August 28th in History

August 28 is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years). There are 125 days remaining until the end of the year. (Illustration: The “Tom Thumb” steam locomotive.)

Today in History

  • The steam locomotive Tom Thumb races against a horse-drawn rail carriage from Baltimore to Ellicott Mills, Maryland. It loses (1830)
  • Slavery is abolished through most of the British Empire (1833)
  • The first issue of Scientific American is published (1845)
  • American Civil War: The three-day Second Battle of Bull Run, also known as the Battle of Second Manassas, begins (1862)
  • The last king of the Zulus is captured by the British (1879)
  • Pepsi-Cola is invented (1898)
  • Black teenager Emmett Till is murdered in Mississippi, a pivotal event in galvanizing the American civil rights movement (1955)
  • Strom Thurmond begins the longest filibuster ever conducted by a single US senator (24 hours, 18 minutes) to prevent the Senate from voting on the Civil Rights Act (1957)
  • Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gives the “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (1963)
  • The Ramstein airshow disaster kills 75 and injures 346 (1988)
  • Charles and Diana, the prince and princess of Wales, divorce (1996)


  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, playwright and philosopher (1749)
  • Elizabeth Ann Seaton, American nun and saint (1774)
  • Charles Boyer, actor (1899)
  • Bruno Bettelheim, psychologist and author (1903)
  • John Betjeman, poet (1906)
  • Roger Tory Peterson, ornithologist and author (1908)
  • Jack Vance, science fiction writer (1916)
  • Jack Kirby, comic book artist (1917)
  • Nancy Kulp, actress on The Beverly Hillbillies (1921)
  • Donald O’Connor, dancer (1925)
  • Ben Gazzara, actor (1930)
  • Gloria Leonard, porn star (1940)
  • David Soul, actor (1943)
  • Ron Guidry, baseball player (1950)
  • 艾未未 (Ai Weiwei), artist and activist (1957)
  • Daniel Stern, actor (1957)
  • Shania Twain, singer-songwriter (1965)
  • Jack Black, actor and producer (1969)
  • Mary McCartney, photographer and Beatle daughter (1969)
  • Jason Priestley, actor (1969)
  • LeAnn Rimes, singer-songwrite (1982)
  • Armie Hammer, actor (1986)


  • Augustine of Hippo, theologian and saint (430)
  • فاطمة‎ (Fatima bint Muhammad), daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (632)
  • Frederick Law Olmsted, architect (1903)
  • Emmett Till, murder victim (1955)
  • Anissa Jones, “Buffy” on Family Affair (1976)
  • Bruce Catton, historian (1978)
  • Robert Shaw, actor (1978)
  • Ruth Gordon, actress (1985)
  • John Huston, actor and director (1987)
  • Max Shulman, writer (1988)
  • Paul MacCready, aircraft designer (2007)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Assumption of Mary (Eastern Orthodox Church, public holiday in Macedonia, Serbia, and Georgia)

Informal and made-up holidays include Crackers Over the Keyboard Day, Dream Day, National Cherry Turnovers Day, Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day, and Radio Commercials Day.

(*O.S., or Old Style, when used, refers to the fact that Russia did not convert from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar until 1918.)