1854 – Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” is published. The American transcendentalist writer’s work is a first-person account of his experimental time of simple living at Walden Pond in Concord, MA. It explors Thoreau’s views on nature, politics and philosophy.
1936 – Jesse Owens wins the long jump – and respect – at the Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. It was the second of four gold medals Owns won in Berlin, as he firmly dispelled German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler’s notion of the superiority of an Aryan “master race.”
1944 – Jewish diarist Anne Frank, age 15, is captured, along with her family, by the Nazi Gestapo after spending 25 months in hiding in Amsterdam. She and others die in the Nazi death camps but her diary, kept over two years, survives the war and is renowned for its poignancy, humor and insight.
2012 – Oscar Pistorius of South Africa become the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics by running an opening heat in the men’s 400-meter race. The next year the athlete was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend and was found guilty in 2014.
1923 – Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th president of the U.S., hours after the death of Pres. Warren G. Harding. Coolidge was the son of a village storekeeper.