Aug. 15 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1914, a U.S. ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, officially opening the Panama Canal.
In 1947, India gains independence from Britain after 200 years of rule. The Indian Independence Bill also grants independence to Pakistan, though that country observes its freedom one day earlier.
In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, often described as a landmark counterculture event, opened on Max Yasgur's farm near Bethel, N.Y., drawing an estimated 400,000 people for three days of music.
In 1985, South African President P.W. Botha, rejecting Western pleas to abolish apartheid, declared, "I am not prepared to lead white South Africans and other minority groups on a road to abdication and suicide."
In 2003, Libya admitted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that claimed 270 lives and agreed to pay reparations totaling $2.7 billion.
In 2007, an 8-magnitude earthquake struck 90 miles southeast of Lima, Peru, killing an estimated 500 people and injuring hundreds more.
In 2010, China's economy moved past Japan's in the second quarter of 2010 to become the second largest in the world, trailing only the United States.
In 2015, the North Korean government moved to its own time zone -- back 30 minutes -- going back to what it once was before the Japanese took control of the country more than a century ago.