Historical Anniversaries for August 2011

75 years ago today – 1 Aug 1936 The XI Olympic Games opened in Berlin, Germany. It was the last Olympics for 12 years due to World War II

75 years ago today – 1 Aug 1936 Birth of Yves Saint-Laurent, Algerian-born French fashion designer

75 years ago today – 2 Aug 1936 Death of Louis Blériot, French aviation pioneer, engineer and inventor, the first person to fly across the English Channel

200 years ago today – 3 Aug 1811 Birth of Elisha Graves Otis, American inventor of the safety elevator

150 years ago today – 6 Aug 1861 Birth of Edith Roosevelt, American First Lady (1901–09), formalised the duties of the First Lady and refurbished the White House

20 years ago today – 6 Aug 1991 The first ever website (info.cern.ch) went live. The web’s inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, also posted a description of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup, and provided a link to download the first web browser, though it could only run on NeXT workstations

100 years ago today – 10 Aug 1911 British Members of Parliament voted to receive salaries for the first time

300 years ago today – 11 Aug 1711 The first horse race meeting at Ascot took place, initiated by Queen Anne

50 years ago today – 13 Aug 1961 East Germany sealed off the border between East and West Berlin to
prevent the exodus of refugees to the West. Initially barbed wire fences were erected; construction of the Berlin Wall began on 15th August

70 years ago today – 14 Aug 1941 World War II: Britain and the USA issued the Atlantic Charter, a joint declaration that laid out the aims and goals of the Allied powers during and after the war.

75 years ago today – 19 Aug 1936 Death of Federico García Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright

20 years ago today – 19 Aug 1991 Attempted coup in the Soviet Union. Hard-line members of the Communist Party tried to seize control from President Mikhail Gorbachev. The coup failed after just 3 days, and eventually led to the collapse of communism and the disintegration of the USSR

20 years ago today – 20 Aug 1991 The following former Soviet states declared their independence this month: Estonia (20th), Latvia (21st), Ukraine (24th), Belarus (25th), Moldova
(27th), Azerbaijan (30th), Kyrgyzstan (31st), Uzbekistan (31st)

100 years ago today – 21 Aug 1911 Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris by an employee. (Recovered in 1913)

150 years ago today – 22 Aug 1861 Birth of Mary Elizabeth Wood, American librarian and missionary who established a network of libraries and a training programme for librarians in China

20 years ago today – 24 Aug 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

30 years ago today – 24 Aug 1981 Mark Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of British rock musician John Lennon

30 years ago today – 25 Aug 1981 The U.S. space probe Voyager 2 reached Saturn and sent back images and data from the planet. (It travelled on to Uranus (1986) and Neptune (1989) before leaving the solar system)

25 years ago today – 31 Aug 1986 Death of Henry Moore, British sculptor