Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Aug. 6, the 218th day of 2019. There are 147 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.
On this date:
In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire went out of existence as Emperor Francis II abdicated.
In 1809, one of the leading literary figures of the Victorian era, poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, England.
In 1890, Cy Young gained the first of his 511 major league victories as he pitched the Cleveland Spiders to a win over the Chicago Colts (however, the score is a matter of dispute, with some sources saying 6-1, and others saying 8-1).
In 1911, actress-comedian Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, New York.
In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia and Serbia declared war against Germany.
In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel, arriving in Kingsdown, England, from France in 14 1/2 hours.
In 1942, Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands became the first reigning queen to address a joint meeting of Congress, telling lawmakers that despite Nazi occupation, her people’s motto remained, “No surrender.”
In 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.)
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 1978, Pope Paul VI died at Castel Gandolfo at age 80.
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 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.)
Ten years ago: 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.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama closed a three-day U.S.-Africa summit in Washington which brought together leaders from more than 50 African nations. Michael Worthington was put to death by the state of Missouri for raping and killing college student Melinda “Mindy” Griffin in 1995, making him the first U.S. prisoner executed since a lethal injection in Arizona the previous month in which an inmate took nearly two hours to die.
One year 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.
Today’s Birthdays: Children’s performer Ella Jenkins is 95. Actor-director Peter Bonerz is 81. Actress Louise Sorel is 79. Actor Michael Anderson Jr. is 76. Actor Ray Buktenica is 76. Actor Dorian Harewood is 69. Actress Catherine Hicks is 68. Rock singer Pat MacDonald (Timbuk 3) is 67. Country musician Mark DuFresne (Confederate Railroad) is 66. Actress Stepfanie Kramer is 63. Actress Faith Prince is 62. Rhythm-and-blues singer Randy DeBarge is 61. Actor Leland Orser is 59. Actress Michelle Yeoh (yoh) is 57. Country singers Patsy and Peggy Lynn are 55. Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson is 54. Actor Jeremy Ratchford is 54. Actor Benito Martinez is 51. Country singer Lisa Stewart is 51. Movie writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (SHAH’-mah-lahn) is 49. Actress Merrin Dungey is 48. Singer Geri Halliwell Horner is 47. Actor Jason O’Mara is 47. Singer-actor David Campbell is 46. Actress Vera Farmiga is 46. Actress Ever (cq) Carradine is 45. Actress Soleil (soh-LAY’) Moon Frye is 43. Actress Melissa George is 43. Rock singer Travis McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) is 38. Actor Leslie Odom Jr. is 38. Actress Romola Garai is 37. Rock musician Eric Roberts (Gym Class Heroes) is 35.
Thought for Today: “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” — Lucille Ball, American actress-comedian (born this date in 1911, died 1989).