Assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 1975
The founding leader of Bangladesh, which became independent from Pakistan in 1971, and also its first prime minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was overthrown in a military coup and assassinated with several family members on August 15, 1975. Five ex-army men accused of killing him were hanged in 2010. August 15 is now observed as National Mourning Day in Bangladesh. Rahman's daughter Sheikh Hasina Wazed is PM of Bangladesh.
Considered a watershed in the history of rock and roll and the counter-culture movement, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a weekend, between August 15 and 17 in 1969. Hosted on Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, around 200 km from New York City, Woodstock saw performances by icons like Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin and Creedence Clearwater Revival, and saw around 4,00,000 people in attendance.
Pocalypse Now, 1979
Considered the best film ever made on the Vietnam War and one of the best movies ever, Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness released on this day in 1979. The film, starring Michael Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper, won the Palme d'Or at Cannes and two Oscars, for Best Sound and Best Cinematography. The famous line uttered by Duvall's character, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning", was ranked 12th on American Film Institute's top 100.
iMac G3, 1998
The first major product to have been unveiled after Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the all-in-one iMac G3, which started shipping on August 15, 1998, was lauded for its unique design. The back of the monitor was egg-shaped and covered in blue translucent plastic; the design was Jonathan Ive's brainchild. The G3, one of Apple's most iconic products, replaced the floppy drive, the then industry standard, with a USB port.
The Beatles Concert at Shea Stadium, 1965
Birthing the concept of stadium concerts, the Beatles' half-hour gig at Shea Stadium in New York City attracted 55,600 people, the largest crowd at a concert till then. It was also the first major pop gig in an outdoor stadium. The band played 12 numbers, including Baby's in Black and A Hard Day's Night.
The Wizard of Oz, 1939
One of the greatest musicals on screen, The Wizard of Oz had its Hollywood premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater on August 15, 1939. An adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum, it starred Judy Garland and Frank Morgan. It was nominated for six Oscars, with Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg winning Best Original Song for Over the Rainbow and Herbert Stothart bagging it for Best Original Score. The film lost Best Picture to Gone with the Wind.
Other countries that became independent on August 15
Republic of the Congo, 1960
The French got jurisdiction of the country in 1880 and declared it a colony in 1891. In 1910, the French established the French Equatorial Africa comprising four territories in central Africa, including the Congo, which declared independence in 1960.
After over a century of British dominance, Bahrain declared independence in 1971, riding on a wave of nationalism across the Arab world, under the leadership of its first emir Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifah.
Korea was freed from 35 years of Japanese rule in 1945, but the north of the country remained under Soviet control and the south under American control. On August 15, 1948, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was created, and a month later, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea came into being.