Forty years ago, the US got its only unelected President (thus far, anyway) when Nixon resigned rather than be convicted at his impending trial on impeachment. Too many people forget that Nixon probably had better ethics than had his elected Vice President, Spiro T. Agnew; and too many people take the peaceful transfer of power for granted. Unfortunately, we're still paying for everything in, around, and related to Watergate: Our current difficulties with the NSA are just a really bad hangover.
Fifty years ago, the US got itself inextricably committed to a really bizarre and indefensible variant on the "domino theory" through the Tonkin Gulf fiasco, in which nobody really wanted to know the truth. But that's nothing compared to...
...the ultimately suicidal arguments of Europe's upper classes, just about a century ago. Unfortunately, those upper classes insisted on taking the rest of the continent (and some of the rest of the world) with it.
On the whole, I think this validates the idea that early August is for vacations, and not much else.