Highlights in history on this date:
1834: South Australia Act is passed by Britain’s parliament, allowing for establishment of colony there.
1844: Charles Sturt leaves Adelaide but returns two years later without having found in his search an inland sea or arable land.
1903: New Zealand wins first rugby union test against Australia, 22-3.
1907: Members of Australia’s federal parliament vote themselves their first pay rise, of 50 per cent.
1945: Millions worldwide celebrate the end of World War II with Victory over Japan Day after the Asian nation’s surrender a day earlier.
1947: After 200 years, India becomes independent from British rule with Jawaharlal Nehru as prime minister.
1948: South Korea becomes independent and is formally proclaimed as the Republic of Korea, with Syngman Rhee as its first president.
1960: Republic of the Congo is proclaimed an independent nation.
1961: East German workers begin to build Berlin Wall.
1969: Arab saboteurs blow up an oil pipeline in Israeli city Haifa.
1990: Saddam Hussein offers to withdraw from Iranian territory and release prisoners of war in a bid to win favour with Tehran against United States.
1991: UN Security Council authorises Iraq to export $US1.6 billion of oil to finance desperately needed food, medicine and emergency supplies.
1995: Fifty years after World War II ended in the Pacific, Japan makes its first clear-cut apology for the country’s wartime actions.
1998: A car bomb blast in Omagh, Northern Ireland, kills 29 people in the worst single attack in nearly 30 years of violence.
2000: A group of 100 separated family members from North Korea arrive in South Korea for temporary reunions with relatives they have not seen for half a century.
2001: The death toll in the ambush of a refugee train by Angolan rebels rises to 252 after rescue workers identify 100 more bodies.
2004: Pope John Paul II struggles through Sunday Mass at a French shrine that draws desperate people seeking miracle cures.
2005: Indonesia and rebels from Aceh sign a peace deal in Helsinki aimed at ending one of Asia’s longest-running conflicts, which cost more than 12,000 lives in nearly three decades of fighting.
2006: The British Defence Ministry says more than 300 British soldiers who were executed by the military for cowardice during World War I will be pardoned.
2007: India celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence from British rule a day after Pakistan celebrates.
2008: Leftist Fernando Lugo becomes Paraguay’s president, ending six decades of one-party rule.
2009: A fire set by an arsonist at a wedding tent kills at least 41 women and children guests in Kuwait City and injures 76.
2012: A painting by Australian artist Arthur Boyd titled Bride Running Away fetches a record price of $1.68 million at auction in Melbourne; Commonwealth Bank sets a record for an Australian bank with a $7.09 billion net profit for the year to June 30.
2013: The death toll of ousted Egyptian President Morsi’s supporters soars past 600 in the country’s deadliest day since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat ruler Hosni Mubarak.
2014: Medical charity MSF warns the Ebola outbreak is moving faster than aid organisations can handle, with more than 1000 deaths so far declared in west Africa.
2015: Salim Mehajer, deputy mayor of Auburn in western Sydney, marries Aysha Learmonth in a lavish wedding that includes four helicopters and a fleet of cars that literally stops traffic.
2016: Some of NSW’s most senior officers give evidence at the inquest into the 2014 Sydney Lindt Cafe siege that claimed the lives of cafe manager Tori Johnson and barrister Katrina Dawson.
2017: Australia’s ongoing political citizenship crisis sparks a diplomatic brawl between Australia and New Zealand after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she would find it had to trust a NZ Labor government if they had any role in undermining the Turnbull government by investigating Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s citizenship.
2018: Australian Federal MPs condemn a speech by senator Fraser Anning calling for a ban on Muslim immigration. “As much as weapons wound, so do words,” MP Ed Husic says in parliament.
Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor (1769-1821); Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist-poet (1771-1832); Ethel Barrymore, US actor (1879-1959); Jacques Ibert, French composer (1890-1962); Julia Child, US author-cook (1912-2004); Robert Bolt, British playwright, screenwriter and director (1924-1995); Oscar Peterson, Canadian jazz pianist (1925-2007); Mike Connors, US actor (1925- 2017); Abby Dalton, US actor (1935-); Princess Anne (1950-); Tess Harper, US actor (1950-); Stieg Larsson, Swedish author (1954-2004); Debra Messing, US actor (Will and Grace) (1968-); Ben Affleck, US actor (1972-); Waleed Aly, Australian writer, academic and TV presenter (1978-); Jennifer Lawrence, American actor (1990-).
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
“We must not read either law or history backward” — Helen Cam, English historian and educator (1885-1968).
Originally published as Today in history: August 15