August

August

[aw-guhst]
August: see month.
Wilson, August, 1945-2005, American playwright and poet, b. Pittsburgh as Frederick August Kittel. Largely self-educated, Wilson first attracted wide critical attention with his Broadway debut, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984), a play set in 1927 that dramatizes the clash between the blues diva and a member of her band and the larger conflicts brought about by racist American society. Wilson's plays center on the struggles and identity of African Americans and the deleterious effect of white American institutions on black American life. His works draw heavily on Wilson's own experience growing up in the Hill district of Pittsburgh, a black ghetto where nearly all of his plays are set. His characters are ordinary people whose histories, frustrations, and aspirations Wilson astutely portrays. His cycle of ten dramas written over a period of more than 20 years include various overlapping characters and themes. In addition to Ma Rainey, it includes Jitney (1982), Fences (1987; Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1988), The Piano Lesson (1990; Pulitzer Prize), Two Trains Running (1992), Seven Guitars (1995), King Hedley II (2001), Gem of the Ocean (2003), and Radio Golf (2005). Acclaimed as landmarks in the history of black American culture, these works focus on the major issues confronting African Americans during each of the decades of the 20th cent. In 2003, Wilson starred in a production of his autobiographical one-man play How I Learned What I Learned.

See studies by M. Elkins, ed. (1994), A. Nadel, ed. (1994), K. Pereira (1995), S. G. Shannon (1995), J. Herrington (1998), Y. Shafer (1998), M. L. Bogumil (1999), Q. Wang (1999), P. Wolfe (1999), H. Bloom, ed. (2002), H. J. Elam, Jr. (2004), and M. E. Snodgrass (2004).

Sander, August, 1876-1964, Austrian photographer. During his long life Sander made a remarkable composite portrait of the German people. He began his immense work in the early 1890s, making pictures of young men who wanted mementos to give to their families before they emigrated to the United States. He opened a portrait studio in Linz (1904), but a great percentage of his precise, direct, and perceptive portraits were made in the homes and working environments of his sitters. Using large glass plates, he produced a realistic picture of the daily life and look of a vast cross-section of German society that, as a whole, is considered both a sociological and a photographic masterpiece. His subjects included country people, artisans, laborers, technicians, artists, professionals, politicians, aristocrats, and family groups of every sort, the total work comprising an extraordinary human document in which the photographer himself is particularly unobtrusive. Sander also wrote a treatise on the function of photography, Confession of Faith in Photography (1927).

See his Men without Masks: Faces of Germany, 1910-1938 (tr. 1973); G. Sander and U. Keller, ed., August Sander: Citizens of the 20th Century (1986); C. Schreier, August Sander: "In Photography There Are No Unexplained Shadows" (1997); S. Lange and M. Heiting, ed., August Sander: 1876-1964 (1999); S. Lange and G. Conrath-Scholl, August Sander: People of the 20th Century (7 vol., 2002).

Bebel, August, 1840-1913, German Socialist leader. A wood turner by trade, he became a Marxian Socialist under the influence of Wilhelm Liebknecht. At a congress at Eisenach (1869) he was instrumental in founding the German Social Democratic party, which he later represented in the Reichstag and which he led for many years. His antimilitarism and his social program earned him the hatred of Bismarck. In 1872, Bebel and Liebknecht, tried on charges of treason, were sentenced to two years' imprisonment, but this only solidified Bebel's control over the Social Democrats, and he was reelected to the Reichstag. In 1875 he helped to unite the Lassalle group with the Social Democrats. A moderate Marxist, he opposed either violent retaliation against repression or the gradualist, evolutionary socialism of Eduard Bernstein, condemning all deviation (right and left) at the Dresden Congress of 1903. By 1912 the Social Democrats, embodied by Bebel, were the largest German political party. Among his writings are Women and Socialism (1883, tr. 1910), which was highly influential among German workers, and his autobiography (1910-14, abr. tr. 1912, repr. 1973).

See biography by E. Schraepler (1966).

Schleicher, August, 1821-68, German philologist. A professor at the universities of Prague and Jena, Schleicher wrote studies of the Lithuanian language (1856-57), the German language (1860), and the language of the Polabian Slavs (1871). His most important work on comparative philology, published in German (1861-62), was translated as A Compendium of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European, Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin Languages (2 vol., 1874-77).
Gneisenau, August, Graf Neithardt von, 1760-1831, Prussian field marshal. In the Napoleonic Wars he fought at Jena (1806) and, as a major, won fame for his valiant defense of Kolberg. After Prussia's capitulation to Napoleon I (1807), he served with General von Scharnhorst on the military reorganization commission and helped reform the defeated Prussian army. The army's leading strategist during Prussia's War of Liberation against the French (1813-15), he was chief of staff to the commander of the army, Blücher. He retired from active service in 1816, when the need for military reform had passed, but returned to lead an expedition against the Polish insurrection, in which he was killed.
Vermeylen, August, 1872-1945, Flemish writer and critic. Active in the Flemish literary revival, he was the chief founder (1893) of the journal Van Nu en Straks [today and tomorrow]. He was professor of literature and of art history at the Univ. of Brussels (1901-23), and in 1930 he was named rector of the Flemish Univ. of Ghent. In addition to many works of literary and art criticism, he wrote poetry and a novel, De wandelende Jood [the wandering Jew] (1906).
Fick, August, 1833-1916, German philologist. Fick compiled the first comparative etymological dictionary of the Indo-European languages (1868).
Macke, August, 1887-1914, German painter. Trained in Germany, he made several trips to Paris, where he came in contact with impressionism and the fauvist and cubist painters. A brilliant colorist, he joined the artists Franz Marc and Kandinsky and exhibited with the Blaue Reiter group. In 1914 he traveled with Paul Klee to Tunisia. There he created watercolors of a fine transparency with subtle prismatic patterns. Macke had barely finished Farewell (Cologne) when he was conscripted. He was killed in World War I.
Weismann, August, 1834-1914, German biologist. He taught zoology at the Univ. of Freiburg from 1866 to 1912. He is known as the originator of the germ-plasm theory of heredity. His doctrine, formerly called Weismannism, stresses the unbroken continuity of the germ plasm and the nonheritability of acquired characteristics. His works include The Germ-Plasm (1892, tr. 1893) and a series of essays translated into English as Essays upon Heredity and Kindred Biological Problems (2d ed., 2 vol., 1891-92).

See G. J. Romanes, An Examination of Weismannism (1903).

August is the 8th month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days.

This month was originally named Sextilis in Latin, because it was the sixth month in the ancient Roman calendar, which started in March about 735 BC under Romulus. It became the eighth month either when January and February were added to the beginning of the year by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC or when those two months were moved from the end to the beginning of the year by the decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers disagree). It was renamed in honor of Augustus in 8 BC because several of the most significant events in his rise to power, culminating in the fall of Alexandria, which fell in this month. Lore claims August originally had 29 days in the Roman Republican calendar. Augustus took two days from February and gave it to August when Sextilis was renamed in his honor. See Month lengths how this commonly believed lore was proven wrong.

August's flower is the gladiolus or poppy, and its birthstone is the peridot.

Other names

  • In Arabic, the month is called أغسطسص ʾUġusṭuṣ or آب ʾĀb; usage varies from place to place and person to person.
  • In Croatian, the month is called kolovoz
  • In Dhivehi, the month is called Augastu
  • In Dutch the month is called Augustus
  • In Estonian the month is called august
  • In Finnish, the month is called elokuu, meaning "month of reaping" or literally, "month of life".
  • In French, the month is called août derived from the Latin augustus.
  • In Greek, the month is called Avgoustos (Αύγουστος')
  • In Hungarian, the month is called augusztus
  • In Bahasa Indonesia, the month is known as Agustus
  • In Irish, August is known as Lúnasa, a modern rendition of Lughnasadh, from the god Lugh.
  • In Japanese, the month is called hachigatsu (八月), meaning, simply, "eighth month."
  • In Latvian, the month is called Augusts
  • In Lithuanian, the month is called rugpjūtis
  • In Polish, the month is called sierpień, meaning "month of sickle".
  • In Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, the month is called agosto.
  • In Romanian, the month is called august
  • In Russian, the month is called avgust (авгуcт)
  • In Swedish, the month is named augusti, literally plural of the Latin augustus - "the venerable".
  • In Thai, the month is called Sing-ha-kom representing the Singha (lion)
  • In Turkish, the month is called Ağustos
  • In Welsh, the month is called Awst

Events in August

Monthlong events in August

  • Edinburgh Festival is an internationally famous arts festival that takes place during August
  • National Immunization Awareness Month
  • National Psoriasis Awareness Month
  • Women's Small Business Month
  • In many European countries, August is the holiday month for most workers
  • The Philippines celebrates August as the Buwan ng Wika ("Language Month")
  • In the United States, August is National Back to School month. Some US School districts and systems return to school in August.
  • In the United States, August is National Goat Cheese Month.

Weeklong events in August

Other August events

  • The first full weekend in August each year, Twinsburg, Ohio celebrates Twins Days.
  • High school fall sports practices and band practices begin across the United States.
  • August is the only month without a major (religious or federal) holiday in the United States.

Daily events in August

Last Sunday

  • The Philippines celebrates National Heroes Day in commemoration of the First Cry of the Philippine Revolution on August 23, 1896.

August symbols

References

Further reading

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