Today is Wednesday, August 6, the 218th day of 2014. There are 147 days left in the year.
On August 6, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia and Serbia declared war against Germany.
On this date:
In 1813, during the Venezuelan War of Independence, forces led by Simon Bolivar recaptured Caracas.
In 1825, Upper Peru became the autonomous republic of Bolivia.
In 1862, the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas was scuttled by its crew on the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to prevent capture by the Union.
In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel, arriving in Kingsdown, England, from France in 14½ hours.
In 1930, New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Force Crater went missing after leaving a Manhattan restaurant; his disappearance remains a mystery.
In 1945, during World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, resulting in an estimated 140,000 deaths.
In 1956, the DuMont television network went off the air after a decade of operations.
In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov became the second man to orbit Earth as he flew aboard Vostok 2.
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.
In 1978, Pope Paul VI died at Castel Gandolfo at age 80.
In 1986, William J. Schroeder died at at Humana Hospital-Audubon in Louisville, Kentucky, after living 620 days with the Jarvik 7 artificial heart.
In 1993, Louis Freeh won Senate confirmation to be FBI director.
Ten years ago: A court found two former top East German officials guilty of failing to stop the killing of people trying to escape across the Berlin Wall and sentenced them to probation. Funk legend Rick James, whose life and career were marred by cocaine addiction and a prison term for assault, died in Los Angeles at age 56.
Five years ago: Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice by a Senate vote of 68-31. John Hughes, 59, Hollywood’s youth movie director of the 1980s and ’90s, died in New York City. Sam, the 4-year-old koala who’d gained worldwide fame and sympathy when she was rescued during devastating wildfires in Australia, was euthanized after a veterinarian found the cysts that threatened her life were inoperable.
One year ago: President Barack Obama said during an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” that he was “disappointed” that Russia had granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, defying administration demands that the former government contractor be sent back to the U.S. to face espionage charges. U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan went on trial at Fort Hood, Texas, charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a 2009 attack. (Hasan, who admitted carrying out the attack, was convicted and sentenced to death.)
Today’s birthdays: Actor-director Peter Bonerz is 76. Actress Louise Sorel is 74. Actor Michael Anderson Jr. is 71. Actor Ray Buktenica is 71. Actor Dorian Harewood is 64. Actress Catherine Hicks is 63. Rock singer Pat MacDonald (Timbuk 3) is 62. Country musician Mark DuFresne (Confederate Railroad) is 61. Actress Stepfanie Kramer is 58. Actress Faith Prince is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Randy DeBarge is 56. Actor Leland Orser is 54. Country singers Patsy and Peggy Lynn are 50. Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson is 49. Actor Jeremy Ratchford is 49. Country singer Lisa Stewart is 46. Movie writer-director M. Night Shyamalan is 44. Actress Merrin Dungey is 43. Singer Geri Halliwell is 42. Actor Jason O’Mara is 42. Singer-actor David Campbell is 41. Actress Vera Farmiga is 41. Actress Ever Carradine is 40. Actress Soleil Moon Frye is 38. Actress Melissa George is 38. Rock singer Travis McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) is 33. Actor Leslie Odom Jr. is 33. Actress Romola Garai is 32. Rock musician Eric Roberts (Gym Class Heroes) is 30.
Thought for today: “A successful lie is doubly a lie; an error which has to be corrected is a heavier burden than the truth.” — Dag Hammarskjold, U.N. Secretary-General (1905-1961).