Today in History


Today is Sunday, Aug. 6, the 218th day of 2023. There are 147 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 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.

On this date:

In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire went out of existence as Emperor Francis II abdicated.

In 1825, Upper Peru became the autonomous republic of Bolivia.

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

In 1973, 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 1991, the World Wide Web made its public debut as a means of accessing webpages over the Internet.

In 1993, Louis Freeh won Senate confirmation to be FBI director.

In 2003, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger used an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to announce his 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.

In 2011, insurgents shot down a U.S. military helicopter during fighting in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, most of them belonging to the same elite Navy commando unit that had slain Osama bin Laden; seven Afghan commandos also died.

Ten 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.)

Five years ago: Twin Northern California wildfires grew to become the largest wildfire in state history, burning more than 440 square miles north of San Francisco. A set of U.S. sanctions against Iran that had been eased by the Obama administration under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal went back into effect. Former Nevada governor and U.S. senator Paul Laxalt, who was a close ally to Ronald Reagan, died at the age of 96.

One year ago: Russian forces began an assault on two key cities in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. They also kept up rocket and shelling attacks on other Ukrainian cities, including one close to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Judith Durham, the Australian folk music icon who achieved global fame as the lead singer of The Seekers, died at age 79. Tony Boselli became the first Jacksonville Jaguars player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with seven members of the Class of 2022, including Richard Seymour, LeRoy Butler and coach Dick Vermeil.

Today’s Birthdays: Children’s performer Ella Jenkins is 99. Actor-director Peter Bonerz is 85. Actor Louise Sorel is 83. Actor Michael Anderson Jr. is 80. Actor Ray Buktenica is 80. Actor Dorian Harewood is 73. Actor Catherine Hicks is 72. Rock singer Pat MacDonald (Timbuk 3) is 71. Actor Stepfanie Kramer is 67. Actor Faith Prince is 66. R&B singer Randy DeBarge is 65. Actor Leland Orser is 63. Actor Michelle Yeoh is 61. Country singers Patsy and Peggy Lynn are 59. Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson is 58. Actor Jeremy Ratchford is 58. Actor Benito Martinez is 55. Country singer Lisa Stewart is 55. Movie writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (SHAH’-mah-lahn) is 53. Actor Merrin Dungey is 52. Singer Geri Halliwell Horner is 51. Actor Jason O’Mara is 51. Actor Vera Farmiga is 50. Actor Ever Carradine is 49. Actor Soleil (soh-LAY’) Moon Frye is 47. Actor Melissa George is 47. Rock singer Travis McCoy is 42. Actor Leslie Odom Jr. is 42. Actor Romola Garai is 41. U.S. Olympic and WNBA basketball star A’ja Wilson is 27.

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