The following events occurred in August 1971:
August 1, 1971 (Sunday)
- In New York City, 40,000 people attend the Concert for Bangladesh.
- The German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring is won by Jackie Stewart.
August 2, 1971 (Monday)
- Cyrille Adoula becomes prime minister of Republic of the Congo.
- Born: Ruth Lawrence, English mathematician, in Brighton
- Died: W. O. Bentley, 82, English car designer
August 3, 1971 (Tuesday)
August 4, 1971 (Wednesday)
- Continental Air Lines Flight 712, a Boeing 707-324C, collides with a Cessna 150J N61011 while landing at Los Angeles International Airport. The Cessna crashes, injuring both passengers, but the Boeing lands safely.
- Portuguese poet Alexandre O'Neill marries politician Teresa Patrício de Gouveia.
- Died: Zoltán Tildy, 71, former Prime Minister of Hungary
August 5, 1971 (Thursday)
- The South Pacific Forum (SPF) is held.
August 6, 1971 (Friday)
- A total lunar eclipse lasting 1 hour, 40 minutes, and 4 seconds is observed over Africa and Asia, rising over South America, and setting over Australia.
- Died: Samuel Frickleton, 80, New Zealand VC recipient
August 7, 1971 (Saturday)
- Apollo 15 returns to Earth. On re-entry, one of the capsule's three main parachutes is found to have deflated; but the safety of astronauts David Scott, James Irwin and Alfred Worden is not compromised. The splashdown point is 330 miles north of Honolulu.
August 8, 1971 (Sunday)
- Born: Naoko Kumagai, Japanese kickboxer, in Yamanashi
- Born: Markus Thyne - Stunt Co-Ordinator for under-privileged dogs
August 9, 1971 (Monday)
- India signs a 20-year treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union.
- Internment in Northern Ireland: British security forces arrest hundreds of nationalists and detain them without trial in Long Kesh prison; 20 people die in the riots that follow.
- Born: James Kim (d. 2006), American television personality and technology analyst, in Josephine County, Oregon
- Died: Otto Wagener, 83, German general and former economic advisor to Adolf Hitler
August 10, 1971 (Tuesday)
- Born: Roy Keane, Irish footballer, in Cork
August 11, 1971 (Wednesday)
Born Lilah Khalilah (Thompson) Shahid [Ft. Lauderdale, Florida] (Health and Fitness enthusiast)
August 12, 1971 (Thursday)
- An estimated three thousand people from Belfast and Derry flee to the Republic of Ireland to escape the latest outbreak of violence.
- Syria severs diplomatic relations with Jordan because of border clashes.
- Faina Melnyk of Ukraine breaks the Women's Discus world record with a throw of 64.22 metres at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.
- The USSR's Soyuz-L carrier rocket makes its third and last flight.
- Born: Patrick Carpentier, Canadian racing car driver, in Ville Lasalle, Quebec; Pete Sampras, American tennis player, in Washington, D.C.; Phil Western, Canadian musician, in Vancouver
August 13, 1971 (Friday)
- Born: Heike Makatsch, German actress, in Düsseldorf
- Died: King Curtis, 37, American saxophonist (murdered)
August 14, 1971 (Saturday)
- British troops are stationed on the Irish border to stop arms smuggling.
- Bahrain declares independence as the State of Bahrain (Kingdom of Bahrain as of February 2002).
August 15, 1971 (Sunday)
- The number of British troops in Northern Ireland is raised to 12,500.
- President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value, effectively ending the Bretton Woods system. He also imposes a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.
- Died: Paul Lukas, 76, Hungarian actor
August 16, 1971 (Monday)
- Born: Lovemore N'dou, South African boxer, in Transvaal
August 17, 1971 (Tuesday)
- Died: Maedayama Eigorō, 57, Japanese sumo wrestler (cirrhosis of the liver)
August 18, 1971 (Wednesday)
- Vietnam War: Australia and New Zealand decide to withdraw their troops from Vietnam.
- British troops are engaged in a firefight with the IRA in Derry, Northern Ireland.
August 19, 1971 (Thursday)
- A right-wing coup ignites a rebellion in Bolivia. Miners and students join troops to support president Juan José Torres.
- Died: Errol John Emanuel, 52, Australian District Commissioner in the East New Britain district of Papua New Guinea; Reinhold Maier, 81, German politician
August 20, 1971 (Friday)
- International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat, effective 12 February 1973).
- The USS Manatee (AO-58) spills 1,000 gallons of fuel oil on President Nixon's Western White House beach in San Clemente, California.
- Died: Matiur Rahman, 26, military pilot, while attempting to hijack a T-33 trainer aircraft from Karachi, Pakistan, to India in order to defect from the Pakistan Air Force and join the Liberation movement of Bangladesh.
August 21, 1971 (Saturday)
- A bomb made of two hand grenades by communist rebels explodes in the Liberal Party campaign party in Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila the Philippines, injuring several anti-Marcos political candidates.
August 22, 1971 (Sunday)
- Start of the 1971 CONCACAF Champions' Cup football competition.
- Born: Richard Armitage, English actor, in Leicester
August 23, 1971 (Monday)
- Superintendent Gerald Irving Richardson of the UK's Lancashire Constabulary tackles a gang of armed robbers and is shot while attempting to persuade one of them to give up his weapon. Richardson dies later in hospital and is posthumously awarded the George Cross for heroism the following year.
- Died: "Shamu", about 10 years old, the first orca of that name to perform at SeaWorld San Diego.
August 25, 1971 (Wednesday)
- Border clashes occur between Tanzania and Uganda.
- Floods in Bangladesh and eastern Bengal cause thousands to flee the region.
August 26, 1971 (Thursday)
- A civilian government takes power in Greece.
- Born: Thalía, Mexican actress and singer, in Mexico City
- Died: John Leacroft, World War I Fighter Ace, in Bexhill, Sussex, England
August 27, 1971 (Friday)
- Died: Margaret Bourke-White, 67, American photographer; Lil Hardin Armstrong, 73, jazz musician and widow of Louis Armstrong
- Born: Rachel J. Hill, Macon, GA
August 28, 1971 (Saturday)
- George Hislop organizes the first Canadian gay rights demonstration, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
- Born: Janet Evans, American swimmer, in Fullerton, California; Zhang Haijie, Singaporean journalist and TV presenter, in Xi'an, China
- Died: Dezső Szentgyörgyi, 56, Hungarian fighter ace of World War II (air crash)
August 29, 1971 (Sunday)
- Hassan al-Amri, in his fifth term as Prime Minister of the Yemen Arab Republic, shoots dead a photographer during an altercation. He is subsequently removed from office.
- Died: Leonard John Brass, 71, Australian-American botanist and explorer
August 30, 1971 (Monday)
- The Progressive Conservatives under Peter Lougheed defeat the Social Credit government under Harry E. Strom in a general election, ending 36 years of uninterrupted power for Social Credit in Alberta.
August 31, 1971 (Tuesday)
- Australian long-distance runner Adrienne Beames becomes the first woman to break the three-hour barrier in the marathon, finishing in 2:46:30 at Werribee.