Month In History

Discover the global events and personal stories of August

August 1, 1881

A Look at Presidential Vacations

The dog days of summer are here: so warmed up, and slowed down, that even Congress has stopped doing nothing…

Frances Folsom Cleveland, circa 1886. Library of Congress.
August 1, 1885

President Cleveland Love Letter to his Young Bride-to-Be

Of course it was a huge secret: everyone remembers it. The girl was 21, the President 49; almost no one in the White House had an inkling. In Washington, no one knew a thing – but enough suspected, sooner or later, it was always a possibility: women hadn’t exactly been scarce in his background. In fact, running for president, the first time, there was an absolute media riot about his intimacy with a woman to whom he was not wed. Anyone who lived through it, would never forget. But not all presidential intrigues end in scandal, for as this letter from President Cleveland to his half-his-age secret fiancée attests, his led to the altar

August 2, 1954

Back to School

Life’s lessons: John F. Kennedy advises a college student what classes to take for a life in politics.

August 14, 1861

Samuel Clemens – Mark Twain – Arrives in Nevada

Arriving in Nevada Territory, Mark Twain began one of the greatest careers in the history of literature.

August 21, 1858

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Lincoln, in a prelude to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, shadows Douglas around the Illinois.

Warren G. Harding, by Harris & Ewing. Circa 1920. Library of Congress.
August 22, 1921

President Warren G. Harding’s Love Letters: Released by the Library of Congress

President Harding tries to get a job for his alleged mistress, Nan Britton: excessively rare documentation of their relationship.

August 22, 1902

Theodore Roosevelt: the First President to Ride in an Automobile

Theodore Roosevelt, horseman, disparages the motor car.

March on Washington, August 28, 1963. U.S. National Archives.
August 28, 1963

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963

In 1864, Governor Michael Hahn pushed through a provision authorizing the legislature to enfranchise non-whites on the basis that Lincoln suggested: military service and intellectual fitness. This was a crucial development: voting rights for Blacks were now – incrementally – possible…

Theodor Herzl at the first or second Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897-1898. Wikimedia Commons, Governmental Office of Press, Israel.
August 29, 1897

The Anniversary of the First Zionist Congress

Herzl, Envisioning the First Zionist Congress, Vows the Return of the Jews to Palestine.

August 29, 1863

The Executions at Beverly Ford

The Civil War was a time when soldiers would be executed for desertion, in order to prevent further desertion. Even immigrants, whose understanding of English and the conditions of service was limited, were executed in the American Civil War. Watch the story of five Union soldiers at Beverly Ford, VA, who perhaps unjustly were denied a stay of execution from President Lincoln.