On This Day

August 1914 in History

Events in History

  • Aug 1 British Grand Fleet reaches Scapa Flow

BattleDeclaration of War

Aug 1 Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany declares war on his nephew Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in WWI

German Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II
German Emperor and King of Prussia
Wilhelm II
Tsar Nicholas II
Tsar
Nicholas II
  • Aug 1 France and Germany mobilize their troops at outbreak of WWI
  • Aug 1 Trois Vierges: German 69th infantry regiment enters Luxembourg on outbreak of WWI

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 1 Marcus Garvey and others found the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica with aim of creating black-governed nation in Africa

Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey
Black Nationalist
Marcus Garvey
  • Aug 2 Belgian government receives German ultimatum
  • Aug 2 German press falsely reports that French bombed Nuremberg
  • Aug 2 German troops overthrow Luxembourg
  • Aug 2 Germany and Turkey sign secret treaty of alliance
  • Aug 2 Great Britain mobilizes
  • Aug 2 Postdam Conference ends
  • Aug 2 Russian troops invade Eastern Prussia
  • Aug 3 1st unofficial trip through the Panama Canal by the SS Christobel
  • Aug 3 Belgium rejects demand to allow free crossing for German Army leading to their invasion hours later
  • Aug 3 French fleet sails to North Africa
  • Aug 3 German battle cruiser Goeben leaves Messina

  • Aug 3 Germany invades Belgium and declares war on France, beginning World War I
  • Aug 3 World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through Churches forms
  • Aug 3 British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey famously remarks "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time."
  • Aug 4 WWI: German army shoots Belgian priests and burns down village of Battice
  • Aug 4 German fleet under admiral Souchon fire on Algerian coast
  • Aug 4 WWI: Germany declares war on Belgium; Britain declares war on Germany
  • Aug 4 WWI: King Albert I becomes Supreme Commander of Belgian army after German declaration of war

BattleDeclaration of War

Aug 4 WWI: Field Marshal Lord Kitchener becomes British Minister of War after British declaration of war on Germany

General and Secretary of War Horatio Kitchener
General and Secretary of War
Horatio Kitchener
  • Aug 4 US declares neutrality on the outbreak of WWI
  • Aug 5 1st electric traffic light installed in the USA on the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Aug 5 Cuba, Uruguay, Mexico and Argentina proclaim neutrality in WW I
  • Aug 5 Dutch Cort Van de Linden government issues silver bonds as money

BattleBattle of Interest

Aug 5 Battle of Liège: first battle of WWI, massive German assault on forts around Belgium city of Liège led by Erich Ludendorff

German WWI General Erich Ludendorff
German WWI General
Erich Ludendorff
  • Aug 5 Montenegro declares war against Austria-Hungary in World War I
  • Aug 5 US and Nicaragua sign treaty granting canal rights to US
  • Aug 5 Westerschelde leaves due to German invasion in Belgium
  • Aug 6 WWI: Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia
  • Aug 6 WWI: French cavalry enters Belgium
  • Aug 6 WWI: German Zeppelin bombs Liege, 9 killed
  • Aug 6 WWI: Serbia declares war against Germany

  • Aug 6 Denis Patrick Dowd Jr. enlists in the French Foreign Legion, becoming the first American to fight in World War I
  • Aug 7 Engagement between British cruiser HMS Gloucester and German cruisers SMS Breslau and SMS Goeben off Greece
  • Aug 7 French government awards King Albert of Belgium the Great Cross
  • Aug 7 French troops under Gen Bonneau occupy Altkitrch at Elzas
  • Aug 7 German army occupies city of Liege, Belgium
  • Aug 7 Russia invades East Prussia

DiscoveryHistoric Expedition

Aug 8 3rd pole expedition Ernest Shackleton "Endurance"

Polar Explorer Ernest Shackleton
Polar Explorer
Ernest Shackleton
  • Aug 8 French troops under Gen Bonneau occupy Mulhouse at Elzas
  • Aug 8 Montenegro declares war on Germany
  • Aug 9 German U-15 was sunk by the British cruiser, H.M.S. Birmingham
  • Aug 10 At Liege, German 12"/16.5" guns reach Belgian boundary
  • Aug 10 German battle cruiser Goeben reaches Dardanellen/Turkey joins Germany
  • Aug 10 German troops reconquer Mulhouse in Elzas
  • Aug 10 WWI: French fall back at Alsace
  • Aug 11 Jews are expelled from Mitchenick, Poland
  • Aug 11 John Bray patents animation
  • Aug 12 France and Great Britain declare war on Austria-Hungary
  • Aug 12 Cavalry battle at Halen, Belgium ("Battle of the Silver Helmets")
  • Aug 12 German 16.5"/12" guns fires on forts round Liege
  • Aug 12 Russian troops take East-Prussia & occupy Marggrabowa
  • Aug 13 -14] German army occupies forts at Liege
  • Aug 13 Carl Wickman begins Greyhound, the 1st US bus line, in Minnesota
  • Aug 14 British field marshal John French & Gen Wilson land in France

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 15 Dinant, Belgium, destroyed by German bombs. Lt Charles de Gaulle (24), injured

French President Charles de Gaulle
French President
Charles de Gaulle
  • Aug 15 Japan joins side of allies
  • Aug 15 Panama Canal opens (under cost) with the SS Ancon making the 1st official steamship through the canal

MurderMurder of Interest

Aug 15 A male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright sets fire to the living quarters of the architect's Wisconsin home, Taliesin, murders seven people and burns the living quarters to the ground.

  • Aug 15 The first large public gathering of Boers in South Africa who do not want to support Britain in a war against Germany; British authorities will try to repress this movement, but discontent spreads

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 15 US Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, in a letter to J P Morgan, Jr., declares that loans to any of the belligerents go against US neutrality

US Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan
US Secretary of State
William Jennings Bryan
  • Aug 16 German army occupies last fort at Liege, Belgian general Leman caught
  • Aug 16 Zapata & Pancho Villa over run Mexico
  • Aug 16 World War I: Battle of Cer begins.
  • Aug 17 French troops under gen de Castelnau occupy Chateau Salins
  • Aug 18 -20] Belgian army withdraws to Antwerp
  • Aug 18 French troops under general Dubail occupy Sarrebourg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 18 US President Woodrow Wilson issues "Proclamation of Neutrality"

28th US President Woodrow Wilson
28th US President
Woodrow Wilson
  • Aug 19 Elmer Rice's "On Trial" premieres in NYC
  • Aug 19 German army executed 150 Belgians by firing squad
  • Aug 19 German fleet bombs English coast
  • Aug 19 Harris Theater (Candler, Coan & Harris) opens at 226 W 42nd St NYC
  • Aug 19 In a message to the Senate, US President Woodrow Wilson urges the American people to be 'neutral in fact as well as name'
  • Aug 20 German General von Bulow executes 211 Belgians
  • Aug 20 Battle at Gumbinnen, East-Prussia: Russians beat Germans
  • Aug 20 Battle at Morhange: German troops chase French, killing thousands
  • Aug 20 Bavarian troops kill 50 inhabitants of Nomeny, France
  • Aug 20 German army captured Brussels as the Belgian army retreated to Antwerp
  • Aug 21 Belgium: German troops occupy Tamines
  • Aug 21 French offensive in the Ardennen/Sambre
  • Aug 22 Battle at Charleroi begins: Gen von Bulows troops beat French
  • Aug 22 1st encounter between British & German troops (in Belgium)
  • Aug 22 Battle in Ardennen: Neufchateau, Rossignal, Tintigny & Virton
  • Aug 22 Canada's Finance Act, 1914, receives assent
  • Aug 22 General Martos' troops occupy Soldau/Neidenburg, East Prussia
  • Aug 22 German troops execute 384 inhabitants of Tamines, Belgium

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 22 WW1: Von Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg move into East Prussia enroute to Russia

German President and WWI General Paul von Hindenburg
German President and WWI General
Paul von Hindenburg
  • Aug 23 -24] German troops plunder Belgium
  • Aug 23 Battle of Mons: General Alexander von Kluck's troops forced a British withdrawal.
  • Aug 23 Gen von Hausen executes 612 inhabitants of Dinant, Belgium
  • Aug 23 Japan declares war on Germany in World War I
  • Aug 24 Battle of Bergen: Germans defeat Belgian/British troops
  • Aug 24 German troops occupy Namur, Belgium
  • Aug 25 -26] Belgian offensive at Antwerp
  • Aug 25 German Zeppelins bomb Antwerp, Belgium, 10 die
  • Aug 25 German troops march into France and push French army to the Sedan

Birthdays in History

  • Aug 3 Rik Slabbinck, Flemish painter, born in Bruges, Belgium (d. 1991)
  • Aug 6 Susan Cowdy, ornithologist
  • Aug 8 Arthur Holt, politician
  • Aug 8 Unity Mitford, English fascist sympathizer and one of the Mitford sisters, born in London (d. 1948)
  • Aug 9 Gordon Cullen, English architect (Townscape), born in Calverley (d. 1994)

Person of interestTove Jansson

Aug 9 Tove Jansson, Finnish author and illustrator (Moomins), born in Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire (d. 2001)

Author and Illustrator Tove Jansson
Author and Illustrator
Tove Jansson
  • Aug 11 José Silva, American parapsychologist (d. 1999)
  • Aug 12 [Hendrik] Jan Bakker, Dutch resistance fighter/journalist (Parool)
  • Aug 12 Gerd Buchdahl, German philosopher (d. 2001)
  • Aug 15 Peter Nicholson Gunn, Australian writer (The Churches of Rome), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 1995)
  • Aug 17 Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr, son of FDR/(Rep-D-NY, 1949-55)
  • Aug 21 Dallas Pratt, American collector (The American Museum in Britain), born in Islip, New York (d. 1994)
  • Aug 26 Julio Cortázar, Argentine writer (Blow-Up, Underground Game), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1984)
  • Aug 27 Catherine Marshall, American editor and writer, born in Johnson City, Tennessee (d. 1983)

Deaths in History

  • Aug 4 Jules Lemaître, French critic and dramatist, dies at 61
  • Aug 6 Ellen Axson Wilson, US 1st Lady (1913-14), dies during Woodrow Wilson's 1st term of Bright's Disease at 54

Person of interestJohn Philip Holland

Aug 12 John Philip Holland, submarine designer, dies at 74

  • Aug 17 James Grierson, British general, dies of an aneurism at 55
  • Aug 19 Franz Xavier Wernz, German Superior General of the Society of Jesus, dies at 69
  • Aug 20 Pius X [Giuseppe M Sarto], Pope (1903-14), dies
  • Aug 22 Léon Amédée François Raffenel, French general (3rd Colonial Div, WWI), dies during Battle of Rossignol at 58
  • Aug 22 Rondony, French general (3rd Colonial Div, WWI), dies during Battle of Rossignol at 58
  • Aug 22 Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi Italian religious figure
  • Aug 23 Felix Fivet, Belgian baby, executed by German troops at 3 weeks
  • Aug 23 George Ambrose Pogson, British consul in Hamburg (1880-1914), dies
  • Aug 24 Johannes Weiss, German New Testament scholar, dies at 50
  • Aug 30 Adrian H Stewart, British lieutenant, dies in battle in Cameroon at 26
  • Aug 30 Alexander Samsonov, Russian general, commits suicide after Russian defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg at 54