This Day in History: Aug. 9

On this day, Aug. 9 …

2014: Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed 18-year-old black man, is shot to death by police Officer Darren Wilson following an altercation in Ferguson, Mo. Brown's death leads to volatile protests in Ferguson and other U.S. cities, spawning a national "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Also on this day:

  • 1854: Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," which described Thoreau's experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, is first published.
  • 1910: The U.S. Patent Office grants Alva J. Fisher of the Hurley Machine Co. a patent for an electrically powered washing machine.
  • 1936: Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States takes first place in the 400-meter relay.
  • 1944: More than 250 African-American sailors based at Port Chicago, Calif., refuse to load a munitions ship following a cargo vessel explosion that kills 320 men, many of them black. (Fifty of the sailors would be convicted of mutiny, fined and imprisoned.)
  • 1945: Three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a U.S. B-29 Superfortress code-named Bockscar drops a nuclear device ("Fat Man") over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.
  • 1974: Vice President Gerald R. Ford becomes the nation's 38th chief executive as President Richard Nixon's resignation takes effect.
  • 1982: A federal judge in Washington orders John W. Hinckley Jr., who'd been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.
  • 1985: A federal judge in Norfolk, Va., finds retired Navy officer Arthur J. Walker guilty of seven counts of spying for the Soviet Union. (Walker would receive a life sentence and die in prison in 2014 at age 79.)
  • 1995: Jerry Garcia, a co-founder of the Grateful Dead, dies in Forest Knolls, Calif., of a heart attack at age 53.
  • 2018: Vice President Mike Pence announces plans for a new, separate U.S. Space Force as a sixth military service by 2020.