Today in History: August 9

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UNDATED (AP) Wednesday, Aug. 9, is the 221st day of 2017. There are 144 days left in the year.

  • Highlight in History:
    • On August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a U.S. B-29 Superfortress code-named Bockscar dropped a nuclear device (“Fat Man”) over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.
  • On this date:
    • In 1854, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, which described Thoreau’s experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, was first published.
    • In 1902, Edward VII was crowned king of Britain following 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, British authorities in India arrested nationalist Mohandas K. Gandhi; he was released in 1944.
    • In 1967, Ethel Le Neve, the mistress of notorious convicted wife killer Hawley Harvey Crippen, died in Croydon, England, at age 84.
    • 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 1974, Vice President Gerald R. Ford became the nation’s 38th chief executive as President Richard Nixon’s resignation took effect.
    • In 1982, a federal judge in Washington ordered John W. Hinckley Jr., who’d been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.
    • In 1992, closing ceremonies were held for the Barcelona Summer Olympics, with the Unified Team of former Soviet republics winning 112 medals, the United States 108.
    • In 1997, Haitian immigrant Abner Louima was brutalized in a Brooklyn, New York, stationhouse by Officer Justin Volpe, who raped him with a broken broomstick. (Volpe was later sentenced to 30 years in prison.)
    • Also in 1997, An Amtrak train with more than 300 people aboard derailed on a bridge near Kingman, Arizona; 183 people were injured.
    • In 2002, Oscar-winning actor and National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston, 78, revealed that doctors had told him he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease (Heston died in April 2008).
    • Also in 2002, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 600th homer, becoming the fourth major leaguer to reach the mark (the Pittsburgh Pirates won the game, 4-3.)
    • In 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was shot to death by a police officer following an altercation in Ferguson, Missouri; Brown’s death led to sometimes-violent protests in Ferguson and other U.S. cities.
  • Ten years ago:
    • President George W. Bush held a news conference in which he publicly prodded Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, his embattled war-on-terror partner, to hold free presidential elections, share intelligence and take “swift action” against terrorist leaders pinpointed in his country.
    • China banned exports by two toy manufacturers whose products were subject to major recalls in the United States.
    • David Beckham made his long-awaited Major League Soccer debut, entering in the 72nd minute of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 1-0 loss to D.C. United.
  • Five years ago:
    • The United States began a landmark project to clean up dioxin left from Agent Orange at the site of a former U.S. air base in Danang in central Vietnam, 50 years after the defoliant was first sprayed by American planes on Vietnam’s jungles to destroy enemy cover.
    • At the London Games, Usain Bolt won the 200 meters in 19.32 seconds, making him the only man with two Olympic titles in that event.
    • The U.S. women’s soccer team won the gold medal, avenging one of its most painful defeats with a 2-1 victory over Japan. Actor Al Freeman Jr., 81, died in Washington, D.C. Mel Stuart, 83, an award-winning film documentarian who also directed Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, died in Los Angeles.
  • One year ago:
    • Gunfire broke out during a demonstration in Ferguson, Missouri, on the second anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, disrupting what had been a peaceful gathering but apparently wounding no one.
    • House Speaker Paul Ryan defeated Paul Nehlen, a longshot Republican challenger praised by Donald Trump, in a Wisconsin congressional primary.
    • At the Rio Games, Michael Phelps earned the 20th and 21st Olympic gold medals of his career as he won the 200-meter butterfly and anchored the United States to victory in the 4×200 freestyle relay.
    • Katie Ledecky earned her second gold in Rio by winning the 200-meter freestyle.
    • The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won gold for a second consecutive Olympics.
  • Birthdays:
    • Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy is 89.
    • Actress Cynthia Harris is 83.
    • Tennis Hall of Famer Rod Laver is 79.
    • Jazz musician Jack DeJohnette is 75.
    • Comedian-director David Steinberg is 75.
    • Actor Sam Elliott is 73.
    • Singer Barbara Mason is 70.
    • Former MLB All-Star pitcher Bill Campbell is 69.
    • College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player John Cappelletti is 65.
    • College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Doug Williams is 62.
    • Actress Melanie Griffith is 60.
    • Actress Amanda Bearse is 59.
    • Rapper Kurtis Blow is 58.
    • Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull is 53.
    • TV host Hoda Kotb is 53.
    • Actor Pat Petersen is 51.
    • Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is 50.
    • Actress Gillian Anderson is 49.
    • Actor Eric Bana is 49.
    • Producer-director McG (aka Joseph McGinty Nichol) is 49.
    • NHL player-turned-assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour is 47.
    • TV anchor Chris Cuomo is 47.
    • Actor Thomas Lennon is 47.
    • Rock musician Arion Salazar is 47.
    • Rapper Mack 10 is 46.
    • Actress Nikki Schieler Ziering is 46.
    • Latin rock singer Juanes is 45.
    • Actress Liz Vassey is 45.
    • Actor Kevin McKidd is 44.
    • Actress Rhona Mitra is 42.
    • Actor Texas Battle is 41.
    • Actress Jessica Capshaw is 41.
    • Actress Ashley Johnson is 34.
    • Actress Anna Kendrick is 32.
  • Thought for the Day:
    • “The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.” — Edward John Phelps, American lawyer and diplomat (1822-1900).
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