This Month, That Year


2007: CG Block gets a community hall on August 25. The hall, in their green verge, is inaugurated by chairman of Bidhannagar Municipality Biswajiban Majumdar and becomes the new meeting point for residents, hosting cultural events as well as Durga Puja.


1876: Pingali Venkayya is born on August 2 in what would later become Andhra Pradesh. He grows up to become an educationist and freedom fighter and designs the flag on which the Indian National Flag is later based. Venkayya is said to have presented the same to Mahatma Gandhi is 1921 and the same is modified for official use in 1947.

1925: M.S. Swaminathan is born on August 7 in Madras Presidency. He grows up to become a geneticist and is famous as the "Father of Green Revolution in India" for his efforts in introducing and developing high-yielding varieties of wheat in the country.

2007: Dashrath Manjhi dies on August 17. Years ago his wife had fallen from a mountain near his village in Gaya and died before she could be taken to the nearest town with a doctor, 75km away. For the next 22 years, Manjhi, a labourer, breaks through the mountain with only his hammer and chisel. Though ridiculed for his ambition, Manjhi succeeds in carving out a road that cuts the distance from 55km to 15km. The “Mountain Man" is given a state funeral by the Bihar government.


14AD: Augustus, the first Roman emperor, dies on August 19 at the age of 75, probably of natural causes. Augustus came to power after his great uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated and founds the first phase of the Roman Empire, because of which he is regarded as one of the greatest leaders in history. His reign sees tax reforms, new road networks and relative peace.

1896: The shortest recorded war in history takes place in Zanzibar, Africa, on August 27 for about 38 minutes. The Anglo-Zanzibar War breaks out when the United Kingdom attacks the Zanzibar Sultanate. They want to dethrone the new sultan, Khalid bin Barghash (picture right), and attack his forces. The sultan’s forces sustain some 500 casualties and a lone British sailor is injured. The war ends when the British shoot down the sultanate’s flag.

1906: Hazel Bishop is born in New Jersey on August 17. She grows up to become a chemist, founds a cosmetics company named after herself and invents the “kiss-proof lipstick”. This long-lasting, no-smear product debuts in 1949, sells out on the first day, and revolutionises the industry. In 1951, Bishop becomes the first woman to appear solo on the cover of Business Week.

Sports & entertainment

1896: Gostha Pal is born on August 20 in Faridpore, Bengal Presidency. He grows up to become a footballer, and is one of the best defenders of his time, even earning the nickname “Chiner Pracheer” (Great Wall of China). Pal becomes captain of Mohun Bagan and in 1924 the first captain of the Indian national football team. He is conferred a Padma Shri in 1962.

1997: Pakistani singer and composer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan dies of a heart attack in London on August 16. The 48-year-old belonged to the Qawwal Bacchon Gharana, that had been passing down in his family for 600 years. Khan was considered one of the greatest Sufi singers of all time and is credited for introducing the qawwali style to international audiences through collaborations with global artists.

2014: Actor Robin Williams commits suicide by hanging at his California home on August 11. The incident shocks fans who loved him in comic roles such as in Mrs. Doubtfire, thrillers such as Jumanji and intense films as Good Will Hunting, for which he won an Oscar for best supporting actor. Investigation concludes that Williams, 63, was suffering from Lewy body disease, a form of dementia.

What is your most treasured personal memory of August? Write to The Telegraph Salt Lake, 6 Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700001 or email to

Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Most Popular