What’s Happening Today?
World Humanitarian Day. This is an international day dedicated to recognizing humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. It marks the day on which the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues were killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad.
Afghan Independence Day. It is celebrated as a national holiday in Afghanistan on 19 August to commemorate the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 and relinquishment from protected state status. The treaty granted a complete neutral relation between Afghanistan and Britain. Afghanistan had become a British protectorate after the Treaty of Gandamak was signed in the Second Anglo-Afghan War.
What Happened Today?
1. In 1964, Syncom 3, the first geostationary communication satellite, was launched. Two months later, it would enable live coverage of the 1964 Summer Olympics.
2. In 1978, In Iran, the Cinema Rex fire caused more than 400 deaths. The Cinema Rex, located in Abadan, Iran, was set ablaze on 19 August 1978, killing at least 420 people. The event started when four men doused the building with airplane fuel before setting it alight. The attack was responsible for triggering the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of the Iranian monarchy. It was the largest terrorist attack in history until the 1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers, which itself was later surpassed by the September 11 attacks.
3. In 1991, the Crown Heights riot began. It was a race riot that took place from August 19 to August 21, 1991, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York City. Black residents turned against Orthodox Jewish Chabad residents, resulting in a deterioration of already tense racial relations in the densely populated community.
1. 1946 – Bill Clinton, former American President.
2. 1969 – Matthew Perry, Canadian-American actress who is famous for appearing in the popular sitcom Friends.