24 August

August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar; 129 days remain until the end of the year. 

We have some interesting facts & historic events all about August 24th, including areas in religion, crime, health and more.

Keep reading for more interesting facts about August 24th in history!

Table of Contents

  1. Global Celebrations
  2. Historic Events
  3. Famous Birthdays
  4. Heartbreaking Deaths

Global Celebrations

  • International Strange Music Day
  • Pluto Demoted Day
  • Vesuvius Day
  • National Peach Pie Day
  • National Knife Day
  • Internaut Day

Historic Events

What Happened On This Day – August 24

2006: Pluto is Declassified as a Planet

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) declassified Pluto as a planet and classified it as a dwarf planet. According to the IAU definition, a dwarf planet is neither a planet or a natural satellite. It is ‘a celestial object orbiting a star that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity but has not cleared its orbit of space debris’. Discovered in 1930 by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, Pluto is the largest but second-most massive dwarf planet in our solar system. The most massive dwarf planet orbiting our sun is Eris.

1991: Ukraine gains its independence

The Eastern European country gained independence from the Soviet Union after a failed coup to remove Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. The country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine and put the decision out to the public as a referendum. August 24 is celebrated each year as Independence Day in Ukraine.

1949: NATO is Established

The North Atlantic Treaty, which established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an intergovernmental military alliance, came into effect on this day. The Treaty, which was signed on April 4, 1949 in Washington DC, created a collective defense system, where an attack on one member is considered an attack on all the other signatories. Initially, the treaty was signed by 12 countries – Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, and United States. Today, membership has increased from the original 12 to 28.

1869: The Waffle Iron is Patented in the United States

Cornelius Swartwout, a Troy, New York resident invented and received the patent for the waffle iron, a device used to cook waffles. His design for the waffle iron included two plates of iron connected together with hinges. Users could pour waffle batter on one plate and place the other plate on top and cook the batter over an open fire or on a wood-burning oven. This day is often celebrated as National Waffle Day in the United States.

1814: The British Burn Down Washington

British troops under the leadership of Major General Robert Ross occupied Washington D.C. and burnt down the city, including the Presidential Mansion and the Capitol building. President Madison and members of his government fled the city and took refuge in Brookeville, Maryland. The British had occupied the city for only 24 hours when a massive storm forced the troops to retreat, following which the Americans regained control of the capital.

Famous Birthdays

Births On This Day, August 24

1957: Stephen Fry, English comedian, actor, journalist, author

1945: Vince McMahon, American wrestler, promoter, producer, actor

1929: Yasser Arafat, Palestinian engineer, politician

1899: Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer

1759: William Wilberforce, English politician, philanthropist

Heartbreaking Deaths

Deaths On This Day, August 24

2015: Justin Wilson, English race car driver

2014: Richard Attenborough, English director

1983: Scott Nearing, American writer, educator

1946: James Clark McReynolds, American lawyer, judge

1943: Simone Weil, French mystic, philosopher

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