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Thursday 15 August 2024 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

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Holidays and observances


  • In 2016 a possible new subatomic particle could provide evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according to research published in Physical Review Letters by scientists at the University of California, Irvine.
  • 2013 – The Smithsonian announces the discovery of the olinguito, the first new carnivorous species found in the Americas in 35 years.
  • 1995 – In South Carolina, Shannon Faulkner becomes the first female cadet matriculated at The Citadel (she drops out less than a week later).
  • 1975 – Takeo Miki makes the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
  • 1974 – Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea, is killed during an apparent assassination attempt upon President Park Chung-hee.
  • 1973 – Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ends.
  • 1971 – President Richard Nixon completes the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.
  • 1970 – Patricia Palinkas becomes the first woman to play professionally in an American football game.
  • 1947 – Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is sworn in as first Governor-General of Pakistan in Karachi.
  • 1914 – A servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright murders seven people and sets fire to the living quarters of Wright's Wisconsin home, Taliesin.
  • 1914 – World War I: Beginning of the Battle of Cer, the first Allied victory of World War I.
  • 1914 – World War I: The First Russian Army, led by Paul von Rennenkampf, enters East Prussia.
  • 1907 – Ordination in Constantinople of Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first African-American Orthodox priest, "Priest-Apostolic" to America and the West Indies.
  • 1843 – The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii is dedicated. Now the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, it is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States.
  • 1824 – The Marquis de Lafayette, the last surviving French general of the American Revolutionary War, arrives in New York and begins a tour of 24 states.
  • 1540 – Arequipa, Peru is founded.
  • 1537 – Asunción, Paraguay is founded.
  • 1519 – Panama City, Panama is founded.
  • 1038 – King Stephen I, the first king of Hungary, dies; his nephew, Peter Orseolo, succeeds him.


  • 1990 – Jennifer Lawrence, American actress. Lawrence appeared in Time's 100 most influential people in the world list in 2013 and in the Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2014 and 2016.
  • 1989 – Joe Jonas, American singer-songwriter. The group released their debut studio album It's About Time through the Columbia label in 2006, which failed to achieve commercial success.
  • 1987 – Ryan D'Imperio, American football player. He played college football at Rutgers University.
  • 1982 – Casey Burgener, American weightlifter. He was born to Leslie Burgener, who lives in the San Diego area.
  • 1981 – Óliver Pérez, American baseball player. Óliver Pérez Martínez (born August 15, 1981) is a Mexican professional baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • 1981 – Brendan Hansen, American swimmer. Brendan Joseph Hansen (born August 15, 1981) is an American former competition swimmer who specialized in breaststroke events.
  • 1979 – Carl Edwards, American race car driver. Prior to that, he drove the No. 99 Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing.
  • 1978 – Kerri Walsh Jennings, American volleyball player. Kerri Lee Walsh Jennings (born August 15, 1978) is an American professional beach volleyball player, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and a one-time Olympic bronze medalist.
  • 1978 – Tim Foreman, American bass player. Timothy David "Tim" Foreman is the bassist for the band Switchfoot.
  • 1975 – Bertrand Berry, American football player and radio host. Bertrand Demond Berry (born August 15, 1975) is a retired American football defensive end in the National Football League.
  • 1975 – Kara Wolters, American basketball player. She is the tallest player in University of Connecticut women's basketball history and one of the tallest women to ever play in the WNBA.
  • 1972 – Ben Affleck, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He began his career as a child when he starred in the PBS educational series The Voyage of the Mimi (1984, 1988).
  • 1970 – Anthony Anderson, American comedian, actor, and producer. He is known for his leading roles in drama series K-Ville, The Shield and as NYPD Detective Kevin Bernard on Law & Order.
  • 1970 – Ben Silverman, American actor, producer, and screenwriter, founded Electus Studios. Benjamin Noah Silverman (born August 15, 1970) is an American media executive.
  • 1968 – Debra Messing, American actress. She achieved her breakthrough role as Grace Adler, an interior designer, on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace (1998–2006, 2017-2020), for which she was critically acclaimed, receiving six Golden Globe Award nominations and five Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, winning once in 2003.
  • 1966 – Scott Brosius, American baseball player and coach. Scott David Brosius (born August 15, 1966) is an American former Major League Baseball third baseman for the Oakland Athletics (1991–1997) and the New York Yankees (1998–2001).
  • 1964 – Melinda Gates, American businesswoman and philanthropist, co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has consistently been ranked as one of the world's most powerful women by Forbes.
  • 1962 – Tom Colicchio, American chef and author. He is also the founder of Crafted Hospitality, which includes Craft (NYC and Los Angeles), Riverpark (NYC), Temple Court (NYC), Craftsteak (MGM Grand Las Vegas), Heritage Steak (Mirage Las Vegas) and Small Batch (Long Island) restaurants.
  • 1961 – Ed Gillespie, American political strategist, was Counselor to the President from 2007 to 2009 during the Presidency of George W. Bush.
  • 1961 – Gary Kubiak, American football player and coach. Gary Wayne Kubiak (born August 15, 1961) is an American football coach and former player who is currently assistant head coach and offensive advisor for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL).
  • 1959 – Scott Altman, American captain, pilot, and astronaut. Scott Douglas "Scooter" Altman (born August 15, 1959) is a retired United States Navy Captain, engineer, test pilot and former NASA astronaut.
  • 1957 – Željko Ivanek, Slovenian-American actor. Željko Ivanek (né Šimić-Ivanek; /ˈʒɛlkoʊ ɪˈvɑːnɪk/; Slovene: ; born August 15, 1957) is a Slovenian-American actor, known for his role as Ray Fiske on Damages, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award.
  • 1952 – Chuck Burgi, American drummer. Born in Montclair, New Jersey, he has performed with many rock bands and musicians, ranging from local New Jersey/New York-area artists to international groups, throughout his prolific career.
  • 1951 – Ann Biderman, American screenwriter and producer. She created, wrote, and produced the Showtime drama Ray Donovan.
  • 1951 – Bobby Caldwell, American singer-songwriter. He maintains a loyal following in Japan.
  • 1950 – Tommy Aldridge, American drummer. Aldridge is noted for his work with numerous bands and artists since the 1970s, such as Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers Band, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy, Vinnie Moore and Yngwie Malmsteen.
  • 1946 – Jimmy Webb, American singer-songwriter and pianist. He has had successful collaborations with Glen Campbell, Michael Feinstein, Linda Ronstadt, The 5th Dimension, Art Garfunkel, and Richard Harris.
  • 1941 – Don Rich, American country musician (The Buckaroos) (d. 1974), was a country musician who helped develop the Bakersfield sound in the early 1960s. He was a noted guitarist and fiddler, and a member of The Buckaroos, the backing band of country singer Buck Owens.
  • 1941 – Jim Brothers, American sculptor (d. 2013), was an American figurative sculptor from the U.S. state of Kansas. He died at the age of 72 at his home in Lawrence, Kansas, where he had received hospice care for cancer.
  • 1940 – Gudrun Ensslin, German militant leader, founded Red Army Faction (d. 1977), was a founder of the West German far-left militant group Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion, or RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang). After becoming involved with co-founder Andreas Baader, Ensslin was influential in the politicization of his anarchist beliefs.
  • 1938 – Maxine Waters, American educator and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, Waters is currently in her 15th term in the House, having served since 1991.
  • 1938 – Stephen Breyer, American lawyer and judge. Stephen Gerald Breyer (/ˈbraɪ.ər/; born August 15, 1938) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 1938 – Stix Hooper, American jazz drummer (The Crusaders). Nesbert "Stix" Hooper (born August 15, 1938) is an American drummer and founding member of The Crusaders.
  • 1936 – Rita Shane, American soprano and educator (d. 2014), was an American coloratura soprano.
  • 1934 – Bobby Byrd, American singer-songwriter and producer (d. 2007), was an American R&B/soul singer, songwriter, bandleader, talent scout, record producer, and musician, who played an integral and important part in the development of soul and funk music in association with James Brown. Byrd began his career in 1952 as member of the gospel group the Gospel Starlighters, who later changed their name to the Avons in 1953 and the Five Royals in 1954, before settling with the name the Flames in 1955 prior to Brown's joining the group; their agent later changed it to The Famous Flames.
  • 1933 – Bobby Helms, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1997), was an American country music singer best known for his 1957 Christmas hit "Jingle Bell Rock". His other hits include "Fraulein" and "My Special Angel".
  • 1933 – Mike Seeger, American folk musician and folklorist (d. 2009). He was a distinctive singer and an accomplished musician who played autoharp, banjo, fiddle, dulcimer, guitar, mouth harp, mandolin, dobro, jaw harp, and pan pipes.
  • 1933 – Stanley Milgram, American social psychologist (d. 1984), was an American social psychologist, best known for his controversial experiment on obedience conducted in the 1960s during his professorship at Yale.
  • 1932 – Abby Dalton, American actress. Abby Dalton (born Marlene Wasden; August 15, 1932) is an American actress, known for her television roles on the sitcoms Hennesey (1959–1962) and The Joey Bishop Show (1962–1965), and the primetime soap opera Falcon Crest (1981–1986).
  • 1931 – Ernest C. Brace, American captain and pilot (d. 2014), was the longest-held civilian prisoner of war (POW) during the Vietnam War. A decorated Marine Corps fighter pilot and mustang, Brace was court-martialed in 1961 for attempting to fake his own death.
  • 1931 – Richard F. Heck, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2015), was an American chemist noted for the discovery and development of the Heck reaction, which uses palladium to catalyze organic chemical reactions that couple aryl halides with alkenes. The analgesic naproxen is an example of a compound that is prepared industrially using the Heck reaction.
  • 1928 – Malcolm Glazer, American businessman (d. 2014), was an American businessman and sports team owner. He was the president and chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation, a holding company for his varied business interests, and owned both Manchester United of the Premier League and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.
  • 1926 – John Silber, American philosopher and academic (d. 2012), was an American academician and candidate for public office. From 1971 to 1996, he was President of Boston University (BU) and, from 1996 to 2002, Chancellor.
  • 1926 – Julius Katchen, American pianist and composer (d. 1969), was an American concert pianist, possibly best known for his recordings of Johannes Brahms's solo piano works.
  • 1925 – Bill Pinkney, American singer (The Drifters) (d. 2007), was an American performer and singer. Pinkney was often said to be the last surviving original member of The Drifters, who achieved international fame with numerous hit records.
  • 1925 – Mike Connors, American actor and producer (d. 2017), was an American actor best known for playing private detective Joe Mannix in the CBS television series Mannix from 1967–1975, a role which earned him a Golden Globe Award in 1970, the first of six straight nominations, as well as four consecutive Emmy nominations from 1970–1973. He starred in the short-lived series Tightrope! (1959–1960) and Today's FBI (1981–1982).
  • 1925 – Rose Maddox, American singer-songwriter and fiddle player (d. 1998), was an American country singer-songwriter and fiddle player, who was the lead singer with the Maddox Brothers and Rose before a successful solo career. Her musical styles straddled hillbilly music, rockabilly and gospel.
  • 1924 – Hedy Epstein, German-American Holocaust survivor and activist (d. 2016), was a German-born Jewish-American political activist known for her support of the Palestinian cause through the International Solidarity Movement.
  • 1924 – Phyllis Schlafly, American lawyer, writer, and political activist (d. 2016), was an American constitutional lawyer and movement conservative. She held staunchly conservative social and political views, supported antifeminism, opposed abortion, and successfully campaigned against ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S.
  • 1923 – Rose Marie, American actress and singer, was an American actress, singer, comedian, and vaudeville performer with a career that ultimately spanned over nine decades — and included film, radio, records, theater, night clubs and television. As a child performer during the years just after the silent film era, she had a successful singing career as Baby Rose Marie.
  • 1922 – Leonard Baskin, American sculptor and illustrator (d. 2000), was an American sculptor, illustrator, printmaker, writer and teacher. Throughout his career, Baskin maintained a commitment to the superiority of figurative art, and to the theme of human mortality.
  • 1919 – Huntz Hall, American actor (d. 1999), was an American radio, stage, and movie performer noted primarily for his roles in the "Dead End Kids" movies, such as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), which gave way to the "Bowery Boys" movie franchise, a prolific and highly successful series of comedies in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • 1915 – Signe Hasso, Swedish-American actress (d. 2002), was a Swedish actress, writer, and composer.
  • 1914 – Paul Rand, American graphic designer and art director (d. 1996), was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and NeXT. He was one of the first American commercial artists to embrace and practice the Swiss Style of graphic design.
  • 1912 – Julia Child, American chef and author (d. 2004), was an American chef, author and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television programs, the most notable of which was The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.
  • 1909 – Hugo Winterhalter, American composer and bandleader (d. 1973), was an American easy listening arranger and composer.
  • 1900 – Estelle Brody, American silent film actress (d. 1995), was an American actress who became one of the biggest female stars of British silent film in the latter half of the 1920s. Her career was then derailed by a series of ill-advised decisions and she disappeared from sight for many years before re-emerging between the late 1940s and the 1960s in smaller supporting film and television roles.
  • 1900 – Jack Tworkov, Polish-American painter and educator (d. 1982), was an American abstract expressionist painter.
  • 1896 – Catherine Doherty, Russian-Canadian activist, founded the Madonna House Apostolate (d. 1985), was a Russian-Canadian Catholic social worker and founder of the Madonna House Apostolate. A pioneer of social justice and a renowned national speaker, Doherty was also a prolific writer of hundreds of articles, best-selling author of dozens of books, and a dedicated wife and mother.
  • 1896 – Gerty Cori, Czech-American biochemist and physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1957), was a Jewish Austro-Hungarian-American biochemist who in 1947 was the third woman—and first American woman—to win a Nobel Prize in science, and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for her role in the discovery of glycogen metabolism.
  • 1896 – Paul Outerbridge, American photographer and educator (d. 1958), was an American photographer prominent for his early use and experiments in color photography.
  • 1885 – Edna Ferber, American novelist, short story writer, and playwright (d. 1968). Her novels included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big (1924), Show Boat (1926; made into the celebrated 1927 musical), Cimarron (1930; made into the 1931 film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), Giant (1952; made into the 1956 Hollywood movie) and Ice Palace (1958), filmed in 1960.
  • 1882 – Marion Bauer, American composer and critic (d. 1955), was an American composer, teacher, writer, and music critic. Bauer played an active role in shaping American musical identity in the early half of the twentieth century.
  • 1881 – Alfred Wagenknecht, German-American activist and politician (d. 1956), was an American Marxist activist and political functionary. He is best remembered for having played a critical role in the establishment of the American Communist Party in 1919 as a leader of the Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party.
  • 1879 – Ethel Barrymore, American actress (d. 1959), was an American actress and a member of the Barrymore family of actors. Barrymore was a stage, screen and radio actress whose career spanned six decades, and was regarded as "The First Lady of the American Theatre".
  • 1865 – Mikao Usui, Japanese spiritual leader, founded Reiki (d. 1926), was the founder of a form of spiritual practice known as Reiki, used as an alternative therapy for the treatment of physical, emotional, and mental diseases. According to the inscription on his memorial stone, Usui taught Reiki to over 2000 people during his lifetime.
  • 1860 – Florence Harding, American publisher, 31st First Lady of the United States (d. 1924), was the First Lady of the United States from 1921 to 1923 as the wife of President Warren G. Harding.
  • 1859 – Charles Comiskey, American baseball player and manager (d. 1931). Charles Albert Comiskey (August 15, 1859 – October 26, 1931), also nicknamed "Commy" or "The Old Roman", was an American Major League Baseball player, manager and team owner.
  • 1824 – John Chisum, American businessman (d. 1884), was a wealthy cattle baron in the American West in the mid-to-late 19th century. He was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee, and moved with his family to the Republic of Texas in 1837, later finding work as a building contractor.
  • 1652 – John Grubb, American politician (d. 1708), was a two-term member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly and was one of the original settlers in a portion of Brandywine Hundred that became Claymont, Delaware. He founded a large tannery that continued in operation for over 100 years at what became known as Grubb's Landing.


  • 2017 – Gunnar Birkerts, Latvian-American architect (b. 1925)
  • 2015 – Julian Bond, American academic and politician (b. 1940)
  • 2014 – Licia Albanese, Italian-American soprano and actress (b. 1909)
  • 2013 – Rosalía Mera, Spanish businesswoman, co-founded Inditex and Zara (b. 1944)
  • 2012 – Bob Birch, American bass player and saxophonist (b. 1956)
  • 2008 – Jerry Wexler, American journalist and producer (b. 1917)
  • 2007 – John Gofman, American biologist, chemist, and physicist (b. 1918)
  • 1995 – John Cameron Swayze, American journalist and actor (b. 1906)
  • 1992 – Linda Laubenstein, American physician and academic (b. 1947)
  • 1982 – Ernie Bushmiller, American cartoonist (b. 1905)
  • 1981 – Carol Ryrie Brink, American author (b. 1895)
  • 1975 – Clay Shaw, American businessman (b. 1913)
  • 1971 – Paul Lukas, Hungarian-American actor (b. 1887)
  • 1935 – Wiley Post, American pilot (b. 1898)
  • 1935 – Will Rogers, American actor, comedian, and screenwriter (b. 1879)
  • 1928 – Anatole von Hügel, Italian ethnologist and academic, co-founded St Edmund's College, Cambridge (b. 1854)
  • 1917 – Thomas J. Higgins, American sergeant, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1831)
  • 1859 – Nathaniel Claiborne, American farmer and politician (b. 1777)
  • 1274 – Robert de Sorbon, French theologian and educator, founded the College of Sorbonne (b. 1201)