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Things That Were A Thing: August 2019 Edition

Updated September 9, 2019 55 votes 15 voters 1.5k views5 items

Update: Check out Things That Were A Thing In September 2019.

What happened in August? The most important August 2019 trending topics include all the major events leading into the fall. From politics to entertainment, these are the biggest news stories of the month. 

The events that defined August 2019 include memorable moments from the 2020 presidential race, the latest news in Marvel entertainment, sports, music, and more. These are the most talked-about events and happenings in August 2019, but if you want to take a look at the year as a whole, check out all of the 2019 trending topics

  • 1

    The Amazon Rainforest Fires Reach Record Numbers

    In August 2019, Brazil's space research center INPE said the Amazon rainforest, home to nearly 3 million plant and animal species, and 1 million indigenous people, saw an 84% increase in fires from 2018. The rainforest is a vital source of carbon contributing to the health of the planet.

    According to the INPE, fires in the Amazon are normal during the country's dry season, but 2019 saw almost 73,000 fires through August, and some experts suspect the causes are not natural.

    National Geographic ecologist Thomas Lovejo suggested the fires are a consequence of deforestation. Environmetalists said the rainforest has suffered accelerated losses since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January because he encouraged land clearing by loggers and farmers.  

    After the INPE alleged there had been an 88% increase in deforestation in June 2019 from the same month a year earlier, Bolsonaro denied the claim and relieved the INPE director of his duties. 


    Did this define August?
  • 2

    Atomik Vodka From Chernobyl Is Announced

    The first consumer product to come from the Chernobyl exclusion zone was announced in August 2019 by researchers at the University of Portsmouth, UK. The grain spirit by the name of Atomik is made from contaminated rye grain grown on the land.

    According to Dr Gennady Laptev, one of the scientists involved in creating the product, the team set out to find out how to "produce something that will be totally clean from the radioactivity" from the abandoned land. Since Vodka is distilled, the contaminated rye can be used.

    Did this define August?
  • 3

    TV Santa Claus Strikes Again

    On the night of August 22, 2018, in Glen Allen, VA, a mysterious figure known as TV Santa Claus left dozens of vintage television box sets on residents' property. The perpetrator was never identified.

    One year later, on August 10, 2019, TV Santa Claus returned and was captured by a Ring.com doorbell camera wearing a blue jumpsuit and a television box set over their head. The unidentified suspect hit more than 50 homes in Henrico County, VA.

    Police collected the sets the following morning and asked potential victims to report the TVs immediately if it happens again. Both residents and authorities believe it is a harmless prank. 

    Did this define August?
  • 4

    Director Of US Citizenship And Immigration Revises The Statue Of Liberty Poem

    Ken Cuccinelli, director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, offered a revision to the long-standing poem on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal on August 13. The original poem composed by Emma Lazarus has widely been interpreted as a welcome message for immigrants coming to the US. The poem reads: 

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

    Cuccinelli suggested the original poem refers "back to people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies, where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class." Though he assured the concerned American public he is "not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty," he did propose a change that reflects a recent federal "public charge" regulation. 

    Cuccinelli's revision reads, "Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."

    Did this define August?