August 6th, the 218th day of the year (or 219th in leap years) marks the celebration or commemoration of an important number of historical and cultural events. At the same time, it is the birthday of many contemporary or past public figures or the day that marks their death. Sifting through what has happened in history on the exact same date is an interesting journey of knowledge, perspective, and appreciation, which is why we have compiled some of the most iconic facts about the 6th of August with a focus on the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
1945 – Atomic Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima
The first atomic bomb used in warfare was named Little Boy and was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945, at about 8:15 AM (JST) by the American bomber aircraft, Enola Gay.
It had a shockwave of 3.5 km in diameter where the pressure of the bomb blast reached 5 psi, killing everyone in the area instantly. Damaged buildings served as fuel for a firestorm that devoured a large part of the city. Besides the incredible destructive power of the blast and the fire caused by Little Boy, its radioactive fallout killed about 6,000 people who survived the initial blast and fire.
How It’s Commemorated
To pay tribute to the huge number of victims of the Hiroshima bombing, a vigil is held every year in the city on the 6th of August. The Peace Memorial Ceremony is held at the Peace Memorial Park, where tens of thousands gather to spiritually support the ones that perished and those who they left behind by praying for lasting world peace. At 8:15, sirens and bells ring around the city and a solemn moment of silence precedes it. In the evening of August 6, thousands of paper lanterns are lit and released on the Motoyasu River to float peacefully, carrying messages of good hope and love for peace from locals and people all around the world.
Perhaps the most important event that happened on this day in history, the Hiroshima bombing should remind us all of the horrors that wars are bearing and the importance of humanitarian aid, responsible world politics and the power of educating regular people by principles of tolerance and understanding.
Historical Events That Happened on the 6th of August
We will mainly focus on the two World Wars when listing the most important historical events that took place on August 6th, as they have shaped the way conflicts are handled today and how we perceive the horrors of war. From the battles of the First World War to the atrocious bombings of the Second World War, what happened on this day that age is meant to be remembered and learned from.
World War I has shaped the geopolitical destiny of Europe and the world, engaging the most important and powerful countries in an armed conflict that was described at the time as “the war to end all wars.” On the 6th of August, a few tense moments happened during WWI, as following:
- 1914 – The first battle of the Atlantic took place between Germany and the UK after Germany had invaded Belgium. At the same time, other countries engage in the conflict, with Serbia declaring war on Germany and Austria declaring war on Russia.
- 1915 – One year later, the battle of Sari Bair took place
- 1917 – Battle of Marasesti in Romania
A war that is still lingering in the minds of people all around the world, WWII was nothing short than a man-made earthquake that rearranged the face of geopolitical maps, taking countless victims as it did so. It was the bloodiest war in human history, causing nearly 85 million fatalities and being the only war where nuclear weapons were used.
Cultural Events That Happened on the 6th of August
Technological breakthroughs and political changes that shaped the present as we know it has happened on this day in history, as the following list shows.
- 1965 – The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed by the President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. Through this newly proclaimed law, discrimination against racial minorities was forbidden in the context of voting. In order words, state and local governments were not allowed anymore to apply various methods that kept minorities from voting.
- 1991 – The World Wide Web debuts as an Internet public service and details about the network are revealed by its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. This is a crucial moment for contemporary technology.
- 1996 – The first evidence of primitive life forms that were found from outside of Earth are published by NASA after analyzing the ALH 84001 meteorite that is thought to come from Mars.
- 2012 – Curiosity, NASA rover that has explored the surface of Mars for over 6 years, landed on the surface of the red planet.
Famous Birthdays on the 6th of August
1881 – Alexander Fleming
The inventor of Penicillin, an antibiotic that revolutionized medical treatments, was born in Lochfield, Scotland.
1929: Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh. He was one of the most influential American pop artists of the time, a socialite and a movie producer.
1972: Geri Horner
The singer best known as “Ginger Spice” from Spice Girls, Geri Horner is born in Watford, England.
August 6th is a big day to commemorate. So many things to learn from and remind ourselves of! Take your time to read more about what else happened on this day and enjoy your new trivia knowledge by starting the discussion on these events with your family and friends.