This Day in History: ‘Little Boy’ Dropped; NY Judge Goes Missing; and Korean Air Flight 801 Crashes

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Gertrude Ederle crosses the English Channel (1926)
On August 6, 1926, after 14 and a half hours of swimming, Gertrude Ederle crossed the English Channel - becoming the first women to do so.

Ederle, an american Olympian, swam across the channel almost two hours faster than any of the five men who crossed it before her, setting a record that would not be broken until 1950.

Today, over 800 people have completed the channel-challenge, including 24 two- and three-way crossings.

New York State Supreme Court Justice vanishes amid scandal (1930)
After reportedly cashing two checks worth about $70,000 in today's money, New York Supreme Court Justice Joseph Force Crater disappeared; his case was never solved.

He ate dinner with two friends and disappeared from 45th street. Thousands of people reported seeing the judge, but none of these sightings were ever verified.

One woman, Vivian Gordon, reportedly hoped to testify about a case related to Crater, but she was murdered five days later. A coat of Crater's was found at her apartment, but no other ties were confirmed.

Though the case was closed, rumors of how Judge Crater died have been uncovered as recently as 2005. The case was officially closed in 1979.

United States drops first atomic bomb (1945)
The United States dropped 'Little Boy', the first nuclear bomb used in war, on Hiroshima, Japan - August 6, 1945 - just a few months after both Benito Mussolini and Hitler had died, their regimes defeated by the Allied forces.

The nearly 10,000 lbs.-bomb detonated over the Shima Surgical Clinic. An estimated 70,000 people were killed by the bomb, at the least, including approximately 20,000 Japanese military personnel.

Three days later, 'Fat Man', the only other nuclear weapon used in war, was dropped on Nagasaki. The United States was planning more atomic bombings, to avoid the costly and deadly ground-war which would have ensued, but the Empire of Japan surrendered on August 12. 

With thousands of Japanese and Korean people killed - and even some Americans held prisoner - World War II ended on all fronts. President Obama spoke at a Hiroshima Peace Memorial in May of 2016, adding the powerful technologies of war require "a moral revolution as well."

Korean Air Flight 801 crashes in Guam (1997)
Just 20 years ago, Koreain Air Flight 801 crashed into Nimitz Hill, Guam, killing 228 of the 254 people on board.

The captain was a decorated pilot and his crew was experienced. There was radio signal confusing and the plane crashed about three miles short of the intended runway.

About 50 protestors staged a sit-in at Guam Airport about a week later, unhappy with the slow recovery of the deceased; and a lawsuit was settled in the amount of $70 million on behalf of 54 American families.

It is considered one of the 25 deadliest crashes in aviation history.

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