Today in History
Today is Monday, Aug. 6, the 218th day of 2018. There are 147 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 6, 1945, during World War II, the U.S. B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb code-named “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan, resulting in an estimated 140,000 deaths. (Three days later, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki; five days after that, Imperial Japan surrendered.)
On this date:
In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia and Serbia declared war against Germany.
In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel, arriving in Kingsdown, England, from France in 14 1/2 hours.
In 1942, Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands became the first reigning queen to address a joint session of Congress, telling lawmakers that despite Nazi occupation, her people’s motto remained, “No surrender.”
In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov became the second man to orbit Earth as he flew aboard Vostok 2; his call sign, “Eagle,” prompted his famous declaration: “I am Eagle!”
In 1962, Jamaica, formerly ruled by Britain, became an independent dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations.
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.
In 1973, former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, 72, died in exile in Spain. Entertainer Stevie Wonder was seriously injured in a car accident in North Carolina.
In 1978, Pope Paul VI died at Castel Gandolfo at age 80.
In 1986, William J. Schroeder (SHRAY’-dur) died at Humana Hospital-Audubon in Louisville, Kentucky, after living 620 days with the Jarvik 7 artificial heart.
In 1997, Korean Air Flight 801 crashed into a hillside a short distance from Guam International Airport, killing 228 of the 254 aboard the Boeing 747.
In 1999, in Canton, Texas, a 36-year-old woman facing lifelong heart problems that she blamed on the diet drug combination fen-phen was awarded $23.3 million in the first such lawsuit to reach a jury. (The case was settled for less than a tenth of that amount during an appeal.)
In 2003, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger used an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to announce his successful bid to replace California Gov. Gray Davis.
In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice by a Senate vote of 68-31.
Ten years ago: The government declared that Army scientist Bruce Ivins was solely responsible for the anthrax attacks that killed five and rattled the nation in 2001. (Ivins had committed suicide on July 29.) A U.S. military jury convicted Osama bin Laden’s former driver, Salim Hamdan (sah-LEEM’ hahm-DAHN’), of supporting terrorism in the first war crimes trial at Guantanamo Bay (however, the jury imposed a surprisingly light 5 1/2-year sentence, making Hamdan eligible for parole in five months; the U.S. later transferred Hamdan to his home country of Yemen, which released him in January 2009.) President George W. Bush, on his Asia tour, met with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak; Bush then traveled to Thailand, where he met with Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej (sah-MAK’ sun-TAH’-rah-ved).
Five years ago: President Barack Obama said during an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” that he was “disappointed” that Russia had granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, defying administration demands that the former government contractor be sent back to the U.S. to face espionage charges. U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan went on trial at Fort Hood, Texas, charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a 2009 attack. (Hasan, who admitted carrying out the attack, was convicted and sentenced to death.)
One year ago: Vice President Mike Pence, in a statement released by the White House, described as “disgraceful and offensive” a New York Times report suggesting that he was laying the groundwork for a possible presidential bid in 2020 if President Donald Trump does not run.
Today’s Birthdays: Children’s performer Ella Jenkins is 94. Actor-director Peter Bonerz is 80. Actress Louise Sorel is 78. Actor Michael Anderson Jr. is 75. Actor Ray Buktenica is 75. Actor Dorian Harewood is 68. Actress Catherine Hicks is 67. Rock singer Pat MacDonald (Timbuk 3) is 66. Country musician Mark DuFresne (Confederate Railroad) is 65. Actress Stepfanie Kramer is 62. Actress Faith Prince is 61. Rhythm-and-blues singer Randy DeBarge is 60. Actor Leland Orser is 58. Actress Michelle Yeoh (yoh) is 56. Country singers Patsy and Peggy Lynn are 54. Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson is 53. Actor Jeremy Ratchford is 53. Actor Benito Martinez is 50. Country singer Lisa Stewart is 50. Movie writer-director M. Night Shyamalan is 48. Actress Merrin Dungey is 47. Singer Geri Halliwell Horner is 46. Actor Jason O’Mara is 46. Singer-actor David Campbell is 45. Actress Vera Farmiga is 45. Actress Ever (cq) Carradine is 44. Actress Soleil Moon Frye is 42. Actress Melissa George is 42. Rock singer Travis McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) is 37. Actor Leslie Odom Jr. is 37. Actress Romola Garai is 36. Rock musician Eric Roberts (Gym Class Heroes) is 34.
Thought for Today: “A successful lie is doubly a lie; an error which has to be corrected is a heavier burden than the truth.” — Dag Hammarskjold, U.N. Secretary-General (1905-1961).