• On Aug. 25, 1835, the start of a six-part series announcing the discovery of life on the moon appears in the New York Sun newspaper. Sales of the paper soared as readers believed the tales about unicorns, two-legged beavers and furry, winged humanoids. Even Yale University scientists were fooled.
• On Aug. 24, 1873, William Henry Jackson takes the first photographs of Colorado’s elusive Mount of the Holy Cross, providing reliable proof of its existence. The phenomenon formed after thousands of years of erosion of two deep ravines, which by sheltering winter snow from the sun created a perfect cross.
• On Aug. 19, 1909, the first race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After the unstable rock and tar track caused the deaths of six people that day, the surface was replaced with 3.2 million paving bricks.
• On Aug. 21, 1920, Daphne Milne, wife of writer A.A. Milne, gives birth to a son, whom they name Christopher Robin Milne. He would be immortalized in A.A. Milne’s books “Winnie-the- Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner.”
• On Aug. 20, 1975, Viking 1, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Mars. On July 20, 1976, the Viking 1 lander touched down on the Chryse Planitia region, becoming the first spacecraft to successfully land on Mars.
• On Aug. 22, 1989, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers becomes the first pitcher in major league history to record 5,000 career strikeouts. Ryan would go on to compile 5,714 strikeouts, a record that still stands.
• On Aug. 23, 1999, seven people die in New York from what turns out to be the first cases of West Nile virus in the United States. West Nile virus, previously found only in Uganda and the Middle East, had been contracted by birds and spread by mosquitoes.
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