This Day In History : August 5

1973 United States

The USSR launched Mars 6

In 1973, the USSR launched the Mars 6 spacecraft on August 5. Mars 6 was part of the Soviet Mars program, intended to explore the Red Planet. The spacecraft successfully landed on Mars on March 12, 1974, and transmitted data back to Earth, although contact was lost during the descent.

Also on This Day in History August 5

Discover what happened on August 5 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, August 5
  • 1930 Neil Armstron

    American pilot, engineer, and astronaut, 1st Moonwalker (Gemini 8, Apollo 11)

  • 1540 Joseph Justus Scaliger

    French-Dutch scholar (revolutionised ideas about ancient chronology)

  • 1866 Carl Dietrich Harries

    German chemist (developed synthetic rubber)

  • 1937 Brian G. Marsden

    British astronomer (Smithsonian's Minor Planet Center (MPC), 1978-2006)

  • 1967 Reid Hoffman

    American entrepreneur (co-founder of LinkedIn)

Deaths on This Day, August 5
  • 1729 Thomas Newcomen

    English engineer who invented the Newcomen steam engine

  • 1991 Soichiro Honda

    Japanese engineer and businessman who was the CEO & founder of Honda

  • 1957 Heinrich Otto Wieland

    German chemist (bile acids-Nobel 1927)

  • 1868 Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes

    French archaeologist (discovered flint tools in the gravels of the Somme valley)

  • 1983 Bart [Bartholomeus Jan] Bok

    Dutch-American astronomer (Milky Way)


In the USA, the first electric traffic light is installed in Cleveland, Ohio

The world’s first electric traffic signal was installed on August 5, 1914, at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. Before this, navigating America’s roads was chaotic, with pedestrians, bicycles, horses, streetcars, and motor vehicles all competing for right of way.

US government collects its 1st income tax

The United States government imposed its first personal income tax on August 5, 1861, as part of the Revenue Act of 1861. This tax was introduced to help pay for the American Civil War.

The Standard Oil of New Jersey established

The Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, which later became ExxonMobil, was established on August 5, 1882. This company played a significant role in the development of the American oil industry and was a key part of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust, which dominated the oil market in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before being broken up by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1911 under antitrust laws.

The United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom sign a nuclear test ban treaty

The United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) on August 5, 1963. This treaty, also known as the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), prohibited nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water, effectively banning all nuclear explosions except for those conducted underground. The treaty aimed to reduce the harmful effects of radioactive fallout on human health and the environment
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