What Happened in August 1954

Historical Events

  • Aug 1 South African Natives Resettlement Act comes into being, empowers the Government to remove Africans from any area within and next to the magisterial district of Johannesburg
  • Aug 1 Tour de France: Louison Bobet of France wins by 15' 49" from Ferdinand Kübler, for the second of his 3 consecutive wins
  • Aug 1 WKBT TV channel 8 in La Crosse, WI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 2 Tahar Ben Ammar appointed premier of Tunisia
  • Aug 3 1st VTOL (Vertical Take-off & Land) flown
  • Aug 4 Boscombe Down 1st flight of supersonic P-1 Lightning
  • Aug 4 The Government of Pakistan approves the National Anthem, written by Hafeez Jullundhry and composed by Ahmed G. Chagla
  • Aug 6 WLAC (now WTVF) TV channel 5 in Nashville (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 7 "Golden Apple" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 125 performances
  • Aug 7 Charles Mahoney becomes 1st US black to serve as a full UN delegate

Sports History

Aug 7 Englishman Roger Bannister beats Australia’s John Landy in the mile at the Empire Games in Vancouver; first time 2 men run sub-4 minute mile in the same race

  • Aug 10 At Massena, New York, the groundbreaking ceremony for the St. Lawrence Seaway is held.
  • Aug 10 Dutch Indonesian Union breaks up
  • Aug 10 Sir Gordon Richards retires as a jockey with record 4,870 wins
  • Aug 11 Formal peace treaty ends over 7 yrs of fighting in Indochina between the French and the Communist Viet Minh
  • Aug 12 Senator Eddie Yost draws his 100th walk for 5th year in a row
  • Aug 13 21st NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Detroit 31, All-Stars 6 (93,470)
  • Aug 14 WGR TV (now WGRZ) TV channel 2 in Buffalo, NY (NBC) begins

Appointment of Interest

Aug 15 Dictator Alfredo Stroessner names himself the 42nd President of Paraguay

  • Aug 15 WCHS TV channel 8 in Charleston-Huntington, WV (ABC) begins
  • Aug 16 200 pilgrims drown in Farahzad Iran rain storm flood
  • Aug 16 American brand management company Authentic Brands Group first publishes sports magazine "Sports Illustrated"
  • Aug 18 James E. Wilkins is 1st black to attend a US cabinet meeting

Historic Event

Aug 19 American Ralph Bunche named undersecretary of the UN

  • Aug 22 15th Venice Film Festival: "Romeo and Juliet" directed by Renato Castellani wins Golden Lion

Sports History

Aug 22 Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina clinches his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by winning Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten in a Maserati

  • Aug 22 WPTV TV channel 5 in Palm Beach, FL (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Aug 23 First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

Historic Event

Aug 23 President Getulio Vargas of Brazil resigns temporarily

  • Aug 24 International Amateur Athletic Federation recognizes Red China

Historic Event

Aug 24 US President Eisenhower signs Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party, at height of McCarthyism

  • Aug 24 William Heatherton's "Reluctant Debutante" premieres in London
  • Aug 25 Ivan Filin wins Berne marathon (2:25:26.6) (260m)
  • Aug 29 San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opens
  • Aug 30 BC Lions play franchise's first CFL game in Vancouver; lose to Saskatchewan Roughriders, 17-0
  • Aug 30 Hurricane Carol kills 68 on the US East Coast
  • Aug 31 Cincinnati 1st baseman Ted Kluszewski hits 2 HRs in a 9-3 loss v Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia; 1st Redleg to ever hit 40 MLB HRs, en route to season total 49
  • Aug 31 Hurricane Carol hits New England, 70 die. Costliest ever hurricane at the time and 1st storm name to be retired.
  • Aug 31 Indians beat Yanks 6-1 for record tying 26 wins in August (1931 A's)
  • Aug 31 WMTW TV channel 8 in Portland-Poland Spring, ME (ABC) begins

Famous Birthdays

Trevor BerbickTrevor Berbick (1954-2006)

Aug 1 Jamaican boxer (WBC heavyweight champion 1986), born in Norwich, Port Antonio, Jamaica

  • Aug 2 James Charles Kopp, American citizen who murdered Barnett Slepian, born in Pasadena, California
  • Aug 2 Lisa Brown, American actress (Guiding Light, Iva-As the World Turns), born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Aug 2 Sammy McIlroy, Irish soccer star (Manchester United), born in Belfast, United Kingdom
  • Aug 3 Gary Peters, English footballer, born in Carshalton, London
  • Aug 6 Carl C. Perkins, American politician (Rep-D-KY, 1984-93), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Aug 6 Elma Miller, Canadian composer, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Aug 6 Paul Steigerwald, American sports announcer
  • Aug 7 Caroline Aaron, American actress (Crimes & Misdemeanors), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • Aug 9 Pete Thomas, British drummer (Elvis Costello), born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
  • Aug 10 Cameron Connor, Canadian WHA and NHL ice hockey forward, 1974-83 (Phoenix Roadrunners, Edmonton Oilers, and 3 other teams), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Aug 10 Sam Baker, American folk singer-songwriter (Say Grace), born in Itasca, Texas
  • Aug 11 (David Ian) "Joe" Jackson, British singer-songwriter, and pianist ("Is She Really Going Out with Him?"; "Steppin' Out"), born in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England
  • Aug 11 Juan Maria Solare, Argentine composer
  • Aug 11 Lina Polito, actress (Love & Anarchy), born in Naples, Italy
  • Aug 11 M V Narasimha Rao, Indian cricketer (leg-spin all-rounder 1978-79), born in Secunderabad, India
  • Aug 11 Sinan Savaskan, Turkish-British contemporary classical music composer and educator (The Age of Analysis; Octandre Ensemble), born in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Aug 11 Yashpal Sharma, Indian cricket batsman (37 Tests; 2 x 100s; 42 ODIs), born in Ludhiana, Punjab, India (d. 2021)

François HollandeFrançois Hollande (68 years old)

Aug 12 24th President of France (Socialist: 2012-17), born in Rouen, France

  • Aug 12 Pat Metheny, American jazz and fusion guitarist ("As Wichita Falls, So Falls Wichita"), born in Lee's Summit, Missouri
  • Aug 12 Sam J. Jones [Samuel Gerald], American actor (Flash Gordon, Code Red), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Aug 13 Lincoln Díaz-Balart, Cuban-American attorney and politician (Rep-R-Florida), born in Havana, Cuba
  • Aug 13 Nico Assumpção, Brazilian bass player, born in São Paulo, Brazil (d. 2001)
  • Aug 14 Mark Fidrych, American baseball player (Detroit Tigers) nicknamed "The Bird", born in Worcester, Massachusetts (d. 2009)
  • Aug 14 Monica Baltodano, Nicaraguan Sandinista Revolution commander, born in Leon, Nicaragua
  • Aug 15 Mary Jo Salter, American poet and co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Stieg LarssonStieg Larsson (1954-2004)

Aug 15 Swedish author (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), born in Skelleftehamn, Sweden

James CameronJames Cameron (68 years old)

Aug 16 Canadian film director and writer (Titanic, Avatar), born in Kapuskasing, Ontario

  • Aug 17 Eric Johnson, American guitarist, born in Austin, Texas
  • Aug 18 Umberto Guidoni, Italian astrophysicist and writer (STS 75), born in Rome, Italy
  • Aug 20 Al Roker, American weatherman (NBC, Today), born in Queens, New York
  • Aug 20 Don Stark, American actor (That '70s Show - "Bob"), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 20 Quinn Buckner, American College Basketball Hall of Fame point guard (Indiana Uni; Olympic gold 1976; Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers) and coach (Dallas Mavericks), born in Phoenix, Illinois
  • Aug 20 Tawn Mastrey, American disc jockey and music video producer, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 2007)
  • Aug 20 Theresa Saldana, American actress (Raging Bull), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2016)
  • Aug 21 Archie Griffin, American College Football Hall of Fame running back (Heisman Trophy 1974-75, Ohio State; NFL: Cincinnati Bengals), born in Columbus, Ohio
  • Aug 21 Nick Kane, American rock guitarist (The Mavericks, 1993-2000 - "Dance the Night Away"), born in Jerusalem, Georgia
  • Aug 21 Steve Smith, American rock drummer (Journey), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Aug 23 Charles Busch, American actor, screenwriter, playwright and drag queen (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife), in Hartsdale, New York
  • Aug 23 Halimah Yacob, Singaporean politician (1st female President of Singapore (2017-), born in Singapore
  • Aug 24 Alain Daigle, French Canadian ice hockey player, born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada
  • Aug 24 John Ireland [Griffith], South African pop singer-songwriter (I Like), and medical doctor, born in Ireland, or South Africa (details sketchy)
  • Aug 24 Steve Holley, British rock session and touring drummer (Wings, 1978-81; Julian Lennon; Elton John, Dar Williams; Mott The Hoople, 2018-21), born in London, England

Elvis CostelloElvis Costello (68 years old)

Aug 25 English rock singer and songwriter (Allison; Watching The Detectives; The Other Side Of Summer), born in Paddington, London

  • Aug 25 Gilbert "Gibus" Duclos-Lassalle, French cyclist
  • Aug 25 Marty Jourard, American keyboardist and vocalist (Motels - "Only the Lonely"), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Aug 26 Efren Reyes 'The Magician', Filipino professional pool player, born in Mexico, Philippines
  • Aug 26 Michael Chetwood, British keyboard player (T'Pau), born in Shropshire, England
  • Aug 26 Steve Wright, Britain's wacky DJ and actor (Funny Man)
  • Aug 26 Wally Murphy, American pedal steel guitarist (Asleep At The Wheel, 1981-85; STEEL)
  • Aug 27 Derek Warwick, race car driver
  • Aug 27 John Lloyd, England, tennis star (former husband of Chris Everet)
  • Aug 27 Mike Kelley, Wayne, Michigan, artist (More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid), (d. 2012)
  • Aug 28 Alexander Skvortsov, Russian ice hockey left wing (Olympic gold 1984; World C'ship gold 1979, 81, 83), born in Gorky, Russia (d. 2020)
  • Aug 28 George Church, American geneticist and synthetic biologist, born in MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
  • Aug 29 Julio Fernandez, Cuban-American jazz guitarist (Spyro Gyra, 1984-present), born in Havana, Cuba
  • Aug 29 Michael P. Kube-McDowell, American sci-fi author (Enigma, Empery), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Alexander LukashenkoAlexander Lukashenko (68 years old)

Aug 30 1st and only President of Belarus, born in Kopys, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union

  • Aug 30 David Paymer, American actor (Love Mary, Mr Saturday Night), born in Oceanside, New York
  • Aug 30 Gerard Hadders, Dutch postage stamp designer (1991 children stamp), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Aug 31 Claudell Washington, American baseball outfielder (MLB All Star 1975, 84; World Series 1974; Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2020)
  • Aug 31 Tula [Caroline Cossey], English transsexual model (For Your Eyes Only), born in Brooke, England

Famous Weddings

Johnny Cash

Aug 7 Musician Johnny Cash (22) marries 1st wife Vivian Liberto (20)

Famous Divorces

Susan Hayward

Aug 18 Oscar-winning actress Susan Hayward (37) divorces actor Jess Barker (42) after nine years of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 1 Charles-A Cingria, writer, dies
  • Aug 2 Rene Amengual, Chilean pianist, composer and educator, dies at 42

ColetteColette (1873-1954)

Aug 3 French author, novelist (Gigi, La Vagabonde) and actress, dies at 81

  • Aug 6 Theo Van Reijn, Dutch sculptor and lithograph, dies at 70
  • Aug 8 Gino Tagliapietra, Italian pianist and composer (Antologia di musica antica e moderna per pianoforte), dies at 67
  • Aug 11 Santo Trafficante, Sr., Sicilian-American mobster, dies at 68
  • Aug 13 Hermann W. S. Waltershausen, German musicologist and composer, dies at 71

Hugo EckenerHugo Eckener (1868-1954)

Aug 14 German inventor and commander of the famous Graf Zeppelin during its record-setting flights, dies at 86

  • Aug 17 Billy Murray, American singer (Denver Nightengale), dies at 77
  • Aug 19 Alcide de Gasperi, 30th Prime Minister of Italy (1945-53), dies at 73

Getulio VargasGetulio Vargas (1883-1954)

Aug 24 President of Brazil (1930-45, 1951-54), modernizer and dictator, commits suicide at 71