What Happened in August 2008

Historical Events


Book releaseHistoric Publication

Aug 2 "Breaking Dawn", 4th book in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight Saga" is published by Little Brown at midnight with a print run of 3.7 million copies

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 3 Morgan Freeman is injured in an automobile accident near Ruleville, Mississippi, when his car flipped over several times on the highway

  • Aug 6 Access 31 TV stops broadcasting in Perth, Western Australia
  • Aug 6 A military junta led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz stages a coup d'etat in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi
  • Aug 7 Georgia launches a military offensive to surround and capture the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, from Russian control, starting the Russo-Georgian War
  • Aug 8 29th Summer Olympic Games opens in Beijing, China
  • Aug 9 United States takes all 3 medals in women's fencing sabre event at the Beijing Olympics; first US podium sweep of a fencing event since 1904; Mariel Zagunis takes gold ahead of Sada Jacobson & Rebecca Ward
  • Aug 10 PGA Championship, Oakland Hills CC: Irishman Pádraig Harrington wins by 2 shots from Sergio Garcia and Ben Curtis
  • Aug 10 British cyclist Nicole Cooke wins the road race at the Beijing Olympics; Great Britain's 200th gold in the modern Olympics

Sports record brokenWorld Record

Aug 10 American super-star swimmer Michael Phelps wins the 400m individual medley at the Beijing Olympics in world record 4:03.84

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 11 Airbnb is founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk

Co-founder of Airbnb Brian Chesky
Co-founder of Airbnb
Brian Chesky
  • Aug 11 Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima repeats 1st leg of his Athens Olympics 100/200m breaststroke double at the Beijing Games winning the 100m in world record 58.91; goes on to win 200m event
  • Aug 11 The US 4 x 100m freestyle replay team of Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones & Jason Lezak beats France by 8 seconds to win gold and smash world record at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 11 Abhinav Bindra wins men's 10m air rifle at the Beijing Olympics, the first ever individual Olympic gold medal for India, and India's first gold medal in any Olympic event since 1980
  • Aug 12 American super-swimmer Michael Phelps wins his 3rd of 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics when he takes the 200m freestyle in world record 1:42.96
  • Aug 12 An American 1-2 in the 100m backstroke at the Beijing Olympics with Aaron Peirsol swimming a world record 52.54 to beat team mate Matt Grevers

  • Aug 12 American swimmer Natalie Coughlin becomes the first to successfully defend the gold medal in the women's 100 m backstroke when she wins event at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 13 The Baltic state slides into recession with a 0.9% fall in second-quarter GDP after a drop of 0.5% in the first quarter; it falls deeper into recession in the third quarter when the economy contracted 3.3%
  • Aug 13 American super-swimmer Michael Phelps wins 3 gold medals, all in world record time, in the one day at the Beijing Olympics; 200m I/M (1:54.23), 200m butterfly (1.52.03) and 4 x 200m freestyle relay (6:58.56)
  • Aug 13 Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice wraps up the medley double at the Beijing Olympics when she swims world record 2:08.45 to win the 200m I/M gold medal
  • Aug 13 Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini sets new world record 1:54.82 to claim 200m freestyle gold medal at the Beijing Olympics; runner-up Sara Isaković is Slovenia's first Olympic swim medal winner
  • Aug 14 Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima repeats his Athens Olympics 100/200m breaststroke double at the Beijing Games winning the 200m in Olympic record 2:07.64
  • Aug 14 Australian women's 4 x 200m freestyle relay team of Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt, Kylie Palmer & Linda Mackenzie swims world record 7:44.31 to beat China and take the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 14 A popular Chinese 1-2 in the 200m butterfly at the Beijing Olympics with Liu Zige swimming world record 2:04.18 to beat team mate Jiao Liuyang
  • Aug 14 French swimmer Alain Bernard wins the coveted 100m freestyle gold medal at the Beijing Olympics beating Eamon O'Sullivan of Australia by 0.11
  • Aug 15 Lee Berger and his nine-year-old son, Matthew, discover the two-million-year-old fossils of a new species of human ancestor (Australopithecus sediba) at Malapa Cave, South Africa
  • Aug 15 German swimmer Britta Steffen beats Australian Libby Trickett by 0.04 to win the blue ribband 100m freestyle gold medal at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 15 American breaststroker Rebecca Soni avenges her defeat to Leisel Jones of Australia in the 100m when she swims world record 2:20.22 to beat Jones in 200m at the Beijing Olympics

Sports record brokenWorld Record

Aug 15 An American 1-2 in the 200m backstroke at the Beijing Olympics with Ryan Lochte swimming a world record 1:53.94 to beat team mate Aaron Peirsol

Swimmer Ryan Lochte
Swimmer
Ryan Lochte
  • Aug 15 Despite China winning the women's gymnastics team all-round gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, Americans Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson go 1-2 in the individual all-round

Sports record brokenWorld Record

Aug 16 Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt sets new world record of 9.69 seconds to win the coveted 100m gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics

Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt
Olympic Sprinter
Usain Bolt
  • Aug 16 British swimmer Rebecca Adlington wraps up the 400/800m freestyle double at the Beijing Olympics with a world record 8:14.10 in the 800
  • Aug 16 British sailor Ben Ainslie convincingly wins the Finn class at the Beijing Olympics, his third gold medal in as many Games
  • Aug 16 British cyclist Bradley Wiggins becomes the first rider ever to successfully defend his Olympic title in the individual pursuit when he takes gold at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 16 American swimmer Michael Phelps wins his 7th of 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics when he takes the 100m butterfly in Olympic record 50.58; beats Milorad Čavić of Serbia by 0.01
  • Aug 16 Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe swims a world record 2:05.24 to beat American Margaret Hoelzer by 1.01 and win the 200m backstroke at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 16 British team of Tom James, Steve Williams, Pete Reed & Andrew Triggs Hodge wins the men's rowing coxless fours in Beijing, the third straight Olympics that Great Britain wins gold in this event
  • Aug 16 New Zealand rowers Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell successfully defend their 2004 Olympic title in the women's double sculls by beating Germany by 0.01 seconds at the Beijing Games
  • Aug 16 Romanian rower Georgeta Andrunache wins the women's coxless pairs at the Beijing Olympics; her 5th career gold medal, and her 3rd consecutive Olympic gold in the event
  • Aug 16 César Cielo Filho wins the men's 50m freestyle in 21.30 in Beijing, Brazil's first ever swimming Olympic gold medal
  • Aug 16 South Korean weightlifter Jang Mi-Ran wins the women's unlimited (+75 kg) division at the Beijing Olympics by breaking world records 5 times: once in snatch, twice in clean-and-jerk, and twice in total

  • Aug 17 China wins its 33rd gold medal of the Beijing Olympics by beating Singapore in the table tennis women's team event; most successful Olympiad ever for China; wins all 10 singles and all 5 doubles matches

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 17 Canadian Open Women's Golf, Ottawa Hunt GC: Australian Katherine Hull wins by 1 from Se Ri Pak

LPGA Golfer Se Ri Pak
LPGA Golfer
Se Ri Pak
  • Aug 17 Four years after winning Olympic silver in the rowing quad sculls in Athens, Briton Rebecca Romero becomes only 2nd woman to earn medals in 2 different sports at the summer Games when she wins the pursuit track cycling gold in Beijing
  • Aug 17 Jamaica dominates the 100m at the Beijing Olympics with Shelly-Ann Fraser taking the gold medal in 10.78; her team mates Sherone Simpson & Kerron Stewart dead-heat for silver in 10.98
  • Aug 17 Gulnara Samitova-Galkina of Russia wins the 3,000m steeplechase gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in world record 8:58.81
  • Aug 17 US team Michael Phelps, Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen & Jason Lezak wins 4 x 100m medley relay at the Beijing Olympics in world record 3:29.34; Phelps' 8th gold medal of Games breaks Mark Spitz's 1972 record (7)
  • Aug 17 German swimmer Britta Steffen beats American Dara Torres by 0.01 in the 50m to wrap up the 50/100m double at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 17 Australian women's 4 x 100m medley relay team of Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, Jessicah Schipper & Libby Trickett upset the United States to win the gold medal in world record 3:52.69 at the Beijing Olympics

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 17 Rafael Nadal of Spain beats Chile's Fernando González 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win the men's tennis singles at the Beijing Olympics; Spain's first ever Olympic gold medal in tennis

Tennis Champion Rafael Nadal
Tennis Champion
Rafael Nadal
  • Aug 18 President Of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf resigned due to pressure from opposition.
  • Aug 18 Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva sets a new world record of 5.05m to win the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics; her 24th world record
  • Aug 18 An American 1-2-3 in the 400m hurdles at the Beijing Olympics; Angelo Taylor wins gold in 47.25 ahead of Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson
  • Aug 18 Emulating the Chinese women, the men win the team table tennis gold medal at the Beijing Olympics without losing a match; win all 10 singles and all 5 doubles matches
  • Aug 18 Belarus weightlifter Andrei Aramnau breaks 3 world records, for the snatch, clean & jerk, and total, on the way to winning the men's 105kg gold medal at the Beijing Olympics

Music releaseAlbum Release

Aug 19 "The Fame", debut album by Lady Gaga, is released (Grammy Award Album of the Year, Best Electronic/Dance Album 2009)

Singer-Songwriter Lady Gaga
Singer-Songwriter
Lady Gaga
  • Aug 19 Chris Hoy encapsulates British dominance of track cycling at the Beijing Olympics beating team mate Jason Kenny to win the sprint, adding to his keirin and team sprint gold medals
  • Aug 19 Britain's Victoria Pendleton beats Anna Mears in the women's cycling sprint final at the Beijing Olympics; GB dominates the track winning 7 of 10 gold medals
  • Aug 19 Reigning world champion, Christine Ohuruogu wins the women's 400m at the Beijing Olympics; GB's 50th gold medal in Olympic track & field competition
  • Aug 19 The men's gymnastics program at the Beijing Olympics concludes with the home team from China dominating the medals tally takes 7 of 8 gold medals; Zou Kai wins 3
  • Aug 20 Spanair Flight 5022, from Madrid to Gran Canaria, skids off the runway and crashes at Barajas Airport. 146 people are killed in the crash, 8 more die afterwards. Only 18 people survive.
  • Aug 20 Russian long-distance swimmer Larisa Ilchenko wins inaugural women's open water marathon (10k) in 1:59:27.7 at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 20 Usain Bolt of Jamaica wraps up the 100/200m double in style with a new 200m world record 19.30 at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 21 After winning the event in Athens, Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown makes it consecutive 200m Olympic titles beating American Allyson Felix by 0.19 in Beijing
  • Aug 21 Dutch swimmer and cancer survivor Maarten van der Weijden wins inaugural men's open water marathon (10k) in 1:51:51.6 at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 21 American pair Misty May-Treanor & Kerry Walsh dominate China's Tian Jiathe & Wang Jie 21-18, 21-18 in the beach volleyball final to repeat of their gold medal from Athens; don't lose a set in the competition
  • Aug 21 An American sweep of the 400m medals at the Beijing Olympics; LeShawn Merritt wins gold in 43.75 ahead of Jeremy Wariner and David Neville
  • Aug 21 Japan edges the United States 3-1 for the gold medal in the final of the women's softball tournament at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 21 Daniëlle de Bruijn scores a match winning 7 goals as the Netherlands upset the United States 9-8 to take the women's water polo gold medal at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 21 Striker Carli Lloyd scores an extra time winner as the United States beat Brazil 1-0 to take the women's football gold medal at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 22 The Jamaican team led by Usain Bolt smashes the world 4 x 100m relay record in the final at the Beijing Olympics; disqualified in 2017 as Nesta Carter tests positive for prohibited substance
  • Aug 22 Ethiopian distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba wraps up the women's 5,000/10,000m double at the Beijing Olympics when she takes gold in the 5k in an Olympic record 15:41.40
  • Aug 22 American decathlete Brian Clay wins 4 of the 10 events and finishes 2nd in 2 others to dominate field and take the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 22 Russia wins the women's 4 × 100 m relay ahead of Belgium & Nigeria at the Beijing Olympics; disqualified in 2016 when reanalysis of Yulia Chermoshanskaya’s samples result in positive test for prohibited substances
  • Aug 22 Steven Hooker wins the men's pole vault with 5.96m at the Beijing Olympics; Australia's first gold medal in men's athletics since 1968
  • Aug 22 Maurren Higa Maggi wins the women's long jump with a leap of 7.04m at the Beijing Olympics; Brazil's first ever gold medal in any women's individual event
  • Aug 22 Anne-Caroline Chausson of France and Māris Štrombergs of Latvia win the inaugural gold medals in BMX, winning the women's and men's events respectively at the Beijing Olympics
  • Aug 23 The star-studded American women's basketball team led by the likes of Lisa Leslie, Sue Bird & Diana Taurasi win the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics with a convincing 92-65 win over Australia
  • Aug 23 Ethiopian distance runner Kenenisa Bekele wraps up the 5,000/10,000m double at the Beijing Olympics when he takes gold in the 5k in an Olympic record 12:57.82
  • Aug 23 Australian diver Matthew Mitcham wins the men's 10m platform gold medal with final dive at the Beijing Olympics; prevents Chinese from winning every diving event; achieves highest score for an individual dive in Olympic history (112.10)
  • Aug 23 Midfielder Ángel Di María scores a 58th minute winner as Argentina beats Nigeria 1-0 to take the men's football gold medal at the Beijing Olympics; 89,102 at the National Stadium
  • Aug 24 Summer Olympics in Beijing becomes the most watched event on TV ever - nearly 5 billion, 70% of world's population

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 24 The star-studded American men's basketball team led by the likes of LeBron James, Chris Paul & Kobe Bryant win the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics with a relatively narrow 118-107 win over Spain

Basketball Player LeBron James
Basketball Player
LeBron James
NBA Guard Kobe Bryant
NBA Guard
Kobe Bryant
  • Aug 24 Samuel Wansiru becomes first Kenyan to win the men's Olympic marathon in Beijing; wins in Olympic record time; silver medallist Joauad Gharib of Morocco also faster than OR, yet 44 seconds behind
  • Aug 24 Dániel Varga & Péter Biros score 3 goals each as Hungary wins the men's water polo gold medal at the Beijing Olympics; third consecutive Olympic gold medal
  • Aug 26 Russia unilaterally recognizes the independence of the former Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Electoral defeatPresidential Convention

Aug 27 Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be nominated by a major political party for President of the United States

44th US President Barack Obama
44th US President
Barack Obama
  • Aug 27 65th Venice Film Festival: "The Wrestler" directed by Darren Aronofsky wins Golden Lion

Famous Weddings

  • Aug 7 Singer-songwriter Jewel Kilcher (34) weds rodeo champion Ty Murray (38) at The Cove Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas

HeartWedding of Interest

Aug 16 "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" talk show host Ellen DeGeneres (54) weds actress Portia de Rossi (39) in Beverly Hills, California

Comedian and TV Star Ellen DeGeneres
Comedian and TV Star
Ellen DeGeneres

HeartWedding of Interest

Aug 30 "The Sopranos" actor James Gandolfini (46) weds former model Deborah Lin (40) at Central Union Church in Honolulu, Hawaii


Famous Divorces

  • Aug 17 Genesis drummer and vocalist Phil Collins (57) divorces Swiss-born Orianne Cevey (35) after six years of marriage
  • Aug 19 Actor-comedian Tom Arnold (48) divorces Shelby Roos (35) after six years of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 1 Harkishan Singh Surjeet, Indian politician (b. 1916)
  • Aug 1 Ashok Mankad, Indian cricketer (son of Vinoo, batted for India 1969-78), dies at 61
  • Aug 2 Fujio Akatsuka, Japanese cartoonist, dies of pneumonia at 72
Writer and Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Writer and Nobel Laureate
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Aug 3 Skip Caray, American TV and radio broadcaster (b. 1939)
  • Aug 4 Craig Jones, English motorcycle racer. (b. 1985)
  • Aug 5 Reg Lindsay, Australian country and western singer/songwriter (b. 1929)
  • Aug 5 Robert Hazard [Rimato], American singer-songwriter (Girls Just Want to Have Fun), dies after surgery at 59
  • Aug 7 Bernie Brillstein, American talent agent/manager and producer (b. 1931)
  • Aug 7 Andrea Pininfarina, CEO of Pininfarina S.p.A.
  • Aug 8 Orville Moody, American golfer (US Open 1969), dies of multiple myeloma at 74
  • Aug 8 Joseph Gelineau, French Catholic Jesuit priest and composer, dies at 87
  • Aug 9 Bernie Mac, American comedian, actor.(b. 1957)
  • Aug 9 Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian prominent poet and writer, dies at 66
  • Aug 10 Isaac Hayes, American musician and actor (b. 1942)
  • Aug 11 Sir William "Bill" Cotton, British television producer and executive (Noel Gay TV), dies at 80
  • Aug 12 Christie Allen, British-Australian pop singer (b. 1954)
  • Aug 12 Donald Erb, American composer known for large orchestral works, dies at 81
  • Aug 13 Bill Gwatney, American political figure (b. 1959)
  • Aug 13 Dino Toso, American Formula-1 engineer (b. 1969)
  • Aug 13 Jack Weil, American oldest working CEO (b. 1901)
  • Aug 13 Sandy Allen, American second-tallest woman in the world (b. 1955)
  • Aug 13 Henri Cartan, French Mathematician, dies at 104
  • Aug 14 Lita Roza, English singer ("How Much is That Doggie in the Window"), dies at 82
  • Aug 15 Jerry Wexler, American music producer who coined the term "rhythm and blues" (Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan), dies from congestive heart failure at 91
  • Aug 15 James Orthwein, American businessman
  • Aug 15 Leroy Sievers, American journalist
  • Aug 15 Vic Toweel, South African boxer, bantamweight world champion
  • Aug 16 Ronnie Drew, Ex-Singer of The Dubliners & Solo Artist (b. 1934)
  • Aug 16 Dorival Caymmi, Brazilian singer and songwriter (b. 1914)
  • Aug 16 Elena Leuṣtean, Romanian gymnast and Olympic medalist (b. 1935)
  • Aug 17 Franco Sensi, Italian oil tycoon and president of A.S. Roma
  • Aug 17 František Zvarík, Slovakian stage actor (Slovak National Theatre), dies at 87
  • Aug 18 Pervis Jackson, American R&B singer (Spinners), dies at 70
  • Aug 19 Levy Mwanawasa, Zambian politician (3rd President of Zambia), dies at 59
  • Aug 19 LeRoi Moore, American saxophonist (Dave Matthews Band), dies at 46

Person of interestHua Guofeng

Aug 20 Hua Guofeng, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (1976-81) and Premier of the People's Republic of China (1976-80), dies at 87

Paramount Leader of China Hua Guofeng
Paramount Leader of China
Hua Guofeng
  • Aug 20 Stephanie Tubbs Jones, American politician (b. 1949)
  • Aug 20 Gene Upshaw, American football player and union leader (b. 1945)
  • Aug 20 Margaret Douglas, chief political adviser (BBC), dies at 73
  • Aug 21 Jerry Finn, American record producer (b. 1969)
  • Aug 21 Buddy Harman, Country music drummer (Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley), dies at 79
  • Aug 22 Gladys Powers, Canadian World War I veteran (b. 1899)
  • Aug 23 John Russell, British-born American art critic and author
  • Aug 25 John Thoday, British geneticist, dies at 91
  • Aug 25 Kevin Duckworth, American basketball player (b. 1964)
  • Aug 25 Pavle Kozjek, Slovenian mountaineer (b. 1959)
  • Aug 25 Josef Tal, Israel composer (Israeli art music), dies at 97
  • Aug 27 Mark Priestley, Australian actor (b. 1976)
  • Aug 28 Phil Hill, American race car driver and one-time F1 world champion (b. 1927)
  • Aug 29 Geoffrey Perkins, British comedy producer (b. 1953)
  • Aug 30 Walter "Killer" Kowalski, Canadian professional wrestler, dies at 81
  • Aug 31 Jerry Reed, American country music singer and actor (b. 1937)
  • Aug 31 Ike Pappas, American news correspondent (b. 1933)