On This Day

What Happened in August 1953

Historical Events

  • Aug 1 California introduces sales tax (for education)
  • Aug 1 KMBC TV channel 9 in Kansas City, Missouri (MET/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 1 KOBI TV channel 5 in Medford, Oregon (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 1 Northern Rhodesia becomes part of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
  • Aug 1 Boston Red Sox pitcher Ben Flowers sets then MLB record of 8 consecutive games in relief
  • Aug 2 Betty Jack Davis, American country singer (with Skeeter Davis in The Davis Sisters), killed in car crash at 21
  • Aug 2 KCPQ TV channel 13 in Tacoma-Seattle, WA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 3 Frank Blair becomes news anchor of "Today Show"
  • Aug 4 Black families move into Trumbull Park housing project in Chicago
  • Aug 4 New York Yankees Vic Raschi sets MLB record for a pitcher by driving in 7 runs in a 15-0 win v Detroit
  • Aug 5 Operation "Big Switch"; Korean War prisoner exchanged at Panmunjom

Film Release

Aug 5 "From Here to Eternity" based on book by James Jones, directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1954)

Sports History

Aug 6 Future Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Ted Williams returns to Red Sox from military service in Korea; ends abbreviated season with .407 batting average

  • Aug 7 Eastern Airlines enters jet age, uses Electra prop-jet

Historic Event

Aug 8 Soviet leader Georgi Malenkov reports possession of hydrogen bomb

  • Aug 8 US & South Korea initial a mutual security pact
  • Aug 9 1st elected Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Abdullah dismissed by the Indian government and later arrested
  • Aug 12 Ann Davison arrives in Miami in her 23 foot boat Felicity Ann, becoming the 1st woman to sail solo across the Atlantic
  • Aug 12 Heavy earthquake strikes the Ionian islands, 435 killed
  • Aug 12 Soviet Union conducts secret test of its 1st hydrogen bomb
  • Aug 13 4-5 million French go on strike against economizations

Historic Event

Aug 13 US President Dwight Eisenhower establishes Government Contract Compliance Committee

  • Aug 14 20th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Detroit 24, All-Stars 10 (93,818)
  • Aug 14 KXLF TV channel 4 in Butte, MT (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

Aug 15 General Omar Bradley leaves office as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after four years and retires from active military service

  • Aug 16 KTAL TV channel 6 in Shreveport-Texarkana, LA (NBC) begins

Historic Event

Aug 16 Shah of Persia Mohammad Reza Pahlavi & princess Soraya flee to Baghdad & Rome

  • Aug 17 Addiction: First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.
  • Aug 19 England regains cricket Ashes from Australia after winning series 1-0

Coup d'état

Aug 19 Democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh is overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the United Kingdom (under the name 'Operation Boot') and the United States (under the name TPAJAX Project)

  • Aug 20 General Fazlollah Zahedi arrests Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in a CIA supported coup d'état
  • Aug 20 Russia publicly acknowledges hydrogen bomb test detonation
  • Aug 20 14th Venice Film Festival opens. No Golden Lion awarded
  • Aug 21 Baseball player representatives Ralph Kiner (NL) & Allie Reynolds (AL) hire labor leader John Norman Lewis at $15,000 to give legal advice to players in negotiations with team owners
  • Aug 21 Marion Carl in Douglas Skyrocket reaches record 25,370 m
  • Aug 21 Sultan Sidi Mohammed Am Joessoef V of Morocco deposed
  • Aug 22 Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi returns to Tehran
  • Aug 23 Former Boston Braves pitcher Phil Paine becomes first major leaguer to play in Japan; on military service with U.S. Air Force plays first of 9 games for Nishitetsu Lions
  • Aug 23 Cyclist Arie Van Vliet becomes world champion sprinter
  • Aug 23 Dutch DC-6 crashes near Ymuiden in North Sea, 21 die
  • Aug 23 KBAK TV channel 29 in Bakersfield, CA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 23 Phil Grate sets record for throwing a baseball (443'3")
  • Aug 23 USSR performs nuclear test

Sports History

Aug 23 Italian Ferrari driver Alberto Ascari clinches his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by winning Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten

  • Aug 28 "Me & Juliet" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 358 performances
  • Aug 29 KHSL TV channel 12 in Chico, CA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 29 USSR explodes its first hydrogen bomb
  • Aug 31 KRBC TV channel 9 in Abilene, TX (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 31 WKBG (now WLVI) TV channel 56 in Cambridge-Boston, MA (IND) begins

Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 1 Robert Cray, American Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist, and singer ("Smoking Gun"; "The Forecast Calls for Pain"), born in Columbus, Georgia
  • Aug 2 Butch Patrick [Patrick Alan Lilley], American actor (Real McCoys, Eddie-Munsters), born in Inglewood, California
  • Aug 3 Ian Bairnson, Scottish musician (Alan Parsons Project; Kate Bush), born in Lerwick, Shetland Isles
  • Aug 4 Michael Harris, American trumpet and flugelhorn player (The Phenix Horns - Earth, Wind & Fire; Phil Collins)
  • Aug 5 Samantha Sang [Cheryl Lau Sang], Australian pop singer (Emotion), born in Melbourne
  • Aug 6 Iqbal Qasim, cricketer (Pakistani slow lefty in the 80's)
  • Aug 6 Pat MacDonald, American rock singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Timbuk 3 - "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"), born in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Aug 7 Anne Fadiman, American writer, born in New York City, New York
  • Aug 8 "Sweet" Lou Dunbar, basketball player (Harlem Globetrotters)

Nigel Mansell

Aug 8 Nigel Mansell, British auto racer (World F1 champion 1992, Indy Car 1993), born in Upton-upon-Severn, England

  • Aug 8 Don Most, American actor and director (Ralph Malph-Happy Days), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Aug 8 Lloyd Austin, American general, 1st black Secretary of Defense (2021-), born in Mobile, Alabama
  • Aug 10 Mark Doty, American poet and prose writer

Hulk Hogan

Aug 11 Hulk Hogan [Terry Bollea], WWF heavyweight champion (1984-89), born in Augusta, Georgia

  • Aug 11 Sanford Jensen, American actor (Foley Square), born in South Haven, Michigan
  • Aug 12 Peter Ostroushko, American fiddler, mandolin player, and composer (A Prairie Home Companion), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 2021)
  • Aug 13 Kristalina Georgieva, Bulgarian economist, Head of the IMF (2019-), born in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Aug 14 James Horner, American film composer (Titanic; Apollo 13; Avatar), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2015)
  • Aug 14 Cliff Johnson, American computer game author, born in Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Aug 16 Catlin O'Heaney, American actress (Snow White-Charmings), born in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
  • Aug 16 James "J.T." Taylor, American R&B singer (Kool & The Gang - "Ladies' Night"; "Celebration"; "Joanna"), born in Laurens, South Carolina
  • Aug 16 Kathie Lee Gifford, American TV presenter (Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Today show), born in Paris, France,
  • Aug 16 Nick Leyva, baseball manager (Phillies 1988-91)
  • Aug 17 Kevin Rowlands, British rock vocalist (Dexy's Midnight Runners - "Come On Eileen"), born in Wednesfield, England
  • Aug 17 Robert Thirsk, Canadian astronaut (STS 78), born in New Westminster, British Columbia
  • Aug 17 Judith Regan, American book publisher, born in Massachusetts
  • Aug 18 Louie Gohmert, American politician, born in Pittsburg, Texas
  • Aug 19 Nanni Moretti, Italian film actor, director and producer (Caro diario), born in Bruneck, Italy
  • Aug 19 Mary Matalin, American political consultant (campaign director for George H. W. Bush), born in Burnham, Illinois
  • Aug 19 Luis Muñoz, Costa Rican jazz percussionist, composer, and bandleader, born in San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Aug 20 Peter Horton, American actor (Gary-30 Something), born in Bellevue, Washington
  • Aug 21 Ivan Stang, American writer and filmmaker (Church of the SubGenius), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Aug 22 Paul Ellering, American wrestling manager, born in Melrose, Minnesota
  • Aug 23 Bobby Gubby, English rocker (Bucks Fizz-My Camera Never Lies), born in Epsom, Surrey, England
  • Aug 23 Klaus-Dietrich Flade, German cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-14), born in Büdesheim, Germany
  • Aug 23 Ezra Idlet, American folk, rock, and family music guitarist, and singer-songwriter (Trout Fishing In America - "My Hair Had A Party Last Night"), born in San Antonio, Texas
  • Aug 24 Ron Holloway, American tenor saxophonist, born in Washington, D.C.
  • Aug 24 John Cowan, American rock, progressive bluegrass session and touring bass player, and vocalist (New Grass Revival, 1974-89; Doobie Bothers, 1993-95), born in Minerva, Ohio
  • Aug 27 Alex Lifeson [Živojinović], Serbian-Canadian rock guitarist (Rush - "Limelight"), born in n Fernie, British Columbia
  • Aug 27 Peter Stormare, Swedish-born actor
  • Aug 27 John Sambataro, American session and touring rock vocalist and guitarist (Andy Gibb; McQuinn, Clark & Hillman; Dave Mason), born in South Florida
  • Aug 29 Rick Downey, American rock drummer and vocalist (Blue Oyster Cult, 1981-85)
  • Aug 29 James Quesada, Nicaraguan-American anthropologist
  • Aug 29 Speedy Gonzales, Warner Bros. cartoon character created by Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese (Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series), first debuts in "Cat-Tails for Two"

Robert Parish

Aug 30 Robert Parish, American College/Basketball HOF center (9 x NBA All-Star; NBA C'ship 1981, 84, 86 Boston Celtics; 97 Chicago Bulls), born in Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Aug 30 Ron George, American politician (Member of the Maryland House of Delegates), born in Syracuse, New York
  • Aug 31 Marcia Clark [Kleks], American LA DA (O.J. Simpson Case), born in Berkeley, California
  • Aug 31 György Károly, Hungarian poet and author, born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 2018)

Famous Weddings

Terry Sawchuk

Aug 6 NHL goaltender Terry Sawchuk (23) weds Patricia Ann Morey

  • Aug 30 Future NYC mayor David Dinkins marries Joyce Burrows in NYC

Famous Divorces

Ella Fitzgerald

Aug 28 American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald (36) divorces American jazz bassist Ray Brown (27) after 6 years of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 7 Abner Powell, American baseball utility, team owner and executive (first to use infield tarpaulin after rain), dies at 92
  • Aug 11 Ludwig Strauss, German-Israeli writer (Heimliche Gegenwart), dies at 60
  • Aug 11 Tazio Nuvolari, Italian auto racer (72 x major race wins; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1933; European Championship 1932), dies from a stroke at 60
  • Aug 13 Dmitri Arakishvili, Soviet and Georgian composer, dies at 80
  • Aug 15 Ludwig Prandtl, German physicist (b. 1875)
  • Aug 17 Johannes Tielrooy, Dutch literary professor (French Living Lesson), dies at 66
  • Aug 17 Bannister Fletcher, English architect and architectural historian (A History of Architecture), dies at 87
  • Aug 22 Jim Tabor, American MLB 3rd baseman (2 x grand slams in one game), dies of a heart attack at 36
  • Aug 27 Nicolai Berezowsky, Russian-American composer, dies at 53
  • Aug 30 Dimitar Nenov, Bulgarian composer, pianist and architect, dies at 51