Today is Thursday, Aug. 9, the 222nd day of 2012. There are 144 days left in the year.
On Aug. 9, 1974, President Richard Nixon and his family left the White House as his resignation took effect. Vice President Gerald Ford became the nation’s 38th chief executive.
On this date:
In 1842, the United States and Canada resolved a border dispute by signing the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.
In 1854, Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” which described Thoreau’s experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, was first published.
In 1862, during the Civil War, Confederate forces drove back Union troops in the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Culpeper County, Va.
In 1902, Edward VII was crowned king of Britain after the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.
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, Britain arrested Indian nationalist Mohandas Gandhi; he was released in 1944.
In 1944, 258 African-American sailors based at Port Chicago, Calif., refused to load a munitions ship after an explosion on another ship 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, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.
In 1962, German-born Swiss poet and author Hermann Hesse, 85, died in Montagnola, Switzerland.
In 1969, actress 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 Hinckley, who’d been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.
In 1997, Haitian immigrant Abner Louima was brutalized in a Brooklyn, N.Y., stationhouse by officer Justin Volpe, who raped him with a broken broomstick. (Volpe was later sentenced to 30 years in prison.)