On This Day in History, August 6

In 1583, Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada founded a military encampment that would become Bogotá, capital of Columbia. While it would not be officially recognized as a settlement for a few years, this date is given as the traditional founding of the city. The encampment was formed during the conquest of the Muisca, an indigenous people of the Andean Mountains.

In 1945, an American B-29 Superfortress, Enola Gay, drops its singular payload, an atomic bomb called “Little Boy,” onto Hiroshima, Japan. The first of two wartime atomic bombings, the explosion would instantly kill about 70,000 people, while tens of thousands would perish in the coming years from burns and radiation poisoning. Three days later, a second bomb would be dropped on Nagasaki.

In 1996, a group of scientists published an article claiming that a supposedly Martian meteorite fragment, Allan Hills 84001, possessed evidence of extraterrestrial life. They had used a scanning electron microscope to discover structures upon the meteorite that some scientists considered to be fossilized life forms comparable to bacteria.

A Notable Birth

1970 – M. Night Shyamalan, born Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan, is an Indian born American filmmaker. He is best known for his work on The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, and The Last Airbender. He is turning 50 today.

A Notable Death

1991 – Harry Reasoner (b. 1923) was an American journalist. He got his start in high school and continued through college. He started at ABC in radio, but eventually switched to television and then CBS. He was involved with reporting on the JFK assassination and was a founder of the news program, 60 Minutes.

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