This Week In History, August 18-24, 2014


This Week In History
by Dianne Hermann

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
– Winston Churchill

Week of August 18-24, 2014

August 18

1735 – The Boston Evening Post newspaper begins publishing in Boston, Massachusetts. It is among the oldest newspapers published in America. The last issue is published in April of 1775.

1838 – The Wilkes’ expedition departs from Hampton Roads, Virginia, and sails to the South Pole with six ships and 433 men. Wilkes returns to the east coast in 1842, having circumnavigated the globe, logging over 87,000 miles.

1872 – Aaron Montgomery Ward issues the first mail-order catalog from his Chicago-based company. It offers 163 products. In 1875 Ward announces his products come with “satisfaction guaranteed.”

1920 – The 19th Amendment is ratified, giving women the right to vote.

1938 – President FDR dedicates the Thousand Islands Bridge, which connects the U.S. and Canada across the St. Lawrence River.


1962 – The singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary release their first hit “If I Had a Hammer.”

1969 – The Woodstock Music & Art Fair in New York State closes with Jimi Hendrix as the final act. An estimated 400,000 people attend the 3-day event.

1973 – Drummer Gene Krupa plays for the final time with the Benny Goodman Quartet. Two months later Krupa dies of a heart attack at age 64.


1982 – The New York Stock Exchange passes the 100 million figure for the first time when 132.69 million shares are traded.

2000 – A Federal jury finds the U.S. EPA guilty of discrimination against Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, later inspiring passage of the No FEAR Act. The No FEAR (Federal Antidiscrimination And Retaliation) Act is intended to reduce the incidence of workplace discrimination within the federal government by making agencies and departments more accountable.


August 19

1791 – Benjamin Banneker, born a free black in Maryland, publishes his first Almanac. He is a self-taught astronomer and mathematician.

1812 – The U.S. warship Constitution defeats the British warship Guerriere 400 miles southeast of the British base at Halifax, earning the nickname “Old Ironsides.”

1895 – American frontier murderer and outlaw John Wesley Hardin is killed by an off-duty policeman in a saloon in El Paso, Texas.


1934 – The first All-American Soap Box Derby is held in Dayton, Ohio. The following year the race is moved to Akron because of the central location and hilly terrain. The Derby has run continuously except during World War II.

1984 – Ronald Reagan is nominated for president for a second term at the Republican National Convention in Houston, Texas. He is re-elected in November, winning 49 of the 50 states (all but Walter Mondale’s home state of Minnesota).

1995 – After five days Shannon Faulkner quits as the first woman admitted to the Citadel, the all-male Military College of South Carolina. She won her battle for admission in a Supreme Court decision. The Citadel drops its gender requirements for admission in July 1996 and admits four women in August 1996.



August 20

1619 – The first black slaves are brought by the Dutch to the colony of Jamestown, Virginia.

1741 – Danish explorer Vitus Bering discovers Alaska.

1866 – President Andrew Johnson formally declares that the Civil War is over.


1920 – The American Professional Football Association (APFC) forms when Jim Thorpe and six others meet in Canton, Ohio, to organize a professional football league. Thorpe serves as its first president. Canton is the location of the Football Hall of Fame.

1920 – The first U.S. commercial radio station, WWJ am 950 in Detroit, Michigan, begins daily broadcasting. WWJ News-radio still broadcasts from Detroit.

1938 – Lou Gehrig hits his 23rd (and last) grand slam home run. He is diagnosed with ALS the following June.


1974 – Vice President Gerald Ford assumes office after President Richard Nixon resigns. Ford becomes the only person to serve as both president and vice president without being elected to either office.

1977 – NASA launches Voyager 2 towards Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

1998 – The United States military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7th bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum is destroyed in the attack.


August 21

1831 – The Nat Turner slave revolt kills 55 whites in Southampton County, Virginia. Nat Turner and 16 of his conspirators are captured and executed.

1858 – The first of seven Lincoln-Douglas debates is held in Illinois.


1887 – Mighty Casey struck-out in a baseball game with the New York Giants. This is the fictional date of the event written about in Ernest L. Thayer’s poem “Casey At The Bat.” Dan Casey is a composite of several people Thayer knew.

1947 – The first Little League World Series is held. The Maynard Midgets of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, defeat a team from Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.


1959 – Hawaii becomes the 50th (and last) U.S. state.

1993 – NASA loses contact with the Mars Observer, which was launched on September 25, 1992. Attempts to re-establish communication with the spacecraft were unsuccessful.

2000 – Tiger Woods wins golf’s PGA Championship to become the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three major tournaments in a calendar year. He also wins the U.S. Open and British Open.



August 22

1762 – Ann Franklin is the first female U.S. newspaper editor. She inherited the newspaper “Mercury” from her husband James Franklin, brother of Ben Franklin.

1902 – President Teddy Roosevelt became first U.S. chief executive to ride in a car. He rides in a Columbia Electric Victoria Phaeton while on a campaign tour through Connecticut.


1921 – J. Edgar Hoover becomes assistant director of the FBI. He becomes the director in 1924 and leads the FBI for 48 years until his death in 1972.

1946 – Baseball approves a 168-game schedule, but later rescinds it. There are now 162 games in a season.

1962 – Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered ship, completes her maiden voyage from Yorktown, Virginia, to Savannah, Georgia. She is decommissioned in 1972 and in 1999 the Savannah is moved to the James River Merchant Marine Reserve Fleet near Newport News, Virginia.

1992 – An FBI sniper shoots and kills Vicki Weaver, wife of white separatist Randy Weaver, during an 11-day siege at their home at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. She is holding her infant daughter, who is unharmed. Fourteen-year-old Sammy Weaver and a U.S. Marshall are shot to death the day before.

2003 – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.



August 23

1850 – The first national women’s rights convention convenes in Worcester, Massachusetts.

1869 – The first carload of freight (boots and shoes) arrives in San Francisco from Boston after a 16-day rail trip.

1923 – Capt. Lowell Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on a De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.

1947 – President Truman’s daughter Margaret has her first public singing concert. A poor review after her third performance in 1950 causes the president to write a threatening letter to the Washington Post’s music critic.


1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photographs of Earth from the Moon.

1990 – The United States begins to call up of 46,000 reservists to serve in the Persian Gulf.

August 24

1814 – British forces capture Washington, DC and burn down many landmarks, including the U.S. Capitol and the President’s Mansion. The Library of Congress, housed in the Capitol building, suffers extensive damage.


1853 – Chef George Crum of Moon’s Lake House Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York, prepares the first potato chips after a customer complains his fried potatoes are too thick.

1891 – Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.

1912 – New York City holds a ticker tape parade for Jim Thorpe and other victorious U.S. Olympians from the Stockholm Sweden Summer Olympics.

1932 – Amelia Earhart makes the first transcontinental non-stop flight by a woman. She also set the women’s record for fastest non-stop transcontinental flight (twice, 1932 and 1933).


1954 – President Eisenhower signs Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the U.S.

1956 – The first non-stop transcontinental helicopter flight arrives in Washington, DC. The H-21 Shawnee helicopter lands after a 31-hour flight from San Diego, California. It is also the first in-flight refueling of a helicopter.

1981 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life for John Lennon’s murder in December 1980. Chapman is denied parole seventh time from the Wende Correctional Facility in New York and is now 59 years old.

1989 – Pete Rose is suspended from baseball for life for gambling. He retired from baseball in 1986 and became the Cincinnati Reds manager in 1987. The ban makes Rose ineligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

2012 – A U.S. jury in California finds that Samsung is guilty of patent infringement and awards over $1 billion in damages to Apple.