Metro

This day in history

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 9, the 221st day of 2017. There are 144 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Celtics’ guard Bob Cousy is 89. Comedian-director David Steinberg is 75. Actor Sam Elliott is 73. Singer Barbara Mason is 70. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Doug Williams is 62. Actress Melanie Griffith is 60. Actress Amanda Bearse is 59. Actor Pat Petersen is 51. Actress Gillian Anderson is 49. Actor Eric Bana is 49. TV anchor Chris Cuomo is 47. Actor Thomas Lennon is 47. Rock musician Arion Salazar is 47. Actress Liz Vassey is 45. Actor Texas Battle is 41. Actress Jessica Capshaw is 41. Actress Ashley Johnson is 34. Actress Anna Kendrick is 32.

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In 1854, Henry David Thoreau’s ‘‘Walden,’’ which described Thoreau’s experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, was first published.

In 1902, Edward VII was crowned king of Britain following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.

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In 1936, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States took first place in the 400-meter relay.

In 1942, British authorities in India arrested nationalist Mohandas K. Gandhi; he was released in 1944.

In 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a US B-29 Superfortress code-named Bockscar dropped a nuclear device (“Fat Man”) over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.

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In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were found brutally slain at Tate’s Los Angeles home; cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his followers were later convicted of the crime.

In 1974, Vice President Gerald R. Ford became the nation’s 38th chief executive as President Richard Nixon’s resignation took effect.

In 2002, Oscar-winning actor and National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston, 78, revealed that doctors had told him he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease (Heston died in April 2008). Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 600th homer, becoming the fourth major leaguer to reach the mark (the Pittsburgh Pirates won the game, 4-3.)

In 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was shot to death by a police officer following an altercation in Ferguson, Missouri; Brown’s death led to sometimes-violent protests in Ferguson and other U.S. cities.

In 2012, the United States began a landmark project to clean up dioxin left from Agent Orange at the site of a former US air base in Danang in central Vietnam, 50 years after the defoliant was first sprayed by American planes on Vietnam’s jungles to destroy enemy cover. At the London Games, Usain Bolt won the 200 meters in 19.32 seconds, making him the only man with two Olympic titles in that event.

Last year, gunfire broke out during a demonstration in Ferguson, Missouri, on the second anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, disrupting what had been a peaceful gathering but apparently wounding no one. House Speaker Paul Ryan defeated Paul Nehlen, a longshot Republican challenger praised by Donald Trump, in a Wisconsin congressional primary. At the Rio Games, Michael Phelps earned the 20th and 21st Olympic gold medals of his career as he won the 200-meter butterfly and anchored the United States to victory in the 4x200 freestyle relay. Katie Ledecky earned her second gold in Rio by winning the 200-meter freestyle. The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won gold for a second consecutive Olympics.

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