25 August 1960

The Games of the XVII Olympiad commence in Rome, Italy.

The XVII Olympiad, also known as the 1960 Summer Olympics, was held in Rome, Italy. The Games took place from August 25 to September 11, 1960.

First Olympics in Italy: This was the first time the Olympic Games were hosted by Italy. Rome was chosen as the host city, and it became the second European city (after London) to host the Games twice, the first time being in 1908.

Innovations and Modernization: The 1960 Olympics marked a significant step in modernizing the Games. The event saw the introduction of a number of technological innovations, such as electronic timing and a photo-finish camera to accurately measure the times and places of the athletes in races.

New Sporting Facilities: The Rome Olympics led to the construction of several new sports venues and facilities. The most famous of these is the Stadio Olimpico, a large sports complex that continues to host major sporting events to this day.

International Broadcast: The 1960 Olympics were the first to be broadcast internationally via satellite. This allowed people around the world to watch the events live, marking a major development in global sports broadcasting.

Participation and Events: The Games saw the participation of athletes from 83 nations, competing in 150 events across 17 sports. These sports included athletics, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, boxing, and more.

Diplomatic Impact: The Rome Olympics had political and diplomatic significance. The Games were seen as a way for Italy to showcase its post-World War II recovery and reintegration into the international community.

Abebe Bikila’s Historic Win: One of the most memorable moments of the Games was Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila’s victory in the marathon. Bikila became the first African to win a gold medal in the Olympics, and he did it barefoot, capturing the world’s attention.

Doping Controversy: The 1960 Olympics were not without controversy. Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen died during the Games, and it was later revealed that he had taken a performance-enhancing drug called Roniacol. This incident drew attention to the issue of doping in sports.

Legacy: The 1960 Rome Olympics left a lasting legacy for the city and for the Olympic movement as a whole. The success of the Games inspired subsequent hosts to improve their infrastructure and organization, contributing to the growth and modernization of the Olympics.

25 August 1835

A Great Moon Hoax article is published in The New York Sun, announcing the discovery of life and civilization on the Moon.

The “Great Moon Hoax” refers to a series of six articles that were published in The Sun, a New York newspaper, beginning on August 25, 1835, about the supposed discovery of life and even civilization on the Moon. The discoveries were falsely attributed to Sir John Herschel, one of the best-known astronomers of that time.

The story was advertised on August 21, 1835, as an upcoming feature allegedly reprinted from The Edinburgh Courant. The first in a series of six was published four days later on August 25.

Authorship of the article has been attributed to Richard Adams Locke, a reporter who, in August 1835, was working for The Sun. Locke publicly admitted to being the author in 1840, in a letter to the weekly paper New World. Still, rumours persisted that others were involved. Two other men have been noted in connection with the hoax: Jean-Nicolas Nicollet, a French astronomer travelling in America at the time though he was in Mississippi, not New York, when the Moon-hoax issues appeared, and Lewis Gaylord Clark, editor of The Knickerbocker, a literary magazine. However, there is no good evidence to indicate that anyone but Locke was the author of the hoax.

Assuming that Richard A. Locke was the author, his intentions were probably, first, to create a sensational story which would increase sales of The Sun, and, second, to ridicule some of the more extravagant astronomical theories that had recently been published. For instance, in 1824, Franz von Paula Gruithuisen, professor of Astronomy at Munich University, had published a paper titled “Discovery of Many Distinct Traces of Lunar Inhabitants, Especially of One of Their Colossal Buildings.” Gruithuisen claimed to have observed various shades of color on the lunar surface, which he correlated with climate and vegetation zones. He also observed lines and geometrical shapes, which he felt indicated the existence of walls, roads, fortifications, and cities.

However, a more direct object of Locke’s satire was Rev. Thomas Dick, who was known as “The Christian Philosopher” after the title of his first book. Dick had computed that the Solar System contained 21.9 trillion inhabitants. In fact, the Moon alone, by his count, would contain 4,200,000,000 inhabitants. His writings were enormously popular in the United States, his fans including intellectual luminaries such as Ralph Waldo Emerson.

25 August 1835

A Moon Hoax article is published in The New York Sun claiming the discovery of life and civilization on the Moon.


Throughout the final week of August 1835, a long article appeared in serial form on the front page of the New York Sun.

The article started by triumphantly listing a series of stunning astronomical breakthroughs the famous British astronomer, Sir John Herschel, had made “by means of a telescope of vast dimensions and an entirely new principle.” Herschel, the article declared, had established a “new theory of cometary phenomena”; he had discovered planets in other solar systems; and he had “solved or corrected nearly every leading problem of mathematical astronomy.” Then, almost as if it were an afterthought, the article revealed Herschel’s final, stunning achievement. He had discovered life on the moon.

The article was an elaborate hoax. Herschel hadn’t really observed life on the moon, nor had he accomplished any of the other astronomical breakthroughs credited to him in the article. In fact, Herschel wasn’t even aware until much later that such discoveries had been attributed to him. However, the announcement caused enormous excitement throughout America and Europe. To this day, the moon hoax is remembered as one of the most sensational media hoaxes of all time.