On August 5, 1914, the German army launches its assault on the city of Liege in Belgium, violating the latter country’s neutrality and beginning the first battle of World War I.
On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.
On this day in 1942, the U.S. 1st Marine Division begins Operation Watchtower, the first U.S. offensive of the war, by landing on Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands.
On this day in 1918, the Allies launch a series of offensive operations against German positions on the Western Front during World War I with a punishing attack at Amiens, on the Somme River in northwestern France.
On this day in 1945, a second atom bomb is dropped on Japan by the United States, at Nagasaki, resulting finally in Japan’s unconditional surrender.
On this day in 1776, news reaches London that the Americans had drafted the Declaration of Independence.
On this day in 1967, for the first time, U.S. pilots are authorized to bomb road and rail links in the Hanoi-Haiphong area, formerly on the prohibited target list. This permitted U.S. aircraft to bomb targets within 25 miles of the Chinese border and to engage other targets with rockets and cannon within 10 miles of the border. The original restrictions had been imposed because of Johnson’s fear of a confrontation with China and a possible expansion of the war.