The History Channel
• On Aug. 19, 1953, the Iranian military, with the assistance of the United States government, overthrows the government of Premier Mohammed Mosaddeq and reinstates the Shah of Iran. As thanks for the help, the Shah signed over 40 percent of Iran's oil fields to U.S. companies. However, the Shah was toppled from power in 1979.
• On Aug. 13, 1961, East German soldiers begin building a wall between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city. Berlin residents found themselves cut off from friends or family until the wall was dismantled in 1989.
• On Aug. 15, 1983, Hurricane Alicia forms south of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Three days later, the Texas Gulf Coast is slammed by the storm, causing 21 deaths. The $2 billion in damages recorded was a record for hurricane damage in Texas at the time.