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This Day in History: August 6


1538 – Bogotá, Colombia, is founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: The bloody Battle of Oriskany prevents American relief of the Siege of Fort Stanwix.

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

1819 – Norwich University is founded in Vermont as the first private military school in the United States.

1862 – American Civil War: The Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas is scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering catastrophic engine failure near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

1890 – At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair.

1901 – Kiowa land in Oklahoma is opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation.

1912 – The Bull Moose Party meets at the Chicago Coliseum.

1914 – World War I: Serbia declares war on Germany; Austria declares war on Russia.

1926 – In New York City, the Warner Bros.' Vitaphone system premieres with the movie Don Juan starring John Barrymore.

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

1940 – Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union.

1942 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands becomes the first reigning queen to address a joint session of the United States Congress.

1944 – The Warsaw Uprising occurs on August 1. It is brutally suppressed and all able-bodied men in Kraków are detained afterwards to prevent a similar uprising, the Kraków Uprising, that was planned but never carried out.

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.

1956 – After going bankrupt in 1955, the American broadcaster DuMont Television Network makes its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena in New York in the Boxing from St. Nicholas Arena series.

1960 – Cuban Revolution: Cuba nationalizes American and foreign-owned property in the nation.

1964 – Prometheus, a bristlecone pine and the world's oldest tree, is cut down.

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

1988 – The Tompkins Square Park Riot in New York City spurs a reform of the NYPD, held responsible for the event.

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

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 – NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms.

2011 – War in Afghanistan: A United States military helicopter is shot down, killing 30 American special forces members and a working dog, 7 Afghan soldiers, and 1 Afghan civilian. It was the deadliest single event for the United States in the War in Afghanistan.

2012 – NASA's Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars.


1861 – Edith Roosevelt, American second wife of Theodore Roosevelt, 27th First Lady of the United States (d. 1948)

1881 – Alexander Fleming, Scottish biologist, pharmacologist, and botanist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)

1883 – Scott Nearing, American economist and educator (d. 1983)

1886 – Edward Ballantine, American composer and academic (d. 1971)

1900 – Cecil Howard Green, English-American geophysicist and businessman, co-founded Texas Instruments (d. 2003)

1902 – Dutch Schultz, American mob boss (d. 1935)

1904 – Henry Iba, American basketball player and coach (d. 1993)

1908 – Helen Jacobs, American tennis player and commander (d. 1997)

1911 – Lucille Ball, American actress, singer, and producer (d. 1989)

1928 – Andy Warhol, American painter and photographer (d. 1987)

1931 – Chalmers Johnson, American scholar and author (d. 2010)

1941 – Lyle Berman, American businessman and poker player

1965 – David Robinson, American basketball player and lieutenant

1976 – Soleil Moon Frye, American actress and producer


1914 – Ellen Axson Wilson, American first wife of Woodrow Wilson, 29th First Lady of the United States (b. 1860)

1945 – Hiram Johnson, American lawyer and politician, 23rd Governor of California (b. 1866)

1973 – Memphis Minnie, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1897)

1978 – Edward Durell Stone, American architect, designed Radio City Music Hall and the Kennedy Center (b. 1902)

1991 – Harry Reasoner, American journalist, founded 60 Minutes (b. 1923)

1998 – André Weil, French-American mathematician and academic (b. 1906)

2009 – John Hughes, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1950)

2012 – Marvin Hamlisch, American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1944)

2012 – Mark O'Donnell, American playwright (b. 1954)

2012 – Ruggiero Ricci, American violinist and educator (b. 1918)