#TodayInHistory – August 63 min read
August 6 – Some important events on this day.
1497 👉🏼 Italian explorer John Cabot returns to Bristol from North America (Newfoundland) – first European to do so since the Vikings
1538 👉🏼 Bogotá, Colombia, is founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada
1661 👉🏼 The Treaty of The Hague is signed whereby the Dutch Republic sells New Holland (Brazil) for 63 tonnes of gold to Portugal
1890 👉🏼 At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler becomes the 1st person to be executed by electric chair
1932 👉🏼 1st Venice Film Festival opens, the world’s oldest film festival
1945 👉🏼 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the US B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”.
By the time the atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on this day, the Second World War had raged for six years. Germany had been defeated and Europe lay in ruins.
Focus turned to Japan, the last Axis Power country. US President Harry Truman and his military commanders knew that an invasion of Japan would be extremely costly in terms of Allied lives – up to a million casualties were predicted. So they resolved to use the newly developed atomic bomb to reduce Japanese cities to rubble without setting foot on land.
So it was that a B29 Superfortress nicknamed Enola Gay after the pilot’s mother dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Between 129,000-226,000 people were killed, mostly civilians. About half died instantly when the bombings happened, and the rest died from radiation sickness and other illnesses in the days and weeks after.
The moral, legal and ethical issues of the bombing are still debated today. Days after the attacks, Japan surrendered to the Allies, and came under a US-led military occupation.
1960 👉🏼 Chubby Checker performs his version of “The Twist” on “The Dick Clark Show” starting a worldwide dance craze.
When American rock artist Chubby Checker released his catchy pop song The Twist in 1960, few could have imagined that it would be responsible for a dance craze that would sweep the Western world in the early 1960s.
The dance itself had existed in its modern form since at least the late 1950s. Checker released his single in 1960 and it eventually claimed the top spot on September 19, 1960. Over the next two years, the craze took hold, and the song emerged as a number #1 again on January 13, 1962.
The Twist was a watershed moment for rock’n’roll as the sight of celebrities doing the dance helped popularize it with adults – making them more accepting of the genre that their kids were going crazy for.
1964 👉🏼 Prometheus, the world’s oldest tree aged at least 4,862 years old, is accidentally cut down in Nevada, USA
1965 👉🏼 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act prohibiting voting discrimination against minorities
1991 👉🏼 Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet
1996 👉🏼 Punk rock band the Ramones perform for the last time at the Palace in Hollywood
1996 👉🏼 NASA announces that life may have existed on Mars after examining meteorite ALH84001, thought to be from Mars