This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
August 15 is the 227th day of the year (228th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 138 days remaining until the end of the year.
While there were many significant events that happened on August 15, the most delightful and happily remember is Woodstock. Not many of my Baby Boomer generation remember that today Emperor Hirohito announced the unconditional surrender of Japan or that East Germany began the building of the Berlin Wall or that Malcolm slain Macbeth, it was peace, love and Rock N’ Roll in the mud with a lack of sanitary facilities but lots of music from some of the best at the Woodstock Festivalduring the weekend of August 15 to 18, 1969. The site was a dairy farm in West Lake, NY near the town of Bethel in Sullivan County, some 43 miles southwest from the actual town of Woodstock in Ulster County. During that rainy weekend some 500,000 concert goers became a pivotal moment in the history of Rock and Roll.
Peace, Drugs and Rock N’Roll. Rock On.
982 – Holy Roman Emperor Otto II is defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna, in Calabria
1018 – Byzantine general Eustathios Daphnomeles blinds and captures Ibatzes of Bulgaria by a ruse, thereby ending Bulgarian resistance against Emperor Basil II’s conquest of Bulgaria.
1040 – King Duncan I is killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth. The latter succeeds him as King of Scotland.
1057 – King Macbeth is killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.
1248 – The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, is laid. (Construction is eventually completed in 1880.)
1261 – Michael VIII Palaeologus is crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople.
1309 – The city of Rhodes surrenders to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island and rename themselves the Knights of Rhodes.
1461 – The Empire of Trebizond surrenders to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II. This is regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David is exiled and later murdered.
1483 – Pope Sixtus IV consecrates the Sistine Chapel.
1519 – Panama City, Panama, is founded.
1534 – Saint Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates take initial vows, leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September 1540.
1549 – Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier comes ashore at Kagoshima (Traditional Japanese date: July 22, 1549).
1599 – Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambush English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.
1695 – French forces end the Bombardment of Brussels, leaving a third of the buildings in the city in ruins.
1824 – Freed American slaves found Liberia.
1843 – The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii is dedicated. Now the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, it is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States.
1843 – Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opens in Copenhagen, Denmark.
* 1863 – The Anglo-Satsuma War begins between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom (Traditional Japanese date: July 2, 1863).
1869 – The Meiji government in Japan establishes six new ministries, including one for Shinto.
1891 – San Sebastian Church in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed.
1914 – A male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright sets fire to the living quarters of the architect’s Wisconsin home, Taliesin, murders seven people and burns the living quarters to the ground.
1914 – The Panama Canal opens to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon.
1920 – Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw – Poles defeat the Red Army.
1935 – Will Rogers and Wiley Post are killed after their aircraft develops engine problems during takeoff in Barrow, Alaska.
1940 – An Italian submarine torpedoes and sinks the Greek cruiser Elli at Tinos harbour during peacetime, marking the most serious Italian provocation prior to the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War in October.
1941 – Corporal Josef Jakobs is executed by firing squad at the Tower of London at 7:12am, making him the last person to be executed at the Tower for treason.
1942 – World War II: Operation Pedestal – The SS Ohio reaches the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defenses.
1944 – World War II: Operation Dragoon – Allied forces land in southern France.
1945 – World War II: Victory over Japan Day – Japan surrenders.
1945 – World War II: Korean Liberation Day.
1947 – India gains Independence from the British Indian Empire and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.
1947 – Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan in Karachi.
1948 – The Republic of Korea is established south of the 38th parallel north.
1960 – Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) becomes independent from France.
1961 – Conrad Schumann flees from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.
1962 – James Joseph Dresnok defects to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after running across the Korean DMZ. Dresnok still resides in the capital, Pyongyang.
1965 – The Beatles play to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, in an event later seen as marking the birth of stadium rock.
1969 – The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opens.
1971 – President Richard Nixon completes the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.
1973 – Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ends.
1975 – Miki Takeo makes the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
1977 – The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University as part of the SETI project, receives a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the “Wow! signal” from the notation made by a volunteer on the project.
1995 – In South Carolina, Shannon Faulkner becomes the first female cadet matriculated at The Citadel (she drops out less than a week later).
1998 – Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles
2007 – An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastates Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.
* Armed Forces Day (Poland)
* Christian Feast Day:
* Feast day of the Assumption of Mary, one of the Catholic Holy Day of Obligation. (Christianity, a public holiday in Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mauritius, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, and Vanuatu), and its related observances:
* Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches)
* Ferragosto (Italy)
* Mother’s Day (Antwerp and Costa Rica)
* National Acadian Day (Acadians)
* Navy Day (Romania)
* Virgin of Candelaria, patron of the Canary Islands. (Tenerife, Spain)
* Stanislaus Kostka
* August 15 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Constitution Day (Equatorial Guinea)
* Earliest day on which Day of Hearts can fall, while August 21 is the latest; celebrated on the third Monday in August. (area around Haarlem and Amsterdam)
* Founding of Asuncion (Paraguay)
* Independence Day, celebrates the independence of the Republic of the Congo from France in 1960.
* Independence Day, celebrates the independence of India from the United Kingdom in 1947.
* Liberation Day, celebrates the independence of Korea from Japan in 1945:
* Gwangbokjeol, “Liberation Day” (South Korea)
* Jogukhaebangui nal, “Fatherland Liberation Day” (North Korea)
* The first day of Flooding of the Nile, or Wafaa El-Nil.(Egypt and Coptic Church)
* The main day of Bon Festival (Japan)
* Victory over Japan Day (United States)