What Happened On This Day – August 19
1991 Race riots break out in the Crown Heights area of New York city
The violent race riots broke out between African-American and Orthodox Jewish residents of Crown Heights after 2 children were accidentally run down by the motorcade of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a leader of the Orthodox Jews. This resulted in a 3-day long riot that ended in the death of 2 men and several injuries.
1978 A fire at the Rex Cinema in Abadan, Iran, kills over 400 people
The incident which is considered to be a run-up to the Iranian Revolution occurred during the screening of The Deers, a film by Iranian director Masoud Kimiai. It is thought that 4 extremists locked the gates of the theater and set it on fire. Many people at the time believed that the fire was started by SAVAK, the Iranian intelligence agency.
1964 World’s First Geostationary Satellite is Launched
Syncom 3, a communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. A geostationary satellite is a manmade object that follows the Earth’s rotation around its axis. Because of this, it looks like it is not moving in the sky for observers on Earth. Like all geostationary satellites, Syncom 3 was placed in orbit about 22,00 miles from Earth, above the Equator and near the International Date Line. The 1964 Tokyo Olympics were broadcast to the United States with the help of this satellite.
1960 Sputnik 5 is launched by USSR
The Soviet spacecraft carried two dogs, Strelka and Belka, who became the first living beings to survive in space.
1919 Afghanistan Gains Independence From the United Kingdom
The Central Asian country came under British control in 1859, The country was considered to be a buffer for the British trade in opium and as a frontier to protect their interests in India. Despite trying several times to consolidate their rule over Afghanistan, the Afghan people remained hostile to British control and in 1919, King Amanullah declared Afghanistan to be independent from Britain’s protection. The declaration launched a war called the Third Anglo-Afghan War, which ended with the signing of the Rawalpindi Treaty on this day. The treaty granted Afghanistan independence from the British.
Births On This Day – August 19
1946 Bill Clinton
American politician, 42nd President of the United States
1942 Fred Thompson
American politician, actor
1919 Malcolm Forbes
1883 Coco Chanel
French fashion designer, founded the Chanel Company
1871 Orville Wright
American aviation pioneer
Deaths On This Day – August 19
1994 Linus Pauling
American chemist, activist, Nobel Prize laureate
1977 Groucho Marx
American comedian, actor
1936 Federico García Lorca
Spanish poet, playwright, director
1895 John Wesley Hardin
American outlaw, gunfighter