On This Day

August 1859 in History

Events in History

  • 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.

Birthdays in History

  • 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)
  • Aug 19 Hippolyte Delehaye, Flemish historian and hagiographer, born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1941)

Deaths in History


Person of interestHorace Mann

Aug 2 Horace Mann, American education advocate, dies at 63

Father of American Education Horace Mann
Father of American Education
Horace Mann
  • Aug 4 Jean Vianney, French Catholic priest, dies at 73
  • Aug 10 George Staunton, writer