Today in History
Today is Monday, Aug. 9, the 221st day of 2021. 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 1910, the U.S. Patent Office granted Alva J. Fisher of the Hurley Machine Co. a patent for an electrically powered washing machine.
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 1942, British authorities in India arrested nationalist Mohandas K. Gandhi; he was released in 1944.
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, actor 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 1988, President Ronald Reagan nominated Lauro Cavazos (kah-VAH’-zohs) to be secretary of education; Cavazos became the first Hispanic to serve in the Cabinet.
In 1992, closing ceremonies were held for the Barcelona Summer Olympics, with the Unified Team of former Soviet republics winning 112 medals, the United States 108.
In 2004, Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, addressing a court for the first time, asked victims of the blast for forgiveness as a judge sentenced him to 161 consecutive life sentences.
In 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an 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, spawning a national “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama announced new fuel efficiency standards for work trucks, buses and other heavy duty vehicles. 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.
Five years ago: House Speaker Paul Ryan defeated Paul Nehlen, a longshot Republican challenger praised by Donald Trump, in a Wisconsin congressional primary. At the Rio Games, Michael Phelps earned the 20th and 21st Olympic gold medals of his career as he won the 200-meter butterfly and anchored the United States to victory in the 4x200 freestyle relay. Katie Ledecky earned her second gold in Rio by winning the 200-meter freestyle. The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won gold for a second consecutive Olympics.
One year ago: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States reached 5 million, the highest of any country. Collin Morikawa closed with a 6-under-par 64 to win the PGA Championship in San Francisco, the first major golf tournament held without spectators.
Today’s Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy is 93. Actor Cynthia Harris is 87. Tennis Hall of Famer Rod Laver is 83. Jazz musician Jack DeJohnette is 79. Comedian-director David Steinberg is 79. Actor Sam Elliott is 77. Singer Barbara Mason is 74. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player John Cappelletti is 69. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Doug Williams is 66. Actor Melanie Griffith is 64. Actor Amanda Bearse is 63. Rapper Kurtis Blow is 62. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., is 61. Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull is 57. TV host Hoda Kotb (HOH’-duh KAHT’-bee) is 57. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is 54. Actor Gillian Anderson is 53. Actor Eric Bana is 53. Producer-director McG (aka Joseph McGinty Nichol) is 53. NHL player-turned-coach Rod Brind’Amour is 51. TV anchor Chris Cuomo is 51. Actor Thomas Lennon is 51. Rapper Mack 10 is 50. Actor Nikki Schieler Ziering is 50. Latin rock singer Juanes is 49. Actor Liz Vassey is 49. Actor Kevin McKidd is 48. Actor Rhona Mitra (ROH’-nuh MEE’-truh) is 46. Actor Texas Battle is 45. Actor Jessica Capshaw is 45. Actor Ashley Johnson is 38. Actor Anna Kendrick is 36.