Throughout the world August 6 is rightfully remembered as the day that humanity entered into a never-before-seen form of homicidal violence-the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. Unlike the Fourth of July in the United States, Independence Day, or the Fourteenth of July in France, Bastille Day, August 6 is a planetary day of remembrance. What is done on that day in 1945 is utterly new in human history-death finds a new doorway into life. So we remember.
But, we forget. We forget that on August 6, 1890 another never-before-seen form of homicidal violence entered human history-death by the electric chair. On that day William Kemmler, age 30, an illiterate alcoholic from the slums of Buffalo, NY and a convicted murderer is executed by electricity at Auburn State Prison. Something utterly new enters human history-death finds a new doorway into life. But, we do not remember. Why?