Today in History – Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017


Today is Sunday, Aug. 6, the 218th day of 2017. 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 1813, during the Venezuelan War of Independence, forces led by Simon Bolivar recaptured Caracas.

In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia and Serbia declared war against Germany.

In 1917, actor Robert Mitchum was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel, arriving in Kingsdown, England, from France in 14 1/2 hours. Warner Bros. premiered its Vitaphone sound-on-disc movie system in New York with a showing of “Don Juan” featuring synchronized music and sound effects.

In 1930, New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Force Crater went missing after leaving a Manhattan restaurant; his disappearance remains a mystery.

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 1956, the DuMont television network went off the air after a decade of operations.

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 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI died at Castel Gandolfo at age 80.

In 1986, William J. Schroeder (SHRAY’-dur) died at 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.

Ten years ago: The Crandall Canyon Mine in central Utah collapsed, trapping six coal miners. (All six miners died, along with three would-be rescuers.) President George W. Bush wrapped up two days of talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’-zeye) at Camp David. Baron Elie Robert de Rothschild, who helped France’s Rothschild winemaking and banking dynasty recover from the ravages of World War II, died near Scharnitz, Austria, at age 90.

Five years ago: Syria’s prime minister, Riad Hijab, defected two months after being forced into the position by President Bashar Assad. Marvin Hamlisch, 68, who composed or arranged the scores for dozens of movies including “The Sting” and the Broadway smash “A Chorus Line,” died in Los Angeles. Art critic and historian Robert Hughes, 74, died in New York.

One year ago: The White House released a version of President Barack Obama’s 3-year-old guidance on the use of lethal force against terrorists overseas, laying out what it said were safeguards to minimize civilian deaths and errant strikes while preserving the capability to take quick action with drone attacks and other means. A fire swept through a birthday party at a bar in the French city of Rouen, killing 14 people. At the Rio Olympics, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu stormed to a world-record victory in the women’s 400 individual medley on the first evening of the swimming competition, finishing in a time of 4:26.36. Virginia Thrasher of the United States won the first gold medal of the Games in the women’s 10-meter air rifle. Brett Favre, Tony Dungy (DUHN’-jee) and Marvin Harrison were among an eight-member class inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Clarinetist Pete Fountain, a Dixieland jazz virtuoso, died in New Orleans at age 86.

Today’s Birthdays: Children’s performer Ella Jenkins is 93. Actor-director Peter Bonerz is 79. Actress Louise Sorel is 77. Actor Michael Anderson Jr. is 74. Actor Ray Buktenica is 74. Actor Dorian Harewood is 67. Actress Catherine Hicks is 66. Rock singer Pat MacDonald (Timbuk 3) is 65. Country musician Mark DuFresne (Confederate Railroad) is 64. Actress Stepfanie Kramer is 61. Actress Faith Prince is 60. Rhythm-and-blues singer Randy DeBarge is 59. Actor Leland Orser is 57. Actress Michelle Yeoh (yoh) is 55. Country singers Patsy and Peggy Lynn are 53. Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson is 52. Actor Jeremy Ratchford is 52. Actor Benito Martinez is 49. Country singer Lisa Stewart is 49. Movie writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (SHAH’-mah-lahn) is 47. Actress Merrin Dungey is 46. Singer Geri Halliwell Horner is 45. Actor Jason O’Mara is 45. Singer-actor David Campbell is 44. Actress Vera Farmiga is 44. Actress Ever (cq) Carradine is 43. Actress Soleil (soh-LAY’) Moon Frye is 41. Actress Melissa George is 41. Rock singer Travis McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) is 36. Actor Leslie Odom Jr. is 36. Actress Romola Garai is 35. Rock musician Eric Roberts (Gym Class Heroes) is 33.

Thought for Today: “No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not work those who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself.” — Alfred, Lord Tennyson, British poet (1809-1892).