On August 9…

1831 – The first steam locomotive train began its inaugural run, between Albany and Schenectady, New York.

1859 – Nathan Ames of Saugus, MA, patented the escalator.

1910 – Alva J. Fisher of Chicago, IL, received a patent for the electric washing machine.

1936 – Jesse Owens became the first American to win four medals in one Olympics.  Owens ran one leg of the winning 400-meter relay team in Berlin.  His 3 other gold medals were won in the 100-meter, 200-meter and the long jump events.

1945 – Three days after it dropped a bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, the U.S. dropped a plutonium bomb carried by the U.S.A. B-29 bomber, Bockscar, on Nagasaki.  Japan surrendered unconditionally the following day, thus ending World War II.

1969 – Cult leader Charles Manson and his disciples began their rampage of terror in Los Angeles by breaking into the home of movie director Roman Polanski and brutally murdering his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, movie director Voityck Frykowski, hair stylist Jay Sebring, student Steven Parent and coffee heiress Abigail Folger.  The next night the group murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

1974 – President Richard M. Nixon officially resigned from office.  Vice-President Gerald Ford was sworn in as the nation’s 38th president, and Nelson Rockefeller was sworn in as Vice-President.  Ford had been the Senate minority leader in October 1973, when Nixon’s first Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, resigned.  Therefore, for the first time in American history, its people found themselves with a president and vice-president they didn’t elect.

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