1945 – Nagasaki, Japan was devastated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, was dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. 39,000 people were killed outright.
1962 – Hermann Hesse died. German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946,
1965 – Singapore was expelled from Malaysia and became the first and only country to date to gain independence unwillingly.
1967 – Joe Orton died. English playwright and author. His public career was short but prolific, lasting from 1964 until his death. During this brief period he shocked, outraged, and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies. The adjective Ortonesque is sometimes used to refer to work characterised by a similarly dark yet farcical cynicism.
Orton was murdered by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who bludgeoned him to death at his home in Islington, London, with nine hammer blows to the head, and then himself committed suicide with an overdose of 22 Nembutal tablets washed down with the juice from canned grapefruit.
1969 – Followers of Charles Manson murdered 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 British security forces in Northern Ireland launched Operation Demetrius. Hundreds of people were arrested and interned, thousands were displaced, and 24 were killed in the violence that followed. Its introduction, and the abuse of those interned, led to numerous protests.
1995 – Jerry Garcia died. American musician, best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the Grateful Dead.