August 9

The second (and last atomic bomb to be used to kill people) atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki in 1945. A Boeing B-29 Superfortress named Bockscar delivered the bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man.” This was the third nuclear detonation since the Trinity test in New Mexico. Japan had not surrendered after the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, so a second bomb was used. The original target was the city of Komura, but a cloud cover over that city caused Nagasaki to become the target. Estimates say that 40,000 were killed instantly by the atomic bomb.

The small nation of Singapore gained its independence in 1965. Singapore had been part of the nation of Malaysia since 1963, but differences between Singapore and the mainland caused the Malaysian Parliament to expel Singapore from the federation. Sir Stamford Raffles founded modern Singapore in 1819, as a trading post in the East India Company. Today, Singapore is on of the world’s major commercial hubs. It has a large international financial center and the world’s fifth busiest port. Singapore is a nation of 276 square miles and has a population of 5.4 million people.

The night of “Helter Skelter” occurred in 1969 when Charles Manson gave orders to four members of his cult to proceed to a house that contained Sharon Tate and three other people.  The Manson group led by Tex Watson murdered all four people in the house. Three of the assassins in the Tate murder case were arrested in December as one was already in custody. The trial was a difficult one with many disruptions. In January 1971, guilty verdicts were returned against Manson and three others and in March the judge gave all four the death penalty. In 1972, the sentences were reduced to life in prison due to a change in California’s capital punishment laws. Manson’s 12th application for parole was refused in 2012.

Birthdays Today

1927Robert Shaw, English actor and screenwriter (d. 1978)
1928Bob Cousy, American basketball player and coach
1938Rod Laver, Australian tennis player
1957Melanie Griffith, American actress
1959Michael Kors, American fashion designer
1963Whitney Houston, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress (d. 2012)

Larry Moskal began his career as a Social Studies teacher in 1971. He graduated from the University of Buffalo with degrees in history and education. Larry taught Social Studies for the Ken-Ton School system, a suburban school system north of Buffalo, New York until 2005, and then taught and was the Dean of Students at San Miguel High School in Tucson. At Ken-Ton, he pioneered several online courses for high school students. In the 1980s, he spent three years teaching in Colombia, South America and spent four years at Lewiston-Porter High School. He currently is the PowerSchool Administrator for San Miguel accomplishing his work over the Internet.