Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Aug. 9, the 221st day of 2022. There are 144 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 9, 1974, Vice President Gerald R. Ford became the nation’s 38th chief executive as President Richard Nixon’s resignation took effect.
On this date:
In 1854, Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” which described Thoreau’s experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, was first published.
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 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.
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 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 1995, Jerry Garcia, lead singer of the Grateful Dead, died in Forest Knolls, California, of a heart attack at age 53.
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., a Black 18-year-old, 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.
In 2016, 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.
Ten years ago: The United States began a landmark project to clean up dioxin left from Agent Orange at the site of a former U.S. air base in Danang in central Vietnam, 50 years after the defoliant was first sprayed by American planes on Vietnam’s jungles to destroy enemy cover. At the London Games, Usain Bolt won the 200 meters in 19.32 seconds, making him the only man with two Olympic titles in that event. The U.S. women’s soccer team won the gold medal, avenging one of its most painful defeats with a 2-1 victory over Japan.
Five years ago: North Korea’s army said it was studying a plan to create an “enveloping fire” in areas around the U.S. territory of Guam with medium- to long-range ballistic missiles. Prosecutors in Florida said golfer Tiger Woods had agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving and would enter a diversion program that would allow him to have his record wiped clean; he’d been charged with DUI in May when he was found asleep in his car, apparently under the influence of a prescription painkiller and sleeping medication.
One year ago: Officials said the Taliban had taken control of two more provincial capitals in Afghanistan, as U.S. and NATO forces finalized their pullout from the country. Testifying at his Los Angeles murder trial, Robert Durst denied killing his best friend, Susan Berman, at her home in 2000. (Durst would be convicted of first-degree murder; the real estate heir died in January 2022 at age 78 while serving a life sentence.) The authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that Earth was getting so hot that temperatures within about a decade would probably blow past a level of warming that world leaders had sought to prevent. Canada ended its prohibition on Americans crossing the border to shop, vacation or visit, but the United States kept similar coronavirus restrictions in place for Canadians.
Today’s Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy is 94. Tennis Hall of Famer Rod Laver is 84. Jazz musician Jack DeJohnette is 80. Comedian-director David Steinberg is 80. Actor Sam Elliott is 78. Singer Barbara Mason is 75. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player John Cappelletti is 70. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Doug Williams is 67. Actor Melanie Griffith is 65. Actor Amanda Bearse is 64. Rapper Kurtis Blow is 63. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., is 62. Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull is 58. TV host Hoda Kotb (HOH’-duh KAHT’-bee) is 58. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is 55. Actor Gillian Anderson is 54. Actor Eric Bana is 54. Producer-director McG (aka Joseph McGinty Nichol) is 54. NHL player-turned-coach Rod Brind’Amour is 52. TV journalist Chris Cuomo is 52. Actor Thomas Lennon is 52. Rapper Mack 10 is 51. Actor Nikki Schieler Ziering is 51. Latin rock singer Juanes is 50. Actor Liz Vassey is 50. Actor Kevin McKidd is 49. Actor Rhona Mitra (ROH’-nuh MEE’-truh) is 47. Actor Texas Battle is 46. Actor Jessica Capshaw is 46. Actor Ashley Johnson is 39. Actor Anna Kendrick is 37.