On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments

Follow along with the biggest moments in August history in this visual journey of photos from the Shutterstock Editorial archive.

Photography has given us a rich visual archive of the most important events in history — everything from tragedies to the pinnacles of human achievement. Photos can bring us back to a tragic event that broke our collective hearts, a cultural moment that we rejoiced over, or a scientific breakthrough that made us see the world differently. Each month we’ll share photographs from the Shutterstock Editorial archive that show a significant historical or cultural event for each day of that month.

This month, we take a visual journey through August.

August 1

1971 — The Concert for Bangladesh, organized by former Beatle George Harrison, is held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The Concert for Bangladesh Photo by Jim Wells/AP/Shutterstock.
August 2

1967 – In the Heat of the Night starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger premieres in New York.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — In the Heat of the NightPhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock.
August 3

2004 – The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopens after being closed since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The Statue of LibertyPhoto by Justin Lane/EPA/Shutterstock.
August 4

1944 – Anne Frank is arrested in Amsterdam by German Security Police following a tip-off from an informer who was never identified.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Anne FrankPhoto by Shutterstock.
August 5

1962 – Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her hotel room.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Marilyn MonroePhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock.
August 6

1996 – The Ramones played their farewell concert at The Palace, Los Angeles, CA.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The RamonesPhoto by Aceves/Mediapunch/Shutterstock.
August 7

2018 – Crazy Rich Asians, the first Hollywood film with all-Asian cast, premieres at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Crazy Rich AsiansPhoto by Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock.
August 8

1988 – N.W.A’s album Straight Outta Compton is released, and will later inspire the 2015 biopic of the same name.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Straight Outta ComptonPhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock.
August 9

1974 – Richard Nixon resigns as President of the United States due to the Watergate scandal.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — President NixonPhoto by Bob Daugherty/AP/Shutterstock.
August 10

1994 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg is sworn in as US Supreme Court Justice.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Ruth Bader GinsbergPhoto by Globe Photos/Mediapunch/Shutterstock.
August 11

2008 – The US 4 x 100m freestyle relay team of Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones, and Jason Lezak beats France by eight seconds to win gold and smash the world record at the Beijing Olympics.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Beijing OlympicsPhoto by Diego Azubel/EPA/Shutterstock.
August 12

1990 – American paleontologist Sue Hendrickson discovers one of the world’s largest, most complete fossilized remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex in South Dakota.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The Discovery of SuePhoto by Emile Wamsteker/AP/Shutterstock.
August 13

1967 – Bonnie and Clyde starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway is released.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Bonnie and ClydePhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock.
August 14

1945 – It was first announced that Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — War EndsPhoto by Everett/Shutterstock.
August 15

1969 – The Woodstock music festival begins in upstate New York.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — WoodstockPhoto by Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock.
August 16

1977 – Music legend Elvis Presley dies in Memphis at the age of 42.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Elvis PresleyPhoto by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock.
August 17

1998 – US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony he had an “improper physical relationship” with Monica Lewinsky.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — President ClintonPhoto by Greg Gibson/AP/Shutterstock.
August 18

1920 – The 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution is ratified, giving women the right to vote.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — 19th AmendmentPhoto by Universal History Archive/Shutterstock.
August 19

1964 – The Beatles launch their first tour in the United States at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The BeatlesPhoto by Shutterstock.
August 20

1988 – Black Saturday: Fires burn 165,000 acres in one day of Yellowstone National Park.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Black SaturdayPhoto by Ed Andrieski/AP/Shutterstock.
August 21

1987 – The cult classic Dirty Dancing debuts in the United States.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Dirty DancingPhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock.
August 22

1989 – Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan becomes the first player to record 5,000 career strikeouts.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Nolan RyanPhoto by Harry Cabluck/AP/Shutterstock.
August 23

2000 – The first finale of the hit reality TV show Survivor airs, with Richard Hatch winning the million dollar prize.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — SurvivorPhoto by Kevork Djansezian/AP/Shutterstock.
August 24

2011 – Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple Inc., and is succeeded by Tim Cook, as a result of his illness.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Steve JobsPhoto by Monica M Davey/EPA/Shutterstock.
August 25

1939 – The Hollywood classic The Wizard of Oz debuts in theaters.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The Wizard of OzPhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock.
August 26

1978 – Albino Luciani of Italy is elected as Pope John Paul I.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Pope John Paul IPhoto by AP/Shutterstock.
August 27

2008 – Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be nominated by a major political party for President of the United States.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Barak ObamaPhoto by Rick Giase/EPA/Shutterstock.
August 28

1963 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I have a dream speech” at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Martin Luther King, Jr.Photo by AP/Shutterstock.
August 29

2005 – Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in New Orleans, flooding much of the city, becoming the worst natural disaster in United States history.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Hurricane KatrinaPhoto by Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock.
August 30

1967 – Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Thurgood MarshallPhoto by AP/Shutterstock.
August 31

1997 – Princess Diana dies at the age of 36 in a car crash in Paris.

On This Day in August: 31 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Princess DianaPhoto by Adrian Dennis/AP/Shutterstock.

Want more modern history? Explore Shutterstock’s archives with these photo tours:

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments
8 Models and Designers Who Redefined Beauty in the 1960s-70s
10 Master Photographers Who Made History Possible
On This Day in June: 30 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments
7 Women of Color Who Revolutionized Fashion in the 1960s-70s

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