On This Day

What Happened in August 1879

Historical Events

Catholic Encyclical

Aug 4 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Aeterni Patris

  • Aug 7 The opening of the Poor Man's Palace in Manchester.
  • Aug 12 1st National Archery Association tournament (Chicago)
  • Aug 17 Ferdinand de Lesseps forms French Panama Canal Company
  • Aug 20 Government Kappeijne of Coppello resigns
  • Aug 21 The Virgin Mary, along with St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, reportedly appears to the people of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.
  • Aug 23 Governor-general Charles Gordon of Sudan returns to Cairo

Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 6 Joseph Wirth, 5th Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, Germany (Stalin Peace Prize), born in Freiburg im Breisgau, German Empire (d. 1956)
  • Aug 7 Johannes Kotze, South African cricket fast bowler (3 Tests, 6 wickets, BB 3/64; London County, Transvaal, Western Province), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1931)
  • Aug 8 Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary, peasant leader
  • Aug 8 "Dr. Bob" Smith, American physician and co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (d. 1950)
  • Aug 13 John Ireland, English composer and pianist (Mai-Dun), born in Bowdon, Cheshire, England (d. 1962)
  • Aug 15 Ethel Barrymore [Blythe], American classic film & stage actress (Constant Wife, Corn is Green), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)
  • Aug 18 Aleksandr Rodzyanko, Russian lieutenant-general and corps commander of the White Army during the Russian Civil War, born in Russia (d. 1970)
  • Aug 21 Henry Ainley, English actor (As You Like It), born in Morley, West Yorkshire, England (d. 1945)

Claude Grahame-White

Aug 21 Claude Grahame-White, English aviation pioneer who was the 1st to make a night flight, born in Bursledon, England (d. 1959)

  • Aug 23 Alfrēds Kalniņš, Latvian organist, composer (Baņuta), conductor, and pedagogue, born in Cēsis, Russian Empire (now Latvia) (d. 1951)
  • Aug 24 Rentaro Taki, Japanese pianist and composer, born in Tokyo (d. 1903)
  • Aug 26 Joe Jeannette, American boxer (world coloured champion 1909), born in West Hoboken, New Jersey (d. 1958)
  • Aug 31 Yoshihito [Taishō], 123rd Emperor of Japan (1912-26), born in Akasaka Palace, Tokyo City, Japan (d. 1926)
  • Aug 31 Viktor Alexandrovich Uspensky, composer
  • Aug 31 Alma Schindler Mahler, Viennese composer and wife of Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius and Franz Werfel, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1964)

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 3 Joseph Severn, English painter (b. 1793)
  • Aug 8 Immanuel Hermann Fichte, German philosopher, dies at 83
  • Aug 22 Friedrich August Kummer, German cellist, composer, and pedagogue, dies at 82
  • Aug 27 Rowland Hill, English inventor who introduced 1st adhesive postage stamp (1840), dies at 84
  • Aug 30 John Bell Hood, American Confederate general during the American Civil War (Army of Tennessee), dies of yellow fever at 48
  • Aug 31 William Barber, 6th US chief engraver (1844-79), dies