History is the study of the human past as it is described in written documents left behind by humans. The past, with all its complicated choices and events, participants dead and history told, is what the general public perceives to be the immutable bedrock on which historians and archaeologists stand. But as purveyors of the past, historians recognize that the bedrock is quicksand, that bits of each story are yet untold, and that what has been told is colored by the conditions of today.
Let’s discuss a few major Historical events in Today’s History.
1949: Soviet Atomic Bomb Test
On this day in 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb. It came as a great shock to the United States because they were not expecting the Soviet Union to have nuclear weapon knowledge so soon. Before, the United States had used two atomic bombs on Japan to cause them to surrender during World War II. The impact that the possession of nuclear weapons by the Soviet Union had upon the United States was that it induced Americans to question their safety.
President Truman responded by re-evaluating the United States’ position in the world and called for the United States’ to build up its conventional and nuclear weapons to halt the spread of Soviet influence around the globe.
TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY
2004: Marathon Runner Attacked at Athens Olympics
Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, who had the eyes of the world upon him Friday night as he lit the cauldron at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony, has received an apology from the man who ruined his hopes of Olympic glory 12 years ago.
Cordeiro de Lima was the leader on course for victory in the Olympic marathon in Athens in 2004, but he was accosted by Neil Horan, a defrocked priest from Ireland, with 4 four miles to run. The disruption cost the Brazilian athlete enough time that two men passed him, and he ended up with the bronze medal.