On This Day

August 1985 in History

Events in History

  • Aug 1 15.4 cm rainfall at Cheyenne, Wyoming (state record)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 1 Russian KGB officer Vitaly Yurchenko defects to the US in Rome, naming Americans Ronald Pelton and Edward Lee Howard as KGB agents

Alleged Soviet Spy Edward Lee Howard
Alleged Soviet Spy
Edward Lee Howard
  • Aug 2 5 die in a train crash in Westminster Colo
  • Aug 2 Delta Lockheed L-1011 crashes at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, 137 die
  • Aug 3 "Nihilator" set harness pacing mile (1:49.6) in East Rutherford, NJ
  • Aug 3 Train crash at Flaujac, France: 35 killed
  • Aug 5 Flexible-wing glider altitude record (214,250') set by Larry Tudor
  • Aug 6 19th space shuttle mission (51-F), Challenger 8, lands at Edwards AFB
  • Aug 6 STS 51-I vehicle moves to launch pad
  • Aug 7 Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai are chosen to be Japan's first astronauts

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

Aug 7 A delegation of the South African Council of Churches meets with President P. W. Botha, following calls by the church for urgent discussions on the causes of unrest, forced removals and the emergency regulations in the country

President of South Africa P. W. Botha
President of South Africa
P. W. Botha
  • Aug 8 Japan launches Planet A, a probe to Halley's comet
  • Aug 11 Challenger flies to Kennedy Space Center via Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz
  • Aug 12 520 people die when Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashes in Ueno, Japan, the second-deadliest aviation disaster of all time
  • Aug 13 South African Defence Force soldiers, travelling in a convoy of more than ten armoured vehicles, surrounded the Thaba-Juluba high school in Soweto and arrest 200 students during a clampdown on school boycotts
  • Aug 14 Political violence by the youth begins after the funeral of assassinated Victoria Mxenge, a civil rights lawyer, who was respected and liked by the Congress of South African Students

  • Aug 15 P. W. Botha gives the "Rubicon" Speech in Durban, South Africa, disappointing many by refusing to consider immediate and major reforms in the country's apartheid system
  • Aug 15 First Iraqi air raid on Iran's main oil export terminal, Kharg Island
  • Aug 17 1,400 meatpackers walk off the job at a Geo A Hormel & Co plant

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Aug 17 Rajiv Gandhi announces Punjab state elections in India

Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
Indian Prime Minister
Rajiv Gandhi
  • Aug 17 Sara Trollinger forms House of Hope in Orlando
  • Aug 18 Suisei Launch (Halley's Comet Flyby)
  • Aug 19 Japan launches its 2nd probe of Halley's Comet, Suisei

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 19 Following the Rubicon speech four days earlier, Archbishop Desmond Tutu snubs P. W. Botha's invitation to attend a meeting to discuss the role and actions of the police and security forces in South Africa

Anglican Archbishop and Activist Desmond Tutu
Anglican Archbishop and Activist
Desmond Tutu
President of South Africa P. W. Botha
President of South Africa
P. W. Botha
  • Aug 20 Israel ships 96 TOWs to Iran on behalf of US
  • Aug 20 Libya throws out 1000s Tunisian/Egyptian gas workers
  • Aug 20 Met Dwight Gooden strikes out 16 on way to his 13th consecutive win
  • Aug 20 Hanspeter Beck of South Australia, finishes a 3,875 mile, 51 day trip from Western Australia to Melbourne on a unicycle
  • Aug 21 Mary Decker Slaney runs mile in world record 4:16.71
  • Aug 21 NY Lotto pays $41 million to three winner (#s are 14-17-22-23-30-47)
  • Aug 22 Airtours Boeing-737 crashes at Manchester airport, 55 killed
  • Aug 23 Said Aouita of Morocco sets 1.5k record (3:29.46) in Berlin
  • Aug 23 South African attorney/UDF leader "Dulah" Omar arrested
  • Aug 23 West German top counter espionage Hans Tiedge moves to German DR
  • Aug 24 STS 51-I mission scrubbed at T -5m because of bad weather
  • Aug 25 STS 51-I scrubbed at T -9m because of an onboard computer problem

Sinking ShipThe Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior

Aug 26 French government denies knowledge of attack on Rainbow Warrior

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The Rainbow Warrior sunk in Auckland harbour
The Rainbow Warrior sunk in Auckland harbour
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  • Aug 27 20th Space Shuttle Mission (51-I)-Discovery 6-launched

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 27 General Ibrahim Babangida overthrows Major General Muhammadu Buhari's regime in Nigeria

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari
President of Nigeria
Muhammadu Buhari
  • Aug 29 Atlantis moves to launch pad for 51-J mission
  • Aug 31 "Prakas" sets trotting mile record of 1:53.4 at Du Quoin, Illinois
  • Aug 31 Night Stalker suspect that terrorized California captured in East Los Angeles

Birthdays in History

  • Aug 11 Grace Adams-Short, British reality television contestant
  • Aug 27 Alexandra Nechita, Romanian-American artist

Person of interestMohammed bin Salman

Aug 31 Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia (2017-) and Saudi Defense Minister (2015-), born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Salman

Weddings in History

  • Aug 15 Anti-apartheid lawyer Bulelani Ngcuka marries in South Africa

Deaths in History

  • Aug 1 Joseph Walker, cameraman, dies at 92
  • Aug 5 Theodore Sturgeon, American sci-fi author (Hugo, It, Caviar), dies at 67
  • Aug 13 J. Willard Marriott, American entrepreneur and hotelier (founder of Marriott Corporation), dies at 84
  • Aug 20 Harchand Singh Longowai [Sant Ji], Indian Sikh leader and President of the Akali Dal during the Punjab insurgency of the 1980s, assassinated by Sikh extremists less than a month after he signed a peace accord with the government
  • Aug 22 Paul Peter Ewald, German Crystallographer and Physicist who devised the theory of X-ray interference by crystals and pioneered X-ray diffraction methods, dies at 97
  • Aug 22 Willy-August Linnemann, Danish writer and journalist, dies at 71
  • Aug 26 Pieter "Piet" Jongeling, Dutch politician and author (GPV, Netherlands Daily), dies at 76
  • Aug 30 Taylor Caldwell [Janet Miriam Holland Taylor Caldwell], Anglo-American novelist (Dynasty of Death, Dear and Glorious Physician), dies at 84
  • Aug 31 Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Australian virologist (Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for tissue grafting), dies at 85