The Millstone Times August 2021

This Month in History: August By Bianca Battaglia

August. The eighth month of the year, named after Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor. A journey back in time will reveal the month of August as home to many famous events throughout our global history. On August 3rd, 1492, the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain, leading the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria in search of the East Indies. Columbus mistakenly arrived in the Baha- mas, and his acclaimed discovery of the “Americas” marked a significant turning point in history. On August 24th, 1572, thousands of Huguenots, a group of French Protestants, were massacred by the French Catholic government. These executions were based upon on-going religious and political strife within the country during the sixteenth century. This event later became known as the St. Bar- tholomew’s Day Massacre. On August 24th, 1814, the British Army attacked Washington, D.C. and burned down the White House, the Capitol Building, and many other residential and public buildings. This event occurred as part of the war of 1812, whereby conflicts between the two nations arose when Britain implemented restrictions on United States trade and territorial expansion. On August 10th, 1846, the United States Congress passed an act establishing the Smithsonian Insti- tution, whose mission was to acquire and share knowledge from around the world. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and educational complex, and it is made up of nineteen individual mu- seums—such as the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Freer Gallery of Art—as well as the National Zoo.

On August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. This was the first time in our history that atomic weaponry was used in warfare. Three days later, on August 9th, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, which eventually led to the country’s surrender on August 15th, 1945. This date became known as V-J (Victory over Japan) Day.

On August 28th, 1963, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Junior gave his iconic I Have a Dream speech during the March on Washington, D.C. With upwards of 250,000 people in attendance, the March on Washington was a protest calling attention to the discrimination and inequalities faced by African Americans. King’s speech called for an end to racism, and a world in which people "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Decades later, King’s speech is cited as a fundamental moment in the Civil Rights Movement and is one of the most famous speeches in the world. On August 31st, 1997, Diana, the Princess of Wales, tragically died in a car accident in Paris, France. Her vehicle was involved in a high-speed car chase, fleeing from photographers, when it crashed inside a tunnel. Diana’s companion, Dodi Fayed, and their chauffeur, Henri Paul, also perished. Known for her humanitarian work, as well as her tumultuous relationship with Charles, the Prince of Wales, people around the world mourned her death. Sources: Washington.htm



42 The Millstone Times

August 2021

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