On This Day

What Happened in August 1774

Historical Events


Historic InventionOxygen Discovered!

Aug 1 Joseph Priestley, English theologian, chemist and author discovers oxygen by isolating it in its gaseous state
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Illustration of Priestley's discovery of oxygen, by Henry Granger
Illustration of Priestley's discovery of oxygen, by Henry Granger

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 6 Founder of the Shaker Movement, Mother Ann Lee, arrives in NY

Founder of the Shakers Ann Lee
Founder of the Shakers
Ann Lee
  • Aug 10 1st Surinam newspaper (1st Wednesday Suriname) begins publishing

Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 12 Robert Southey, English writer (The Story of the Three Bears), Poet Laureate (1813-43) and biographer (Nelson), born in Bristol, England (d. 1843)

Person of interestMeriwether Lewis

Aug 18 Meriwether Lewis, American explorer, soldier and public administrator who helped lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition, born in Ivy, Virginia (d. 1809)

Explorer and Leader of Lewis & Clark Expedition Meriwether Lewis
Explorer and Leader of Lewis & Clark Expedition
Meriwether Lewis

Person of interestElizabeth Ann Bayley Seton

Aug 28 Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, 1st American Catholic saint (1975), born in NYC, New York (d. 1821)

1st American-born Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton
1st American-born Saint
Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 11 Tiphaigne de la Roche, French writer (b. 1722)
  • Aug 14 Johann Jakob Reiske, German physician (b. 1716)
  • Aug 25 Niccolò Jommelli, Italian composer, dies at 59