30 August 1963

The Moscow–Washington hotline between the leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union goes into operation.

The Moscow-Washington hotline, also known as the “Red Telephone” or “Hotline,” is a direct communication link established between the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was intended to provide a quick and reliable means of communication to prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications that could potentially escalate into a nuclear conflict.

1. Cold War Context: The hotline was established at a time when tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union were high due to the Cold War. The fear of a nuclear confrontation prompted both superpowers to seek ways to improve communication and reduce the risk of accidental conflict.

2. Installation: The hotline was established in 1963 after the Cuban Missile Crisis, a particularly tense period during the Cold War. It was installed using dedicated communication equipment, including teletype machines, that allowed for rapid exchange of messages between Moscow and Washington, D.C.

3. Communication Channel: Contrary to popular depictions in media, the hotline was not a physical red telephone, but rather a secure teletype link. The messages typed into the teletype machine would be sent directly to the receiving end without the need for manual encryption or decryption.

4. Purpose: The primary purpose of the hotline was to provide a direct channel of communication that could be used in times of crisis to quickly share information, clarify intentions, and avoid misunderstandings. It was meant to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war due to misinterpretation of actions or intentions.

5. Usage: While the hotline was in place, it wasn’t frequently used for direct communication between the U.S. President and the Soviet Premier. Instead, it was mostly used by lower-level officials to exchange information or to inform each other about military exercises or other significant events.

6. Modernization: Over the years, the technology behind the hotline has evolved. The original teletype communication has been replaced with more modern secure communication systems. The hotline is now part of the broader communication infrastructure used by both countries.

7. Continued Relevance: Despite the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Moscow-Washington hotline remains in use today. It continues to serve as an essential communication link between the United States and Russia, providing a means of direct communication between leaders in times of tension or crisis.

30 August 1574

Guru Ram Das becomes the Fourth Sikh Guru/Master.

As a Guru, one of his main contributions to Sikhism was organizing the structure of Sikh society. Additionally, he was the author of Laava, the four hymns of the Sikh marriage Rites. He was planner and creator of the township of Ramdaspur which became the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. He founded it in 1574 on land he bought for 700 rupees from the owners of the village of Tung. Earlier Guru Ram Das had begun building Santokhsar Sarovar, near the village of Sultanwind in 1564 according to one source in 1570. It could not be completed before 1588. In 1574, Guru Ram Das built his residence and moved to the new place. At that time, it was known as Guru Da Chakk. Later, it came to be known as Chakk Ram Das. In Amritsar, he designed the gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, which translates as “The Abode of God” also known as the Golden Temple.

A hymn by Guru Ram Das can be found from page 305 of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib:

“ One who calls himself a Sikh of the True Guru shall get up early morning and meditate on the Lord’s Name. Make effort regularly to cleanse, bathe and dip in the ambrosial pool. Upon Guru’s instructions, chant Har, Har singing which, all misdeeds, sins and pains shall go away. ”
—Bani of Guru Ram Das

There are 688 Hymns of Guru Ram Das included in the Guru Granth Sahib which have various teachings for Sikhs. Guru Sahib’s Bani is also part of Rehras Sahib and Kirtan Sohila, the daily prayers of Sikhs. Page 305 of the Guru Granth Guru Sahib decries the morning activity of one who calls himself a Sikh of the True Guru:

One who calls himself a Sikh of the True Guru shall get up early morning and meditate on the Lord’s Name. Bathe daily in the ambrosial pool and following the Guru’s instructions, chant Har, Har. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased.
—Guru Sahib on Sadhu People and Pilgrimage Bath

Anand Karaj
The standard Sikh marriage ceremony known as the Anand Karaj is centered around a four-stanza hymn composed by Guru Ram Das ji. During the marriage ceremony the couple circumscribe the Guru Granth Sahib ji as each stanza of the Lawan is read. The first round is the Divine consent for commencing the householders life through marriage. The second round states that the union of the couple has been brought about by God. In the third round the couple is described as the most fortunate as they have sung the praises of the Lord in the company of saints. In the fourth round the feeling of the couple that they have obtained their hearts’ desire and are being congratulated is described.

Guru Ram Das Sahib composed a beautiful bani called Laavan about the meaning of marriage to a Sikh couple. Effectively, the Guru defines a Sikh marriage as a spiritual union in these two lines: “They are not said to be husband and wife who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies.”

Jyoti Jot
Guru Ram Das died on 1 September 1581, in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. Guru Ram Das Ji is still present in the form of “Shabad” holy words written in Guru Granth Sahib ji.

30 August 1945

Hong Kong is liberated from it control by Japan by the British Armed Forces.


The second world war, which some predicted might continue for another two years in Asia, came to an abrupt halt on August 15, 1945, when Emperor Hirohito solemnly announced the unconditional surrender of Japan, six days after the second atomic bomb had been dropped on Nagasaki.

It was a profound moment, but a conflict of such magnitude could not be neatly wrapped up overnight. In many remote parts of Asia, the surrender, formally signed on USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, Japan, on September 2, took months to fully implement. In Hong Kong and mainland China, the reality was more complicated than just flag-waving crowds greeting liberating troops.

There was a curious, though relatively orderly, hiatus of more than two weeks in Hong Kong between the emperor’s announcement and the day Rear Admiral Cecil Harcourt’s British naval force steamed into Victoria Harbour, 70 years ago today. During that period, civilians, ex-prisoners of war and defeated Japanese military personnel could do little but sit and wait to find out what the future held.

Diaries and memoirs of individuals from that uncertain dawn of peace reveal personal and private dimensions to the cessation of hostilities. After the initial joy, many accounts are tinged with confusion, anxiety and heartbreak.