Frozen in Time | Glacier City Gazette
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Frozen in Time

Frozen in Time

By Emily Maxwell
Associate Editor

August 11 – The first federal prisoners arrive on Alcatraz Island. Designed to hold the most dangerous prisoners in the U.S., the prison proves to be escape-proof with not even one successful escape during its operation. Over the years, Alcatraz is home to such notorious convicts as Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly until Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy orders it closed in 1963 due to the expense of its maintenance. -1934

August 12 – Cleopatra, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, commits suicide allegedly by allowing and asp (Egyptian cobra) to bite her, effectively ending the final war of the
Roman Republic. Modern historians debate the validity of historical reports of her death, hypothesizing that she was murdered or that her potilical opponent, Octavian, forced her to commit suicide in the manner of her choosing. -30 B.C.

August 13 – East German soldiers begin laying barbed wire and bricks down as a barrier between the Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic West Berlin. The wall is a response to the post-WWII mass exodus of East Germans, including many skilled laborers, professionals and intellectuals, to West Germany in search of a better life. The wall is six feet tall, 96 miles long and patrolled day and night by East German soldiers. The wall stands until 1989. -1961

August 14 – Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founds Three Saints Bay on Kodiak Island, the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska. The indigenous Koniaga defend themselves from the Russian party. In what becomes known as the Awa’uq Massacre, Shelikhov and his armed forces kill hundreds of Natives, including women and children. They also take hundreds of hostages to force survivors into submission. -1784

August 15 – Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens in New York State on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm. Attended by 400,000 people, it becomes widely regarded as one of the most important moments in modern music history, featuring such legendary acts as Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and The Band performing over three days.-1969

August 16 – Henry Ford’s company builds the first Model T car, which costs $800 and tops out at 28 mph. -1908

August 17 – George Orwell’s Animal Farm is published in the United Kingdom. Orwell himself states that it is an anti-Stalin satirical tale and his first attempt to fuse “political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.” The novella goes on to be adapted into film, tv and stage productions and becomes required reading in many U.S. high schools. -1945

Courtesy photo
Jimi Hendrix plays the closing show of the 1969 Woodstock festival on Sun., Aug. 17, 1969.