What Happened in August 1859

Historical Events

  • Aug 9 Otis Tufts patents the first passenger elevator in the US
  • Aug 17 1st air mail (in a balloon) took off from Lafayette, Indiana
  • Aug 27 1st successful oil well drilled, near Titusville, Pennsylvania, by Edwin Drake
  • Aug 28 A geomagnetic storm causes the Aurora Borealis to shine so brightly that it is seen clearly over parts of USA, Europe, and even as far afield as Japan
1859 History

Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 4 Knut Hamsun, Norwegian writer (Nobel Prize in Literature 1920), born in Lom, Gudbrandsdalen, Norway (d. 1952)
  • Aug 6 Arthur Berson, German meteorologist (Balloon flights, Amazon), born in Nowy Sącz (d. 1942)
  • Aug 12 Katharine Lee Bates, American author (America the Beautiful), born in Falmouth, Massachusetts (d. 1929)
  • Aug 19 Charles Comiskey, American Baseball HOF infielder (St. Louis Brown Stockings/Browns), team owner (Chicago White Sox) and manager (St. Louis Browns), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1931)
  • Aug 19 Hippolyte Delehaye, Flemish historian and hagiographer, born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1941)
Born in 1859

Famous Deaths

Horace Mann (1796-1859)

Aug 2 American educator, author, abolitionist and politician who pioneered public schools, dies at 63

  • Aug 4 Jean Vianney, French Catholic priest, and eventual saint, dies at 73
  • Aug 10 George Staunton, English writer and traveller to China, dies at 68
  • Aug 28 Leigh Hunt, English poet, critic and journalist (Romantic Movement, "Jenny Kissed Me”), dies at 74