On August 19:
1504 Battle of Knockdoe.
1561 An 18-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to Scotland after spending 13 years in France.
1612 The “Samlesbury witches“, three women from Samlesbury, were put on trial, accused for practising witchcraft, one of the most famous witch trials in English history.
1631 John Dryden, English poet, was born (d. 1700).
1666 Second Anglo-Dutch War: Rear Admiral Robert Holmes led a raid on the Dutch island of Terschelling, destroying 150 merchant ships, an act later known as “Holmes’s Bonfire“.
1692 Salem witch trials
: one woman and four men, including a clergyman, were executed after being convicted of witchcraft.
1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard in Glenfinnan – the start of the Second Jacobite Rebellion, known as “the 45”.
1768 Saint Isaac’s Cathedral was founded in Saint Petersburg.
1772 Gustavus III of Sweden staged a Coup d’état, in which he assumed power and enacted a new constitution that divided power between the Riksdag and the King.
1782 American Revolutionary War: Battle of Blue Licks – the last major engagement of the war, almost ten months after the surrender of the British commander Lord Cornwallis.
1812 War of 1812: American frigate USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia, earning her nickname “Old Ironsides”.
1813 Gervasio Antonio de Posadas joined Argentina’s second triumvirate.
1839 Presentation of Jacque Daguerre’s new photographic process to the French Academy of Sciences.
1853 Edward Gibbon Wakefield was elected to the New Zealand Parliament.
1861 First ascent of Weisshorn, fifth highest summit in the Alps.
1883 Coco Chanel, French clothing designer, was born (d. 1971).
1895 American frontier murderer and outlaw, John Wesley Hardin, was killed by an off-duty policeman in a saloon in El Paso.
1902 Ogden Nash, American poet, was born (d. 1971).
1919 Afghanistan gained full independence from the United Kingdom.
1927 Metropolitan Sergius proclaimed the declaration of loyalty of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Soviet state.
1928 Bernard Levin, English journalist, author, and broadcaster, was born (d. 2004).
1930 Frank McCourt, Irish-American author, was born (d. 2009).
1934 The first All-American Soap Box Derby was held in Dayton, Ohio.
1934 The creation of the position Führer was approved by the German electorate with 89.9% of the popular vote.
1939 Ginger Baker, English musician (Cream), was born.
1940 Johnny Nash, American singer-songwriter, was born.
1940 First flight of the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber.
1942 Operation Jubilee – the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division led an amphibious assault by allied forces on Dieppe, France and failed.
1944 As his damaged Hawker Typhoon fighter-bomber rapidly lost height, Pilot Officer James Stellin struggled to avoid crashing into Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, a village of 370 people in the Seine-Maritime region. He succeeded, but at the cost of his own life.
1944 Liberation of Paris – Paris rose against German occupation with the help of Allied troops.
1945 Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh took power in Hanoi.
1946 Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, was born.
1951 John Deacon, English musician (Queen), was born.
1953 Cold War: the CIA helped to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and reinstated the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
1955 In the Northeast United States, severe flooding caused by Hurricane Diane, claimed 200 lives.
1960 Cold War: in Moscow, downed American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was sentenced to ten years imprisonment by the Soviet Union for espionage.
1960 Sputnik 5 – the Soviet Union launched the satellite with the dogs Belka and Strelka, 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety of plants.
1980 Saudia Flight 163, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar burned after making an emergency landing at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh killing 301 people.
1981 Gulf of Sidra Incident: United States fighters intercepted and shot down two Libyan Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets over the Gulf of Sidra.
1987 Hungerford Massacre: Michael Ryan killed sixteen people with an assault rifle and then committed suicide.
1989 Polish president Wojciech Jaruzelski nominated Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki to be the first non-communist Prime Minister in 42 years.
1989 Raid on offshore pirate station, Radio Caroline in North Sea by British and Dutch governments.
1989 Several hundred East Germans crossed the frontier between Hungary and Austria during the Pan-European Picnic, part of the events which began the process of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
1990 Leonard Bernstein conducted his final concert, ending with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.
1991 Collapse of the Soviet Union, August Coup: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was placed under house arrest..
1991 Hurricane Bob hit the Northeast, United States.
1999 Tens of thousands of Serbians rallied to demand the resignation of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milošević.
2002 A Russian Mi-26 helicopter carrying troops was hit by a Chechen missile killing 118 soldiers.
2003 A car-bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Iraq killed the agency’s top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 other employees.
2003 A Hamas planned suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem killed 23 Israelis, 7 of them children in the Jerusalem bus 2 massacre.
2005 The first-ever joint military exercise between Russia and China, called Peace Mission 2005 began.
2005 A series of strong storms lashed Southern Ontario spawning several tornadoes as well as creating extreme flash flooding in Toronto and its surrounding communities. .
2009 A series of bombings in Baghdad, killed 101 and injured 565 others.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia