On this day in 1945, the USA dropped the first atom bomb, on Hiroshima, Japan, via the B-29 bomber Enola Gay.
Approximately 150,000 people were killed or wounded as a result. 75% of the city’s buildings were destroyed or severely damaged.
1806 – Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, abdicated, ending the Holy Roman Empire.
1874 – Charles Fort born. American writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. Today, the terms Fortean and Forteana are used to characterize various such phenomena. Fort’s books sold well and are still in print today.
1890 – William Kemmler, a convicted murderer, became the first person to be executed by electric chair, at Auburn State Prison, New York.
1928 – Andy Warhol born. American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explored the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives and is the largest museum in the United States of America dedicated to a single artist.
1962 – Jamaica gained full independence within the British Commonwealth.
1964 – Prometheus, a bristlecone pine and the world’s oldest tree, was cut down. Growing near the tree line on Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada, United States, the tree, which was at least 4862 years old and possibly more than 5000 years, was cut down by a graduate student and United States Forest Service personnel for research purposes, though the people involved did not know of its world-record age before felling. However, the circumstances and decision-making process leading to the felling of the tree remain controversial.
1991 – Tim Berners-Lee released files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.