Monday, August 6, 2007

On August 6, ...

... 1945, the age of nuclear warfare began when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Delivered in a B-29 plane named Enola Gay, the bomb, which had "more than 2,000 times the blast power of what previously was the world's most devastating bomb," killed perhaps 70,000 instantly and 200,000 in the course of 5 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Many survivors suffered longterm sickness. In a same-day speech that can be read and heard here, President Harry S. Truman revealed that a bombmaking program had begun even before the 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Three days after Hiroshima, the United States dropped an even more powerful bomb on Nagasaki, killing 74,000 people and forcing the Japanese to surrender, thus bringing World War II to an end.
... 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush, on summer vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, received a daily briefing that related FBI reports of "patterns of suspicious activity consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." No specific action was taken in response to the document, entitled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US." It was released publicly in April 2004, more than 2-1/2 years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington attributed to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

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