What Happened On This Day – 22 August
1963 First Person to Enter Space Twice
The record was set by Joseph A. Walker, a United States Air Force Captain, and a fighter pilot while flying the X-15, an experimental hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft. The X-15 was a joint venture between the US Air Force and the NASA. Not only did Walker became the first person to enter space twice, he also was the first person to take a spaceflight to an altitude of 67 miles (108 kilometers) in the 12-minute long flight.
1962 France’s President Charles De Gaulle Survives an Assasination Attempt
The Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS), a French far-right organization tried to machine gun Charles De Gaulle while he was riding to the airport with his wife. The assassination attempt was led by Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry, an officer in the French Air Force. Bastien-Thiry and the OAS were unhappy about De Gaulle’s role in allowing Algeria’s independence. It is thought that the car De Gaulle was riding in, a Citroen DS 19, was partially responsible for saving his and his wife’s life. After being caught, Bastien-Thiry was the last person in France to be executed by a firing squad.
1922 Irish Politician Michael Collins is Assassinated
A member and leader of Sinn Fein, a political party that advocated complete Irish independence from Britain, Collins was shot dead in an ambush. This was only a few months after he had been appointed as the Finance Minister of the Irish Free State.
1851 The First America’s Cup is held
The cup is awarded to the winner of a race between sailing yachts. Thought to be the oldest international sporting trophy to be still awarded today the cup’s name was changed from Hundred Guinea Cup to America’s Cup after the name of the yacht that won the first race on this day. Led by Commodore John Cox Stevens, America participated in a 53 nautical mile race around the Isle of Wight in England.
1779 James Cook Lands on Possession Island
British explorer James Cook reached the island, which is off the northern coast of Queensland Australia, 2 years after he had set sail on the HMS Endeavour from Plymouth. James Cook named the area New South Wales and claimed it for the British Crown.
Births On This Day – 22 August
1928 Karlheinz Stockhausen
1904 Deng Xiaoping
Chinese politician, diplomat
1893 Dorothy Parker
American poet, writer
1880 George Herriman
1862 Claude Debussy
Deaths On This Day – 22 August
2011 Jack Layton
1553 John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland
English Admiral, politician
1485 Richard III of England
1358 Isabella of France
1241 Pope Gregory IX