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News, Events, Birthdays, History - August 6 - August 12

Birthdays

Lucille Ball - August 6, 1911Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball was a comedienne, actress, model and television executive. Her television shows included "I Love Lucy", "The Lucy Show", and "Here's Lucy". Her career was one of the longest in Hollywood history, and during her lifetime she was one of the most popular and influential stars in America.

August 7, 1942 - Garrison Keillor
Keillor is an american author, storyteller, humorist, columnist, musician, satirist, and radio personality. He is known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show "A Prairie Home Companion". Many of Keillor's several books are set in the fictional town of Lake Woebegon, Minnesota, "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above-average."

Herbert Hoover - August 10, 1874
Hoover was the 31st President of the United States, serving one term from 1929 to 1933. The consensus among historians is that Hoover's defeat in the 1932 election was caused primarily by failure to end the downward economic spiral, compounded by popular opposition to prohibition. Other electoral liabilities were Hoover's lack of charisma in relating to voters, and his poor skills in working with politicians. These factors contribute to Hoover being typically ranked very poorly among former U.S. presidents.



Events

August 6th and 9th, 1945 - Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear attacks near the end of World War II against the Empire of Japan by the United States at the executive order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki
In both cities, most of the dead were civilians.  These bombings stand out as the only time that atomic or nuclear weapons have been used during warfare.  On August 10th, the Japanese voted to approve an unconditional surrender.  (see below).

August 9th, 1974 - President Nixon Resigns
On June 17th, 1972, a small group of men were caught breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, located in Washington D.C.'s Watergate office complex. As police searched the belongings of the Richard Nixonburglars, they found a slip of paper with a phone number belonging to E.Howard Hunt - a security consultant employed by none other than The White House. Thus would begin the long, slow and painful demise of an American presidency.

President Nixon's direct role in White House efforts to cover up involvement in the Watergate break in was revealed in a tape of a 23 June 1972 conversation with White House chief of staff H. R. Haldeman, in which Nixon discussed a plan to have the CIA pressure the FBI to cease investigation of the Watergate case.  It was after this so-called "smoking gun" tape was made public on 6 August 1974 that President Nixon resigned from office.


August 10, 1945 - Japan's unconditional surrender
What had begun on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was ended on this date in 1945 with an unconditional surrender of the Japanese forces.   Just days before, the Americans had dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, devastating the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   As the Japanese government considered its options, they received faulty intelligence claiming that the Americans had 100 more atomic bombs and would target other large cities in the very near future.  In the words of the Japanese emperor, "I have given serious thought to the situation prevailing at home and abroad and have concluded that continuing the war can only mean destruction for the nation and prolongation of bloodshed and cruelty in the world. I cannot bear to see my innocent people suffer any longer. ..."


August 12, 1981 - IBM personal IBM Computercomputer introduced
The product's code name was "Acorn". The plans were referred to as "Project Chess". 12 engineers were assembled in Boca Raton, Florida, working quietly and secretly until finally, on August 12th, 1981, their invention was released to the unsuspecting world. What was this secret invention? The IBM PC (short for personal computer). IBM had teamed up 26-year-old Bill Gates, who delivered the operating system to IBM for a one-time fee of $50,000. Always the crafty business person, Gates did not offer to transfer the copyright, because he believed other computer makers might be interested in it. Wise move on Bill's part!