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This month, that year

Here’s a look back at some events that made news around the world and in our own backyard in August

The Telegraph | Published 25.08.23, 12:13 PM


2021: A free government daycare centre opens for children of informal sector workers like drivers and domestic helps. The centre comes up at AD Block near Greenwood Park on August 11. Named Fuljhuri, it takes in kids from six months to six years of age.



1936: Freedom-fighter Bhikaiji Cama dies on August 13. Madam Cama, as she was known, was a Parsi lady involved with social work, gender equality and on August 22, 1907, unfurled one of the earliest versions of the Indian flag. She had sneaked the flag into the International Socialist Conference in Germany, unfurled it on stage without warning, and followed it with a passionate speech about India’s independence before the global audience.

1927: Ravi Matthai is born in Kerala on August 6. He grows up to become an educationist and the first full-time director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He is the son of John Mathai, India’s first railway minister and later finance minister, and cousin of Verghese Kurien, father of the White Revolution. He is also co-founder of the Institute of Rural Management in Anand, Gujarat.

1969: The Ochterlony Monument in Calcutta is renamed Shaheed Minar on August 9.While it was originally built in memory of major-general David Ochterlony of the British East India Company for his victories over the Marathas and Gurkhas, it isnow dedicated to martyrs of the Indian freedom struggle.


79 AD: Italy’s Mt Vesuveus has one of its deadliest eruptions on August 24 and destroys the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and its combined population of over 20,000. Archaeologists later excavate the ruins, and the cities and lives of its people get honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius

1976: Mabalo Lokela, a schoolteacher in Zaire, reports sick on August 26. He displays symptoms of malaria and is treated accordingly but he starts bleeding profusely. The disease spreads rapidly to others through the reuse of unsterilised needles, close personal contact, body fluids and places where the person has touched. The disease is later named Zaire ebola virus. It has a fatality rate of 83 per cent and kills nearly 300 people before subsiding in November.

2018: A 15-year-old Swedish girl starts skipping school on Fridays to sit outside their parliament. Her intention is to call for stronger environmental laws. Greta Thunberg soon inspires students around the world to do the same and is best remembered for her “How dare you?” speech at the 2019 United Nations climate change conference, where she bluntly accuses world leaders for their failure to address climate change. Greta receives numerous honours, including multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations.

Sports & entertainment

1883: Gabrielle Chanel is born on August 19. Better known as Coco Chanel, the French fashion designer founds the Chanel brand and personally designs its interlocked CC logo. She is credited with introducing comfortable, less time-consuming and affordable clothing as opposed to the corseted silhouettes women wore earlier. Her Chanel No. 5 perfume gains iconic status and her concept of "little black dress" remains popular for decades to come.

1996: Indian tennis player Leander Paes beats Brazil’s Fernando Meligeni at the Atlanta Olympic Games to clinch a bronze medal in the men’s singles. The score at the August 3 match is 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and this is India’s first Olympic medal in the sport.

2006: Shehnai player Bismillah Khan dies at the age of 90 on August 21. Khan was born in the Bihar and Orissa Province to a family of musicians and is widely credited for popularising the shehnai as a concert instrument instead of a folk one that was played only at ceremonies till his time. Khan is only the third classical musician to have received the Bharat Ratna.

Last updated on 25.08.23, 12:13 PM

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