This Week In History – August 6-12

August 6

1787 – Sixty proof sheets of the Constitution of the United States are delivered to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1930 – Judge Joseph Force Crater steps into a taxi in New York and disappears never to be seen again.

1945 – World War II: Hiroshima, Japan is devastated when the atomic bomb “Little Boy” is dropped by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning.

1965 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

1990 – Gulf War: The United Nations Security Council orders a global trade embargo against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

1996 – The Ramones played their farewell concert at The Palace, Los Angeles, CA.

August 7

1782 – George Washington orders the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honor soldiers wounded in battle. It is later renamed to the more poetic Purple Heart.

1794 – U.S. President George Washington invokes the Militia Acts of 1792 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.

1959 – The Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny goes into circulation. It replaces the “sheaves of wheat” design, and was minted until 2008.

1964 – Vietnam War: The U.S. Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces.

1998 – Bombings at United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya kill approximately 212 people.

August 8

1863 – American Civil War: Following his defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis (which is refused upon receipt).

1876 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.

1942 – Quit India Movement is launched in India against the British rule in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for swaraj or complete independence.

1945 – The London Charter is signed by France, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States, establishing the laws and procedures for the Nuremberg trials.

1969 – At a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan takes the iconic photo that becomes the cover image of the Beatles’ album Abbey Road.

1974 – President Richard Nixon, in a nationwide television address, announces his resignation from the office of the President of the United States effective noon the next day.

1990 – Iraq occupies Kuwait and the state is annexed to Iraq. This would lead to the Gulf War shortly afterward.

August 9

1814 – Indian Wars: the Creek sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving up huge parts of Alabama and Georgia.

1842 – The Webster–Ashburton Treaty is signed, establishing the United States–Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.

1892 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two-way telegraph.

1942 – Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement.

1945 – World War II: Nagasaki is devastated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, is dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. 35,000 people are killed outright, including 23,200-28,200 Japanese war workers, 2,000 Korean forced workers, and 150 Japanese soldiers.

1969 – Followers led by Charles Manson murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate (wife of Roman Polanski), coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, men’s hairstylist Jay Sebring and recent high-school graduate Steven Parent.

1971 – The Troubles: The British Army in Northern Ireland launches Operation Demetrius. Hundreds of people are arrested and interned, thousands are displaced, and twenty are killed in the violence that followed.

1974 – As a direct result of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford, becomes president.

2014 – Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American male in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer after reportedly assaulting the officer and attempting to steal his weapon, sparking protests and unrest in the city.

August 10

1755 – Under the orders of Charles Lawrence, the British Army begins to forcibly deport the Acadians from Nova Scotia to the Thirteen Colonies.

1776 – American Revolutionary War: Word of the United States Declaration of Independence reaches London.

1949 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment, streamlining the defense agencies of the United States government, and replacing the Department of War with the United States Department of Defense.

1969 – A day after murdering Sharon Tate and four others, members of Charles Manson’s cult kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

1977 – In Yonkers, New York, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) is arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year.

1988 – Japanese American internment: U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing $20,000 payments to Japanese Americans who were either interned in or relocated by the United States during World War II.

1995 – Oklahoma City bombing: Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are indicted for the bombing. Michael Fortier pleads guilty in a plea-bargain for his testimony.

August 11

1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.

1965 – Race riots (the Watts Riots) begin in the Watts area of Los Angeles, California.

1984 – “We begin bombing in five minutes”: United States President Ronald Reagan, while running for re-election, jokes while preparing to make his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio.

August 12

1898 – The Hawaiian flag is lowered from ʻIolani Palace in an elaborate annexation ceremony and replaced with the flag of the United States to signify the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Hawaii to the United States.

1944 – Nazi German troops end the week-long Wola massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people were killed indiscriminately or in mass executions.

1950 – Korean War: Bloody Gulch massacre—American POWs are massacred by North Korean Army.

1992 – Canada, Mexico and the United States announce completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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