[Originally built as an exhibition hall by Czech architect Jan Letzel, the since-renamed Genbaku (or atomic bomb) Dome represents ground zero of the bombing of Hiroshima, even though the actual hypocentre of the blast was 150 m (490 feet) away and 600 m (1,968 feet) in the air. As the city was being rebuilt, debate raged over whether to leave the structure standing or demolish it; today its ruin serves as the centrepiece of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park - as well as an elegant tombstone for as many as 200,000 people killed either directly or indirectly by the blast (many of whom were simply vaporized) - making it a very poignant tribute to survival indeed...]
1538 - Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada founded the Colombian city of Bogotá.
1661 - The Treaty of The Hague was signed by Portugal and the Dutch Republic, whereby the latter relinquished control over its South American holding of New Holland - better known today as Brazil - to the former.
1806 - Francis II - the last Holy Roman Emperor - abdicated; don't feel bad for him, though, as he was still Emperor of Austria.
1825 - Bolivia gained its independence from Spain.
1845 - The Russian Geographical Society was founded in Saint Petersburg.
1862 - During the American Civil War the Confederate ironclad warship CSS Arkansas was scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering damage in a battle with USS Essex at the Battle of Baton Rouge the previous day.
1870 - The Battle of Wörth was fought during the Franco-Prussian War, resulting in a decisive Prussian victory for Emperor Friedrich III over French commander Patrice MacMahon; the engagement could more rightly be called the Battle of Reichshoffen, however, or else the Second Battle of Wörth - the first one having been fought in December 1793, at which French general Lazare Hoche handed the Prussians a defeat during the Napoleonic Wars.
1890 - The first person ever to die in the electric chair, William Kemmler, was executed at New York state's Auburn Prison.
1926 - Gertrude Ederle became the first woman ever to swim the English Channel.
1930 - Judge Joseph Force Crater stepped into a taxi in New York City and was never seen again...
1942 - Wilhelmina of the Netherlands became the first reigning Queen ever to address a Joint Session of the US Congress.
1945 - The Japanese city of Hiroshima was devastated by an atomic bomb - nicknamed 'Little Boy' - dropped from the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay.
1956 - The DuMont Television Network made its final broadcast, which was a boxing match at the St. Nicholas Arena.
1961 - Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov spent the day in space on board Vostok 2, in the meantime orbiting the Earth 17 times; Titov's flight came just four months after Yuri Gagarin's historic single orbit aboard Vostok 1 on April 12th.
1962 - Jamaica gained its independence from the United Kingdom while remaining within the Commonwealth.
1987 - Dr David Owen resigned as leader of Britain's Social Democratic Party following a vote by party members to merge with the Liberal Party, with which it had sided during the 1983 and 1987 General Elections as the SDP-Liberal Alliance; following the merger the party called itself the Liberal Democrats, although a few stalwarts of the old party (including Owen himself) held out as the SDP throughout 1988.
1988 - The Tompkins Square Park Police Riot in New York City spurred reform of the NYPD, who were responsible for the melee that transpired that night.
1996 - Punk legends Ramones gave their final concert, at The Palace in Los Angeles.
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