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On This Day in History


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  • 2 weeks later...

On this day

August 6

Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the Little Boy explosion
Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the Little Boy explosion
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Repost: in memory of Tom Tyler, aka Vincent Markowski, of Hamtramck, Michigan, whose birthday was today, 1903. His family was Lithuanian. One of his film roles was the World's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel, widely regarded as one of the finest serials ever produced. He also starred as The Phantom, and appeared in more than 150 movies. A champion weightlifter, he qualified for the 1928 Olympics, the same year that he won the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) heavyweight weightlifting championship, lifting 760 pounds (340 kg)—a record that stood for fourteen years. Tom developed a rare disease, scleroderma, costing him his looks, his marriage, his livelihood and his life.

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August 9th 48 BC Battle of Pharlasus



August 9th 378 AD Battle of Adrianople



August 9th 1862 Battle of Cedar Mountain (American Civil War)



August 9th 1914 Start of the Battle of Mulhouse



August 9th 1942 Battle of Savo Island



August 9th 1945. Nagasaki is hit by the 2nd atomic bomb



August 9th 1965 Singapore is expelled from Malaysia and becomes independent



August 9th 1974 Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford becomes president

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I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the 75th anniversary of the end of the war with VJ Day commemorations being made on August 15th.


August 16th 1513 Battle of the Spurs


August 16th 1780. American War of Independence Battle of Camden. The British win


August 16th 1812. England wins the siege of Detroit


August 16th 1870 Prussians victorious in Franco-Prussian war


August 16th 1960 Cyprus gets independence from Britain

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August 20, 1920 when WWJ first went on the air, becoming the first radio station in the world to broadcast regularly scheduled daily programs. Then owned and operated by The Detroit News, the station began broadcasting under experimental license with the call letters 8MK, later changing to WBL and finally to WWJ. The first broadcast went on the air at 8:15 p.m. in a makeshift “radio phone room” on the second floor of the Detroit News Building. Using a borrowed phonograph from the Edison Shop, Howard Trumbo, manager of the shop, placed a record on a turntable and waited for the signal to spin it. He selected two special records for this occasion: “Roses of Picardy” and “Annie Laurie.”

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September 15th 1940 becomes known as Battle of Britain Day thereafter as the Luftwaffe launches its largest and most concentrated attack of the campaign.

It is the 80th anniversary today 


15th September 1942 the USS Wasp is sunk by Japanese torpedoes at Guadacanal


15th September 1944 Battle of Peleliu begins


15th September 1916 Tanks are used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somme

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On this day (4 December New Style = Gregorian calendar; 24 November Old Style = Julian calendar, which was in effect in England at the time) in 1639, Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree made the first known observations of a transit of Venus (when Venus passes directly between Earth and Sun, so we can see a black spot move across the Sun's disk over the course of a few hours), Horrocks having predicted it earlier that year from the published works of Kepler.


Transits of Venus are naked-eye perceptible, but they are very infrequent; the next two following 1639 came in 1761 and 1769.  (The most recent ones were in 2004 and 2012; the next are in 2117 and 2125.)  Edmond Halley realized in the 1730s that a good program of observations of a transit of Venus could be used to determine the distance between Earth and Venus in absolute units (and thus the distance from Earth to the Sun by use of Kepler's Laws), and the first attempt to do this was made in the 1761/69 events by many observers; analysis of those observations was complicated by unforeseen atmospheric effects but an analysis published in 1771 got an Earth-Sun distance of 153 +/- 1 million km, within 2.3% of the modern result, which is based on tracking spacecraft moving through the Solar System, and radar astronomy (no small amount of that latter done with the recently and tragically destroyed radio telescope at Arecibo).

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December 5th 1757. Battle of Leuthen. Frederick the Great's Prussians defeat the Austrians



December 5th 1941 Battle of Moscow. A massive Soviet counterattack is launched by Marshal Zhukov



December 5th 1943 Allied airforces begin targeting German secret weapons bases in Operation Crossbow



December 5th 1945 Flight 19 disappears



December 5h 1952. Start of the Great Smog in London which lasts 4 days. Casualty estimates of 4,000


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It was 40 years ago today that John Lennon was murdered



December 8th 1914. Battle of the Falkland Islands. The Royal Navy defeated the German East Asia Squadron



December 8th 2013. Metallica play a concert in Antarctica making them the first band to play on all seven continents.

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The day is almost over, but 50 years ago, on 15 December 1970, Venera 7, part of the Soviet Union's Venera mission series, landed on Venus.  It was the first successful soft landing on another planet (though soft landings had been accomplished on the Moon in 1966).  The spacecraft found surface temperatures far higher than expected (and above its design specification), and a 97% CO2 atmosphere, confirming in situ that humans cannot possibly survive there.  Later missions in the Venera program would land and send back images from the surface.

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