Welcome to Pacific Electric Monograph's guide to significant dates in Pacific History.
August 7
In 1942, U.S. forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II.
In 1945, the lack of Japanese reaction to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima disappointed Truman and Army Chief of Staff Marshall. They feared the bomb hasn't sufficiently shocked the Japanese. In Tokyo, Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki refused to believe a single bomb has destroyed a city, and the Japanese people aren't told about the destruction of Hiroshima. Gen. Curtis LeMay was astounded by the bomb's incredible power. "I knew it was a big bomb," he said later. "I didn't realize how big." Preparations accelerated on Tinian for a second atomic attack with a plutonium bomb nicknamed "Fat Man." Elsewhere, Superfortresses and Okinawa-based bombers hit Kagoshima, Miyakonojo and Yawata. A task force led by Pearl Harbor battleship Pennsylvania bombarded Wake Island.
In 1947, the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, which had carried a six-man crew 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, crashed into a reef in a Polynesian archipelago.
In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.
In 1970, an attempt by black militant James David McClain to escape from his trial in Marin County, Calif., ended in a shootout with police that claimed the lives of McClain, two of three cohorts, and Judge Harold J. Daley, one of several hostages.
In 1994, the Tenth International Conference on AIDS opened in Yokohama, Japan.
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The Year at a Glance


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