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Today in History

August 6, 2021 GMT

Today in History

Today is Friday, Aug. 6, the 218th day of 2021. 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 1806, the Holy Roman Empire went out of existence as Emperor Francis II abdicated.

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, 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.

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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 1991, the World Wide Web made its public debut as a means of accessing webpages over the Internet. TV newsman Harry Reasoner died in Norwalk, Connecticut, at age 68.

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

In 2005, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier-son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, began a weeks-long protest outside President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch.

In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice by a Senate vote of 68-31. John Hughes, 59, Hollywood’s youth movie director of the 1980s and ’90s, died in New York City.

In 2013, 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.)

In 2015, “Hamilton,” the hip-hop flavored biography about Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first treasury secretary, opened on Broadway. Jon Stewart bade an emotional goodbye after 16 years as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

Ten years ago: 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. Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter and NFL Films founder Ed Sabol were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Five years 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. 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. Brett Favre, Tony Dungy 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.

One year ago: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine skipped a scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump after testing positive for the coronavirus. (Three subsequent tests results were negative.) The government reported that nearly 1.2 million laid-off Americans had applied for state unemployment benefits in the previous week, just as a critical $600 weekly federal jobless payment expired. An oversight board voted to demote Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales to captain after questioning how he handled multiple incidents, including ordering officers to fire tear gas and pepper spray against protesters demonstrating over the death of George Floyd. (Morales chose to retire rather than accept the demotion.) Longtime presidential adviser Brent Scowcroft died at 95; he’d served as national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

Today’s Birthdays: Children’s performer Ella Jenkins is 97. Actor-director Peter Bonerz is 83. Actor Louise Sorel is 81. Actor Michael Anderson Jr. is 78. Actor Ray Buktenica is 78. Actor Dorian Harewood is 71. Actor Catherine Hicks is 70. Rock singer Pat MacDonald (Timbuk 3) is 69. Country musician Mark DuFresne is 68. Actor Stepfanie Kramer is 65. Actor Faith Prince is 64. R&B singer Randy DeBarge is 63. Actor Leland Orser is 61. Actor Michelle Yeoh (yoh) is 59. Country singers Patsy and Peggy Lynn are 57. Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson is 56. Actor Jeremy Ratchford is 56. Actor Benito Martinez is 53. Country singer Lisa Stewart is 53. Movie writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (SHAH’-mah-lahn) is 51. Actor Merrin Dungey is 50. Singer Geri Halliwell Horner is 49. Actor Jason O’Mara is 49. Singer-actor David Campbell is 48. Actor Vera Farmiga is 48. Actor Ever (cq) Carradine is 47. Actor Soleil (soh-LAY’) Moon Frye is 45. Actor Melissa George is 45. Rock singer Travis McCoy is 40. Actor Leslie Odom Jr. is 40. Actor Romola Garai is 39.