Hiroshima, Japan (JFK+50) Sixty-nine years ago today, August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima.
The development of the atomic bomb came as a result of the Manhattan Project initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt who died on April 12, 1945 leaving the final decision on using the atomic weapon with his successor.
It was estimated that the radius of total destruction extended 1 mile with 69% of the city's buildings destroyed. 70,000 to 80,000 people were killed with 170,000 more injured.
President Harry S Truman issued the following statement in his announcement of the use of the atomic bomb on Japan:
"If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like which has never been seen on this earth."
COCONUT MESSAGE SAVED THE DAY FOR JFK
Naru Island (JFK+50) Seventy-one years ago today, August 6, 1943, Lt. John F. Kennedy paddled back to his men on Olasana in a dugout canoe. Barney Ross, who remained asleep, swam over later.
JFK, according to Robert Donovan, decided to send the two friendly natives, Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana, with a message to the PT Base.
Without paper or a writing instrument, Lt. Kennedy...
"picked up a coconut and had Biuku quarter it."
"took his sheath knife and on a polished quarter of the coconut he inscribed the following message to the PT base commander:
'NAURO ISL - COMMANDER - NATIVE KNOWS POSIT - HE CAN PILOT - 11 ALIVE - NEED SMALL BOAT- KENNEDY'"
JFK had the coconut encased in plastic. It was displayed on his desk in the Oval Office at the White House. Today it can be seen at the JFK Library.
Dave Powers, Presidential assistant and later curator, said that it was the most important object in the library because without it, all the rest would have never been possible.
JFK's Coconut Message Paperweight
The natives hastened to Rendova Harbor 38 miles distant with the coconut message...soon help would finally be on the way to the survivors of PT109.
"PT 109, John F. Kennedy in WWII," by Robert J. Donovan, McGraw-Hill Publishers, New York, 1961, 2001.
VOTING RIGHTS ACT SIGNED INTO LAW BY LBJ
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law 49 years ago today, August 6, 1965.
The Voting Rights Act prohibits discriminatory voting practices which had been adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests, as a prerequisite to voting.
Attending the signing ceremony were civil rights leaders and activists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
By the end of 1965, 250,000 new black voters had been registered, one-third by federal examiners.