On This Day

What Happened in August 1838

Historical Events

  • Aug 1 Apprenticeship system abolished in most of the British Empire. Former slaves no longer indentured to former owners.

Historic Expedition

Aug 18 United States Exploring Expedition headed by Charles Wilkes departs for the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica

  • Aug 23 Mt Holyoke Female Seminary (South Hadley, Mass) 1st graduating class

Historic Publication

Aug 29 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm announce their intention to publish a German Dictionary, eventually completed in 1961, after 123 years


Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 12 Joseph Barnby, conductor/academic principal
  • Aug 17 Laura de Force Gordon, California lawyer, a prominent suffragette, and 1st woman to run a daily newspaper in the US (Stockton Daily Leader, 1874), born in North East, Pennsylvania (d. 1907)

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 17 Lorenzo Da Ponte [Emanuele Conegliano], Italian-American librettist (Don Giovanni; Cosi Fan Tutti), poet, and libertine priest, dies at 89
  • Aug 19 James Geddes, American Engineer (Erie Canal), dies at 75
  • Aug 21 Adelbert von Chamisso, French writer (Peter Schlemihl), dies at 57