Were it not for John Logie Baird, who was born in Dunbartonshire in August 1888, Scottish Television almost certainly wouldn’t have taken to the air in August 1957. Baird’s influence continues to be felt around the world, and Scottish Television’s influence continues within the UK. Over the years since its first appearance, it has been responsible for some of the most watched programmes on the British independent television network, including the long-running Glasgow-set detective drama, Taggart.

August was the month in which David Couper Thomson was born. He would go on to found Dundee publisher DC Thomson. It also saw the arrival of engineer Thomas Telford and political martyr Thomas Muir. Reaching the ends of their lives were King James II, who was killed by an exploding cannon; King Duncan, a version of whose death featured in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth; and William Wallace, who was executed in London.

The Tay Road Bridge opened in August 1966, St Kilda was abandoned, and the first Edinburgh International Festival opened in the nation’s capital. It was also the month in which the first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis took place. Botanist James Robertson ventured to the top and, on his return, helpfully noted that the summit “far overtops the surrounding hills”.


Also in August…

Glasgow Central Station receives its first trains 1st
Malcolm MacLeod, head of Ordnance Survey, dies in Edinburgh
The Scottish Premiership is founded 2nd
King James II is killed by an exploding cannon 3rd
Muckle Spate kills eight
Birth of “the general” Flora Drummond 4th
Rally driver Colin McRae is born 5th
Publisher DC Thomson is born 6th
The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is founded
Trains start running to Fort William 7th
First scheduled flights at Barra Airport
The Marriage of the Thistle and the Rose 8th
Edward I takes the Stone of Scone
Engineer Thomas Telford is born 9th
Ardlamont murder trial sets a legal precedent 10th
Formal opening of the West Highland Railway 11th
Trades unionist Willie Gallacher dies 12th
Television inventor John Logie Baird is born 13th
Macbeth kills King Duncan 14th
Foundation stone of the Scott Monument is laid 15th
The last hanging in Scotland
The Meikle Ferry disaster kills 99 passengers 16th
RMS Lusitania is laid down 17th
First recorded ascent of Ben Nevis
The Tay Road Bridge opens to traffic 18th
Little Ross lighthouse keeper murdered
The Moray Firth fishing disaster 19th
Founder of the Reformed Church in Scotland dies
Cartoonist Dudley D Watkins dies in Broughty Ferry 20th
Political Martyrs Monument is established 21st
Footballer Bobby Johnstone dies 22nd
William Wallace is brutally executed 23rd
Cordial inventor Lauchlan Rose dies
First mention of the deep-fried Mars Bar in print
Political martyr Thomas Muir is born 24th
First Edinburgh International Festival opens
Glasgow’s Kilbirnie Street fire kills firefighters 25th
Donbristle mine collapse kills eight 26th
Foundation stone laid for the National Monument of Scotland 27th
Doomed ferry Princess Victoria is launched at Dumbarton
University of St Andrews is established by a Papal Bull 28th
Timex calls time on its Dundee factory
The world’s first full-body MRI scan
St Kilda is abandoned 29th
The Queensferry Crossing opens 30th
Scottish Television takes to the air 31st