Roosevelt and Churchill aboard HMS Prince of Wales.

This Year in History

Our Selections From August

All year, we've been highlighting historical news events—and Foreign Affairs articles about those events—as part of our "This Day in History" series. Here are our collected selections for August.

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1

1960: Benin's National Day

France grants the West African country, then called the Republic of Dahomey, independence. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

2

1923: Calvin Coolidge Becomes U.S. President

Vice President Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as president in his Vermont home after the sudden death of President Warren G. Harding. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

3

1960: Niger Gains Independence From France

Niger formally declares independence, having been semi-autonomous under France since 1958. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

4

1944: Anne Frank Arrested

A tip from a Dutch informant leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

5

1963: The Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Is Signed

The Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, sign the treaty in an effort to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

6

1825: Bolivia Independence Day

Bolivia, previously known as Upper Peru, renames itself after revolutionary leader Simon Bolivar after it gains indpendence from Spanish occupation. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

7

1998: East African U.S. Embassies Bombed

The U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania are bombed just minutes apart, killing 224 people. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was believed to have coordinated the attacks. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

8

1974: Nixon Announces Resignation

He says that he will step down from office the following day. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

9

1945: Red Army Invades Manchuria

The Soviet Union invades Japanese-occupied Manchuria, a region in northeast Asia. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

10

1961: First Use of Agent Orange in Vietnam

The U.S. army uses the herbicide to destroy vegitation and thus, eliminate forest cover for its enemies in Vietnam. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

11

1945: Krakow Pogrom

Poles in Kraków riot violently against the city's Jews, killing one and wounding five. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

12

1953: Soviets Test First Hydrogen Bomb

The Soviet Union tests its first thermonuclear weapon, nicknamed Joe-4, a little less than a year after the United States tests its first hydrogen bomb. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

13

1937: The Battle of Shanghai Begins

This battle was the first, and also the bloodiest, of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

14

1941: Churchill and Roosevelt Sign the Atlantic Charter

The Charter sets out major Allied goals in the post-war world. It inspired the UN Declaration, which created a foundation for the UN. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

15

1961: Construction of the Berlin Wall Begins

Combat troops station themselves at the West Berlin border to prevent people from leaving as East Germany begins building the wall. It is completed by August 15. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

16

1972: King Hassan II of Morocco Survives Assassination Attempt

Members of the king's own air force fire on his plane in an attempted coup. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

17

1987: Rudolf Hess Dies

The last remaining member of Hitler's inner circle, Rudolf Hess, 93, is found dead in the exercise yard of a Berlin prison. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

18

1964: South Africa Banned From Olympic Games

South Africa is not allowed to participate in the 18th Olympic Games in Tokyo because of its refusal to renounce apartheid. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

19

1919: Afghanistan's Independence Day

Afghans have designated this day to recognize the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919, which freed Afghan foreign affairs from British control. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

20

1940: Leon Trotsky Is Fatally Wounded

In Mexico City, Spanish communist agent Ramón Mercader attacks the exiled Russian revolutionary with an ice axe. Trosky dies the next day. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

21

1982: PLO Withdraws From Lebanon

During the Lebanese Civil War, the first troops of a multinational force land in Beirut to oversee the Palestine Liberation Organization's withdrawal from Lebanon. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

22

1922: Irish National Army Commander-in-Chief Is Assassinated

Commander-in-chief Michael Collins is killed in an ambush while en route through County Cork. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

23

1929: The Hebron Massacre

Arabs attack the Jewish community in Hebron, in the British Mandate of Palestine, resulting in the deaths of 67 Jews. Remaining Jews were forced to leave the city. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

24

1937: The Basque Army Surrenders

In the midst of the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Army surrenders to the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie following the Santoña Agreement. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

25

1991: Belarus Gains Independence

The Belarusian parliament formally declares its independence from the Soviet Union. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

26

1957: The Soviet Union Announces Successful ICBM Test

A month after the United States unsuccessfully tests an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Soviet Union announces that it had also succeeded in its first test of an ICBM. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

27

1908: LBJ Is Born

Lyndon B. Johnson was born on a farm near Stonewall, Texas. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

28

1941: Hungarian Jews Are Murdered in Ukraine

The Gestapo kills more than 23,000 Jews who had migrated to Ukraine after being expelled from Hungary. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

29

1972: Vietnam Troop Reduction

President Nixon announces he plans to reduce the number of troops in Vietnam by 12,000, to 27,000. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

30

1963: Hotline Between Washington and Moscow Established

A direct phone line is established between Washington and Moscow following the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

31

1935: FDR Signs Neutrality Act

As fascism gained momentum in Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act, seeking to "avoid any action which might involve [the United States] in war.” Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

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