Does all flashback lead to future thoughts or tendencies to predict the future? What do we hold on to, when all around as is shaken, and a times want to let go, because we know that part of it bears such unbearable history?
Is there a way to sift, sieve and separate the good past from the bad past? And to make sure that the bad past does not find its way again into the future? How can we insulate ourselves from the pain, the loss and the despair?
Well, in as much as we may be able find answers to these controversial questions, we know that some astounding events have somehow managed to appear on some specific times of consecutive years.
I must admit some events are joyful, and very significant in our time of history. Namely new beginnings like birthdays of great People, leaders, Innovators,events and marriages.
A case in point is the month of August.
The Romans named the month of August after their emperor, Augustus, and changed its number of days from 30 to 31. They made this adjustment to the month to make it fair for the month of July named after Augustus’s predecessor Julius Caesar had 31 days too. “Not only did the Senate name a month after Augustus, but it decided that since Julius’s month, July, had 31 days, Augustus’s month should equal it: under the Julian calendar, the months alternated evenly between 30 and 31 days (with the exception of February), which made August 30 days long. So, instead of August having a mere 30 days, it was lengthened to 31, preventing anyone from claiming that Emperor Augustus was saddled with an inferior month. The extra day needed to inflate the importance of August was taken from February, which originally had 29 days (30 in a leap year), and was now reduced to 28 days (29 in a leap year).Since the months evenly alternated between 30 and 31 days, adding the extra day to August meant that July, August, and September would all have 31 days. So to avoid three long months in a row, the lengths of the last four months were switched around, giving us 30 days in September, April, June, and November” The Romans did what they could at that time to change the times however some peculiar significant events have found themselves happening particularly in the Month of August.
[i] The Month of August is also known as the Month of New Beginnings and the Bible says “The end of a thing is better than the Beginning”Ecclesiastes 7:8 “..the end of a matter is better than its beginning…”
Psalms 90:12 NIV “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
(ii)A Brief Visitation of the Month of August in Kenya
Kenya losses it’s Eyes.
On August 22, 1978, “President Kenyatta Kenya’s first President died in Mombasa of natural causes attributable to old age. President Kenyatta had suffered a heart attack in 1966. In the mid-1970s he would lapse into periodic comas lasting from a few hours to a few days from time to time. In April 1977, when he was then well into his 80s, he suffered a massive heart attack.”
[iii] August 1, 1982 .The attempted coup d’état that was staged by the Kenya Air Force (KAF) on August 1, 1982.
“ The air force troops apparently took over the KBC TV and radio station and a few other strategic installations in the early hours of Sunday morning August 1st 1982, before the Kenya Army support battalion stormed into the city centre and recaptured the installations. Twelve people, including Ochuka, were sentenced to death, and over 900 were jailed.”
[iv] August 4 2010 Yes verses No For: 6,092,593 Against: 2,795,059
“ The results were published in the Kenya Gazette notice No. 10019, Vol. CXII-No. 84 of August 23rd, 2010. The Proposed New Constitution was ratified by over 67% of the total valid votes cast. The document was also supported by at least 25% of the votes cast in all the eight Provinces in Kenya. Kenyan passed a new constitution in a peaceful referendum that could reshape the political landscape of the East Africa’s largest economy. Greater checks on presidential powers were among changes voted through in Wednesday’s referendum, which came two years after allegations over vote-rigging in a presidential election ignited violence that killed 1,300 people. The new legal framework addresses the corruption, political patronage, land-grabbing and tribalism which have plagued Kenya since it won independence from Britain in 1963.The referendum wins could help Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s presidential bid in the next elections in 2012.”
[v] Anglican Bishop Alexander Kip sang Muge dies in a Tragic Road Accident.
“ On August 14, 1990, Bishop Muge set off on a journey from which he would never return. He had been warned by Minister for Labor Mr. Peter Habenga Okondo not to set foot in Busia. However, Muge defied the ban and traveled to Busia. On the way back, he lost his life in a road accident near Kipkaren, Uasin Gishu district. Many say that this was not an accident at all but the direct result of his stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his nation. He was forty-four at the time of his death.”
Masinde Muliro (August 14, 1992) was a Kenyan politician, one of the central figures in the shaping of the political landscape in Kenya. A renowned freedom fighter, he campaigned for the restoration of multi-party democracy in Kenya in his later years He had a reputation for integrity rivaled only by Ronald Ngala. It was shortly after that Muliro left for London for a fundraising mission for the newly formed Ford political party. It was to be an ill-fated trip: on his return, upon his arrival at the Nairobi airport on the morning of August 14, 1992 he collapsed and died. The controversy of his death was heightened by the absence of an official post mortem. Muliro was buried on his farm in the Kitale area of Kenya. Considered (He was considered) by some as one of the best leaders that never became president”
[vii] A large armed group raided Likoni police station on August 13 1997
“ They murdered policemen, freed suspects from the police cells, burned down the station and escaped with 40 guns and ammunition on the raids? (Not clear some information may be missing) in which 42 people, including six policemen had been killed. The result was a weeklong orgy of violence with chilling similarities to the events which characterized the first multi-party elections in 1992. After Likoni, the attackers hit Kongowea, Kisauni, Mtwapa and Malindi within a few days. What started off as orchestrated killings of people not indigenous to Kenya’s Coast Province seemed by the end of last week to have spun out of control with the North Coast and other parts of the province coming under attack? Police were by the end of the week not denying charges among the victims that the attacks had a political connection.”
[viii] U.S. Embassy bombings (August 7, 1998)
“ Hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the major East African cities of Dar as Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. On August 7, between 10:30 am and 10:40 am, suicide bombers in trucks laden with explosives parked outside the embassies in Dar as Salaam and Nairobi, and almost simultaneously detonate…? In Nairobi, approximately 212 people were killed, and an estimated 4,000 wounded; in Dar as Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85. Seismological readings analyzed after the bombs indicated energy of between 3–17 tons of high material. Although the attacks were directed at American facilities, the vast majority of casualties were local citizens, 12 Americans were killed.”
[ix] Father John Anthony Kaiser was murdered in Morendat, Kenya by unknown assailants August 23, 2000.
“Fr. Kaiser, who was a Controversial Roman Catholic priest, knew of the dangers of being outspoken and of a fate that had befallen many others. In a book about his experiences at the Maela camp, he wrote a warning. I want all to know that if I disappear from the scene, because the bush is vast and hyenas many, that I am not planning any accident, nor, God forbid, any self-destruction. Fr. Kaiser was shot in the back of the head with a shotgun. His body was found at 6 am the next day beneath two acacia trees by a butcher named George at Morendat junction on the Nakuru-Naivasha road in western Kenya. He was carrying documents he intended to present to the Akiwumi Commission. He was also to testify before the International Criminal Court in The Hague in three weeks.”
[x] August 19, 2000 “A train with liquefied gas explodes and catches fire at Mavoko, Eastern, Kenya, killing 25 and injuring 50; most of the dead and injured are residents of houses near the railroad line.”
“President Mwai Kibaki was seriously injured in a car accident and was flown to London for treatment. There he was visited by Wamalwa, who also fell ill and had to be treated, supposedly for kidney problems. This was apparently the forerunner of further illness because he was taken ill again in mid 2003 and was once again treated in London. He briefly recovered, and returned to Kenya to marry Yvonne Nambia, in a sumptuous ceremony; it was said that he proposed in Shakespearean English, and arrived at church in a vintage Ford, wearing a morning coat.
Wamalwa with Yvonne Nambia at their wedding
Just two months after the wedding, Wamalwa returned to the Royal Free Hospital for another check-up – leading to widespread speculation that his health was worse than doctors had been letting on.He was never to recover. He died on the morning of 23 August 2003”
[xii] Brief history of some General world Events in the Month of August
• August 1 1774 Joseph Priestley isolates oxygen for the first time www.wikipedia.org/joseph Priestley
• August 1 1867 Blacks vote for first time in a state election in South (Tennessee www.wikipedia.org/voting of black
• August 1 1914 Germany declares war on Russia in WW I www.wikipedia.org/ww1
• August 1 1994 NASDAQ computers crash – squirrel caused power outage. www.wikipedia.org/nasdaq computer crush
• August 1 2007 “The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge on I-35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota between University Avenue and Washington Avenue collapses at 6:05 pm CST during the latter part of rush hour, killing 13 people.”
[xiii] August 3 2010 “The Hartford Distributors shooting was a mass shooting that occurred on August 3, 2010, in Manchester, Connecticut, United States. The location of the crime was a warehouse owned by Hartford Distributors, a beer distribution company. The gunman, former employee Omar Thornton, shot and killed eight people before turning a gun on himself.”
[xiv] Aug. 4, 1961, President Barack H. Obama’s birth Barack Obama was born to a white American mother, Ann Dunham, and a black Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr., who were both young college students at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu’s Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital on Aug. 4, 1961. The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President, and Joe Biden as Vice President, took place on January 20, 2009. In his first few days in office Obama issued executive orders and presidential memoranda directing the U.S. military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq] and ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp “as soon as practicable and no later than” January 2010. Obama also reduced the secrecy given to presidential records and changed procedures to promote disclosure under the Freedom of Information act
[xv] August 5 1884 “The Statue of Liberty cornerstone was laid, 1884” “During the nineteenth century, America became a haven for many of the oppressed people of Europe, and New York City became the “melting pot.” The Statue of Liberty, with its famous inscription, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”
• August 6 1890 “The first electrocution took place at Auburn Prison, Auburn, New York. The executed prison was William Kemmler of Buffalo, New York, who had been convicted of the hatchet murder of his common-law wife, 1890”
[xvi] August 6, 1945 “At 2:45 a.m. a B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, the United States used a massive, atomic weapon against Hiroshima, Japan. This atomic bomb, the equivalent of 20,000 tons of TNT, flattened the city, killing tens of thousands of civilians. While Japan was still trying to comprehend this devastation three days later, the United States struck again, this time, on Nagasaki.”
[xvii] August 8, 1974 Richard Nixon’s resignation.”He was the 37th President of the United States from 1969–1974 and was also the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953–1961). The Watergate scandal was a political scandal in the United States in the 1970s, resulting from the break-in into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. Effects of the scandal ultimately led to the resignation of the President of the United States Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974, the first and so far only resignation of any U.S President. It also resulted in the indictment and conviction of several Nixon administration officials. Nixon was the only President to resign the office and also the only person to be elected twice to both the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.”
[xviii] August 10,1897 “President Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa, 1874’’
[xix] August 13 1910 “Florence Nightingale died in London, 1910”
[xx] August 16, 1961 The Construction of the Berlin Wall. “The Berlin Wall was erected along the demarcation between the eastern sector of Berlin controlled by the Soviet Union, and the western sectors occupied by the United States, France, and Great Britain. East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR), was a Communist state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in the former Soviet occupation zone of Germany.”
[xxi] August 16, 1977 “Singer Elvis Presley died at his home, “Graceland,” in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 42, 1977”
• “August 18 1894 The Bureau of Immigration was created, 1894.”[xxiii]
• “August 19 Caesar Augustus died, A.D. 14”[xxiv]
• “August 19,1946 President William J. Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas”
[xxii] August 20th 1833: President Benjamin Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, 1833 www.aboutfamouspeople.com/August
[xxiii] August 25, 2009 Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy died. “Ted Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in U.S. history. For many years the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family, he was the last surviving son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.; the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy. Ted Kennedy collapsed during the Inauguration Lunch of President Obama. He died on August 25, 2009, at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. By the time of his death, he had come to be viewed as a major figure and spokesman. Ted Kennedy died of Brain Cancer at Age 77 years.”
[xxix] August 26 1910 Birth of Mother Teresa: Was a Catholic nun of Albanian] ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India in 1950. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries. Following her death she was beatified by Pope John Paul II and given the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
[xxv] August 27 2010 Kenya New Constitution: President Mwai Kibaki “Kenya’s president signed a new constitution into law Friday that institutes a U.S.-style system of checks and balances and has been hailed as the most significant political event since Kenya’s independence nearly a half century ago.
Joining African leaders at the festivities was Sudan’s president who faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in connection with violence in Darfur, where U.N. officials estimate 300,000 people have died”:
[xxvi] “August 27, 1908 President Lyndon B. Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas, 1908”
[xxvii] “August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King jr gave his I have a dream’ speech. King’s delivery of the speech was from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”
[xxviii] August 28,The last day of the Roman Empire, 476
[xxix] August 29, 2005 : “Katrina was the most destructive and costly natural disaster in U.S. history, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that the Category 5 hurricane killed a total of 1,833 people across five states, damaged more than 420,000 houses, and forced 1.2 million people to evacuate their homes. Winds up to 135 mph tore off rooftops and four breached levees sent water gushing into the surrounding cities. Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported that coastal cities suffered from 28-foot waves that penetrated six miles inland. News helicopters captured images of desperate families stranded on islands of rooftops waiting to be rescued, while less flooded areas became rampant with looting and violence.”
[xxx] On Sunday 31 August 1997, “Diana, Princess of Wales, died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz W140, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Fayed’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, was the only survivor. Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and her companion Dodi Al Fayed died tragically in a car crash in Paris, France, August 31,1997”
This findings are not conclusive by any means and as noted both good and not pleasant events have occurred in the month of August.
Among the many reasons I researched into the month of August is that I just found it ntresting and significant events have somehow found their way on this Month.
Next on my research list is the Month of September why so many Millionares and Billionares were born in this month another intriguing finding stay tuned.
Psalms90:12 NIV “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Wesley’s Notes Psalms 90:12 Teach us to consider the shortness of life, and the certainty and speediness of death. That that we may heartily devote ourselves to true wisdom.
Compiled: By Sam Mwaura