The eighth month of the year, it was named in honour of Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome, on account of his victories.
How August changed the world.
It's traditionally seen as the quietest month of the year - when shops shut for the summer and families flock to the coast. Parliamentarians, of course, leave London to ruminate in their constituencies or, if they're lucky, they disappear across the water to play tennis with Cliff Richard in the Bahamas.
But all this is an illusion. In fact, August has time and again proved itself to be the month which has changed the world. From the Atlantic Charter to the invention of the telly, from the ending of slavery to the creation of the CT scanner, history has shown that the apparently lazy days of summer have given us revelation, turmoil and invention.
During August we'll be expanding our thesis with more examples of how this seemingly quiet month has changed the world. If you have examples too, please EMAIL THEM IN so that we can feature them here on this site (listeners' names appear in brackets).
- Hovercraft service launched, 1968.
- Synod votes to allow women bishops, 1988.
- Germany declares war on Russia, 1914 (email from Robin Hardy-King)
- The British Parliament passed the India Bill, transferring the government of India to the Crown from the East India Company, 1858.
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was published. It was soon withdrawn because of bad printing. Only 21 copies of the first edition survive making it one of the rarest 19th century books, 1865.
- The Beatles began their engagement as the regular headliners at Liverpool's Cavern Club, where they performed some 300 times over a two-year period, 1961.
- Waiting for Godot first performed, 1955.
- Germany declares war on France, 1914.
- Queen Mother, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite, was born in Hertfordshire, England, she died in August 2002.
- Jeremy Thorpe charged, 1978.
- Shelley born, 1792
- Britain declares war on Germany, 1914.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire.
- The Savoy Hotel was opened, 1889.
- Gertrude Ederle, a 19-year-old New Yorker, became the first woman to swim the English Channel. She made the crossing from Cap Gris-Nez to Deal in 14 hours 39 minutes, cutting some two hours off the record, 1926.
- Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 1945 (David Laturner).
- Litter Act comes into effect, 1958.
- The German Luftwaffe began a series of daylight air raids on Britain and so began The Battle of Britain, 1940.
- The Great Train Robbery, 1963.
- Edward VII was crowned King of Great Britain and Ireland at Westminster Abbey after the death of his mother Queen Victoria. He was aged 64, 1902.
- Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 1945.
- Dan Rylands, of Hope Glass Works, Barnsley, Yorkshire, patented the screw-top bottle, 1889.
- The first Promenade concert under conductor Henry Wood took place at Queen's Hall in London. He remained in sole charge of the Proms, the annual British classical music festival, until 1940. 1895
- The Beatles launched their new record label, Apple. 1968.
- George IVth born 1792.
- John Logie Baird born, 1888.
- Britain's last executions took place, Peter Anthony Allen (21) and Gwynne Owen Evans (24) were hanged for the murder of milkman John Alan West, 1964 (Geoff Flemming)
- Roosevelt and Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter, 1941.
- British troops sent to Northern Ireland, 1969.
- The Second Reform Act in Britain extended suffrage to householders and land owners, nearly doubling the electorate, 1867.
- India's independence from colonial rule, 1947 (Narendra Laljani).
- The Peterloo Massacre occurred in Manchester, England. Several deaths and hundreds of injuries were caused when troops were called in to disperse a large, orderly group of 60,000 people meeting at St. Peter's Fields, Manchester. The meeting was organised to demand Parliamentary Reform. Mounted troops charged on the meeting, killing and maiming many people, 1819.
- T.E. Lawrence 'of Arabia' (1888-1935) was born in Tremadoc, North
- Battle of Preston. Oliver Cromwell defeats some Scots, the victory represented the end of Charles I’s hopes of winning England back. Seen as the beginning of the end of the Civil War. 1648.
- Ringo Starr joined The Beatles - Lennon, McCartney and Harrison - as drummer and made his debut with them at the horticultural society dance in Birkenhead. Pete Best ended up being fired, 1962.
- Mary Queen of Scots arrived in Scotland to assume the throne after spending 13 years in France, 1561.
- Marchioness disaster, 1989.
- Sir Henry Wellcome born, 1853.
- St Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness. It was the first reported sighting of the monster, 565 AD.
- Richard III of England was defeated and killed at The Battle of Bosworth Field, the last of the Wars of the Roses between the Houses of Lancaster and York. With Richard III being killed, it marked the beginning of the Tudors with Henry VII, 1485.
- Scottish patriot William Wallace was hanged, beheaded, and quartered in London, and his body parts were later displayed in different cities. His barbaric murder came as a result of Wallace's efforts to free Scotland from the occupying English forces. Wallace was the catalyst that nine years later led to Scotland's independence, 1305.
- The day Mt. Vesuvius is thought to have erupted covering Pompeii and Herculaneum, 79A.D. (Polly Stanton).
- Captain Cook sets sail on first voyage, 1768.
- Krakatoa exploded in the biggest volcanic eruption on record, 1883 (Richard Graham).
- British Factory Act becomes law, 1833. Regulated children working in mills and factories.
* Aug 31st - Princess Diana dies, 1997.
- The Morris Mini-Minor and Austin Se7en launched, 1959 (Richard Porter).
- Internment without trial is introduced, 1971.
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