Today in History


Today in History

Today is Tuesday, August 9, the 222nd day of 2016. There are 144 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a U.S. B-29 Superfortress code-named Bockscar dropped a nuclear device (“Fat Man”) over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.

On this date:

In 1842, the United States and Canada resolved a border dispute by signing the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

In 1854, Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” which described Thoreau’s experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, was first published.

In 1902, Edward VII was crowned king of Britain following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.

In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order nationalizing silver.

In 1936, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States took first place in the 400-meter relay.

In 1944, 258 African-American sailors based at Port Chicago, California, refused to load a munitions ship following a cargo vessel explosion that killed 320 men, many of them black. (Fifty of the sailors were convicted of mutiny, fined and imprisoned.)

In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were found brutally slain at Tate’s Los Angeles home; cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his followers were later convicted of the crime.

In 1974, Vice President Gerald R. Ford became the nation’s 38th chief executive as President Richard Nixon’s resignation took effect.

In 1982, a federal judge in Washington ordered John W. Hinckley Jr., who’d been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.

In 1995, Jerry Garcia, lead singer of the Grateful Dead, died in Forest Knolls, California, of a heart attack eight days after turning 53.

In 2010, former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, 86, the longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, was killed in a plane crash in the southwestern part of his state while on his way to a fishing trip (four others also died in the crash outside Dillingham).

In 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was shot to death by a police officer following an altercation in Ferguson, Missouri; Brown’s death led to sometimes-violent protests in Ferguson and other U.S. cities.

Ten years ago: The White House said neither Israel nor Hezbollah should escalate their month-old war, as Israel decided to widen its ground invasion in southern Lebanon. Physicist James A. Van Allen, discoverer of the radiation belts surrounding the Earth that bear his name, died in Iowa City, Iowa, at age 91.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama announced new fuel efficiency standards for work trucks, buses and other heavy duty vehicles. In a surprise announcement, the Federal Reserve said it would likely keep its Fed funds rate at near zero through 2013 to help the ailing U.S. economy. Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was sentenced in San Angelo, Texas, to life in prison for sexually assaulting one of his child brides, and received the maximum 20-year punishment for a separate child sex conviction.

One year ago: A year after the shooting that cast greater scrutiny on how police interacted with black communities, the father of slain 18-year-old Michael Brown led a march in Ferguson, Missouri, after a crowd of hundreds observed 4½ minutes of silence. Frank Gifford, the Pro Football Hall of Famer who led the New York Giants to the 1956 NFL title and later teamed with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith in the “Monday Night Football” booth, died in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 84.

Today’s Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy is 88. Actress Cynthia Harris is 82. Tennis Hall of Famer Rod Laver is 78. Jazz musician Jack DeJohnette is 74. Comedian-director David Steinberg is 74. Actor Sam Elliott is 72. Singer Barbara Mason is 69. Former MLB All-Star pitcher Bill Campbell is 68. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player John Cappelletti is 64. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Doug Williams is 61. Actress Melanie Griffith is 59. Actress Amanda Bearse is 58. Rapper Kurtis Blow is 57. Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull is 52. TV host Hoda Kotb (HOH’-duh KAHT’-bee) is 52. Actor Pat Petersen is 50. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is 49. Actress Gillian Anderson is 48. Actor Eric Bana is 48. Producer-director McG (aka Joseph McGinty Nichol) is 48. NHL player-turned-assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour is 46. TV anchor Chris Cuomo is 46. Actor Thomas Lennon is 46. Rock musician Arion Salazar is 46. Rapper Mack 10 is 45. Actress Nikki Schieler Ziering is 45. Latin rock singer Juanes is 44. Actress Liz Vassey is 44. Actor Kevin McKidd is 43. Actress Rhona Mitra (ROH’-nuh MEE’-truh) is 41. Actor Texas Battle is 40. Actress Jessica Capshaw is 40. Actress Ashley Johnson is 33. Actress Anna Kendrick is 31.

Thought for Today: “The truth is lived, not taught.” — Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet and author (born 1877, died this date in 1962).

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