August 15th is a day marked by iconic images from the Panama Canal to Woodstock.
Icons of the New World
Panama City and the Panama Canal
The city of Panama was founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila. The city was the starting point for expeditions that conquered the Inca Empire in Peru. Today it is the second largest urban area in Central America with a population of approximately 1.7 million. The city today is not only the capital of Panama but a hub for international banking and commerce.
Exactly 395 years later, the Panama Canal opened to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship SS Ancon. The canal, dubbed one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers, has seen its traffic rise from 1,000 ships in 1914 to almost 15,000 today carrying as much as 340.8 million tons of cargo.
Oldest Catholic Cathedral in U.S.
The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu was dedicated on this day in 1843. It is the oldest cathedral in continuous use as a cathedral in the United States.
Icons of the 1960’s
Conrad Schumann – Wall Jumper
On this day in 1961, East German Contrad Schumann was sent to guard the Berlin Wall on its third-day of construction. Instead, he jumped over the barbed wire making him the wall’s first defector. Since his leap was captured on film he became an international icon as a result.
Beatlemania Comes to Shea Stadium
In 1965, The Beatles play to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, an event later regarded as the birth of stadium rock.
3 4 Days of Peace and Music
The Woodstock Music & Art Fair which was billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music” began on this day on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the Catskills near Bethel, New York. Thirty-two acts performed before an audience of 400,000 people as the festival spilled into a fourth day due to rain.
It is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation. Rolling Stone listed it as one of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.