By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Thursday, Aug. 9, the 221st day of 2018. There are 144 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 9, 1974, Vice President Gerald R. Ford became the nation’s 38th chief executive as President Richard Nixon’s resignation took effect.
On this date:
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.
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 1944, 258 African-American sailors based at Port Chicago, California, refused to load a munitions ship following a cargo vessel explosion that killed 320 men, many of them black. (Fifty of the sailors were convicted of mutiny, fined and imprisoned.)
In 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a U.S. B-29 Superfortress code-named Bockscar dropped a nuclear device (“Fat Man”) over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.
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 1982, a federal judge in Washington ordered John W. Hinckley Jr., who’d been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.
In 1992, closing ceremonies were held for the Barcelona Summer Olympics, with the Unified Team of former Soviet republics winning 112 medals, the United States 108.
In 1995, Jerry Garcia, lead singer of the Grateful Dead, died in Forest Knolls, California, of a heart attack at age 53.
In 1997, Haitian immigrant Abner Louima was brutalized in a Brooklyn, New York, stationhouse by Officer Justin Volpe, who raped him with a broken broomstick. (Volpe was later sentenced to 30 years in prison.) An Amtrak train with more than 300 people aboard derailed on a bridge near Kingman, Arizona; 183 people were injured.
In 2004, Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, addressing a court for the first time, asked victims of the blast for forgiveness as a judge sentenced him to 161 consecutive life sentences.
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.
Ten years ago: Todd Bachman, the father of 2004 volleyball Olympian Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman, was stabbed to death by a Chinese man in Beijing in an apparently random attack just hours after the start of the Olympic Games. (The assailant took his own life.) Comedian Bernie Mac died in Chicago at age 50.