On This Day

Events in History in August 1981

  • Aug 1 Poland premier Jagielski resigns

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 3 13,000 Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) begin their strike; US President Ronald Reagan offers ultimatum to workers: 'if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated'

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • Aug 3 France performs nuclear test in Pacific
  • Aug 3 Senegalese opposition parties, under the leadership of Mamadou Dia, launch the Antiimperialist Action Front-Suxxali Reew Mi.
  • Aug 4 Columbia mated with SRBs and external tank for STS-2 mission
  • Aug 4 Oliver North is assigned to White House duty
  • Aug 5 US President Regan fires 11,500 striking air traffic controllers
  • Aug 5 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Aug 6 Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron freed
  • Aug 6 NASA launches Fltsatcom-5, it failed
  • Aug 7 "The Washington Star" ceases all operations after 128 years of publication
  • Aug 8 At a summit South African Trade Unions resolve to defy apartheid and labour laws
  • Aug 9 Six English lifeguards set relay swim record English Channel (7:17)
  • Aug 9 NL beats AL 5-4 in 52nd All Star Game (Cleveland Stadium)
  • Aug 10 Coca-Cola Bottling Co agrees to pump $34 million into black business
  • Aug 10 Richard Nixon Museum in San Clemente closes

  • Aug 12 IBM introduces its first Personal Computer (PC & PC-DOS version 1.0)
  • Aug 12 Jon Erikson (US) becomes 1st to triple cross English Channel (38:27)
  • Aug 14 George Foster hits his 8th HR into red seats at Riverfront
  • Aug 19 2 US Navy F-14 jet fighters shoot down 2 Soviet-built Libyan SU-22
  • Aug 24 American Charles Chapman is 1st black to swim English Channel
  • Aug 25 Jeff Schwartz, sets solo record for trampoline bouncing (266:09)

USAVoyager 2 Spacecraft

Aug 25 Voyager 2's closest approach to Saturn (63,000 miles/100,000 km)

Learn More
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft launched atop its Titan/Centaur-7 launch vehicle
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft launched atop its Titan/Centaur-7 launch vehicle
Learn More
  • Aug 26 Space Shuttle vehicle moves to Launch Complex 39A for STS-2 mission
  • Aug 26 Voyager 2 takes photos of Saturn's moon Titan
  • Aug 27 Divers begin to recover a safe found aboard sunken Italian liner Andrea Doria
  • Aug 27 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Assassination AttemptRonald Reagan is Shot

Aug 28 John Hinckley pleads innocent to attempt to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan

Learn More
The scene moments after John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan on March 30, 1981
The scene moments after John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan on March 30, 1981
Learn More
  • Aug 28 Sebastian Coe of UK sets 1-mi record of 3:47.33 (since broken)
  • Aug 28 National Centers for Disease Control announces high incidence of Pneumocystis & Kaposi's sarcoma in gay men
  • Aug 31 Royals manager Jim Frey is fired & replaced by Dick Howser