August 1st

Lammas Day – festival to mark the annual wheat and corn harvest; the mid-point between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox

1944 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. elected as 1st African American congressman from NY

1950 American Bowling Congress ends all-white-males rule

August 2nd 

1776 The United States Declaration of Independence was signed

1920 Marcus Garvey presented his “Back to Africa” program in NYC encouraging the Black community living abroad as slaves to return to their homelands in Africa, which was part of the “Universal Negro Improvement Association” social movement

1992 Jacki Joyner-Kersee becomes first athlete to win consecutive gold medals in the gruelling heptathlon with a 199 point win over Irina Belova (Soviet Union) at the Barcelona Olympics

August 3rd

2012 American Missy Franklin swims a world record 2:04.06 to win the 200m backstroke gold medal at the London Olympics 

1811 Elisha Otis’ birthday – American founder of the Otis elevator company and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails

August 4th

1922 Lizzie Murphy becomes the first female to play against MLB players in a charity exhibition; all-stars from New England and AL v Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park

1953 Black families move into Trumbull Park housing project in Chicago

2007 32-year-old Alex Rodriguez becomes the youngest player in MLB history to hit 500 home runs, connecting on the 1st pitch he sees as NY Yankees beat Kansas City, 16-8

August 5th

Civic Holiday in parts of Canada

1984 American Joan Benoit wins first Olympic marathon for women (2:24:52) ahead of Grete Waitz of Norway at the Los Angeles games

2006 Warren Moon becomes the first Black quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

August 6th

1926 Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel in 14 hours, 39 minutes, a record for male and female

1965 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act prohibiting voting discrimination against minorities

August 7th

1946 1st US commemorative coin of an African American, Booker T. Washington (half-dollar)

1948 American Alice Coachman becomes the first Black woman from any country to win an Olympic Gold Medal when she took out the high jump at the Olympic Games

August 8th

1796 Boston African Society establishes with 44 members

1863 American Civil War: Tennessee’s “military” governor Andrew Johnson freed his personal slaves. Celebrated as a holiday by Tennessee African Americans (early 20th century)

August 9th

1963 Whitney Houston’s birthday – she was an American singer, actress, model, record producer

1961 James Benton Parsons is 1st African American to be nominated to a US Federal District Court

August 10th

St. Lawrence Day – “fair weather on St. Lawrence Day presages a fair autumn”

1983 First World Championships in Athletics: Carl Lewis wins gold in Men’s Long Jump        

1993 Ruth Bader Ginsburg sworn in as a US Supreme Court Justice

August 11th

2020 President Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate, the 1st woman of color selected by a majority party 

1929 Babe Ruth became first professional baseball player to hit 500 homers

August 12th

1888 Bertha, wife of inventor Karl Benz, makes first motor tour

1922 Dedication of Frederick Douglass’ home in Washington, D.C. as a national shrine

August 13th

1892 US Black newspaper “Afro-American” begins publishing from Baltimore

1920 Flag designed by Marcus Garvey consisting of three horizontal stripes of red, black and green is adopted as the pan-African flag 

August 14th

1862 Abraham Lincoln received the first group of African Americans to confer with a US president

1995 Shannon Faulkner becomes 1st woman to attend the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina

August 15th

1970 Patricia Palinkas became the first woman pro football player (Orlando)

2008 American breaststroker Rebecca Soni avenges her defeat to Leisel Jones of Australia in the 100m when she swims world record 2:20.22 to beat Jones in 200m at the Beijing Olympics

August 16th

1958 Madonna’s birthday – one of the most commercially successful artist in music history, pop icon, and definitive singles artist of the video age

1961 MLK Jr. protests for black voting rights in Miami, FL

August 17th

1887 Marcus Garvey’s birthday – Jamaican-born black nationalist who began the Back-to-Africa movement among US African Americans

1985 Sara Trollinger forms House of Hope in Orlando – a Christian non-denominational residential program for hurting, troubled teens to find hope, healing, and restoration

August 18th

1954 James E. Wilkins is 1st Black to attend a US Cabinet meeting

1957 Amelia Wershoven sets a record of female throwing a baseball (252’4½”)

August 19th

Start of the Islamic New Year

National Aviation Day – Orville Wright’s birthday who piloted the first flight of a powered heavier-than-air machine in 1903

August 20th

1939 first black bowling league formed (National Bowling Association)

1989 American Janet Evans swims female 800m freestyle world record 8:16.22 in the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan

August 21st

1931 Babe Ruth becomes the first MLB player to hit 600 career home runs 

1977 American water skier Donna Patterson Brice sets women’s high speed record 111.11 mph at Long Beach, CA

August 22nd

1950 Althea Gibson becomes first Black competitor in a US national tennis competition

1964 Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer speaks at the US Democratic National Convention about her efforts to register to vote in Mississippi

August 23rd

1850 The First US National Women’s Rights Convention convenes in Worcester, Massachusetts

1900 National Negro Business League organizes (Boston)

August 24th

St. Bartholomew Day

1932 1st transcontinental non-stop flight by a woman, Amelia Earhart

1959 Hiram L Fong sworn in as 1st Chinese-American senator while Daniel K Inouye sworn in as 1st Japanese-American Rep (Both from Hawaii)

August 25th

1908 National Association of Colored Nurses formed

1968 Arthur Ashe becomes 1st African American to win the US singles championship

August 26th

Women’s Equality Day – celebrates the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, the women’s right to vote in the United States

1873 First free kindergarten in the U.S. started by Susan Blow in Carondelet, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri

1947 1st black baseball pitcher Don Bankhead (Hit a HR on 1st at bat)

August 27th

1967 Naomi Sims is 1st Black model on US cover (Fashion of the Times)

2008 Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be nominated by a major political party for President of the United States

August 28th

1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I have a dream” speech addressing the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom civil rights march at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

1986 Tina Turner‘s star unveiled in Hollywood – American-Swiss legendary soul singer and showstopper

August 29th

1929 Aviator Anne Morrow Lindbergh makes her first solo flight

1958 Michael Jackson’s birthday – American recording artist and King of Pop

August 30th

1843 1st time African-Americans participate in a national political convention (Liberty Party)

1967 US Senate confirm Thurgood Marshall as 1st black justice

August 31st

1990 Baseball outfielders Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. become the 1st father and son to play on same team (Seattle Mariners), the pair hit back-to-back singles in the first inning and both scored

1870 Maria Montessori’s birthday – best known for Montessori philosophy of education