventures. Through her attained knowledge, she managed to improve the relationship between British officials and representatives of the new state of Iraq.

1913: Gerald Ford

President Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was the 38th president of the United States of America, serving in the Oval Office from August 1974 to 1977. He is the only U.S. president to serve as both vice president and president to the U.S. without being elected by the Electoral College. In 1973, Ford was the first person appointed by Nixon as vice-president. After the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation, Ford assumed the presidency and pardoned Nixon. He continued to serve only for 895 days, having the shortest one in U.S. history for any president who did not die in office.

1918: Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman is, to this day, one of the most prominent names in the film industry. The Swedish director and writer worked on over sixty movies and documentaries. His movies generally dealt with character’s existential subjects such as morality or religion. His most famous films include Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, and Persona

If you want to learn more about the Falling of the Bastille and what this day truly means for the French society, you should check out this great article.

On July 13

a lookback in time

It’s normal to look back into the past and mark certain dates on our calendar to commemorate or celebrate events that happened on this day and that changed the face of the world, maybe contributing to what is surrounding us at this very moment. July 13 was a date full of events, births, and deaths of people who made history and are still remembered by us.

Events That Took Place on the 13th of July

  • 1772:  Captain Cook begins his second expedition in search for Terras Australis, sailing on the South Seas on the Resolution ship. In January 1883 they became the first known ships to cross the Antarctic Circle.
  • 1871: Harrison Weir organizes the first ever cat championship show in history. It was held in London, at the Crystal Palace. Weir was also the one to set the standards for “fancy” cats, which still serves as a base for today’s competitions.
champion British shorthair kitten cup
  • 1923: The Hollywood sign is dedicated officially on the hills surrounding Hollywood, LA. At first, it wrote “HollywoodLand”.
  • 1930: Uruguay is the place where the first ever Football World Cup takes place after soccer was not included in the Olympics anymore. 
  • 1939: Frank Sinatra’s first record debuts. He became one of the most prolific singers in history as his career spanned for over 50 years. He performed for presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
  • 1985: Humanitarian concerts called “Live Aid” are held in Wembley Stadium in London and the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. 
  • 2016: Theresa May is elected the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Theresa May

Famous Birthdays on July 13th

  • 1940: Patrick Stewart, actor in movies like X-Men and Star Trek,  is born in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England.
Patrick Stewart
  • 1942: Harrison Ford, actor in movies like Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Blade Runner, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
Harrison Ford
  • 1944: The inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, Erno Rubik, is born in Budapest, Hungary.
Rubik's Cube

Deaths on July 13th

  • 1793: Jean-Paul Marat, a journalist and politician during the French Revolution is murdered in a bath and dies on this day. He was killed by a young woman named Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer who claimed that by killing one man, she saved the lives of 100.000. 
  • 1954: Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who was part of the expressionist and surrealist movement, dies at 47 from complications following a pulmonary embolism.
  • 2013: Canadian actor and musician Cory Monteith died from a heroin overdose at 31.

As you can see, a lot has happened on July 13, from centuries ago to the recent years. Important figures in history were born and died, and crucial events took place in the political and economic scene. Remembering such highlights from the past will help us understand our present better and lead to a more responsible future. 

On July 12

This Day That Age on July 12

Imagine a time machine that allows you to travel back in time on this day in history. What famous, world-changing event would you attend? Who would you talk to and who would you want to see perform? 

While this spectacular machine hasn’t been invented yet, we can use the sources we have, to depict how this day looked like during different moments in time. Here is a short breakdown of the events that took place on this day in history.

Famous Events on This Day in History

  • 1679: Habeas Corpus Act – This act of Parliament was passed during the reign of King Charles the II. Habeas Corpus Act states that prisoners have the right to be examined by court before being imprisoned. 
  • 1804: The Death of Alexander Hamilton – Alexander Hamilton, the former US Secretary of the Treasury is shot in a pistol duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. The duel was the result of a long-standing rivalry between the two men. It took place in a time in history when pistol duels where prohibited. 
  • 1920: The Soviet-Lithuanian Peace Treaty – The Soviet Union recognizes Lithuania’s sovereignty. The small nation offered in exchange for safe passage for the Russian troops to Poland as well as it’s neutrality. 
  • 1957: Smoking and Cancer – Doctor Leroy Burney published a study in which he proved the connection between lung cancer and cigarette smoking
  • 1962: The Rolling Stones performs for the first time on this day that age. The concert took place at the Marquee Club in London.
  • 1998:France wins its first FIFA World Cup against Brazil, beating the favorite player with 3-0. Zinadine Zidane scores twice during the game.

Famous Birthdays

1817: Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was an American philosopher, essayist and poet known for his unique and often challenging views of the world. He focused on simple living in a natural surrounding, ideas that he described in his book “Walden.” Another famous work of his is Civil Disobedience, an essay in which he pleads for disobedience against an unjust state.

1904: Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto or better known as Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize-winning poet. He began writing poetry when he was 12 years old and he experimented with many different styles, such as surrealism or political manifestos. He was also a politician and held numerous diplomatic positions in various countries. He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1971.

1937: Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby was a prolific American actor and stand-up comedian. He started his career as a stand-up comedian before landing his first starring role in a TV show. Soon after that, he created his own sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show, which turned him into a legend and a role model for African-Americans. In 2018, he was convicted and imprisoned after tens of women accused him of sexual harassment.

1997: Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist and the youngest Nobel prize winner. She is an advocate for female education, especially in her native region, Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, which has been occupied by the Taliban. Malala began her activist career by writing for BBC Urdu under a pseudonym. As she rose to fame, she was shot by a Taliban gunman in retaliation for her activism. Although her condition was critical, she survived the attack and continues to fight for girls’ right to education.

Famous Deathdays

1926: Gertrude Bell

On this day that age, Gertrude Bell dies after taking a fatal dose of sleeping pills. She was a British writer, archaeologist, and political officer.
This day in time was full of events that marked and changed the world. If you want to read more about what happened on this day in history, check this in-depth article here.