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What Happened on August 28?

  • 250,000 marchers in a civil rights rally heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. (1963) Marchers and civil rights protesters peacefully gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. His speech greatly influenced the momentum of the civil rights movement. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

  • Japanese citizens viewed their first TV broadcast. (1953) The Nippon Television network not only aired the country's first TV show, but also its first TV commercial.

  • The first radio commercial in the US aired in New York City. (1922) The commercial for Queensboro Realty Company lasted 10 minutes and cost $100 US Dollars. It was aired by radio station WEAF.

  • 6,000 Jews were murdered after being accused of causing the plague. (1349) The murderous rampage took place in Mainz, Germany.

  • The Ramstein air show disaster occurred — 70 people were killed and another 346 were injured. (1988) Three planes flying in the show collided in front of a crowd of about 300,000 people. All three pilots were killed, and 67 spectators were killed by falling wreckage. It's considered one of the worst air show disasters in world history.

  • Scientific American magazine published its first issue. (1845) The magazine today has more than 700,000 subscribers worldwide.

  • Pepsi-Cola was born. (1898) Pharmacist Caleb Davis Bradham initially invented a recipe for "Brad's Drink," which he soon renamed Pepsi-Cola, after "pepsin" and the kola nut used to flavor the drink. He felt the drink was a digestive aid with a similar effect to the pepsin enzyme, though the enzyme was not part of the drink's recipe.

  • Women picketed US President Woodrow Wilson at the White House. (1917) The women were suffragists picketing President Wilson to support the Constitutional Amendment that would give women the right to vote. Many of the women were arrested and jailed. President Wilson finally agreed to support the Amendment in January 1918 after many of the jailed women went on a hunger strike. The 19th Amendment passed in 1920.

  • A Category F5 tornado raced through the US state of Illinois, killing 29 people. (1990) What was called "The Plainfield Tornado" hit the towns of Plainsfield and Joliet, taking 29 lives and injuring another 350. It's the only Category F5 tornado in US history to touch down in the month of August.
  • A blackout in England put 500,000 people in the dark and shut down more than half of the railways in London. (2003) It was the biggest blackout in England since 1987, though it lasted only 34 minutes.

Discussion Comments

By anon996430 — On Aug 28, 2016

Regarding the blackout: If only half the roadways were shut down couldn't we learn the reason the other half survived and make all of our roadways blackout proof? (Must have been a really big traffic jam, though.) Glad I don't live in London.

By Krunchyman — On Aug 29, 2014

The bullet point relating to the Jews has always made me wonder what would happen if Hitler was alive today. Despite the fact that he was only one man, he had a lot of power, and it seemed like many people were fearful of him. Although it's not hard to see why, in this day and age, it seems like he would be a lot easier to catch. Technology has advanced far beyond our understanding, and if he appeared to be a threat, not only would he make national news, but even more so, he would be tracked down by the authorities and the FBI.

By Chmander — On Aug 28, 2014

In this day and age, I'm assuming that many more precautions are taken when it comes to vehicle shows and the like. On the other hand, disasters like this really show why you have to be careful. No matter what kind of event you go to, and no matter how "secure" it may seem, accidents can happen. Case in point. With the exception of 1988, I actually haven't heard of any other disasters like this. Perhaps we have learned from our mistakes, which are all in the past.

By Euroxati — On Aug 28, 2014

In relation to the second bullet point, considering how this was the first TV commercial, I'm assuming that popularity and word of mouth was one of the things that helped TV and its commercials to spread. After all, let's look at it this way. More than often, when people see or hear something that's popular, they'll tell other people, and then those people will go inform others. It's an endless cycle, and one of the fastest ways in which popularity can spread.

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