1835 – “The Great Moon Hoax” is published in the “New York Sun”

lithograph of the hoax’s “ruby amphitheater”, as printed in The Sun

On August 25, 1835, the first in a series of six articles announcing the supposed discovery of life on the moon appears in the New York Sun newspaper.

Known collectively as “The Great Moon Hoax,” the articles were supposedly reprinted from the Edinburgh Journal of Science. The byline was Dr. Andrew Grant, described as a colleague of Sir John Herschel, a famous astronomer of the day. Herschel had in fact traveled to Capetown, South Africa, in January 1834 to set up an observatory with a powerful new telescope. As Grant described it, Herschel had found evidence of life forms on the moon, including such fantastic animals as unicorns, two-legged beavers and furry, winged humanoids resembling bats. The articles also offered vivid description of the moon’s geography, complete with massive craters, enormous amethyst crystals, rushing rivers and lush vegetation.

For the complete article


1981 American Charles Chapman is 1st black to swim English Channel

Charlie Dover

On 25 August 1981, Charles Chapman, AKA Charlie the Tuna, became the first black swimmer to complete a solo crossing of the English Channel. Forty years on, there are still massive barriers to participation and a yawing disparity in participation rates for black and brown people at all levels of swimming.

On August 25, 1875, Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel. It was a history-making event of epic proportions and helped birth a new sport – marathon swimming