The challenge of the news roundup this month is that most of the news one finds is just a blow-by-blow history of the First World War, and frankly, I’m not interested in going into that level of detail about the war. So, let’s start with a few highlights and then move on to other news.
World War I: On August 2, the German Army, in line with the Schlieffen Plan, occupies Luxembourg. They proceed to attack Belgium on August 4. The plan is to circumvent the bulk of French forces on the German-French border by going through the northern countries. The plan is quite effective at first, and by August 16, the Battle of Liège has ended in German victory over Belgium. On the Eastern Front, the Battle of Tannenberg results in the surrounding and defeat of the Second Russian Army by German forces by August 30.
Race: on August 1 Marcus Garvey founds the Universal Negro Improvement Association, a movement to “uplift people of African ancestry throughout the world” and which also worked to arrange for the migration of African Americans who wished to return to Africa.
Technology: The first traffic light was installed on August 5 between Euclid Avenue and East 105 Street in Cleveland, Ohio.
Exploration: On August 8, the Endurance sets sail for Antarctica from England under Ernest Shackleton. The ship will be crushed by ice after being trapped in the Weddell Sea. Shackleton is able to rescue most of his men using lifeboats.
Transportation: The inauguration of the Panama Canal occurs on August 15 with the passage of the USS Ancon.
Revolution: Mexico City falls on August 15 to the troops of Venustiano Carranza under the leadership of Álavaro Obregón. Obregón will enforce punitive measures against the Catholic Church, foreign businessmen and wealthy citizens of Mexico City.
Died: Charles J. Hite, CEO of the Thanhouser Film Corporation died August 21 in a car crash. Hite and Thanhouser had made a star of Florence La Badie, herself to die in a automobile accident three years later.