Today in History

  • Sun Aug 5th, 2012 2:25pm
  • Life

Today is Monday, Aug. 6, the 219th day of 2012. There are 147 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

In 1962, Jamaica, formerly ruled by Britain, became an independent dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations.

On this date:

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

In 1862, the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas was scuttled by its crew on the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, La., to prevent capture by the Union.

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel, arriving in Kingsdown, England, from France in 14½ hours.

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

In 1932, the first Venice Film Festival opened with a screening of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” starring Fredric March.

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 1945, during World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, resulting in an estimated 140,000 deaths.

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.

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

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

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: Maria de Jesus and Maria Teresa Quiej-Alvarez, one-year-old Guatemalan twins born joined at the head, were separated at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. President George W. Bush signed legislation restoring to U.S. presidents broad authority in negotiating trade pacts.

Five 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.

One year 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. Violence erupted in the north London district of Tottenham amid anger over the fatal police shooting of a 29-year-old father of four; rioting and looting spread to other parts of the city and other English cities over the next several days, leaving five dead. Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter and Ed Sabol were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Associated Press