Today in history: August 6

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Aug. 6, the 218th day of 2005. There are 147 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 6, 1945, during World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 140,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare.

On this date:
In 1787, the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia began to debate the articles contained in a draft of the United States Constitution.

In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire went out of existence as Emperor Francis I abdicated.

In 1825, Bolivia declared its independence from Peru.

In 1890, convicted murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed in the electric chair as he was put to death at Auburn State Prison in New York.

In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia, and Serbia declared war against Germany.

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle of New York became the first American woman to swim the English Channel, in about 14½ hours.

In 1962, Jamaica became an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth.

In 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI died at Castel Gandolfo at age 80.

In 1986, William J. Schroeder died after living 620 days with the Jarvik Seven artificial heart.

Ten years ago: Thousands of people in Hiroshima, Japan, set glowing lanterns afloat in rivers, capping a day of tributes on the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

Five years ago: Workers at Verizon, the nation’s largest local telephone company, went on an 18-day strike over working conditions and union representation.

One year 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 died in Los Angeles at age 56.

Today’s Birthdays: Entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker is 83. Actress-singer Abbey Lincoln is 75. Actor-director Peter Bonerz is 67. Actor Michael Anderson Jr. is 62. Actor Dorian Harewood is 55. Actress Catherine Hicks is 54. Rock singer Pat McDonald (Timbuk 3) is 53. Country musician Mark DuFresne (Confederate Railroad) is 52. Actress Stepfanie Kramer is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer Randy DeBarge is 47. Country singers Peggy and Patsy Lynn are 41. Country singer Lisa Stewart is 37. Movie writer-director M. Night Shyamalan is 35. Actress Merrin Dungey is 34. Singer Geri Halliwell is 33. Singer-actor David Campbell is 32. Actress Ever Carradine is 31. Actress Soleil Moon Frye is 29.

Thought for Today: “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he hoped to make it.” — Sir James Matthew Barrie, Scottish dramatist-author (1860-1937).