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1945–Nuclear scientist, Robert Openheimer, sends a letter marked “Top Secret” to President Harry Truman, recommending that the atomic bomb be deployed against Japan in the waning days of World War II, in order to save American lives. A few days before, scientists at the University of Chicago had issued a report urging that the bomb be demonstrated “before representatives of all Nations, on the desert or a barren island,” hoping that just the sight of it would be a strong enough deterrent to end the war. But Openheimer, along with scientists Enrico Fermi, Arthur Compton, and Ernest Lawrence, argued against a public demonstration. It was just one month later on the July 16th, that a private test took place 120 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and then on August 6th, the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.



363–Emperor Julian marches back up the Tigris and burns his fleet of supply ships. During the withdrawal, Roman forces suffer several attacks from the Persians.

632–Yazdegerd III ascends to the throne as King (Shah) of the Persian Empire. He becomes the last ruler of the Sasanian Dynasty (present-day Iran).

1139–Emperor Konoe of Japan is born. He was proclaimed Emperor at age three. His reign lasted for 13 years (1142-1155).

1586–Mary, Queen of Scots, recognizes Philip II of Spain as her heir and successor.

1644–Henrietta of England is born at Bedford House in Exeter, England. She was the youngest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

1755–In the French and Indian War, the French surrender Fort Beauséjour to the British, leading to the expulsion of the Acadians.

1774–Harrodsburg, Kentucky, is founded.

1779–Spain declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar begins.

1815–The Battle of Ligny and the Battle of Quatre Bras take place two days before the Battle of Waterloo.

1829–Apache leader, Geronimo, is born Mescalero-Chiricahua near Turkey Creek (Gila River), Mexico (present-day Arizona). The name Geronimo means “the one who yawns” and it was given to him during a battle with Mexican soldiers. After a Mexican attack on his tribe, where soldiers killed his mother, wife, and their three children in 1858, Geronimo joined a number of revenge attacks against the Mexicans. In 1886, Geronimo surrendered to Texan authorities as a prisoner of war. Later in his life, he became a celebrity, appearing at fairs, but he never returned to the land of his birth.

1836–The formation of the London Working Men's Association gives rise to the Chartist Movement. It took its name from the People's Charter of 1838 and was a national protest movement, with particular strongholds of support in Northern England, the East Midlands, the Staffordshire Potteries, the Black Country, and the South Wales Valleys. Support for the movement was at its highest in 1839, 1842, and 1848, when petitions signed by millions of working people were presented to the House of Commons.

1846–The Papal conclave of 1846 concludes. Pope Pius IX is elected Pope, beginning the longest reign in the history of the papacy.

1852–Architect and engineer, Alexander Parris, dies in Pembroke, Massachusetts, at age 71. He is best known for his designs of many of the lighthouses along the New England coastline.

1858–Abraham Lincoln delivers his “House Divided” speech in Springfield, Illinois.

1858–Gustaf V of Sweden is born Oscar Gustaf Adolf at Drottningholm Palace in Ekerö Municipality of Stockholm County, Sweden. He reigned for 43 years. He was the last Swedish monarch to exercise his royal prerogatives, which were formally abolished with the remaking of the Swedish constitution in 1974. He was the first Swedish king since the High Middle Ages not to have a coronation, so he never wore a crown, a tradition continuing to date.

1871–The University Tests Act allows students to enter the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham without religious tests (except for those intending to study theology).

1879–Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore premiers at the Bowery Theatre in New York City.

1880–The Salvation Army is founded in London, England.

1881–Voodoo practitioner, Marie Laveau, dies in New Orleans, Louisiana, at age 86. She and her mother had great influence over their multi-racial following. In 1874, as many as 12,000 spectators, both black and white, swarmed to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain to catch a glimpse of Marie Laveau II performing her legendary rites.

1882–Politician, Mohammad Mosaddegh, is born in Tehran, Persia. He was the 60th Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 until 1953, when his government was overthrown in a coup d'état aided by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the British Secret Intelligence Service.

1883–The Victoria Hall disaster in Sunderland, England, kills 183 children.

1884–The first roller coaster in America, LaMarcus Adna Thompson's "Switchback Railway," begins operation at Coney Island in New York.

1890–Comedian, Stan Laurel, of the comedy team Laurel and Hardy, is born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Ulverston, Lancashire (present-day Cumbria), England. Laurel began his career in the British music hall, from where he took a number of his standard comic devices: the bowler hat, the deep comic gravity, and the nonsensical understatement. In 1961, Laurel was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award for his pioneering work in comedy.

1891–John Abbott becomes the third Prime Minister of Canada.

1893–R.W. Rueckheim invents the tasty snack of Cracker Jack.

1896–The temperature hits 127 degrees in Fort Mojave, California.

1897–A treaty annexing the Republic of Hawaii to the United States is signed.

1899–Book publisher, Nelson Doubleday, is born in Brooklyn, New York. He was president of Doubleday Company from 1922-1946: his father, Frank N. Doubleday, was the founder of the business.

1903–Ford Motors is incorporated by Henry Ford.

1903–The Pepsi Cola Company is incorporated.

1903–Leaving from Oslo, Norway, Roald Amundsen commences the first east-west navigation of the Northwest Passage.

1904–Eugen Schauman assassinates Nikolay Bobrikov, Governor-General of Finland.

1904–Irish author, James Joyce, begins a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently uses the date to set the actions for his novel Ulysses.

1907–Actor, Jack Albertson, is born in Malden, Massachusetts. He is best known for his starring role in the TV sitcom Chico and the Man. He appeared in the films Miracle on 34th Street, Top Banana, The Harder They Fall, The Eddy Duchin Story, Man of a Thousand Faces, Don’t Go Near the Water, Monkey on My Back, Teacher’s Pet, Never Steal Anything Small, The Shaggy Dog, Lover Come Back, Period of Adjustment, Days of Wine and Roses, Son of Flubber, Kissin’ Cousins, Roustabout, The Subject Was Roses, Rabbit, Run, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and The Poseidon Adventure.

1908–Politician, Sarit Thanarat, is born in Bangkok, Siam (present-day Thailand). He was the 11th Prime Minister of Thailand. Thanarat was a Thai career soldier who staged a coup in 1957, thereafter serving as Thailand's Prime Minister until his death in 1963.

1909–Only six years after the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, the first airplane is sold commercially by the Curtiss Aircraft Company for $5,000.

1910–Politician, Juan Francisco Velasco Alvarado, first President of Peru, is born in Piura, Peru.

1911–IBM is founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York.

1911–A 1.7-pound stony meteorite strikes the Earth near Kilbourn, Wisconsin, damaging a barn.

1917–Newspaper publisher, Katharine Graham, is born Katharine Meyer in New York, New York. She married Philip Graham, who became publisher of The Washington Post in 1946, when her father, Eugene Meyer, handed the newspaper over to his son-in-law. She led her family's newspaper for more than two decades (1963-1991) after her husband’s suicide. Katherine Graham presided over The Washington Post at a crucial time in its history: it played an integral role in unveiling the Watergate conspiracy and ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

1918–The Declaration to the Seven, a British government response to a memorandum issued anonymously by seven Syrian notables, is published.

1920–Writer, John H. Griffin, is born in Dallas, Texas. In 1959, he began a series of treatments using sun lamps and steroids to darken his skin. For six weeks in 1960, he hitchhiked, rode buses, and walked through the South, passing as a black man, and describing his experiences in his book Black Like Me.

1920–José López Portillo, 20th President of Mexico (1976-1982), is born José Guillermo Abel López Portillo y Pacheco in Mexico City, Mexico.

1922–Henry Berliner demonstrates his helicopter to the U.S. Bureau of Aeronautics.

1924–The Whampoa Military Academy is founded in China.

1925–Artek, the most famous Young Pioneer camp of the Soviet Union, is established.

1930–Sovnarkom establishes “decree time” in the USSR: all clocks in the Soviet Union are permanently shifted one hour ahead of standard time for each time zone. This was not Daylight Saving Time, which was introduced in the USSR in 1981. With both time shifts in effect, summer time became two hours ahead of standard time in the USSR.

1930–Cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond, is born in Szeged, Hungary. His films include The Sadist, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Hired Hand, Deliverance, The Long Goodbye, Scarecrow, The Sugarland Express, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, The Rose, Heaven’s Gate, Blow Out, The River, The Witches of Eastwick, Intersection, and Life as a House.

1933–The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is established.

1933–The National Industrial Recovery Act is passed by U.S. Congress. It is a law to authorize the President to regulate industry in an attempt to raise prices after severe deflation, stimulating economic recovery.

1937–Writer, Erich (Wolf) Segal, is born in Brooklyn, New York. He wrote Love Story, and its sequel, Oliver's Story. He also wrote the screenplays for the films Jennifer on My Mind, A Change of Seasons, and Man, Woman and Child.

1938–Writer, Joyce Carol Oates, is born in Lockport, New York. She published her first book in 1963, and has since published over 40 novels, as well as a number of plays, novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. Some of her best known works are A Garden of Earthly Delights, them, and Wonderland.

1940–A Communist government is installed in Lithuania.

1940–Rocker, Billy “Crash” Craddock, is born Billy Wayne Craddock in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is known to fans as "Mr. Country Rock" for his uptempo rock-influenced style of country music.

1941–Songwriter, Lamont Dozier, of the Holland-Dozier-Holland writing team, is born in Detroit, Michigan. The team was responsible for the development of the Motown sound and wrote numerous hit records for artists such as Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Isley Brothers.

1943–Actress, Joan Van Ark, is born in New York, New York. She is best known for the role of Valene Ewing in the primetime TV soap opera Knots Landing.

1944–At age 14, George Junius Stinney, Jr. becomes the youngest person executed in America in the 20th century.

1945–Nuclear scientist, Robert Openheimer, sends a letter marked “Top Secret” to President Harry Truman, recommending that the atomic bomb be deployed against Japan in the waning days of World War II, in order to save American lives. A few days before, scientists at the University of Chicago had issued a report urging that the bomb be demonstrated “before representatives of all Nations, on the desert or a barren island,” hoping that just the sight of it would be a strong enough deterrent to end the war. But Openheimer, along with scientists Enrico Fermi, Arthur Compton, and Ernest Lawrence, argued against a public demonstration. It was just one month later on the July 16th, that a private test took place 120 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and then on August 6th, the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

1948–Members of the Malayan Communist Party kill three British plantation managers in Sungai Siput.

1951–Boxer, Roberto Durán, is born Roberto Carlos Durán Samaniego in Guarare, Panama. In 2002, he was chosen by The Ring to be the fifth greatest fighter of the last 80 years, and many consider him to be the greatest lightweight boxer of all time. He finally retired in January 2002, at age 50 (having previously retired in 1998), following a bad car crash in October 2001. He has a professional record of 120 fights, with 104 wins and 69 KOs.

1952–Singer, Gino Vannelli, is born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His biggest hit was I Just Wanna Stop.

1954–Ngo Dinh Diem is elected President of Vietnam.

1955–In an unsuccessful effort to topple President Juan Perón, rouge Argentine Navy aircraft pilots drop bombs upon an unarmed crowd demonstrating in favor of Perón in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 364 people and injuring at least 800 others. On the ground, soldiers attempt to stage a coup, but are suppressed by loyal forces.

1955–Actress, Laurie Metcalf, is born Laura Elizabeth Metcalf in Carbonville, Illinois. She is best known for the role Jackie Harris on the TV sitcom Roseanne. She appeared in the films A Wedding, Desperately Seeking Susan, Making Mr. Right, Stars and Bars, Miles from Home, Uncle Buck, Internal Affairs, Pacific Heights, JFK, Mistress, A Dangerous Woman, Leaving Las Vegas, U Turn, and Bulworth. She was married to actor, Matt Roth.

1958–Imre Nagy, Pál Maléter, and other leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, are executed.

1959–Actor, George Reeves, dies of suicide by gunshot in Beverly Hills, California, at age 45. Some still believe he was murdered or was the victim of an accidental shooting. He is best known for his starring role in the TV series The Adventures of Superman. He appeared in the films Gone with the Wind, The Fighting 69th, Virginia City, ‘Til We Meet Again, Torrid Zone, Knute Rockne, All American, Blood and Sand, The Sainted Sisters, Samson and Delilah, The Good Humor Man, Rancho Notorious, The Blue Gardenia, and From Here to Eternity.

1960–Alfred Hitchcock's first horror movie, Psycho, premieres in New York.

1961–Soviet ballet dancer, Rudolf Nureyev, defects to the West while his troupe is in Paris, France.

1963–Levi Eshkol replaces David Ben-Gurion as Israeli Prime Minister.

1963–In the Soviet Space Program, Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.

1965–On the TV show, Shindig!, Gerry & the Pacemakers perform Ferry Cross The Mersey; Petula Clark sings In Love; The Everly Brothers perform Cathy’s Clown; and Gary Lewis and the Playboys sing Count Me In.

1967–The Beatles appear on the cover of Life magazine, while Time magazine profiles their producer, George Martin, praising his latest work on their ground-breaking album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

1967–The Monterey Pop Festival begins in Monterey, California. In three days, 50,000 music lovers will see the first major appearances of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Janis Joplin. Also appearing are The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Buffalo Springfield.

1970–Woodstock Ventures, the sponsors of the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair, announce that they lost more than $1.2 million on the festival.

1970–Football player, Brian Piccolo, dies of embryonal cell carcinoma in New York, New York, at age 26. He was a running back for the Chicago Bears for four years (1965-1969). His story is told in the TV movie Brian’s Song.

1971–Rapper, Tupac Shakur, is born Lesane Parish Crooks in East Harlem, New York. He has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling music artists of all time.

1972–The New York Jazz Museum opens.

1972–The largest single-site hydroelectric power project in Canada is inaugurated at Churchill Falls Generating Station.

1973–Actor, Eddie Cibrian, is born Edward Carl Cibrian in Burbank, California. He appeared in the TV soap opera The Young and the Restless, and in the TV shows Baywatch Nights, Sunset Beach, and Third Watch. He was married to model and TV personality, Brandi Glanville, and country singer, LeAnn Rimes.

1975–Accusing them of harassment during deportation proceedings, John Lennon files a suit against former U.S. Attorneys General John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst.

1976–A non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto, South Africa, turns into days of rioting when police open fire on the crowd.

1977–Leonid Brezhnev is named President of the Soviet Union.

1977–Oracle Corporation is incorporated in Redwood Shores, California, as Software Development Laboratories (SDL) by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates.

1977–John Lennon sues the U.S. government for a second time, charging that officials tried to deny his immigration through selective prosecution.

1979–A chart topper: Ring My Bell by Anita Ward.

1979–Film director, Nicholas Ray, dies in New York, New York, at age 67. His films include They Live by Night, Knock on Any Door, A Woman’s Secret, In a Lonely Place, Born to Be Bad, Flying Leathernecks, On Dangerous Ground, Macao, The Lusty men, Johnny Guitar, Run for Cover, Rebel Without a Cause, Hot Blood, Bigger Than Life, The True Story of Jesse James, Wind Across the Everglades, Party Girl, The Savage Innocents, King of Kings, and 55 Days at Peking. He was married to actress, Gloria Grahame.

1981–President Ronald Reagan awards the Congressional Gold Medal to Ken Taylor, Canada's former ambassador to Iran, for helping six Americans escape from Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979-1981. Taylor is the first foreign citizen bestowed the honor.

1982–James Honeyman-Scott, of The Pretenders, dies of heart failure due to cocaine intolerance in London, England, at age 25.

1983–Yuri Andropov becomes President of the USSR.

1987–Lawyers for Jerry Garcia give the Ben & Jerry ice cream company permission to market a flavor called “Cherry Garcia.”

1988–Rock group, Pink Floyd, plays in West Berlin. In East Berlin, 2,000 fans gather at the wall to listen to the concert.

1989–Imre Nagy, the former Hungarian Prime Minister, is reburied in Budapest following the collapse of Communism in Hungary.

1991–Boris Yeltsin is elected President of Russia.

1996–The 50th NBA Championship: The Chicago Bulls beat the Seattle Supersonic, 4 games to 2.

1999–Singer, Screaming Lord Sutch, is dies from suicide by hanging in South Harrow, London, England, at age 58. He was the founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and served as its leader from 1983 to 1999, during which time he ran in numerous parliamentary elections. He holds the record for losing all 40 elections in which he participated. As a singer, he worked with Keith Moon, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Charlie Watts, and Nicky Hopkins.

2000–Israel complies with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425, 22 years after its issuance, which calls on Israel to completely withdraw from Lebanon.

2010–Bhutan becomes the first country to institute a total ban on tobacco.

2012–China successfully launches its Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts (including the first female Chinese astronaut, Liu Yang) to the Tiangong-1 orbital module.

2012–The U.S. Air Force's robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returns to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.

2012–A car bomb in Baghdad, Iraq, kills 32 people.

2012–Actress, Susan Tyrrell, dies of thrombocythemia (a rare bone marrow disease), in Austin, Texas, at age 67. She appeared in the films Shoot Out, Fat City, Catch My Soul, Zandy’s Bride, The Killer Inside Me, Andy Warhol’s Bad, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, September 30, 1955, The Forbidden Zone, Night Warning, Avenging Angel, Big Top Pee-wee, Cry-Baby, Powder, and Masked and Anonymous.

2015–Real estate mogul, Donald Trump, announces his candidacy for the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created," Trump said at the Trump Tower skyscraper in Manhattan, New York.

2016–Dozens of American diplomats send a memo, via the State Department’s dissent channel, critical of U.S. policy in Syria. The memo was signed by 51 mid- to high-level State Department officers involved with advising on Syrian policy, and calls for airstrikes against President Bashar al-Assad's government to stop its persistent violations of the United Nations-sponsored February ceasefire.

2016–France deports 20 Russian football fans including, Alexander Shprygin, the leader of the All-Russia Supporters Union, following violence at the England-Russia match in Marseille.

2016–Switzerland's Federal Assembly votes to officially withdraw the country's application to join the European Union.

2016–The City Council of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, approves a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages, effective January 1, 2017. This is the first so-called sugary drinks tax in a major U.S. city.

2016–Disneyland Resort opens in Shanghai, China. The park's opening follows a decade of negotiations, five years of construction, and weeks of having over a million visitors try out its rides, shops, restaurants, and hotels. The company added China-themed elements and put the emphasis on popular characters at the Shanghai park, while downplaying its American identity. At the entrance, instead of "Main Street USA," it's "Mickey Avenue."

2016–Ten Olympic weightlifters fail a drug test in a reanalysis of samples from the 2012 Summer Olympics. Among them are four Kazakh gold medalists: Ilya Ilyin, Zulfiya Chinshanlo, Svetlana Podobedova, and Maiya Maneza. The other athletes are from Belarus, Bulgaria, Russia, and Ukraine. All 10 lifters are provisionally suspended by the International Weightlifting Federation and are expected to be stripped of their titles.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Geronimo; Gustaf V of Sweden; Stan Laurel; a vintage Pepsi-Cola sign; Katharine Graham; Vilmos Zsigmond; Billy “Crash” Craddock; Roberto Durán; Laurie Metcalf; Shindig!; Brian Piccolo; Leonid Brezhnev; Nicholas Ray; Screaming Lord Sutch; and Susan Tyrrell.

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