On this day in 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with "U.S." for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as "Uncle Sam's." The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.
On this day in 1776, during the Revolutionary War, the American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe's flagship Eagle in New York Harbor. It was the first use of a submarine in warfare.
On September 7, 1896, an electric car built by the Riker Electric Motor Company wins the first auto race in the United States, at the Narragansett Trotting Park--a mile-long dirt oval at the state fairgrounds that was normally used for horse racing--in Cranston, Rhode Island. Automobile companies sponsored the race to show off their newfangled electric-, steam-, and gas-powered vehicles to an awestruck audience. The carmakers' gimmick worked: About 60,000 fairgoers attended the event, and many more people read about it in newspapers and magazines.
Actor and hip-hop recording artist Tupac Shakur is shot several times in Las Vegas, Nevada, after attending a boxing match. Shakur was riding in a black BMW with Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight when a white Cadillac sedan pulled alongside and fired into Shakur's car. Knight was only grazed in the head, but Shakur was hit several times. He died in a hospital several days later.
The San Antonio River floods on this day in 1921, killing 51 people and causing millions of dollars in damages. The flood was caused by some of the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in Texas.
In Washington, President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos sign a treaty agreeing to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the United States to Panama at the end of the 20th century. The Panama Canal Treaty also authorized the immediate abolishment of the Canal Zone, a 10-mile-wide, 40-mile-long U.S.-controlled area that bisected the Republic of Panama. Many in Congress opposed giving up control of the Panama Canal--an enduring symbol of U.S. power and technological prowess--but America's colonial-type administration of the strategic waterway had long irritated Panamanians and other Latin Americans.
Sep 7, 1986:
Bishop Desmond Tutu becomes the archbishop of Cape Town, two years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent opposition to apartheid in South Africa. As archbishop, he was the first black to head South Africa's Anglican church.
On this day, French poet Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested and jailed on suspicion of stealing Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa from the Louvre museum in Paris.
On this day in 1953, Californian tennis star Maureen Connolly defeats Doris Hart of Florida to win the U.S. Open 6-2, 6-4 and becomes the first woman ever to win the "Grand Slam" of tennis, capturing all four major championships in the same year.
On this day in 1915, a prototype tank nicknamed Little Willie rolls off the assembly line in England. Little Willie was far from an overnight success. It weighed 14 tons, got stuck in trenches and crawled over rough terrain at only two miles per hour. However, improvements were made to the original prototype and tanks eventually transformed military battlefields.
On this day in 2007, Volkswagen of America announces that it is moving its headquarters from Auburn Hills, Michigan to Herndon, Virginia. The company made the move, it said, to be closer to the East-Coasters who buy most of its cars. "You want to work in an environment where you see your customers," Volkswagen CEO Stefan Jacoby told the Washington Post. "You don't want to work where you basically see only American cars of the Big Three."
President William McKinley is shot at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley was greeting the crowd in the Temple of Music when Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, stepped forward and shot the president twice at point-blank range. McKinley lived for another week before finally succumbing to a gangrene infection on September 14.
A new high-speed train traveling between New York City and Washington, D.C., derails, killing 79 people, on this day in 1943. An apparent defect in an older car attached to the train combined with the placement of a signal gantry resulted in the deadly accident.
One of Ferdinand Magellan's five ships--the Vittoria--arrives at SanlÚcar de Barrameda in Spain, thus completing the first circumnavigation of the world. The Vittoria was commanded by Basque navigator Juan SebastiÁn de Elcano, who took charge of the vessel after the murder of Magellan in the Philippines in April 1521. During a long, hard journey home, the people on the ship suffered from starvation, scurvy, and harassment by Portuguese ships. Only Elcano, 17 other Europeans, and four Indians survived to reach Spain in September 1522.
South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd is stabbed to death by a deranged messenger during a parliamentary meeting in Cape Town. The assailant, Demetrio Tsafendas, was a Mozambique immigrant of mixed racial descent--part Greek and part Swazi.
On this day in 1997, an estimated 2.5 billion people around the globe tune in to television broadcasts of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died at the age of 36 in a car crash in Paris the week before. During her 15-year marriage to Prince Charles, the son of Queen Elizabeth II and the heir to the British throne, Diana became one of the most famous, most photographed people on the planet. Her life story was fodder for numerous books, television programs and movies and her image appeared on countless magazine covers, including those of People and Vanity Fair. After her death, she remained an iconic figure and a continual source of fascination to the media and entertainment world.
"The people's princess" was the label Great Britain's newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair chose to use in describing the late Princess Diana in his first public statement following her death. It was a sensitive and understated way to refer to Diana's tremendous popularity among the British public despite her estrangement from England's royal family. Pop legend Elton John chose a more dramatic form of tribute: On September 6, 1997, at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, Elton Johna man not given to understatementgave a tear-jerking performance of "Candle in the Wind," his 1973 Marilyn Monroe tribute rewritten in honor of the deceased princess.
On this day in 1995, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking "Iron Horse" Lou Gehrigs record for most consecutive games played. "The Iron Man" was credited with reviving interest in baseball after a 1994 work stoppage forced the cancellation of the World Series and soured fans on the national pastime.
Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.
On September 5, 1957, New York Times writer Gilbert Millstein gives a rave review to "On the Road," the second novel (hardly anyone had read the first) by a 35-year-old Columbia dropout named Jack Kerouac. "Jack went to bed obscure," Kerouac's girlfriend told a reporter, "and woke up famous."
In the early morning hours of September 5, six members of the Arab terrorist group known as Black September dressed in the Olympic sweat suits of Arab nations and jumped the fence surrounding the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, carrying bags filled with guns. Although guards spotted them, they paid little attention because athletes often jumped the fence during the competition to return to their living quarters.
Firefighters in London begin blowing up homes in a desperate attempt to halt the spread of a great fire through the city on this day in 1666. All other attempts to stop the progress of the flames over the previous three days had failed. By the time the fire was finally snuffed out the following day, more than 100,000 people had been left homeless
In response to the British Parliament's enactment of the Coercive Acts in the American colonies, the first session of the Continental Congress convenes at Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia. Fifty-six delegates from all the colonies except Georgia drafted a declaration of rights and grievances and elected Virginian Peyton Randolph as the first president of Congress. Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Adams, and John Jay were among the delegates.
Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse is fatally bayoneted by a U.S. soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. A year earlier, Crazy Horse was among the Sioux leaders who defeated George Armstrong Custer's Seventh Cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana Territory. The battle, in which 265 members of the Seventh Cavalry, including Custer, were killed, was the worst defeat of the U.S. Army in its long history of warfare with the Native Americans.
In Sacramento, California, an assassination attempt against President Gerald Ford is foiled when a Secret Service agent wrests a semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol from Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of incarcerated cult leader Charles Manson. Fromme was pointing the loaded gun at the president when the Secret Service agent grabbed it. Seventeen days later, Ford escaped injury in another assassination attempt when 45-year-old Sara Jane Moore fired a revolver at him. Moore, a leftist radical who once served as an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a history of mental illness. She was arrested at the scene, convicted, and sentenced to life.
To chart-topping American acts like Steve Lawrence ("Go Away Little Girl") and Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs ("Sugar Shack"), 1963 had been a year filled with promise. And then came the Beatles, whose dramatic arrival in January 1964 clearly posed a commercial threat. By the middle of 1964, with Louis Armstrong ("Hello Dolly") and Dean Martin ("Everybody Loves Somebody") both having earned #1 pop hits, it may have seemed that the worst was over. But then came another blow in the form of the Animals, whose signature hit, "House of The Rising Sun," reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts on this day in 1964. Steeped in a musical idiom very different from "She Loves You" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "House of The Rising Sun" hinted at an entirely new line of attack from the forces of the British Invasion.
Seen by some as a vicious murderer and by others as a gallant Robin Hood, the famous outlaw Jesse Woodson James is born on this day in 1847, in Clay County, Missouri.
During the 1972 Summer Olympics at Munich, in the early morning of September 5, a group of Palestinian terrorists storms the Olympic Village apartment of the Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine others hostage. The terrorists were part of a group known as Black September, in return for the release of the hostages, theydemanded that Israel release over 230 Arab prisoners being held in Israeli jails and two German terrorists. In an ensuing shootout at the Munich airport, the nine Israeli hostages were killed along with five terrorists and one West German policeman. Olympic competition was suspended for 24 hours to hold memorial services for the slain athletes.
On this day in 1886, Apache chief Geronimo surrenders to U.S. government troops. For 30 years, the mighty Native American warrior had battled to protect his tribe's homeland; however, by 1886 the Apaches were exhausted and hopelessly outnumbered. General Nelson Miles accepted Geronimo's surrender, making him the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signaling the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest.
On September 4, 1957--"E-Day," according to its advertising campaign--the Ford Motor Company unveils the Edsel, the first new automobile brand produced by one of the Big Three car companies since 1938. (Although many people call it the "Ford Edsel," in fact Edsel was a division all its own, like Lincoln or Mercury.) Thirteen hundred independent Edsel dealers offered four models for sale: the smaller Pacer and Ranger and the larger Citation and Corsair.
The Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) leads an attack on a military base in Guaviare, Colombia, in protest of the Colombian military's drug eradication program, which was backed by the United States. The program, involving rigorous spraying of a defoliant in the coca-growing regions of southern Colombia, had been destroying valuable coca crops. During three weeks of guerrilla warfare, FARC killed at least 130 Colombians.
One of the first tsunamis ever to be recorded devastates the east coast of Kyushu, the southernmost major island of Japan, on this day in 1596.
Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus enlists the National Guard to prevent nine African American students from entering Central High School in Little Rock. The armed Arkansas militia troops surrounded the school while an angry crowd of some 400 whites jeered, booed, and threatened to lynch the frightened African American teenagers, who fled shortly after arriving. Faubus took the action in violation of a federal order to integrate the school. The conflict set the stage for the first major test of the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in educational facilities is unconstitutional.
On this day, Mary Renault, critically acclaimed author of historical novels about ancient civilizations, is born.
Versatile, prolific, iconoclastic, misanthropicall of these labels were attached to the name Frank Zappa over the course of his unique career in music, but one label that never fit was "pop star." Even during his late 1960s and early 1970s heyday, it would have been hard to imagine a figure less likely than Frank Zappa to make a record that would capture the imagination of America's pop radio-listening 14-year-olds. But then a funny thing happened: Frank Zappa had a 14-year-old of his own, and through her creative attempts to connect with her work-obsessed father, a true pop phenomenon was born. On this day in 1982, Frank Zappa earned his first and only top-40 hit with the satirical record "Valley Girl," conceived by and featuring the voice of his 14-year-old daughter, Moon Unit.
For almost 30 years he had fought the whites who invaded his homeland, but Geronimo, the wiliest and most dangerous Apache warrior of his time, finally surrenders in Skeleton Canyon, Arizona, on this day in 1886.
On this day in 1951, President Harry S. Truman's opening speech before a conference in San Francisco is broadcast across the nation, marking the first time a television program was broadcast from coast to coast. The speech focused on Truman's acceptance of a treaty that officially ended America's post-World War II occupation of Japan.
U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz wins his seventh gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Spitz swam the fly leg of the 400-meter medley relay, and his team set a new world-record time of 3 minutes, 48.16 seconds. Remarkably, Spitz also established new world records in the six other events in which he won the gold. No other athlete has won so many gold medals at a single Olympiad.
The American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris on this day in 1783. The signing signified America's status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies, and the boundaries of the new republic were agreed upon: Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River.
The American flag was flown in battle for the first time on this day in 1777, during a Revolutionary War skirmish at Cooch's Bridge, Delaware. Patriot General William Maxwell ordered the "Stars and Stripes" banner raised as a detachment of his infantry and cavalry met an advance guard of British and Hessian troops. The rebels were defeated and forced to retreat to Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania, where they joined General George Washington's main force.
On September 3, 1900, the first car ever made in Flint, Michigan makes its debut in the town's Labor Day parade. Designed and built by a county judge and weekend tinkerer named Charles H. Wisner, the car was one of the only cars built in Flint that did not end up being produced by General Motors. In the end, only three of the Wisner machines were ever built.
A three-day hostage crisis at a Russian school comes to a violent conclusion after a gun battle erupts between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. In the end, over 300 people died, many of them children, while hundreds more were injured.
A powerful hurricane slams into the Dominican Republic, killing more than 8,000 people, on this day in 1930. September is a prime month for hurricanes in the Caribbean, as storms that form off the African coast move west and are fueled by waters in the island region that have been warming all summer long.
A new land-speed record is set by Britain's famed speed demon, Sir Malcolm Campbell. On the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah, Campbell and his 2,500-hp motor car Bluebird made two runs over a one-mile course at speeds averaging 301.129 mph. In breaking the 300-mph barrier, he surpassed the world record of 276.82 mph that he had set earlier in the year.
No company has done more than Apple, Inc., to bring the world of technology together with the world of music. But those who are too young to remember the world before the iPod may never appreciate how just how far apart those worlds were back in 1982, when Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak hatched an ambitious (and expensive) musical plan: Committing a sizable chunk of his sizable fortune to a musical event billed as the biggest thing since Woodstock, Wozniak staged a three-day concert in the mountains of San Bernardino County that featured some of the day's biggest names in music. The "Us Festival" kicked off under scorching conditions on September 3, 1982.
On this day in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson embarks on a tour across the United States to promote American membership in the League of Nations, an international body that he hoped would help to solve international conflicts and prevent another bloody world war like the one from which the country had just emergedWorld War I. The tour took an enormous toll on Wilson's health.
On September 3, 1977, Sadaharu Oh of Japans Yomiuri Giants hits the 756th home run of his career, breaking Hank Aarons professional record for career home runs. Oh was the greatest Japanese player of his era, though not the most popular because of his half-Japanese, half-Chinese background. Nonetheless, his record-breaking homer was cause for celebration throughout Japan.
On September 3, 1914, barely a month after the outbreak of World War I, Giacomo della Chiesa is elected to the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church, becoming Pope Benedict XV.
Another news from Chicago, an out-of-work carpenter in northern Illinois discovered a surprise in his yard Monday evening. He discovered a duffel bag filled with $20 bills. Law enforcement later found a second bag, for a total of $150,000. So far, no one has a clue how it got there. Check it here: Chicago area man finds $150,000 in his back yard.
On this day in 1969, America's first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.
On this day in 1789, the United States Treasury Department is founded.
On September 2, 1959, at a news conference broadcast to viewers in 21 cities on closed-circuit television, Henry Ford II introduces his company's newest car--the 90-horsepower, 30 miles-per-gallon Falcon. The Falcon, dubbed "the small car with the big car feel," was an overnight success. It went on sale that October 8 and by October 9, dealers had snapped up every one of the 97,000 cars in the first production run.
A United Nations court finds Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide, marking the first time that the 1948 law banning genocide is enforced. Because mass killings had occurred in several countries since the law went into effect, the UN received heavy criticism for waiting 50 years before finally enforcing it.
On this day in 1923, aftershocks and out-of-control fires continue to rock Tokyo, Japan, and the surrounding area following a massive earthquake. In total, 143,000 people died in the disaster, which is known both as the Great Kwanto Earthquake and the Great Tokyo Fire, as the fire caused by the earthquake was more deadly and destructive than the earthquake itself.
In the early morning hours, the Great Fire of London breaks out in the house of King Charles II's baker on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. It soon spread to Thames Street, where warehouses filled with combustibles and a strong easterly wind transformed the blaze into an inferno. When the Great Fire finally was extinguished on September 6, more than four-fifths of London was destroyed. Miraculously, only 16 people were known to have died.
Aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan formally surrenders to the Allies, bringing an end to World War II.
The seventh child of a hard-driving father committed to turning his sons into superstars, a young Michael Jackson was pushed in front of the public at the tender age of five and told never to lose their attention. He succeeded beyond anyone's expectations, leading the Jackson 5 to stardom by the age of 12 before embarking on a solo career that would see him become nothing less than the most popular and successful solo male pop star of the modern era. On this day in 1996, he set a record that has since been surpassed only by one other performer, Mariah Carey: Jackson earned his 12th #1 hit as a solo artist when the R&B ballad "You Are Not Alone" debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100
On this day in 1944, future President George Herbert Walker Bush is serving as a torpedo bomber pilot in the Pacific theater of World War II when his squadron is attacked by Japanese anti-aircraft guns. Bush was forced to bail out of the plane over the ocean. According to the Navy's records, Bush's squadron was conducting a bombing mission on a Japanese installation on the island of Chi Chi Jima in the Pacific when they encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire. The engine on Bush's plane was set ablaze, yet Bush managed to release his bombs and head back toward the aircraft carrier San Jacinto before bailing out over the water. Three other crew members perished in the attack. After floating on a raft for four hours, a submarine crew fished a safe but exhausted Bush out of the water. His bravery in action earned him a Distinguished Flying Cross. The previous June, Bush had experienced a similar close call with death when he was forced to make a crash landing on water after a bombing run; a U.S. destroyer crew rescued him from the sea. After his harrowing experience near Chi Chi Jima, Bush returned to the San Jacinto and continued to pilot torpedo bombers in several successful missions. Over the course of 1944, while his squadron suffered a 300 percent casualty rate among its pilots, an undaunted Bush won three Air Medals as well as a Presidential Unit Citation. In total, Bush flew 58 combat missions during the war. In December 1944, Bush was reassigned to Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was tasked with training new pilots. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy in September 1945 after the Japanese surrender.
On September 2, 1991, tennis star Jimmy Connors celebrates his 39th birthday with a fourth round win over Aaron Krickstein, 24, at the U.S. Open. The match was finally decided in a fifth-set tiebreak after a marathon four hours and 49 minutes of play.
President Ho Chi Minh of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam dies of a heart attack in Hanoi. North Vietnamese officials announced his death the next day.
On this day in 1864, Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman lays siege to Atlanta, Georgia, a critical Confederate hub, shelling civilians and cutting off supply lines. The Confederates retreated, destroying the city's munitions as they went. On November 15 of that year, Sherman's troops burned much of the city before continuing their march through the South. Sherman's Atlanta campaign was one of the most decisive victories of the Civil War.
On September 1, 1998, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 finally goes into effect. The law required that all cars and light trucks sold in the United States have air bags on both sides of the front seat.
The town of Hinckley, Minnesota, is destroyed by a forest fire on this day in 1894. A total of 440 people died in the area.
Fifteen-year-old Eric Witte shoots his father, 43-year-old volunteer firefighter Paul Witte, in the family's Indiana home. Although Eric admitted to shooting his father, he claimed that the gun had accidentally gone off when he tripped on a rug. The bullet hit his father, who was lying on a couch across the room, in the head. The shooting was ruled an accident, and Eric was released.
Sep 1, 1939:
At 4:45 a.m., some 1.5 million German troops invade Poland all along its 1,750-mile border with German-controlled territory. Simultaneously, the German Luftwaffe bombed Polish airfields, and German warships and U-boats attacked Polish naval forces in the Baltic Sea. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler claimed the massive invasion was a defensive action, but Britain and France were not convinced. On September 3, they declared war on Germany, initiating World War II.
Seventy-three years after it sunk to the North Atlantic ocean floor, a joint U.S.-French expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic. The sunken liner was about 400 miles east of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.
Sep 1, 1850:
The iconic American huckster, showman and circus entrepreneur P.T. Barnum is most often associated not with refined high culture but of somewhat coarser forms of entertainmentthe circus, yes, but also Siamese twins and various human oddities such as "Zip the Pinhead" and the "Man-monkey." It was none other than P.T. Barnum, however, who brought the greatest opera performer in the world from Europe to the United States in the mid-19th century for a triumphant national tour that set astonishing box-office records and fanned the flames of a widespread opera craze in 1850s America. That star was Jenny Lind"The Swedish Nightingale"a singer of uncommon talent and great renown whose arrival in New York City on this day in 1850 was greeted with a mania not unlike that which would greet another foreign musical invasion more than a century later.
Sep 1, 1964:
On September 1, 1964, pitcher Masanori Murakami becomes the first Japanese man to play in U.S. baseballs major leagues. Murakami pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the San Francisco Giants in a 4-1 loss to the New York Mets in front of 39,379 fans at Shea Stadium.
In a speech before 100,000 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, President Charles de Gaulle of France denounces U.S. policy in Vietnam and urges the U.S. government to pull its troops out of Southeast Asia.
Sep 1, 1970:
The U.S. Senate rejects the McGovern-Hatfield amendment by a vote of 55-39. This legislation, proposed by Senators George McGovern of South Dakota and Mark Hatfield of Oregon, would have set a deadline of December 31, 1971, for complete withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam. The Senate also turned down 71-22, a proposal forbidding the Army from sending draftees to Vietnam. Despite the defeat of these two measures, the proposed legislation indicated the growing dissatisfaction with President Nixon's handling of the war.
On this day in 1980, representatives of the communist government of Poland agree to the demands of striking shipyard workers in the city of Gdansk. Former electrician Lech Walesa led the striking workers, who went on to form Solidarity, the first independent labor union to develop in a Soviet bloc nation.
On this day in 1955, William G. Cobb of the General Motors Corp. (GM) demonstrates his 15-inch-long "Sunmobile," the world's first solar-powered automobile, at the General Motors Powerama auto show held in Chicago, Illinois.
Richard Ramirez, the notorious "Night Stalker," is captured and nearly killed by a mob in East Los Angeles, California, after being recognized from a photograph shown both on television and in newspapers. Recently identified as the serial killer, Ramirez was pulled from the enraged mob by police officers.
An earthquake near Charleston, South Carolina, on this day in 1886 leaves more than 100 people dead and hundreds of buildings destroyed. This was the largest recorded earthquake in the history of the southeastern United States.
Prostitute Mary Ann Nichols, the first victim of London serial killer "Jack the Ripper," is found murdered and mutilated in Whitechapel's Buck's Row. The East End of London saw four more victims of the murderer during the next few months, but no suspect was ever found.
Thomas Edison receives a patent for his movie camera, the Kinetograph. Edison had developed the camera and its viewer in the early 1890s and staged several demonstrations.
Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) receives its world premiere in Berlin on August 31, 1928.
William Saroyan, the son of an Armenian immigrant, is born in Fresno on this day in 1908.
On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act, or Senate Joint Resolution No. 173, which he calls an "expression of the desire...to avoid any action which might involve [the U.S.] in war." The signing came at a time when newly installed fascist governments in Europe were beginning to beat the drums of war.
On August 31, 1959, Brooklyn Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax strikes out 18 batters, setting a new National League record for most strikeouts in a single game.
Senate Preparedness Investigating Committee issues a call to step up bombing against the North, declaring that McNamara had "shackled" the air war against Hanoi, and calling for "closure, neutralization, or isolation of Haiphong." President Johnson, attempting to placate Congressional "hawks" and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expanded the approved list of targets in the north, authorizing strikes against bridges, barracks, and railyards in the Hanoi-Haipong area and additional targets in the previously restricted areas along the Chinese border.
On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. He would remain on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring for health reasons, leaving a legacy of upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
On this day in 2006, the California State Senate passes Assembly Bill (AB) 32, otherwise known as the Global Warming Solutions Act. The law made California the first state in America to place caps on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, including those found in automobile emissions.
Cynthia Coffman and James Marlow are sentenced to death in San Bernardino, California, for the 1986 murder of Corinna Novis. Coffman was the first woman to receive a death sentence in the state since capital punishment was reinstated in 1977.
A train entering a Zagreb, Yugoslavia, station derails, killing 153 people, on this day in 1974. It was the worst rail accident in the country's history to that date and remains one of the worst in Europe's history.
Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford becomes the first African American to travel into space when the space shuttle Challenger lifts off on its third mission. It was the first night launch of a space shuttle, and many people stayed up late to watch the spacecraft roar up from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 2:32 a.m.
On this day in 2003, the actor Charles Bronson, best known for his tough-guy roles in such films as The Dirty Dozen and the Death Wish franchise, dies at the age of 81 in Los Angeles.
The music video that famously played during MTV's first minutes on the air was "Video Killed The Radio Star," by the British synth-pop duo The Buggles. Four weeks later, a young American singer-songwriter named Christopher Cross completed a meteoric rise from obscurity when his hit ballad "Sailing" reached the top of the Billboard pop chart on August 30, 1980. In the years since, many observers have linked the first of these two events to the eventual decline of the man who accomplished the second. But even if MTV is what "killed" the radio star Christopher Cross, it did so only after he accomplished a run of success as great and unexpected as any in pop history.
On this day in 1963, John F. Kennedy becomes the first U.S. president to have a direct phone line to the Kremlin in Moscow. The "hotline" was designed to facilitate communication between the president and Soviet premier.
Aug 30, 1965:
On this day in 1965, New York Mets Manager Casey Stengel announces his retirement, ending his 56-year career in professional baseball. The 75-year-old Stengel had broken his hip in a fall the previous month, and was instructed by his doctor that resuming the duties of manager would take too great a toll on his health.
Hurricane Katrina makes landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane on this day in 2005. Despite being only the third most powerful storm of the 2005 hurricane season, Katrina was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. After briefly coming ashore in southern Florida on August 25 as a Category 1 hurricane, Katrina gained strength before slamming into the Gulf Coast on August 29. In addition to bringing devastation to the New Orleans area, the hurricane caused damage along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other parts of Louisiana.
Charles Franklin Kettering, the American engineer and longtime director of research for General Motors Corp. (GM), is born on August 29, 1876, in Loudonville, Ohio. Of the 140 patents Kettering obtained over the course of his lifetime, perhaps the most notable was his electric self-starter for the automobile, patented in 1915.
On this day in 1960, the storm that would become Hurricane Donna forms near Cape Verde off the African coast. It would go on to cause 150 deaths from Puerto Rico to New England over the next two weeks.
At a remote test site at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, the USSR successfully detonates its first atomic bomb, code name "First Lightning." In order to measure the effects of the blast, the Soviet scientists constructed buildings, bridges, and other civilian structures in the vicinity of the bomb. They also placed animals in cages nearby so that they could test the effects of nuclear radiation on human-like mammals. The atomic explosion, which at 20 kilotons was roughly equal to "Trinity," the first U.S. atomic explosion, destroyed those structures and incinerated the animals.
On this day in 1982, the Swedish-born actress and three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman dies of cancer in London on her 67th birthday. Bergman, who was best known for her role as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca, created an international scandal in 1950 when she had a son with the Italian director Roberto Rossellini, to whom she was not married at the time.
Robert Frost leaves for the Soviet Union on this day in 1962. The goodwill tour is sponsored by the U.S. State Department in an effort to thaw Cold War relations. Frost's poetry has established his international reputation as American's unofficial poet laureate. While his best work appeared in earlier decades, he is nevertheless seen as an elder statesman of literature.
Pop sensation Michael Jackson is born on this day in Gary, Indiana.
In one of pop music's most famous and beautiful turns of phrase, songwriter Don McLean called the date on which the world lost Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson "the Day the Music Died. " But while three rising young pop stars may have died on February 3, 1959, their music certainly didn't die with them. On August 29, 1987, nearly 30 years after the most famous plane crash in music history, Ritchie Valens, the youngest of that crash's three famous victims, made a return of sorts to the top of the pop charts when his signature tune, "La Bamba," became a #1 hit for the band Los Lobos, from Valens' own hometown of Los Angeles, California.
On this day in 1945, President Harry Truman issues Executive Order No. 9639, giving the Secretary of the Navy the power to seize control of and operate a list of petroleum refineries and transportation companies in order to counteract strikes by oil workers. The list of plants seized by the Navy included those owned by industry giants: the Gulf, Shell, Standard and Union oil companies.
On this day in 2004, Brazilian distance runner Vanderlei de Lima is attacked by a spectator while running the marathon, the final event of the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. At the time of the incident, De Lima had a 30-second lead in the race with four miles to go.
President Nixon sets December 1 as the target date for reducing U.S. troops strength in Vietnam by 12,000, to 27,000, an all-time low since the American troop buildup began in 1965.
After four years of separation, Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, and his wife, Princess Diana, formally divorce.
Charles Stewart Rolls, the pioneering British motorist, aviator and co-founder (with Henry Royce) of the Rolls-Royce Ltd. luxury automobile company, is born on August 28, 1877, in London's upscale Mayfair district.
An air show involving military jets at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany turns tragic on this day in 1988 when three jets collide in mid-air and fall into the crowd. Sixty-nine of the 100,000 spectators died and hundreds more were injured.
While visiting family in Money, Mississippi, 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African American from Chicago, is brutally murdered for flirting with a white woman four days earlier. His assailants--the white woman's husband and her brother--made Emmett carry a 75-pound cotton-gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River and ordered him to take off his clothes. The two men then beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head, and then threw his body, tied to the cotton-gin fan with barbed wire, into the river.
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the African American civil rights movement reaches its high-water mark when Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks to about 250,000 people attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The demonstrators--black and white, poor and rich--came together in the nation's capital to demand voting rights and equal opportunity for African Americans and to appeal for an end to racial segregation and discrimination.
On this day in 1968, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters battle police in the streets, while the Democratic Party falls apart over an internal disagreement concerning its stance on Vietnam. Over the course of 24 hours, the predominant American line of thought on the Cold War with the Soviet Union was shattered.
If the legendary gospel vocalist Mahalia Jackson had been somewhere other than the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on this day in 1963, her place in history would still have been assured purely on the basis of her musical legacy. But it is almost impossible to imagine Mahalia Jackson having been anywhere other than center stage at the historic March on Washington on August 28, 1963, where she not only performed as the lead-in to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his "I Have a Dream" speech, but she also played a direct role in turning that speech into one of the most memorable and meaningful in American history.
On this day in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson is picketed by woman suffragists in front of the White House, who demand that he support an amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee women the right to vote.
On this day in 1977, Brazilian soccer superstar Pelé leads the New York Cosmos to victory in the Soccer Bowl, the championship of the North American Soccer League (NASL). With the help of international talent on its rosters, the NASL enjoyed surprising success in the mid-to-late 1970s in the United States, a country not particularly noted for its love for soccer. The 1977 Cosmos were a star-studded team that, at least for a short time, put soccer on nearly equal footing with the other major American sports.
On this day in 1941, more than 23,000 Hungarian Jews are murdered by the Gestapo in occupied Ukraine.
The Democratic National Convention in Chicago endorses the Johnson administration's platform on the war in Vietnam and chooses Vice President Hubert Humphrey as the party's nominee for president. The decision on the party platform resulted in a contentious three-hour debate inside the convention hall.
The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurs on Krakatau (also called Krakatoa), a small, uninhabited volcanic island located west of Sumatra in Indonesia, on this day in 1883. Heard 3,000 miles away, the explosions threw five cubic miles of earth 50 miles into the air, created 120-foot tsunamis and killed 36,000 people.
On August 27, 1937, Captain George E. T. Eyston breaks his own automobile land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, raising the mark to 345.49 mph.
On this day in 2007, Michael Vick, a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, formally pleads guilty before a Richmond, Virginia, judge to a federal felony charge related to running a dogfighting ring. That December, the 27-year-old Vick, once the highest-paid player in the NFL, was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison.
On this day in 1953, Roman Holiday, featuring Audrey Hepburn in her first starring movie role, premieres in New York City. Hepburns performance in Roman Holiday, as a European princess who ditches her official duties and falls for an American journalist (played by Gregory Peck) while on tour in Rome, earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress and instantly established her as a leading Hollywood star.
On August 27, 1967, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, was found dead of an accidental drug overdose in his Sussex, England, home. The following day, the headline in the London Daily Mirror read "EPSTEIN (The Beatle-Making Prince of Pop) DIES AT 32." Brian Epstein was, by all accounts, the man who truly got the Beatles off the ground, and in John Lennon's estimation, it was difficult to see how they'd manage to go on without the man who had managed every aspect of the Beatles' business affairs up until his unexpected death. "I knew that we were in trouble then," John later recalled. "I didn't really have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music. I was scared. I thought, 'We've ******* had it.'"
On this day in 1908, future President Lyndon Baines Johnson is born on a farm near Stonewall, Texas. The brash, outspoken Johnson grew up in an impoverished rural area and worked his way through a teachers' training college before entering politics
Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson steals his 119th base of the year, breaking Hall of Famer Lou Brocks 1979 record for stolen bases in a season.
On this day in 1939, the first televised Major League baseball game is broadcast on station W2XBS, the station that was to become WNBC-TV. Announcer Red Barber called the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York.
On this day in 1959, the British Motor Corporation (BMC) launches its newest car, the small, affordableat a price tag of less than $800Mark I Mini. The diminutive Mini went on to become one of the best-selling British cars in history.
The Soviet Union announces that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of being fired "into any part of the world." The announcement caused great concern in the United States, and started a national debate over the "missile gap" between America and Russia.
On this day in 1986, 18-year-old Jennifer Levin is found dead in New York Citys Central Park less than two hours after she was seen leaving a bar on the citys Upper East Side with 19-year-old Robert Chambers. The tall, handsome Chambers was soon arrested and charged with murder. The tabloid media dubbed Chambers, who had attended Manhattan private schools, the Preppy Killer. The case shocked the city and raised questions about underage drinking, drug use and casual sex among New Yorks privileged youth.
On this day in 1948, the temperature hits 108 degrees Fahrenheit in New York City during a week-long heat wave that kills at least 33 people.
The 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution by proclamation of Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. The amendment was the culmination of more than 70 years of struggle by woman suffragists. Its two sections read simply: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex" and "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
Charles Lindbergh, the first man to accomplish a solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, dies in Maui, Hawaii, at the age of 72.
The 1960s was the final decade in which the musical hits of Broadway were routinely and successfully adapted by Hollywood into big-budget screen versions. West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964), The Sound Of Music (1965), Funny Girl (1968)all of these movie musicals were among the biggest critical and commercial hits of their era. But while the early part of the subsequent decade brought successful adaptations of Fiddler on the Roof (1971) and Cabaret (1972), Hollywood had all but given up Broadway by the middle of the 1970s. And then, in 1978, Paramount Pictures placed a big bet on a small musical called Grease and came up with not just an enormous hit movie, but a true pop-cultural phenomenon that included one of the most successful original motion picture soundtrack albums in music history. On August 29, 1978, that album earned its second chart-topping hit when its third singleFrankie Valli's "Grease"reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
On this day in 1939, television station W2XBS in New York City broadcasts a doubleheader between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. The game, filmed with two cameras, was the first Major League Baseball game ever aired on television.
Lyndon B. Johnson is nominated to run for the presidency at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. His running mate would be Hubert H. Humphrey. Former Vice President Johnson had assumed the reigns of government in November 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Upon assuming office, he inherited a commitment to Vietnam where Kennedy had sent military advisors to support the South Vietnamese government in Saigon. Following the Tonkin Gulf incident earlier in August when North Vietnamese torpedo boats reportedly attacked U.S. destroyers, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution empowering Johnson to "take all necessary measures to repel an armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression." With the support of Congress in hand and having been nominated for the presidency in his own right, Johnson said he would stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, but that American "boys" should not be sent to do the fighting that Asian "boys" with U.S. help could do themselves. Receiving opposing views from various experts inside and outside the government, Johnson chose to listen to those he wanted to hear, discounting those who suggested that the U.S. should not become deeply involved in the war. Trying to protect his domestic agenda at home, he nevertheless gradually escalated the U.S. commitment in South Vietnam, eventually sending U.S. combat units that resulted in more than 500,000 American troops in-country by early 1968.
On this day in 1835, the first in a series of six articles announcing the supposed discovery of life on the moon appears in the New York Sun newspaper.
The German race car driver Michael Schumacher makes his Formula One (Europe's top racing circuit) debut in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps on this day in 1991.
On this day in 1979, the storm that will become Hurricane David forms near Cape Verde off the African coast in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. It would go on to devastate the island of Dominica, and then the Dominican Republic, killing 1,500 people.
Matthew Webb, a 27-year-old merchant navy captain, becomes the first known person to successfully swim the English Channel. Captain Webb accomplished the grueling 21-mile crossing, which really entailed 39 miles of swimming because of tidal currents, in 21 hours and 45 minutes. During the overnight crossing from Dover, England, to Calais, France, Captain Webb drank brandy, coffee, and beef tea to keep his strength and heat up. He was hailed as a national hero upon his return to England, and a triumphal arch was erected in his honor in his hometown in Shropshire. The Daily Telegraph proclaimed, "At this moment the Captain is probably the best-known and most popular man in the world."
After more than four years of Nazi occupation, Paris is liberated by the French 2nd Armored Division and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. German resistance was light, and General Dietrich von Choltitz, commander of the German garrison, defied an order by Adolf Hitler to blow up Paris' landmarks and burn the city to the ground before its liberation. Choltitz signed a formal surrender that afternoon, and on August 26, Free French General Charles de Gaulle led a joyous liberation march down the Champs d'Elysees.
On this day in 2009, Edward "Ted" Kennedy, the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and a U.S. senator from Massachusetts from 1962 to 2009, dies of brain cancer at age 77 at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Kennedy, one of the longest-serving senators in American history, was a leader of the Democratic Party and a spokesman for liberal causes who also was known for his ability to work with those on both sides of the political aisle.
On this day in 1939, The Wizard of Oz, which will become one of the best-loved movies in history, opens in theaters around the United States.
Just as pop stardom most often depends on possessing abundant talent and a great capacity for hard work, it also can require being in the right place at the right time. This was certainly true for the diminutive, 17-year-old singer named Eva Narcissus Boyd, who scored her first and only #1 hit on this day in 1962 with "The Loco-Motion."
On this day in 1950, in anticipation of a crippling strike by railroad workers, President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order putting America's railroads under the control of the U.S. Army, as of August 27, at 4:00 pm.
On August 25, 1985, New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden becomes the youngest 20-game winner in Major League Baseball history. Gooden was 20 years, nine months and nine days old when he led his Mets over the San Diego Padres 9-3--a month younger than "Bullet" Bob Feller was when he racked up his 20th win in 1939. Although Gooden was one of the best young pitchers in baseball history, his star burned out quickly as a result of substance abuse.
After centuries of dormancy, Mount Vesuvius erupts in southern Italy, devastating the prosperous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing thousands. The cities, buried under a thick layer of volcanic material and mud, were never rebuilt and largely forgotten in the course of history. In the 18th century, Pompeii and Herculaneum were rediscovered and excavated, providing an unprecedented archaeological record of the everyday life of an ancient civilization, startlingly preserved in sudden death.
Martin Siegel meets Ivan Boesky at the Harvard Club in New York City to discuss his mounting financial pressures. Arbitrageur Boesky offered Siegel, a mergers-and-acquisitions executive at Kidder, Peabody & Co., a job, but Siegel, who was looking for some kind of consulting arrangement, declined. Boesky then suggested that if Siegel would supply him with early inside information on upcoming mergers there would be something in it for him.
King Charles IX of France, under the sway of his mother, Catherine de Medici, orders the assassination of Huguenot Protestant leaders in Paris, setting off an orgy of killing that results in the massacre of tens of thousands of Huguenots all across France.
During the War of 1812, British forces under General Robert Ross overwhelm American militiamen at the Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland, and march unopposed into Washington, D.C. Most congressmen and officials fled the nation's capital as soon as word came of the American defeat, but President James Madison and his wife, Dolley, escaped just before the invaders arrived. Earlier in the day, President Madison had been present at the Battle of Bladensburg and had at one point actually taken command of one of the few remaining American batteries, thus becoming the first and only president to exercise in actual battle his authority as commander in chief.
Eleven years after the outbreak of the Mexican War of Independence, Spanish Viceroy Juan de O'Donojú signs the Treaty of Córdoba, which approves a plan to make Mexico an independent constitutional monarchy.
Aug 24, 1981:
On this day in 1981, Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life for the murder of John Lennon, a founding member of The Beatles, one of the most successful bands in the history of popular music.
Aug 24, 1974:
On August 24, 1967, 17 years after his first trip to the top of the pop charts, Paul Anka earns a #1 hit with "(You're) Having My Baby," a duet with singer Odia Cotes.
On August 24, 1875, Captain Matthew Webb of Great Britain becomes the first man to successfully swim the English Channel without assistance. After the feat, Webb became an international celebrity, admired for both his prowess in the water and his penchant for risk-taking.
Company A of the Third Battalion, 196th Light Infantry Brigade refuses the order of its commander, Lieutenant Eugene Schurtz, Jr., to continue an attack that had been launched to reach a downed helicopter shot down in the Que Son valley, 30 miles south of Da Nang. The unit had been in fierce combat for five days against entrenched North Vietnamese forces and had taken heavy casualties. Schurtz called his battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Robert C. Bacon, and informed him that his men had refused to follow his order to move out because they had "simply had enough" and that they were "broken." The unit eventually moved out when Bacon sent his executive officer and a sergeant to give Schurtz's troops "a pep talk," but when they reached the downed helicopter on August 25, they found all eight men aboard dead. Schurtz was relieved of his command and transferred to another assignment in the division. Neither he nor his men were disciplined. This case of "combat refusal," as the Army described it, was reported widely in U.S. newspapers.
On this day in 1902, pioneering cookbook author Fannie Farmer, who changed the way Americans prepare food by advocating the use of standardized measurements in recipes, opens Miss Farmer's School of Cookery in Boston. In addition to teaching women about cooking, Farmer later educated medical professionals about the importance of proper nutrition for the sick.
Aug 23, 1904:
On this day in 1904, Harold D. Weed of Canastota, New York, is issued U.S. Patent No. 768,495 for his "Grip-Tread for Pneumatic Tires," a non-skid tire chain to be used on automobiles in order to increase traction on roads slick with mud, snow or ice.
The first cases of an encephalitis outbreak are reported in New York City on this day in 1999. Seven people die from what turns out to be the first cases of West Nile virus in the United States.
The death of silent-screen idol Rudolph Valentino at the age of 31 sends his fans into a hysterical state of mass mourning. In his brief film career, the Italian-born actor established a reputation as the archetypal screen lover. After his death from a ruptured ulcer was announced, dozens of suicide attempts were reported, and the actress Pola Negri--Valentino's most recent lover--was said to be inconsolable. Tens of thousands of people paid tribute at his open coffin in New York City, and 100,000 mourners lined the streets outside the church where funeral services were held. Valentino's body then traveled by train to Hollywood, where he was laid to rest after another funeral.
On this day in 2000, Richard Hatch, a 39-year-old corporate trainer from Rhode Island, wins the season-one finale of the reality television show Survivor and takes home the promised $1 million prize. In a four-to-three vote by his fellow contestants, Hatch, who was known for walking around naked on the island in Borneo where the show was shot, was named Sole Survivor over the river raft guide Kelly Wiglesworth. Survivor, whose slogan is Outwit, Outplay, Outlast, was a huge ratings success and spawned numerous imitators in the reality-competition genre.
The most famous and widely quoted observation about rock pioneers the Velvet Underground is generally credited to guitarist Brian Eno, who supposedly said that while only a handful of people bought their albums in their original release, every one of those people was inspired to go out and start his own rock band. To judge from the number of artists over the last four decades whose sound and songwriting reflect the Velvets' influence, Eno was right on the mark. Arguably the most influential American band of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Velvet Underground had an impact on modern rock and roll that was well out of proportion to the popularity they achieved in their short-lived heyday. That heyday, which included four studio albums still cited as major influences by bands whose members were not even alive at the time of their release, came to an end on this day in 1970, when lead singer and primary songwriter Lou Reed played his last gig with the Velvet Underground at the famous Manhattan rock club Max's Kansas City.
On this day in 1989, as punishment for betting on baseball, Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose accepts a settlement that includes a lifetime ban from the game. A heated debate continues to rage as to whether Rose, a former player who remains the games all-time hits leader, should be given a second chance.
On this day in 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression pact, stunning the world, given their diametrically opposed ideologies. But the dictators were, despite appearances, both playing to their own political needs.
On this day in 1950, officials of the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) accept Althea Gibson into their annual championship at Forest Hills, New York, making her the first African-American player to compete in a U.S. national tennis competition.
The notorious Barker gang robs a Federal Reserve mail truck in Chicago, Illinois, and kills Officer Miles Cunningham. Netting only a bunch of worthless checks, the Barkers soon returned to a crime with which they had more successkidnapping. A few months later, the Barkers kidnapped wealthy banker Edward Bremer, demanding $200,000 in ransom.
Hurricane Andrew hits the Bahamas on this day in 1992. There and in South Florida, where it arrived two days later, the storm was responsible for the deaths of 26 people and an estimated $35 billion in property damage. Hurricane Andrew was so concentrated that it resembled a tornado in its effects.
On August 22, 1851, the U.S.-built schooner America bests a fleet of Britain's finest ships in a race around England's Isle of Wight. The ornate silver trophy won by the America was later donated to the New York Yacht Club on condition that it be forever placed in international competition. Today, the "America's Cup" is the world's oldest continually contested sporting trophy and represents the pinnacle of international sailing yacht competition.
The Geneva Convention of 1864 for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field is adopted by 12 nations meeting in Geneva. The agreement, advocated by Swiss humanitarian Jean-Henri Dunant, called for nonpartisan care to the sick and wounded in times of war and provided for the neutrality of medical personnel. It also proposed the use of an international emblem to mark medical personnel and supplies. In honor of Dunant's nationality, a red cross on a white background--the Swiss flag in reverse--was chosen. In 1901, Dunant was awarded the first Nobel Peace Prize.
In the second day of a standoff at Randy Weaver's remote northern Idaho cabin, FBI sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi wounds Randy Weaver, Kevin Harrison, and kills Weaver's wife, Vicki.
On this day in 1938, Hollywoods most famous dancing duo, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, are featured on the cover of Life magazine, offering readers a graceful vision at a time when America is in the grips of the Great Depression.
Despite the impression one might get from movies and television, the actual soundtrack of late 1960s America was not utterly monopolized by darlings of the counterculture. Hollywood has certainly conditioned us to expect a song by Jimi Hendrix, the Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival or Buffalo Springfield every time we see footage of hippies in the Haight-Ashbury or helicopters in the skies over Vietnam. Yet a glance at the pop charts of 1969 reveals a musical landscape that was far more diverse and. In fact, when half a million kids piled into their cars for the long drive home from Woodstock, the song that was likely playing when they clicked on their AM radios wasn't "Purple Haze," "White Rabbit," "Run Through The Jungle" or "For What It's Worth." It was probably "In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"by Zager and Evansthe monumental smash hit that ruled the charts and airwaves for nearly that entire summer before finally ending its run at #1 on August 22, 1969.
On this day in 1989, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers becomes the first pitcher in major league history to register 5,000 career strikeouts. Ryan would go on to rack up a total of 5,714 strikeouts, over 1,500 more than his closest competition.
Kennedy administration officials quoted in The New York Times estimate that there are 20,000 guerrilla troops in South Vietnam. Despite hundreds of engagements during the preceding two months and encouraging victories for South Vietnamese forces, the Viet Cong had grown in numbers, and U.S. officials felt that the war had reached a point of stalemate.
Delegates entering the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach are harassed by 3,000 antiwar demonstrators, many painted with death masks. The rest of the convention is marked by demonstrations outside the meeting hall; hundreds of protestors are arrested and many are injured when police use riot-control agents.
On this day in 1909, the first race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, now the home of the world's most famous motor racing competition, the Indianapolis 500.
In front of some 12,000 spectators, automotive engineer Louis Schwitzer wins the two-lap, five-mile inaugural race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 19, 1909.
On this day in 1980, a fire aboard a plane bound for Saudi Arabia forces an emergency landing.
The Saudi Airlines flight began in Karachi, Pakistan, headed for Jidda, Saudi Arabia, with a stopover in Riyadh. The first leg of the flight was uneventful, and the Lockheed L-1011 took off from Riyadh with no problems. Shortly after takeoff from Riyadh, however, the pilot reported a fire onboard the plane and told air-traffic controllers that he needed immediate clearance to head back to the airport.
The fire started while passengers onboard were cooking with a portable butane stove. Apparently, this was not unusual, as Middle Eastern airlines are often willing to accommodate their Muslim passengers' needs to follow the strict dietary laws of their religion. The pilot was able to land the plane back at Riyadh safely and headed to the end of the runway where a rescue crew was waiting.
When the plane reached the end of the runway, however, it burst into flames. The crew sprayed fire-fighting foam at the fire, but it was no match for the intense blaze. None of the 301 people onboard escaped the fire. It is still unclear why there were no survivors. Bodies were found piled up near the escape hatches. One theory is that panic on the plane caused a stampede that prevented the hatches from being opened. Another possibility is that the crew failed to depressurize the cabin, which would have prevented the hatches from opening. It is also possible that everyone on the flight was overcome by fumes before they could save themselves.
During the War of 1812, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution defeats the British frigate Guerrière in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shot merely bounced off the Constitution's sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood. By the war's end, "Old Ironsides" destroyed or captured seven more British ships. The success of the USS Constitution against the supposedly invincible Royal Navy provided a tremendous boost in morale for the young American republic.
In the USSR, captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for his confessed espionage.
The Beatles took America by storm during their famous first visit, wowing the millions who watched them during their historic television appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. But after the first great rush of stateside Beatlemania, the Beatles promptly returned to Europe, leaving their American fans to make do with mere records. By late summer of that same year, however, having put on an unprecedented and still unmatched display of pop-chart dominance during their absence, the Beatles finally returned. On August 19, 1964, more than six months after taking the East Coast by storm, the Fab Four traveled to California to take the stage at the Cow Palace in San Francisco for opening night of their first-ever concert tour of North America.
On this day in 1951, little person Eddie Gaedel makes his big league baseball debut with the St. Louis Browns, and is walked on four pitches in his one at-bat. Gaedel was the lead character in the most famous stunt ever devised by legendary owner and showman Bill Veeck.
A Harris survey indicates that 61 percent of those polled are against calling a halt to the bombing in Vietnam. President Johnson, in a major speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Detroit, challenged Hanoi to respond to the limitations of the bombing campaign that he had announced in March. But he refused to curtail other military activities in Southeast Asia, saying that, "there are some among us who appear to be searching for a formula which would get us out of Vietnam and Asia on any terms, leaving the people of South Vietnam and Laos and Thailand... to an uncertain fate."
On this day in 1934, Adolf Hitler, already chancellor, is also elected president of Germany in an unprecedented consolidation of power in the short history of the republic.
Aug 18, 1991:
On this day in 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is placed under house arrest during a coup by high-ranking members of his own government, military and police forces.
Walter Percy Chrysler, the founder of the American automotive corporation that bears his name, dies on this day in 1940 at his estate in Great Neck, New York, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 65 years old.
The Honorable Gary M. Little shoots himself just hours before the Seattle Post-Intelligencer releases an article accusing him of abusing his power by sexually exploiting juvenile defendants who appeared before him. The front-page article also suggested that he had exploited his teenage students as a teacher in the 1960s and 1970s. The scandal raised questions about the judicial system, because Little had been investigated and disciplined, but the investigations had been kept a secret. In 1981, Little's first year as a judge, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer received a tip about Little's unusual relations with juvenile defendants. When the reporter investigated the matter, he found that Little, who was working as a volunteer counselor in juvenile court at the time, had been charged with third-degree assault in 1964. He was accused of assaulting a 16-year-old defendant in his apartment, but the charges had been dismissed. The paper never published the story, but it sparked an investigation by deputies working for King County prosecuting attorney Norm Maleng.
Aug 18, 1931:
On this day in 1931, the Yangtze River in China peaks during a horrible flood that kills 3.7 million people directly and indirectly over the next several months. This was perhaps the worst natural disaster of the 20th century.
The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is ratified by Tennessee, giving it the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it the law of the land. The amendment was the culmination of more than 70 years of struggle by woman suffragists. Its two sections read simply: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex" and "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
In the final decadent years of the disco era, the group Chic reached the height of their popularity just as their musical niche was about to disappear. They were fresh, they were sexy, they were massively successful, and while the death of disco brought their recording career to a premature end, what distinguished Chic from the many groups that suffered a similar fate was the enormous influence they would have on the sounds rushed in to take disco's place--including, perhaps surprisingly, rap. The greatest example of that influence relates to the historic importance of their second #1 hit, "Good Times," which topped the Billboard Hot 100 on this day in 1979.
Aug 18, 1992:
On August 18, 1992, celebrated Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird retires.
Australia and New Zealand announce the end of the year as the deadline for withdrawal of their respective contingents from Vietnam. The Australians had 6,000 men in South Vietnam and the New Zealanders numbered 264. Both nations agreed to leave behind small training contingents. Australian Prime Minister William McMahon proclaimed that the South Vietnamese forces were now able to assume Australia's role in Phuoc Tuy province, southeast of Saigon and that Australia would give South Vietnam $28 million over the next three years for civilian projects. Total Australian losses for the period of their commitment in Vietnam were 473 dead and 2,202 wounded; the monetary cost of the war was $182 million for military expenses and $16 million in civilian assistance to South Vietnam.
On this day in 1941, Adolf Hitler orders that the systematic murder of the mentally ill and handicapped be brought to an end because of protests within Germany.
On this day in 1969, the grooviest event in music history--the Woodstock Music Festival--draws to a close after three days of peace, love and rock 'n' roll in upstate New York.
Charles F. Kettering, co-founder of Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (DELCO) in Dayton, Ohio, is issued U.S. Patent No. 1,150,523 for his "engine-starting device"--the first electric ignition device for automobiles--on August 17, 1915.
On this day in 1999, an earthquake in northwestern Turkey kills more than 17,000 people and leaves more than 250,000 homeless. The immense disaster exposed serious problems with government and building contractors in Turkey.
The Double Eagle II completes the first transatlantic balloon flight when it lands in a barley field near Paris, 137 hours after lifting off from Preque Isle, Maine. The helium-filled balloon was piloted by Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman and flew 3,233 miles in the six-day odyssey.
Rudolf Hess, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's former deputy, is found strangled to death in Spandau Prison in Berlin at the age of 93, apparently the victim of suicide. Hess was the last surviving member of Hitler's inner circle and the sole prisoner at Spandau since 1966.
Just after 3 a.m., an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale strikes northwestern Turkey, home to one-third of the country's population and half its industry. The epicenter of the earthquake was Izmit, located 65 miles from Istanbul and on the North Anatolian fault line. The quake came at the worst possible time, when people were at home in their beds, and thousands were killed instantly as their homes collapsed on them. Thousands more died of injuries, suffocation, dehydration, or exhaustion as rescue crews scrambled to pull them from the rubble. All told, more than 17,000 people were killed and damages totaled $6.5 billion, making it one of the most devastating earthquakes of the 20th century.
Random house agrees to pay Gen. Colin Powell an advance of about $6 million for the rights to his autobiography, My American Journey.
In America, it is a fairly well-known historical fact that the legendary mob boss Al Capone was brought to justice not by uniformed officers of the Chicago Police Department, but by the punctilious accountants of the FBI. However, in England there were at least a few young men that didn't have all the facts straight, and in the 1970s their pop group from Nottingham turned their romantic misunderstanding of American history into a historically dubious yet gloriously catchy hit record. Though it was never intended for the American market, Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died" crossed the Atlantic and became a #1 hit on the U.S. pop charts on this day in 1974.
On this day in 1998, President Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting president to testify before the Office of Independent Council as the subject of a grand-jury investigation.
On August 17, 1933, New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig plays in his 1,308th consecutive game, breaking former Yankee Everett Scotts record for consecutive games played. Gehrig would go on to play in 2,130 games in a row, setting a record that would stand for over half a century.
While salmon fishing near the Klondike River in Canada's Yukon Territory on this day in 1896, George Carmack reportedly spots nuggets of gold in a creek bed. His lucky discovery sparks the last great gold rush in the American West.
A plane crash at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan kills 156 people on this day in 1987. A four-year-old girl was the sole survivor of the accident, which was caused by pilot error.
During the War of 1812, American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit and his army to the British without a fight. Hull, a 59-year-old veteran of the American Revolution, had lost hope of defending the settlement after seeing the large English and Indian force gathering outside Detroit's walls. The general was also preoccupied with the presence of his daughter and grandchildren inside the fort.
On August 16, 1948, baseball legend George Herman "Babe" Ruth dies from cancer in New York City. For two days following, his body lay in state at the main entrance to Yankee Stadium, and tens of thousands of people stood in line to pay their last respects. He was buried in Hawthorne, New York.
Popular music icon Elvis Presley dies in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 42. The death of the "King of Rock and Roll" brought legions of mourning fans to Graceland, his mansion in Memphis. Doctors said he died of a heart attack, likely brought on by his addiction to prescription barbiturates.
On this day in 1958, Madonna Louise Ciccone, the entertainment icon later known around the world by her first name only, is born near Detroit, Michigan. After rising to stardom as a pop singer and dancer in the 1980s, Madonna added acting to her resume, with roles in such films as Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, A League of Their Own and Evita. The provocative performer, who often tackled sexual and religious themes in her work, also became famous for her ever-changing hairstyles and fashion sense as well as her personal life, which remains an ongoing source of fascination to the tabloid media.
Five years to the day after half a million rain-soaked hippies grooved and swayed to the psychedelic sounds of the Grateful Dead at Woodstock, four young men from Forest Hills, Queens, took to the stage of an East Village dive bar in jeans, motorcycle jackets and Converse high-tops to launch a two-minute sonic attack on everything those 60s icons stood for. The date was August 16, 1974, the bar was CBGB's and the band was the Ramones, giving their debut public performance. The rapidly shouted words with which they opened that show and launched the punk-rock revolution were, as they would always be, "One! Two! Three! Four!"
Aug 16, 1920:
On August 16, 1920, Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman is struck in the temple by a ball pitched by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. He died 12 hours later. This was the first and only death to occur as the result of a pitched ball in major league history.
On this day in 1969, the Woodstock Music Festival opens on a patch of farmland in White Lake, a hamlet in the upstate New York town of Bethel.
On this day in 1899, in Detroit, Michigan, Henry Ford resigns his position as chief engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company's main plant in order to concentrate on automobile production.
Hurricane Alicia forms south of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico on this day in 1983. Three days later, the Texas Gulf Coast is slammed by the storm, causing 21 deaths, thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in damages.
At the Battle of Lumphanan, King Macbeth of Scotland is slain by Malcolm Canmore, whose father, King Duncan I, was murdered by Macbeth 17 years earlier.
The American-built waterway across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is inaugurated with the passage of the U.S. vessel Ancon, a cargo and passenger ship.
The Indian Independence Bill, which carves the independent nations of India and Pakistan out of the former Mogul Empire, comes into force at the stroke of midnight. The long-awaited agreement ended 200 years of British rule and was hailed by Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi as the "noblest act of the British nation." However, religious strife between Hindus and Muslims, which had delayed Britain's granting of Indian independence after World War II, soon marred Gandhi's exhilaration. In the northern province of Punjab, which was sharply divided between Hindu-dominated India and Muslim-dominated Pakistan, hundreds of people were killed in the first few days after independence.
Two days after sealing off free passage between East and West Berlin with barbed wire, East German authorities begin building a wall--the Berlin Wall--to permanently close off access to the West. For the next 28 years, the heavily fortified Berlin Wall stood as the most tangible symbol of the Cold War--a literal "iron curtain" dividing Europe.
On this day in 1930, President Herbert Hoover gives a press conference in which he offers plans for relief of individuals and businesses affected by a series of devastating droughts. The droughts, combined with a major stock market crash in October 1929, resulted in dire economic conditions in the country that lasted throughout the early to mid-1930s, an era known as the "Great Depression."
On August 15, 1859, Charles Albert Comiskey, namesake of Chicagos famous Comiskey Park, is born in Chicago, Illinois. Comiskey went on to become the first and only player to later own a team.
On this day in 2003, a major outage knocked out power across the eastern United States and parts of Canada. Beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET, 21 power plants shut down in just three minutes. Fifty million people were affected, including residents of New York, Cleveland and Detroit, as well as Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. Although power companies were able to resume some service in as little as two hours, power remained off in other places for more than a day. The outage stopped trains and elevators, and disrupted everything from cellular telephone service to operations at hospitals to traffic at airports. In New York City, it took more than two hours for passengers to be evacuated from stalled subway trains. Small business owners were affected when they lost expensive refrigerated stock. The loss of use of electric water pumps interrupted water service in many areas. There were even some reports of people being stranded mid-ride on amusement park roller coasters. At the New York Stock Exchange and bond market, though, trading was able to continue thanks to backup generators.
On this day in 1933, a devastating forest fire is sparked in the Coast Range Mountains, located in northern Oregon, 50 miles west of Portland. Raging for 11 days over some 267,000 acres, the blaze began a series of fires that struck the region at six-year intervals until 1951 that became known collectively as the Tillamook Burn.
On Kodiak Island, Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founds Three Saints Bay, the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska.
It was during their collaboration on 1983's "Say Say Say" that former Beatle Paul McCartney is said to have advised King of Pop Michael Jackson to invest some of his enormous wealth in music publishing. It was sound financial advice that McCartney may have come to regret giving on this day in 1985, when Michael Jackson purchased the publishing rights to the vast majority of the Beatles' catalog for $47 million, outbidding McCartney himself.
On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Social Security Act. Press photographers snapped pictures as FDR, flanked by ranking members of Congress, signed into law the historic act, which guaranteed an income for the unemployed and retirees. FDR commended Congress for what he considered to be a "patriotic" act.
On August 14, 1971, St. Louis Cardinals ace Bob Gibson throws the first no-hitter of his storied career. Gibsons heroics helped his team sail to an 11-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
On this day in 1917, as World War I enters its fourth year, China abandons its neutrality and declares war on Germany.
On this day in 1945, an official announcement of Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allies is made public to the Japanese people.
Shortly after midnight on this day in 1961, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city.
Aug 13, 1902:
The German engineer Felix Wankel, inventor of a rotary engine that will be used in race cars, is born on August 13, 1902, in Lahr, Germany.
On this day in 1878, Kate Bionda, a restaurant owner, dies of yellow fever in Memphis, Tennessee, after a man who had escaped a quarantined steamboat visited her restaurant. The disease spread rapidly and the resulting epidemic emptied the city.
Alfred Hitchcock, the macabre master of moviemaking, is born in London on August 13, 1899. His innovative directing techniques and mastery of suspense made him one of the most popular and influential filmmakers of the 20th century.
Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro is born in the Oriente province of eastern Cuba. The son of a Spanish immigrant who had made a fortune building rail systems to transport sugar cane, Fidel attended Roman Catholic boarding schools in Santiago de Cuba. He became involved in revolutionary politics while he was a student and in 1947 took part in an abortive attempt by Dominican exiles and Cubans to overthrow Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. In the next year, he took part in urban riots in Bogota, Colombia. The most outstanding feature of his politics during the period was his anti-American beliefs; he was not yet an overt Marxist.
Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" (1956) is one of the biggest and most instantly recognizable pop songs in history. It's a song so closely associated with the King of Rock and Roll, in fact, that many may mistakenly assume that it was a Presley original. In fact, the story of the song that gave Elvis his longest-running #1 hit (11 weeks) in the summer of 1956 began four years earlier, when "Hound Dog" was recorded for the very first time by the rhythm-and-blues singer Ellie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton in Los Angeles, California.
On this day in 1981, at his California home Rancho del Cielo, Ronald Reagan signs the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA), a historic package of tax and budget reductions that set the tone for his administration's overall economic policy.
Former New York Yankees star Mickey Mantle dies of liver cancer at the age of 63. While "The Mick" patrolled center field and batted clean-up between 1951 and 1968, the Yankees won 12 American League pennants and seven World Series championships
On this day in 1990, fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovers three huge bones jutting out of a cliff near Faith, South Dakota. They turn out to be part of the largest-ever Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered, a 65 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer.
In an effort to stem the tide of refugees attempting to leave East Berlin, the communist government of East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin. Construction of the wall caused a short-term crisis in U.S.-Soviet bloc relations, and the wall itself came to symbolize the Cold War.
On August 12, 1964, Charlie Wilson, part of the gang who pulled off the 1963 Great Train Robbery, one of the biggest heists of its kind, escapes from Winson Green Prison in Birmingham, England. Several men broke into the maximum-security facility to free Wilson, who remained on the loose until 1968.
A Russian nuclear submarine sinks to the bottom of the Barents Sea on this day in 2000; all 118 crew members are later found dead. The exact cause of the disaster remains unknown.
Less than one year after the United States tested its first hydrogen bomb, the Soviets detonate a 400-kiloton device in Kazakhstan. The explosive power was 30 times that of the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and the mushroom cloud produced by it stretched five miles into the sky. Known as the "Layer Cake," the bomb was fueled by layers of uranium and lithium deuteride, a hydrogen isotope. The Soviet bomb was smaller and more portable than the American hydrogen bomb, so its development once again upped the ante in the dangerous nuclear arms race between the Cold War superpowers.
On August 12, 1973, American golfer Jack Nicklaus wins the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) championship for his 14th major title, surpassing Bobby Jones' record of 13 major championships. Nicklaus shot a seven-under-par 277 at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, to win $45,000 and his third PGA National championship. The "Golden Bear" went on to win a total of 20 major tournaments, a record that still stands today. (Although it aptly describes his golden-colored hair and large build, Nicklaus' famous moniker is actually derived from his high school alma mater, the Upper Arlington Golden Bears.)
At 6:50 p.m. local time, a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747SR crashes into Mount Otsuka, 70 miles northwest of Tokyo. There were 524 people aboard, and all but four were dead by the time rescuers reached the remote crash site 12 hours later.
On this day in 1964, the British author and journalist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, the worlds most famous fictional spy, dies of a heart attack at age 56 in Kent, England. Flemings series of novels about the debonair Agent 007, based in part on their dashing authors real-life experiences, spawned one of the most lucrative film franchises in history.
The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland and featuring words and music by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg and Harold Arlen, receives its world premiere in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, on this day in 1939.
Oakland Raiders free safety Jack Tatum levels New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley with a helmet-to-helmet hit in a preseason game, leaving Stingley paralyzed for life. Despite the sport's hard hits and reputation for roughness, this was the first and only time a player was permanently paralyzed as a result of an injury sustained in a National Football League game.
On this day in 1938, Adolf Hitler institutes the Mother's Cross, to encourage German women to have more children, to be awarded each year on August 12, Hitler's mother's birthday.
A group of federal prisoners classified as "most dangerous" arrives at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay. The convicts--the first civilian prisoners to be housed in the new high-security penitentiary--joined a few dozen military prisoners left over from the island's days as a U.S. military prison.
On this day in 1973, "American Graffiti," a nostalgic coming-of-age tale set on the streets and steeped in the car-centric culture of suburban California, is released in theaters across the United States. The movie went on to become a sleeper hit.
A hurricane hits the Louisiana coast, killing more than 400 people, on this day in 1856. Isle Derniere, a resort community, was totally submerged by the storm surges.
Prince Hussein is proclaimed the king of Jordan after his father, King Talal, is declared unfit to rule by the Jordanian Parliament on grounds of mental illness. Hussein was formally crowned on November 14, 1953, his 18th birthday. Hussein was the third constitutional king of Jordan and a member of the Hashemite dynasty, said to be in direct line of descent from the Prophet Muhammad.
In the predominantly black Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, racial tension reaches a breaking point after two white policemen scuffle with a black motorist suspected of drunken driving. A crowd of spectators gathered near the corner of Avalon Boulevard and 116th Street to watch the arrest and soon grew angry by what they believed to be yet another incident of racially motivated abuse by the police. A riot soon began, spurred on by residents of Watts who were embittered after years of economic and political isolation. The rioters eventually ranged over a 50-square-mile area of South Central Los Angeles, looting stores, torching buildings, and beating whites as snipers fired at police and firefighters. Finally, with the assistance of thousands of National Guardsmen, order was restored on August 16.
In Jonesboro, Arkansas, Mitchell Johnson pleads guilty to the Jonesboro schoolyard massacre on his 14th birthday, and Andrew Golden, age 12, is convicted. Both boys had been charged with five counts of murder and 10 counts of battery for the March 24 shooting that left four schoolmates and a teacher dead and 10 others wounded. Juvenile Court Judge Ralph Wilson Jr. sentenced them to the maximum penalty allowed by law--confinement to a juvenile center, perhaps until they turned 21. The judge, who declared during sentencing that "here the punishment will not fit the crime," had rejected a plea of temporary insanity made by Golden.
Alex Haley, author of Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X is born on this day in Ithaca, New York.
Like any style of music, hip hop has roots in other forms, and its evolution was shaped by many different artists, but there's a case to be made that it came to life precisely on this day in 1973, at a birthday party in the recreation room of an apartment building in the west Bronx, New York City. The location of that birthplace was 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, and the man who presided over that historic party was the birthday girl's brother, Clive Campbellbetter known to history as DJ Kool Herc, founding father of hip hop.
Aug 11, 1984:
On this day in 1984, President Ronald Reagan makes a joking but controversial off-the-cuff remark about bombing Russia while testing a microphone before a scheduled radio address. While warming up for the speech, Reagan said "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
On August 11, 1994, the longest work stoppage in major league history begins. Because of the strike, the 1994 World Series was cancelled; it was the first time baseball did not crown a champion in 89 years.
The last U.S. ground combat unit in South Vietnam, the Third Battalion, Twenty-First Infantry, departs for the United States. The unit had been guarding the U.S. air base at Da Nang. This left only 43,500 advisors, airmen, and support troops left in-country. This number did not include the sailors of the Seventh Fleet on station in the South China Sea or the air force personnel in Thailand and Guam.
After a decade of debate about how best to spend a bequest left to America from an obscure English scientist, President James K. Polk signs the Smithsonian Institution Act into law.
On this day in 1978, three teenage girls die after their 1973 Ford Pinto is rammed from behind by a van and bursts into flames on an Indiana highway. The fatal crash was one of a series of Pinto accidents that caused a national scandal during the 1970s.
President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Bill, which establishes the Department of Defense. As the Cold War heated up, the Department of Defense became the cornerstone of America's military effort to contain the expansion of communism.
A rare collision of three ships in Tampa Bay, Florida, results in a spill of 336,000 gallons of fuel oil on this day in 1993. Fortunately, a combination of favorable weather conditions and preparedness kept the damage to a minimum.
Missouri enters the Union as the 24th state--and the first located entirely west of the Mississippi River.
On August 10, 1977, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz is arrested and charged with being the "Son of Sam," the serial killer who terrorized New York City for more than a year, killing six young people and wounding seven others with a .44-caliber revolver. Because Berkowitz generally targeted attractive young women with long brown hair, hundreds of young women had their hair cut short and dyed blond during the time he terrorized the city. Thousands more simply stayed home at night. After his arrest, Berkowitz claimed that demons and a black Labrador retriever owned by a neighbor named Sam had ordered him to commit the killings.
On this day in 2003, the United Kingdom records its first-ever temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Throughout the month, an intense heat wave scorched the European continent, claiming more than 35,000 lives.
Aug 10, 1984:
On this day in 1984, the action thriller Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, opens in theaters as the first movie to be released with a PG-13 rating. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which oversees the movie rating system, had announced the new PG-13 category in July of that same year.
Versatile, inexpensive and relatively easy to play, the acoustic guitar was a staple of American rural music in the early 20th century, particularly black rural music such as the blues. But a significant physical limitation made it a poor fit in ensembles made up of brass, woodwind and orchestral string instruments: The acoustic guitar was simply too quiet. What transformed the guitar and its place in popular music, and eventually transformed popular music itself, was the development of a method for transforming the sound of a vibrating guitar string into an electrical signal that could be amplified and re-converted into audible sound at a much greater volume. The electric guitarthe instrument that revolutionized jazz, blues and country music and made the later rise of rock and roll possiblewas recognized by the United States Patent Office on this day in 1937 with the award of Patent #2,089.171 to G.D. Beauchamp for an instrument known as the Rickenbacker Frying Pan.
On this day in 1981, Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies gets the 3,631st hit of his baseball career, breaking Stan Musial's record for most hits by a National Leaguer. The record-breaking hit came in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the team with whom Musial had spent his entire career, and the former hits king was on hand to congratulate Rose.
In accordance with his statement of resignation the previous evening, Richard M. Nixon officially ends his term as the 37th president of the United States at noon. Before departing with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn, he smiled farewell and enigmatically raised his arms in a victory or peace salute. The helicopter door was then closed, and the Nixon family began their journey home to San Clemente, California. Richard Nixon was the first U.S. president to resign from office.
On August 9, 2000, tire manufacturer Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. announces that it is recalling 6.5 million of its model ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires; the move comes two days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration linked hundreds of accidents and at least 46 deaths to problems with the tread on the tires.
On this day in 1969, members of Charles Manson's cult kill five people in movie director Roman Polanski's Beverly Hills, California, home, including Polanski's pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate. Less than two days later, the group killed again, murdering supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary in their home. The savage crimes shocked the nation and, strangely, turned Charles Manson into a criminal icon.
Hurricane Belle turns toward the United States from the Bahamas on this day in 1976. By the time Belle had run its course, the storm had killed 12 people and caused $24 million in damages from North Carolina to Vermont.
At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, African American track star Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal of the Games in the 4x100-meter relay. His relay team set a new world record of 39.8 seconds, which held for 20 years. In their strong showing in track-and-field events at the XIth Olympiad, Jesse Owens and other African American athletes struck a propaganda blow against Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who planned to use the Berlin Games as a showcase of supposed Aryan superiority.
On this day in 2010, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater quits his job in dramatic style by sliding down his planes emergency-escape chute while the aircraft is stopped near the terminal gate at New Yorks John F. Kennedy International Airport. Slater, who claimed his actions were prompted by the behavior of a rude passenger, quickly became a media sensation and national folk hero.
Like his band the Grateful Dead, which was still going strong three decades after its formation, Jerry Garcia defied his life-expectancy not merely by surviving, but by thriving creatively and commercially into the 1990s--far longer than most of his peers. His long, strange trip came to an end, however, on this day in 1995, when he died of a heart attack in a residential drug-treatment facility in Forest Knolls, California. A legendary guitarist and true cultural icon, Jerry Garcia was 53 years old.
On this day in 1988, Edmonton Oilers center Wayne Gretzky is traded to the Los Angeles Kings along with Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley in return for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas and first-round draft picks in the 1989, 1991 and 1993 drafts. At age 27, Gretzky was already widely considered the greatest player in hockey history and was the owner of 43 National Hockey League scoring records.
In an evening televised address, President Richard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. With impeachment proceedings underway against him for his involvement in the Watergate affair, Nixon was finally bowing to pressure from the public and Congress to leave the White House. "By taking this action," he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, "I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America."
In the aftermath of his defeat at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Confederate General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Aug 8, 1956:
A coal-mine fire kills 262 workers in Marcinelle, Belgium, on this day in 1956. This highly publicized disaster was the worst ever in a Belgian mine and led to many policy changes.
As of 1988, the top-selling hip hop albums of all time were Run D.M.C.'s Raising Hell and the Beastie Boys' License to Ill, both released in 1987 and both selling millions without ruffling many feathers. In June 1988, Public Enemy released It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, an album that broke new ground both musically and lyrically with its richly layered, aggressive sound and its angry, politically conscious content. Yet even Public Enemy were dwarfed commercially by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, whose kid-friendly single "Parents Just Don't Understand" and album He's the DJ, I'm The Rapper were both Top 5 pop hits that same summer. The group that would truly revolutionize hip hop was N.W.A"Niggaz With Attitude" whose debut album, Straight Outta Compton,was released on this day in 1988.
On this day in 1988, the Chicago Cubs host the first night game in the history of Wrigley Field.
At the Republican National Convention in Miami, Richard M. Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew are chosen as the presidential and vice-presidential nominees for the upcoming election. In his speech accepting the nomination, Nixon promised to "bring an honorable end to the war in Vietnam" and to inaugurate "an era of negotiations" with leading Communist powers, while restoring "the strength of America so that we shall always negotiate from strength and never from weakness." The party subsequently adopted a platform on the war that called for "progressive de-Americanization" of the war. Nixon was successful in his campaign bid and once in office, he instituted a program of "Vietnamization" (the turning over of the war to the South Vietnamese) and U.S. troop withdrawals.
Vice President Agnew branded reports that he took kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland as "damned lies." Agnew had taken a lot of heat in the media when he assumed a lead position as Nixon's point man on Vietnam. He frequently attacked the student protest movement, blaming the intellectual community, which he referred to as "impudent snobs," for campus unrest. Despite the charges of bribery and income tax evasion, Agnew vowed that he would never resign and blamed his troubles on the press, who, he said, were out to get him for his controversial stand on the war. Ultimately, however, he resigned from office on October 10, 1973.
On this day in 1947, Kon-Tiki, a balsa wood raft captained by Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl, completes a 4,300-mile, 101-day journey from Peru to Raroia in the Tuamotu Archipelago, near Tahiti. Heyerdahl wanted to prove his theory that prehistoric South Americans could have colonized the Polynesian islands by drifting on ocean currents.
On this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the "Badge for Military Merit," a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for "any singularly meritorious action" and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree's name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a "Book of Merit."
On this day in 1944, under the threat of Allied bombing during World War II, the German car manufacturer Volkswagen halts production of the "Beetle," as its small, insect-shaped automobile was dubbed in the international press.
Aug 7, 1945:
Concerned with its reputation in light of recent revelations about inhumane prison conditions, Georgia changes its constitution to set up a State Board of Corrections. The board was directed to be more humane in its treatment of prisoners and abolished whippings, leg irons, and chains. Until 1945, prisoners in Georgia could expect to have heavy steel shackles put on by a blacksmith upon arrival. They were then taken out to work under severe conditions.
Seven army ammunition trucks explode in Cali, Colombia, killing more than 1,000 people and injuring thousands more on this day in 1956. The cause of the explosions remains a mystery.
From the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the U.S. unmanned spacecraft Explorer 6 is launched into an orbit around the earth. The spacecraft, commonly known as the "Paddlewheel" satellite, featured a photocell scanner that transmitted a crude picture of the earth's surface and cloud cover from a distance of 17,000 miles. The photo, received in Hawaii, took nearly 40 minutes to transmit.
At 10:30 a.m. local time, a massive truck bomb explodes outside the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Minutes later, another truck bomb detonated outside the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam, the capital of neighboring Tanzania. The dual terrorist attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and wounded more than 4,500. The United States accused Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, a proponent of international terrorism against America, of masterminding the bombings. On August 20, President Bill Clinton ordered cruise missiles launched against bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and against a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, where bin Laden allegedly made or distributed chemical weapons.
On this day in 2005, a Russian Priz AS-28 mini-submarine, with seven crew members on board, is rescued from deep in the Pacific Ocean. On August 4, the vessel had been taking part in training exercises in Beryozovaya Bay, off the coast of Russia's far-eastern Kamchatka peninsula, when its propellers became entangled in cables that were part of Russia's coastal monitoring system. Unable to surface, the sub's crew was stranded in the dark, freezing submarine for more than three days.
In 1979, folk-pop icon James Taylor became the first major popular-music figure to draw a crowd numbering in the hundreds of thousands to a free concert in New York City's Central Park. On August 7, 1997, country-music giant Garth Brooks became the last. The reason for the abrupt end to six-figure crowds at concerts in the park? It wasn't a change of policy with regard to allowing such gatheringsbut a dramatic shift in how the crowds were counted.
On this day in 1990, President George Herbert Walker Bush orders the organization of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2. The order prepared American troops to become part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq that would be launched as Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. To support Operation Desert Shield, Bush authorized a dramatic increase in U.S. troops and resources in the Persian Gulf.
On this day in 1987, Lynne Cox braves the freezing waters of the Bering Strait to make the first recorded swim from the United States to the Soviet Union.
On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world's first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.
A Korean Air Boeing 747 crashes in Guam, killing 228 people on this day in 1997. An inexperienced crew and poor air-traffic policies on the island territory contributed to the disaster.
In Philadelphia, delegates to the Constitutional Convention begin debating the first complete draft of the proposed Constitution of the United States.
At Auburn Prison in New York, the first execution by electrocution in history is carried out against William Kemmler, who had been convicted of murdering his lover, Matilda Ziegler, with an axe.
Andy Warhol, one of the most influential artists of the latter part of the 20th century, is born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A frail and diminutive man with a shock of silver-blond hair, Warhol was a major pioneer of the pop art movement of the 1960s but later outgrew that role to become a cultural icon.
On this day in 1911, Lucille Desiree Ball, one of Americas most famous redheads and beloved comic actresses, is born near Jamestown, New York.
It's a long way indeed from the performing onstage at the Academy Awards to portraying a cartoon chef, but that's the singular journey traveled by the late Isaac Hayes in a remarkable career that included hugely successful work as a singer, songwriter, record producer and actor and a late-career role as an enormously popular cartoon voiceover artist. A significant force in popular culture from the mid-1960s until his death in 2008, Isaac Hayes was born in Covington, Tennessee on this day in 1942.
On this day in 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote. The bill made it illegal to impose restrictions on federal, state and local elections that were designed to deny the vote to blacks.
On this day in 1926, on her second attempt, 19-year-old Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the 21 miles from Dover, England, to Cape Griz-Nez across the English Channel, which separates Great Britain from the northwestern tip of France.
On this day in 2002, the rusty iron gun turret of the U.S.S. Monitor broke from the water and into the daylight for the first time in 140 years. The ironclad warship was raised from the floor of the Atlantic, where it had rested since it went down in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, during the Civil War. Divers had been working for six weeks to bring it to the surface.
The world's first electric traffic signal is put into place on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, on this day in 1914.
Representatives of the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater, or in the atmosphere. The treaty was hailed as an important first step toward the control of nuclear weapons.
On August 5, 1998, Marie Noe, age 70, is arrested at her Philadelphia home and charged in the smothering deaths of eight of her children, who died between 1949 and 1968.
An earthquake hits Ecuador killing 6,000 people and injuring another 20,000 on this day in 1948. The 6.7-magnitude tremor was particularly deadly for its size.
Aug 5, 1858:
After several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed, a feat accomplished largely through the efforts of American merchant Cyrus West Field.
On August 5, 1962, movie actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home in Los Angeles. She was discovered lying nude on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief investigation, Los Angeles police concluded that her death was "caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide."
On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan begins firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work. The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slowed air travel for months.
Television, rock and roll and teenagers. In the late 1950s, when television and rock and roll were new and when the biggest generation in American history was just about to enter its teens, it took a bit of originality to see the potential power in this now-obvious combination. The man who saw that potential more clearly than any other was a 26-year-old native of upstate New York named Dick Clark, who transformed himself and a local Philadelphia television program into two of the most culturally significant forces of the early rock-and-roll era. His iconic show, American Bandstand, began broadcasting nationally on this day in 1957, beaming images of clean-cut, average teenagers dancing to the not-so-clean-cut Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" to 67 ABC affiliates across the nation.
On this day in 1861, Lincoln imposes the first federal income tax by signing the Revenue Act. Strapped for cash with which to pursue the Civil War, Lincoln and Congress agreed to impose a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800.
On this day in 1976, the National Basketball Association (NBA) merges with its rival, the American Basketball Association (ABA), and takes on the ABAs four most successful franchises: the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, the New York (later New Jersey) Nets and the San Antonio Spurs.
On this day in 1944, Polish insurgents liberate a German forced-labor camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners, who join in a general uprising against the German occupiers of the city.
Acting on tip from a Dutch informer, the Nazi Gestapo captures 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The Franks had taken shelter there in 1942 out of fear of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp. They occupied the small space with another Jewish family and a single Jewish man, and were aided by Christian friends, who brought them food and supplies. Anne spent much of her time in the "secret annex" working on her diary. The diary survived the war, overlooked by the Gestapo that discovered the hiding place, but Anne and nearly all of the others perished in the Nazi death camps.
Andrew and Abby Borden, elderly residents of Fall River, Massachusetts, are found bludgeoned to death in their home. Lying in a pool of blood on the living room couch, Andrew's face had been nearly split in two. Abby, Lizzie's stepmother, was found upstairs with her head smashed to pieces.
Floodwaters finally recede in Luzon, Philippines, on this day in 1972, revealing devastation and hundreds dead. An astounding rainfall in July had caused rivers all over the large island to flood.
George Washington, a young Virginia planter, becomes a Master Mason, the highest basic rank in the secret fraternity of Freemasonry. The ceremony was held at the Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Washington was 21 years old and would soon command his first military operation as a major in the Virginia colonial militia.
The remains of three civil rights workers whose disappearance on June 21 garnered national attention are found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, both white New Yorkers, had traveled to heavily segregated Mississippi in 1964 to help organize civil rights efforts on behalf of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The third man, James Chaney, was a local African American man who had joined CORE in 1963. The disappearance of the three young men led to a massive FBI investigation that was code-named MIBURN, for "Mississippi Burning."
The Father of Country Music, Jimmie Rodgers, is recorded for the very first time on August 4, 1997, during the legendary Bristol Sessions.
On this day in 1936, American Jesse Owens wins gold in the long jump at the Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. It was the second of four gold medals Owens won in Berlin, as he firmly dispelled German Fuhrer Adolf Hitlers notion of the superiority of an Aryan "master race," for all the world to see.
On August 3, 1958, the U.S. nuclear submarine Nautilus accomplishes the first undersea voyage to the geographic North Pole. The world's first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus dived at Point Barrow, Alaska, and traveled nearly 1,000 miles under the Arctic ice cap to reach the top of the world. It then steamed on to Iceland, pioneering a new and shorter route from the Pacific to the Atlantic and Europe.
On this day in 1975, a chartered Boeing 707 jetliner crashes in the Atlas Mountains near Agadir, a coastal city in southern Morocco. All 188 people aboard the plane were killed, in the fourth worst air disaster to that date.
From the Spanish port of Palos, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets sail in command of three shipsthe Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Ninaon a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.
The last entry of the serialized novel Great Expectations is published on this day in 1861. The book had been serialized in Dickens' literary circular, All the Year Round. The novel tells the story of young Pip, a poor orphan who comes to believe he will inherit a fortune.
If pop songs, like hurricanes, were rated on an objective scale according to their ability to devastate the pop-cultural landscape, then the song that reached the top of the American pop charts on this day in 1996 was a Category 5 monster. It first made landfall in Florida as a seemingly harmless Spanish-language rumba, but in the hands of a pair of Miami record producers, it soon morphed and strengthened into something called "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)," a song that laid waste to all competition during a record-setting run at #1 that began on August 3, 1996.
An ominous sign of the troubles to come, the Donner party finds a note warning the emigrants that their expected route through the mountains ahead is nearly impassable.
Aug 3, 1923:
On this day in 1923, Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th president of the United States, hours after the death of President Warren G. Harding.
On this day in 1949, after a damaging three-year battle to win both players and fans, the rival Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) merge to form the National Basketball Association (NBA).
At about 2 a.m. local time, Iraqi forces invade Kuwait, Iraq's tiny, oil-rich neighbor. Kuwait's defense forces were rapidly overwhelmed, and those that were not destroyed retreated to Saudi Arabia. The emir of Kuwait, his family, and other government leaders fled to Saudi Arabia, and within hours Kuwait City had been captured and the Iraqis had established a provincial government. By annexing Kuwait, Iraq gained control of 20 percent of the world's oil reserves and, for the first time, a substantial coastline on the Persian Gulf. The same day, the United Nations Security Council unanimously denounced the invasion and demanded Iraq's immediate withdrawal from Kuwait. On August 6, the Security Council imposed a worldwide ban on trade with Iraq.
On this day in 1776, members of Congress affix their signatures to an enlarged copy of the Declaration of Independence.
On this day in 1987, in the fastest race in Indy car racing at the time, 24-year-old Michael Andretti wins the Marlboro 500 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, with an average speed of 171.490 miles per hour.
On this day in 1985, strong and sudden wind gusts cause a plane crash at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in Texas that kills 135 people. The rapid and unexpected formation of a supercell, an extremely violent form of thunderstorm, led to the tragedy.
With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler becomes absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer, or "Leader." The German army took an oath of allegiance to its new commander-in-chief, and the last remnants of Germany's democratic government were dismantled to make way for Hitler's Third Reich. The Fuhrer assured his people that the Third Reich would last for a thousand years, but Nazi Germany collapsed just 11 years later.
From his home on Long Island, New York, German-born physicist Albert Einstein writes to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging "watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action" on the part of the United States in atomic research. Einstein, a lifelong pacifist, feared that Nazi Germany had begun work on an atomic bomb.
Bassist James Jamerson, who laid the foundation of the Motown sound, dies of pneumonia on this day in 1983.
On this day in 1943, future President John F. Kennedy is serving as commander of a torpedo boat in the Solomon Islands when his ship is fired upon by the Japanese navy.
Aug 2, 1992:
On this day in 1992, Jackie Joyner-Kersee becomes the first woman ever to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals in the heptathlon.
North Vietnamese torpedo boats attack the destroyer USS Maddox (DD-731).
The Nixon administration officially acknowledges that the CIA is maintaining a force of 30,000 'irregulars' fighting the Communist Pathet Lao in Laos. The CIA trained and equipped this force of mountain tribesman, mostly from the Hmong tribe, to fight a secret war against the Communists and to sever the Ho Chi Minh Trail into South Vietnam. According to a once top-secret report released this date by the U.S. Defense and State Departments, U.S. financial involvement in Laos had totaled $284,200,000 in 1970.
On this day in 1961, amusement park lovers "head for the thrills" as Six Flags Over Texas, the first park in the Six Flags chain, opens. Located on 212 acres in Arlington, Texas, the park was the first to feature log flume and mine train rides and later, the first 360-degree looping roller coaster, modern parachute drop and man-made river rapids ride. The park also pioneered the concept of all-inclusive admission price; until then, separate entrance fees and individual ride tickets were the standard. During its opening year, a day at Six Flags cost $2.75 for an adult and $2.25 for a child. A hamburger sold for 50 cents and a soda set the buyer back a dime.
On this day in 1774, dissenting British minister Joseph Priestly, author of Observations on Civil Liberty and the Nature and Justice of the War with America, discovers oxygen while serving as a tutor to the sons of American sympathizer William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, at Bowood House in Wiltshire, England.
On this day in 2007, Citibank opens China's first drive-through automated teller machine (ATM) at the Upper East Side Central Plaza in Beijing.
Charles Whitman takes a stockpile of guns and ammunition to the observatory platform atop a 300-foot tower at the University of Texas and proceeds to shoot 46 people, killing 14 people and wounding 31. A fifteenth died in 2001 because of his injuries. Whitman, who had killed both his wife and mother the night before, was eventually shot to death after courageous Austin police officers, including Ramiro Martinez, charged up the stairs of the tower to subdue the attacker.
A severe flood of the Red River in North Vietnam kills an estimated 100,000 people on this day in 1971. This remarkable flood was one of the century's most serious weather events, but because the Vietnam War was going on at the time, relatively few details about the disaster are available.
Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela. Thinking it an island, he christened it Isla Santa and claimed it for Spain.
Four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declare war against each other, France orders a general mobilization, and the first German army units cross into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium, and Great Britain all lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. The "Great War" that ensued was one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians.
On this day in 1981, MTV: Music Television goes on the air for the first time ever, with the words (spoken by one of MTVs creators, John Lack): Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll. The Buggles Video Killed the Radio Star was the first music video to air on the new cable television channel, which initially was available only to households in parts of New Jersey. MTV went on to revolutionize the music industry and become an influential source of pop culture and entertainment in the United States and other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia and Latin America, which all have MTV-branded channels
Newspapers report on this day in 1994 that publishing house Alfred A. Knopf will pay Pope John Paul II a record-breaking $8.75 million advance for his new book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope. The book, a collection of essays addressing moral and theological questions, becomes a bestseller.
On this day in 1972, future President George Walker Bush, son of former president George Herbert Walker Bush, is suspended from flying with the Texas Air National Guard for missing an annual medical examination.
On this day in 1996, sprinter Michael Johnson breaks the world record in the 200 meters to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Three days earlier, Johnson had also won the 400 meters, making him the first man in history to win both events at the Olympics.
On this day in 1943, a Japanese destroyer rams an American PT (patrol torpedo) boat, No. 109, slicing it in two. The destruction is so massive other American PT boats in the area assume the crew is dead. Two crewmen were, in fact, killed, but 11 survived, including Lt. John F. Kennedy.
On July 31, 1975, James Riddle Hoffa, one of the most influential American labor leaders of the 20th century, disappears in Detroit, Michigan, never to be heard from again. Though he is popularly believed to have been the victim of a Mafia hit, conclusive evidence was never found, and Hoffa's death remains shrouded in mystery to this day.
On this day in 1916, the future racing legend Louise Smith, who will become the first woman inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, is born in Barnesville, Georgia.
A hurricane strikes the east coast of Florida, sinking 10 Spanish treasure ships and killing nearly 1,000 people, on this day in 1715. All of the gold and silver onboard at the time would not be recovered until 250 years later.
Ranger 7, an unmanned U.S. lunar probe, takes the first close-up images of the moon4,308 in totalbefore it impacts with the lunar surface northwest of the Sea of the Clouds. The images were 1,000 times as clear as anything ever seen through earth-bound telescopes.
On this day in 1965, Joanne Rowling, better known the world over as J.K. Rowling, the author and creator of the celebrated Harry Potter book series, is born near Bristol, England. Beginning in the late 1990s, Rowlings seven Harry Potter novels became international blockbusters, selling over 400 million copies and being translated into more than 60 languages. The books also spawned a series of movies, video games and other merchandise that made Rowling one of the wealthiest people in the entertainment industry.
One of the most influential figures in the history of American popular music was born on this day in 1923 in perhaps the unlikeliest of places: Istanbul, Turkey. The son of a high-ranking diplomat, Ahmet Ertegun enjoyed a cosmopolitan upbringing that included stops in Switzerland, Paris and London before his father's appointment as Turkish ambassador to the United States brought him to America. Intelligent, well-educated and well-connected, Ertegun had attractive career opportunities to consider when he graduated from Maryland's St. John's College in 1944, but his Americanization had already gone too far. "I had to decide whether I would go into a scholastic life or go back to Turkey in the diplomatic service," he recalled many years later. "[But] what I really loved was music...and hanging out."
On this day in 1875, former President Andrew Johnson, the man who had become president upon the tragic assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, dies of a stroke while visiting his daughter in Tennessee.
On July 31, 1990, Nolan Ryan wins the 300th game of his career, throwing 7 2/3 strong innings with eight strikeouts to lead his Texas Rangers to an 11-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
In a news conference, Secretary of State Dean Rusk admits there are differences between the United States and South Vietnam on the issue of extending the war into North Vietnam, but agreement on the general conduct of the war. He stated that U.S. warnings to communist China and North Vietnam indicated total U.S. commitment.
On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare's first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Johnson wanted to recognize Truman, who, in 1945, had become the first president to propose national health insurance, an initiative that was opposed at the time by Congress.
On this day in 2003, the last of 21,529,464 Volkswagen Beetles built since World War II rolls off the production line at Volkswagen's plant in Puebla, Mexico. One of a 3,000-unit final edition, the baby-blue vehicle was sent to a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, where Volkswagen is headquartered.
A mid-air collision between a Boeing 727 and a fighter jet in Japan kills 162 people on this day in 1971. The military plane was flying without radar.
On this day in 1945, the USS Indianapolis is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sinks within minutes in shark-infested waters. Only 317 of the 1,196 men on board survived. However, the Indianapolis had already completed its major mission: the delivery of key components of the atomic bomb that would be dropped a week later at Hiroshima to Tinian Island in the South Pacific.
In the first televised World Cup soccer match, host-nation England beats Germany 4 to 2 to win the tournament final at Wembley Stadium. In overtime play, England's Geoff Hurst scored his second of three match goals to give Britain a 3 to 2 lead. In the dying seconds of overtime play, he scored his third goal, making the score 4 to 2 and handing England the Jules Rimet Trophy for the first time in the World Cup's 36-year history. English star Bobby Charlton was marked on the field by German Franz Beckenbauer, an emerging talent who held the English midfielder to no goals. Hurst's second goal later stirred considerable controversy when film footage suggested that it failed to cross the goal line after bouncing off the crossbar.
Under coercion from the U.S. Supreme Court, President Richard M. Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings--suspected to prove his guilt in the Watergate cover-up--to special prosecutor Leon Jaworski. The same day, the House Judiciary Committee voted a third article of impeachment against the president: contempt of Congress in hindering the impeachment process. The previous two impeachment articles voted against Nixon by the committee were obstruction of justice and abuse of presidential powers.
If there is one song that has been played more times by more bands in more garages than any ever written, it is probably "Louie Louie," The Kingsmen's classic 1966 hit. But if any other song warrants a place in the conversation, it would be "Wild Thing," the three-chord masterpiece that became a #1 hit for The Troggs on this day in 1966 and instantly took its rightful place in the rock-and-roll canon.
On this day in 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase "under God" inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a law officially declaring "In God We Trust" to be the nation's official motto. The law, P.L. 84-140, also mandated that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency. The phrase had been placed on U.S. coins since the Civil War when, according to the historical association of the United States Treasury, religious sentiment reached a peak. Eisenhower's treasury secretary, George Humphrey, had suggested adding the phrase to paper currency as well.
On July 30, 1976, American Bruce Jenner wins gold in the decathlon at the Montreal Olympics. His 8,617 points set a world record in the event.
On this day in 1943, Adolf Hitler learns that Axis ally Italy is buying time before negotiating surrender terms with the Allies in light of Mussolini's fall from power.
On this day in 1958, the U.S. Congress passes legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America's activities in space. NASA has since sponsored space expeditions, both human and mechanical, that have yielded vital information about the solar system and universe. It has also launched numerous earth-orbiting satellites that have been instrumental in everything from weather forecasting to navigation to global communications.
On July 29, 1909, the newly formed General Motors Corporation (GM) acquires the country's leading luxury automaker, the Cadillac Automobile Company, for $4.5 million.
The so-called "Son of Sam" pulls a gun from a paper bag and fires five shots at Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti of the Bronx while they are sitting in a car, talking. Lauria died and Valenti was seriously wounded in the first in a series of shootings by the serial killer, who terrorized New York City over the course of the next year.
A fire on a United States Navy carrier stationed off the coast of Vietnam kills 134 service members on this day in 1967. The deadly fire on the USS Forrestal began with the accidental launch of a rocket.
Nearly one billion television viewers in 74 countries tune in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English schoolteacher. Married in a grand ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral in the presence of 2,650 guests, the couple's romance was for the moment the envy of the world. Their first child, Prince William, was born in 1982, and their second, Prince Harry, in 1984.
On this day in 2000, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, one of Hollywoods highest-profile couples, marry at the Malibu, California, estate of the producer Marcy Carsey (The Cosby Show). The two actors reportedly met on a blind date in 1998 and quickly became favorites of the tabloid media once they went public with their romance. Their wedding cost an estimated $1 million and featured tight security to keep out the paparazzi.
By the beginning of 1967, The Doors were well-established members of the Los Angeles music scene. As the house band at the Whiskey a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, they had built a large local following and strong industry buzz, and out on the road, they were fast becoming known as a band that might typically receive third billing, but could blow better-known groups like The Young Rascals and The Grateful Dead off the stage. It would have been poetic if their popular breakthrough had come via their now-classic debut single, "Break On Through," but that record failed to make the national sales charts despite the efforts of Jim Morrison and his bandmates to fuel the song's popularity by repeatedly calling in requests for it to local L.A. radio stations. It was the follow-up release from their debut album, The Doors, which would become their first bona fide smash. "Light My Fire," which earned the top spot in the Billboard Hot 100 on this day in 1967, transformed The Doors from cult favorites of the rock cognoscenti into international pop stars and avatars of the 60s counterculture.
On this day in 1996, track and field legend Carl Lewis wins his fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the long jump. It was the ninth and final Olympic gold of his storied career.
The first 4,000 paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division arrive in Vietnam, landing at Cam Ranh Bay. They made a demonstration jump immediately after arriving, observed by Gen. William Westmoreland and outgoing Ambassador (formerly General) Maxwell Taylor. Taylor and Westmoreland were both former commanders of the division, which was known as the "Screaming Eagles." The 101st Airborne Division has a long and storied history, including combat jumps during the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, and the subsequent Market-Garden airborne operation in the Netherlands. Later, the division distinguished itself by its defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
Fire sweeps the U.S. aircraft carrier Forrestal off the coast of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was the worst U.S. naval disaster in a combat zone since World War II. The accident took the lives of 134 crewmen and injured 62 more. Of the carrier's 80 planes, 21 were destroyed and 42 were damaged.
Following its ratification by the necessary three-quarters of U.S. states, the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing to African Americans citizenship and all its privileges, is officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution.
A United States military plane crashes into the Empire State Building on this day in 1945, killing 14 people. The freak accident was caused by heavy fog.
Maximo Menendez falls into a coma immediately after drinking a Colombian soft drink, Pony Malta de Bavaria, in Miami, Florida. Drinking half the bottle before heading off to his job at a pet shop, Menendez remarked, "This is poisoned--it's bad stuff," before going into convulsions. The next day, officials at the Food and Drug Administration learned that the soft drink had been laced with a lethal dose of liquid cocaine.
At 3:42 a.m., an earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 magnitude on the Richter scale flattens Tangshan, a Chinese industrial city with a population of about one million people. As almost everyone was asleep in their beds, instead of outside in the relative safety of the streets, the quake was especially costly in terms of human life. An estimated 242,000 people in Tangshan and surrounding areas were killed, making the earthquake one of the deadliest in recorded history, surpassed only by the 300,000 who died in the Calcutta earthquake in 1737, and the 830,000 thought to have perished in China's Shaanxi province in 1556.
On this day in 1978, National Lampoons Animal House, a movie spoof about 1960s college fraternities starring John Belushi, opens in U.S. theaters. Produced with an estimated budget of $3 million, Animal House became a huge, multi-million-dollar box-office hit, spawned a slew of cinematic imitations and became part of pop-culture history with such memorable lines as Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
Before the electronic microphone became commonplace in the 1920s, the one quality that was required of every professional singer in every musical genre was a talent for vocal projectioni.e., the ability to make oneself heard over one's instrumental accompaniment in a live or a recorded performance. Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, for exampletwo of the greatest vocal stylists of the 20th centuryprobably would never have made their livings as singers had they been born just a decade or two earlier, when the ability to sing not just well but loudly was an absolute requirement. The man who paved the way for them and for every quietly emotive singer to follow was the first of the great crooners, Rudy Valléethe first musical superstar to make a virtue of his relative vocal weakness. Born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, on this day in 1901, Rudy Vallée was a transformative figure in 20th-century popular music and one of the most popular all-around entertainers of his day or any other.
On this day in 1991, Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Expos pitches a perfect game to lead his team to a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Martinez was the first Latino ever to pitch a perfect game.
President Lyndon B. Johnson announces that he has ordered an increase in U.S. military forces in Vietnam, from the present 75,000 to 125,000. Johnson also said that he would order additional increases if necessary. He pointed out that to fill the increase in military manpower needs, the monthly draft calls would be raised from 17,000 to 35,000. At the same time, Johnson reaffirmed U.S. readiness to seek a negotiated end to the war, and appealed to the United Nations and any of its member states to help further this goal. There was an immediate reaction throughout the world to this latest escalation, with communist leaders attacking Johnson for his decision to send more troops to Vietnam. Most members of Congress were reported to favor Johnson's decision, while most U.S. state governors, convening for their annual conference, also supported a resolution backing Johnson. This decision to send more troops was regarded as a major turning point, as it effectively guaranteed U.S. military leaders a blank check to pursue the war.
On this day in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommends that America's 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Watergate.
After three years of a bloody and frustrating war, the United States, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea agree to an armistice, bringing the Korean War to an end. The armistice ended America's first experiment with the Cold War concept of "limited war."
Adam John Walsh, age six, is abducted from a mall in Hollywood, Florida, and later found murdered. In the aftermath of the crime, Adam's father, John Walsh, became a leading victims' rights activist and host of the long-running television show America's Most Wanted.
During an air show in Ukraine, a fighter jet crashes into a crowd of spectators on this day in 2002, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds more. This was the worst air-show accident to that date.
At the University of Toronto, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolate insulin--a hormone they believe could prevent diabetes--for the first time. Within a year, the first human sufferers of diabetes were receiving insulin treatments, and countless lives were saved from what was previously regarded as a fatal disease.
On this day in 1949, the world's first jet-propelled airliner, the British De Havilland Comet, makes its maiden test-flight in England. The jet engine would ultimately revolutionize the airline industry, shrinking air travel time in half by enabling planes to climb faster and fly higher.
In Atlanta, Georgia, the XXVI Summer Olympiad is disrupted by the explosion of a nail-laden pipe bomb in Centennial Olympic Park. The bombing, which occurred during a free concert, killed a mother who had brought her daughter to hear the rock music and injured more than 100 others, including a Turkish cameraman who suffered a fatal heart attack after the blast. Police were warned of the bombing in advance, but the bomb exploded before the anonymous caller said it would, leading authorities to suspect that the law enforcement officers who descended on the park were indirectly targeted. Within a few days, Richard Jewell, a security guard at the concert, was charged with the crime. However, evidence against him was dubious at best, and in October he was fully cleared of all responsibility in the bombing.
On this day in 2003, the legendary actor-comedian Bob Hope dies at age 100 in Toluca Lake, California. Known for entertaining American servicemen and women for more than five decades, Hope had a career that spanned the whole range of 20th century entertainment, from vaudeville to Broadway musicals to radio, television and movies
Fifteen years and five #1 hits after breaking into the music industry by working in a style completely different from her famous father's, Natalie Cole stopped distancing herself from Nat King Cole's musical legacy and instead embraced it, recording an entire album of standards from her father's old repertoire. Though it exposed her to charges of exploiting his memory, it also gave Cole the biggest hit album of her professional career: Unforgettable: With Love, which climbed to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart on July 27, 1991.
On this day in 1993, Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis collapses after suffering cardiac arrest while shooting baskets at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts. Two hours later, Lewis was pronounced dead at Waltham-Weston Hospital.
On this day in 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today's mail system. During early colonial times in the 1600s, few American colonists needed to send mail to each other; it was more likely that their correspondence was with letter writers in Britain. Mail deliveries from across the Atlantic were sporadic and could take many months to arrive. There were no post offices in the colonies, so mail was typically left at inns and taverns. In 1753, Benjamin Franklin, who had been postmaster of Philadelphia, became one of two joint postmasters general for the colonies. He made numerous improvements to the mail system, including setting up new, more efficient colonial routes and cutting delivery time in half between Philadelphia and New York by having the weekly mail wagon travel both day and night via relay teams. Franklin also debuted the first rate chart, which standardized delivery costs based on distance and weight. In 1774, the British fired Franklin from his postmaster job because of his revolutionary activities. However, the following year, he was appointed postmaster general of the United Colonies by the Continental Congress. Franklin held the job until late in 1776, when he was sent to France as a diplomat. He left a vastly improved mail system, with routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the colonies and Britain. President George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood, a former Massachusetts congressman, as the first postmaster general of the American nation under the new U.S. constitution in 1789. At the time, there were approximately 75 post offices in the country.
The U.S. 500, the most prestigious race in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series, dissolves into tragedy on this day in 1998, when three fans are killed and six others wounded by flying debris from a car at Michigan Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.
President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act, which becomes one of the most important pieces of Cold War legislation. The act established much of the bureaucratic framework for foreign policymaking for the next 40-plus years of the Cold War.
On July 26, 1984, Ed Gein, a serial killer infamous for skinning human corpses, dies of complications from cancer in a Wisconsin prison at age 77. Gein served as the inspiration for writer Robert Blochs character Norman Bates in the 1959 novel Psycho, which in 1960 was turned into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
On this day in 1931, a swarm of grasshoppers descends on crops throughout the American heartland, devastating millions of acres. Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, already in the midst of a bad drought, suffered tremendously from this disaster.
On July 26, 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is born when U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte orders a group of newly hired federal investigators to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch of the Department of Justice. One year later, the Office of the Chief Examiner was renamed the Bureau of Investigation, and in 1935 it became the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Suez Crisis begins when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the British and French-owned Suez Canal.
For as popular as it was during much of the first half of the 20th century, couples dancing seemed poised to go by the wayside of American popular culture by the early 1970s. That is, until the arrival of a dance called the Hustle along with a #1 song by the same name. On this day in 1975, Van McCoy's "The Hustle" topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts simultaneously, signaling the beginning of the disco era.
On July 26, 1952, at the XV Olympiad in Helsinki, Finland, American Bob Mathias wins his second straight gold medal in the Olympic decathlon.
On this day in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt seizes all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China.
On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world's first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.
An Air France Concorde jet crashes upon takeoff in Paris on this day in 2000, killing everyone onboard as well as four people on the ground. The Concorde, the world's fastest commercial jet, had enjoyed an exemplary safety record up to that point, with no crashes in the plane's 31-year history.
The first recorded railroad accident in U.S. history occurs when four people are thrown off a vacant car on the Granite Railway near Quincy, Massachusetts. The victims had been invited to view the process of transporting large and weighty loads of stone when a cable on a vacant car snapped on the return trip, throwing them off the train and over a 34-foot cliff. One man was killed and the others were seriously injured.
During the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces launch their invasion of Puerto Rico, the 108-mile-long, 40-mile-wide island that was one of Spain's two principal possessions in the Caribbean. With little resistance and only seven deaths, U.S. troops under General Nelson A. Miles were able to secure the island by mid-August. After the signing of an armistice with Spain, American troops raised the U.S. flag over the island, formalizing U.S. authority over its one million inhabitants. In December, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Spanish-American War and officially approving the cession of Puerto Rico to the United States.
At 11:10 p.m., 45 miles south of Nantucket Island, the Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria and the Swedish ocean liner Stockholm collide in a heavy Atlantic fog. Fifty-one passengers and crew were killed in the collision, which ripped a great hole in the broad side of the Italian vessel. Miraculously, all 1,660 survivors on the Andrea Doria were rescued from the severely listing ship before it sunk late the next morning. Both ships were equipped with sophisticated radar systems, and authorities were puzzled as to the cause of the accident.
On this day in 1985, Rock Hudson, a quintessential tall, dark and handsome Hollywood leading man of the 1950s and 1960s who made more than 60 films during his career, announces through a press release that he is suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). With that announcement, Hudson became the first major celebrity to go public with such a diagnosis. The first cases of AIDS, a condition of the human immune system, were reported in homosexual men in the United States in the early 1980s. At the time of Hudsons death, AIDS was not fully understood by the medical community and the disease was stigmatized by the general public as a condition affecting only gay men, intravenous drug users and people who received contaminated blood transfusions.
Before he took the stage at the 1964 Newport Folk Festivalthe annual event that had given him his first real national exposure one year earlierBob Dylan was introduced by Ronnie Gilbert, a member of The Weavers: "And here he is...take him, you know him, he's yours." In his 2004 memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan would write about how he "failed to sense the ominous forebodings in the introduction." One year later, he would learn just how possessive the Newport audiences felt toward him. On this day in 1965, Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival, performing a rock-and-roll set publicly for the very first time while a chorus of shouts and boos rained down on him from a dismayed audience.
On July 25, 1992, the opening ceremonies of the Games of the XXV Olympiad are held in Barcelona, Spain. The Barcelona Olympics were the first ever in which professional athletes were allowed to participate, and the first Games since 1972 in which every member nation of the International Olympic Committee competed. In all, 169 countries fielded teams, the most in the history of the Olympics.
On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world's top tourist destinations.
On this day in 1998, South Korea's government opens the bidding for the Kia Motors Corporation, the country's third-largest car company, which went bankrupt during an economic crisis that gripped much of Asia.
On this day in 1915, the steamer Eastland overturns in the Chicago River, drowning between 800 and 850 of its passengers who were heading to a picnic. The disaster was caused by serious problems with the boat's design, which were known but never remedied.
At 12:51 EDT, Apollo 11, the U.S. spacecraft that had taken the first astronauts to the surface of the moon, safely returns to Earth.
On this day in 1998, the director Steven Spielbergs World War II epic, Saving Private Ryan, is released in theaters across the United States. The film, which starred Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, was praised for its authentic portrayal of war and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. It took home five Oscars, for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Effects Editing.
Whether it's Oliver Stone setting a scene from Platoon to Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber,or Quentin Tarantino setting a scene from Reservoir Dogs to "Stuck In The Middle" by Stealer's Wheel, filmmakers often depend upon certain passages of music to produce specific emotional reactions in their audiences. And actor/director Sylvester Stallone is no exception: His Rocky franchise produced its second #1 pop hit on this day in 1982 when Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger" began a six-week run atop the Billboard pop chart.
On this day in 2005, legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong wins a record-setting seventh consecutive Tour de France and retires from the sport. After surviving testicular cancer, his rise to cycling greatness inspired cancer patients and fans around the world and significantly boosted his sports popularity in his native United States.
Lance Armstrong was born on September 18, 1971, in Plano, Texas. He began his sports career as a triathlete, competing professionally by the time he was 16 years old. Biking proved to be his strongest event of the three, and at the age of 17, he was invited to train with the U.S. Olympic cycling developmental team in Colorado. He won the U.S. amateur cycling championship two years later, in 1991. The next year, he finished 14th in the road race competition at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He turned pro later that year, but finished last in the Classico San Sebastian, his first race as a professional. In 1993, he bounced back to win 10 titles, including his first major race, the World Road Championships. He also competed in his first Tour de France that year, winning the eighth stage. In 1995, he again won a stage of the Tour de France, as well as the Tour DuPont, a major U.S. cycling event.
On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant's history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history on September 17, 1983, when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams' tiara for the two months that remained of her reign.
During the week ending on July 23, 2007, Honda Motor Company Ltd. produces its 6 millionth Civic in North America, according to an article in Automotive News
On this day in 1976, members of the American Legion arrive in Philadelphia to celebrate the bicentennial of U.S. independence. Soon after, many began suffering from a mysterious form of pneumonia. Their ailment would come to be known as Legionnaires' disease.
In the early morning hours of July 23, 1967, one of the worst riots in U.S. history breaks out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit's predominantly African-American inner city. By the time it was quelled four days later by 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops, 43 people were dead, 342 injured, and nearly 1,400 buildings had been burned.
On this day in 1982, Vic Morrow and two child actors, Renee Shinn Chen and Myca Dinh Le, are killed in an accident involving a helicopter during filming on the California set of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Morrow, age 53, and the children, ages six and seven, were shooting a Vietnam War battle scene in which they were supposed to be running from a pursuing helicopter. Special-effects explosions on the set caused the pilot of the low-flying craft to lose control and crash into the three victims. The accident took place on the films last scheduled day of shooting.
In the 1980s, Los Angeles was a mecca for so-called "glam rock" bands and the "sex, drugs and rock and roll" lifestyle with which they came to be associated. On any given night inside clubs like the Troubadour and the Whisky a Go Go, you could not only hear bands like Hanoi Rocks and Mötley Crüe or, later, Winger and Warrant, but you could also witness an expression of that lifestyle as decadent as any the music world had seen. The rise of "grunge" bands like Nirvana and alternative rock effectively put an end to that scene in the early 1990s, but the first blow was struck by one of their own: Guns N' Roses, the band that made its big popular breakthrough on July 23, 1988, when their first hit single, "Sweet Child O' Mine" entered the Billboard Top 40.
On this day in 1885, just after completing his memoirs, Civil War hero and former President Ulysses S. Grant dies of throat cancer.
On July 23, 1996, at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, the U.S. womens gymnastics team wins its first-ever team gold.
On this day in 2003, U.S. Army Private Jessica Lynch, a prisoner-of-war who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, receives a hero's welcome when she returns to her hometown of Palestine, West Virginia. The story of the 19-year-old supply clerk, who was captured by Iraqi forces in March 2003, gripped America; however, it was later revealed that some details of Lynch's dramatic capture and rescue might have been exaggerated.
On July 22, 2002, over the strenuous opposition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the auto industry, Governor Gray Davis of California signs a stringent law regulating emissions from automobiles.
In a dramatic turnaround, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev indicates that he is willing to negotiate a ban on intermediate-range nuclear missiles without conditions. Gorbachev's decision paved the way for the groundbreaking Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States.
John Herbert Dillinger joins the Navy in order to avoid charges of auto theft in Indiana, marking the beginning of America's most notorious criminal's downfall. Years later, Dillinger's reputation was forged in a single 12-month period, during which he robbed more banks than Jesse James did in 15 years and became the most wanted fugitive in the nation.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police officers spot Tracy Edwards running down the street in handcuffs, and upon investigation, they find one of the grisliest scenes in modern history-Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment.
On this day in 1993, the levee holding back the flooding Mississippi River at Kaskaskia, Illinois, ruptures, forcing the town's people to flee on barges. The Mississippi flood of 1993 caused $18 billion in damages and killed 52 people.
In San Francisco, a bomb at a Preparedness Day parade on Market Street kills 10 people and wounds 40. The bomb was hidden in a suitcase. The parade was organized by the city's Chamber of Commerce in support of America's possible entrance into World War I. San Francisco was suffering through severe labor strife at the time, and many suspected that anti-war labor radicals were responsible for the terrorist attack.
American aviator Wiley Post returns to Floyd Bennett Field in New York, having flown solo around the world in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes. He was the first aviator to accomplish the feat.
Outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre, notorious criminal John Dillinger--America's "Public Enemy No. 1"--is killed in a hail of bullets fired by federal agents. In a fiery bank-robbing career that lasted just over a year, Dillinger and his associates robbed 11 banks for more than $300,000, broke jail and narrowly escaped capture multiple times, and killed seven police officers and three federal agents.
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Husseins sons, Qusay and Uday Hussein, are killed after a three-hour firefight with U.S. forces in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. It is widely believed that the two men were even more cruel and ruthless than their notorious father, and their death was celebrated among many Iraqis. Uday and Qusay were 39 and 37 years old, respectively, when they died. Both are said to have amassed considerable fortunes through their participation in illegal oil smuggling.
A suburban family man with an office job, Declan Patrick McManus was somewhat removed from the revolution being staged in late-night clubs in 1977 London by punk-rock pioneers like The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. "All these bands were playing in the middle of the night," he later recounted "so I couldn't go. I was married with a son." Unlike most of the other wage-earners he rode the tube with, however, Declan McManus was about to become a star himself, though not under his given name. After three years living in London and trying to balance his day job with his musical ambitions, the man now known as Elvis Costello finally made his breakthrough with the release of his debut album, My Aim Is True, on this day in 1977.
On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln informs his chief advisors and cabinet that he will issue a proclamation to free slaves, but adds that he will wait until the Union Army has achieved a substantial military victory to make the announcement.
On this day in 1990, American Greg LeMond, riding for Team Z, wins his third Tour de France after leading the majority of the race. It was LeMonds second consecutive Tour de France victory.
In the first major land battle of the Civil War, a large Union force under General Irvin McDowell is routed by a Confederate army under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard.
On this day in 1960, the German government passes the "Law Concerning the Transfer of the Share Rights in Volkswagenwerk Limited Liability Company into Private Hands," known informally as the "Volkswagen Law."
Schoolteacher John T. Scopes is convicted of violating Tennessee's law against teaching evolution in public schools. The case debated in the so-called "Trial of the Century" was never really in doubt; the jury only conferred for a few moments in the hallway before returning to the courtroom with a guilty verdict. Nevertheless, the supporters of evolution won the public relations battle that was really at stake.
On this day in the year 365, a powerful earthquake off the coast of Greece causes a tsunami that devastates the city of Alexandria, Egypt. Although there were no measuring tools at the time, scientists now estimate that the quake was actually two tremors in succession, the largest of which is thought to have had a magnitude of 8.0.
In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" ends with John Thomas Scopes being convicted of teaching evolution in violation of Tennessee law. Scopes was ordered to pay a fine of $100, the minimum the law allowed.
After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in Egypt is completed on July 21, 1970. More than two miles long at its crest, the massive $1 billion dam ended the cycle of flood and drought in the Nile River region, and exploited a tremendous source of renewable energy, but had a controversial environmental impact
On this day in 2005, terrorists attempt to attack the London transit system by planting bombs on three subways and on one bus; none of the bombs detonate completely. The attempted attack came exactly two weeks after terrorists killed 56 people, including themselves, and wounded 700 others in the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II. The previous attack also targeted three subways and one bus.
On this day in 2007, the seventh and final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released, with an initial print run of 12 million copies in the United States alone. Like each of the previous Harry Potter novels, Deathly Hallows was slated to be made into a major Hollywood film.
During the pre-dawn hours of nearly any given night in the early 1970s, a group of young men who would change the face of the music industry could be found eating omelets and talking about records at a Manhattan restaurant called David's Pot Belly. The names in this rotating group of friends are unfamiliar to most: David Mancuso, David Rodriguez, Michael Cappello and Nicky Siano. They were not musicans but DJs at dance clubs like The Gallery, The Loft and Le Jardin, and through their taste in music and their obsessive search for new material, they would collectively bring a thing called "Disco" into existence. Their power to shape popular culture would first become evident on this day in 1973, when a song called "Soul Makossa" entered the Billboard Top 40 as the first-ever chart hit definitively launched by the infant disco scene.
Jul 21, 1959:
On July 21, 1959, Elijah Jerry "Pumpsie" Green makes his Boston Red Sox debut, becoming the first African American ever to play for the Red Sox, the last team in the major leagues to integrate. Green pinch-ran for Vic Wertz and then played shortstop in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
With Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara back from a visit to Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson begins a weeklong series of conferences with his civilian and military advisers on Vietnam. He also met with private citizens that he trusted during this period. Johnson appeared to be considering all the options with an open mind, but it was clear that he was leaning toward providing more combat troops to bolster the faltering South Vietnamese government.
On this day in 1944, Adolf Hitler takes to the airwaves to announce that the attempt on his life has failed and that "accounts will be settled."
At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.
The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy's bold proposal.
In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire.
Despite the setback, NASA and its thousands of employees forged ahead, and in October 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, orbited Earth and successfully tested many of the sophisticated systems needed to conduct a moon journey and landing. In December of the same year, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back, and in March 1969 Apollo 9 tested the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. Then in May, the three astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission.
At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:18 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a famous message: "The Eagle has landed."
At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the lunar module's ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., Armstrong spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be "that's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." He then planted his left foot on the gray, powdery surface, took a cautious step forward, and humanity had walked on the moon.
"Buzz" Aldrin joined him on the moon's surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon--July 1969 A.D--We came in peace for all mankind."
At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and rejoined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:51 p.m. on July 24.
There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13. The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today's dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy's 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.
President Harry S. Truman institutes a military draft with a proclamation calling for nearly 10 million men to register for military service within the next two months. Truman's action came during increasing Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union.
A flash flood hits Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1977, killing 84 people and causing millions of dollars in damages. This flood came 88 years after the infamous Great Flood of 1889 that killed more than 2,000 people in Johnstown. As they had in the first flood, the dams in the Conemaugh Valley failed, bringing disaster to the town.
Five years after General George A. Custer's infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S. Army, which promises amnesty for him and his followers. Sitting Bull had been a major leader in the 1876 Sioux uprising that resulted in the death of Custer and 264 of his men at Little Bighorn. Pursued by the U.S. Army after the Indian victory, he escaped to Canada with his followers.
While entering a mosque in the Jordanian sector of east Jerusalem, King Abdullah of Jordan is assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist.
On the seventh anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the Viking 1 lander, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, becomes the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars.
On this day in 1973, the actor and martial-arts expert Bruce Lee dies in Los Angeles at age 32 from a brain edema possibly caused by a reaction to a prescription painkiller. During Lees all-too-brief career, he became a movie star in Asia and, posthumously, in America.
"Two girls for every boy!" went the immortal opening line from Jan and Dean's "Surf City," the song that reached the top of the U.S. pop charts on this day in 1963. It was a claim that wasn't actually supported by the facts, but it helped create a popular image of California as a paradise of sun and sand and endless summers.
On July 20, 1919, Edmund Hillary is born in Auckland, New Zealand. A beekeeper by trade, Hillary became the first human, along with Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, to reach the peak of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. At 29,035 feet, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth, as well as one of the most forbidding.
On this day in 1944, Hitler cheats death as a bomb planted in a briefcase goes off, but fails to kill him.
Jul 19, 1799:
Rosetta Stone found
On this day in 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests honoring the king of Egypt, Ptolemy V, in the second century B.C. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been "dead" for nearly 2,000 years.
On this day in 1942, the agricultural chemist George Washington Carver, head of Alabama's famed Tuskegee Institute, arrives in Dearborn, Michigan at the invitation of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.
Notorious boxer Mike Tyson rapes Desiree Washington, a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant, in an Indianapolis, Indiana, hotel room. At a time when the issue of date rape was entering the country's consciousness, Tyson's attack became a national sensation.
On this day in 1979, two gigantic supertankers collide off the island of Little Tobago in the Caribbean Sea, killing 26 crew members and spilling 280,000 tons of crude oil into the sea. At the time, it was the worst oil-tanker accident in history and remains one of the very few times in history when two oil tankers have collided.
On this day in 1989, the 21-year-old actress Rebecca Shaeffer is murdered at her Los Angeles home by Robert John Bardo, a mentally unstable man who had been stalking her. Schaeffers death helped lead to the passage in California of legislation aimed at preventing stalking.
On July 19, 2003, three days after her death from cancer at the age of 77, Latin music legend Celia Cruz has one of her final wishes granted when her body is flown to Miami, Florida, for a special public viewing by tens of thousands of fans prior to her burial in New York City. It was as close as the legendary Queen of Salsa could get to her beloved homeland of Cuba.
On this day in 1884, President Chester Arthur issues a proclamation that grants him and the federal government the power to quarantine persons entering the United States through its ports of entry to avoid the spread of "pestilence." Although the proclamation used the word pestilence several times, it did not mention the specific name of the dreaded disease from which Arthur was trying to protect the nation: tuberculosis.
On July 19, 1992, 35-year-old British golfer Nick Faldo wins the British Open by two shots over American John Cook at Muirfield for his third British Open title and fifth major championship overall.
On this day in 1943, the United States bombs railway yards in Rome in an attempt to break the will of the Italian people to resistas Hitler lectures their leader, Benito Mussolini, on how to prosecute the war further.
On this day in 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who first took office in 1933 as America's 32nd president, is nominated for an unprecedented third term. Roosevelt, a Democrat, would eventually be elected to a record four terms in office, the only U.S. president to serve more than two terms.
Juan Manuel Fangiothe Argentine race car driver dubbed "the Maestro"makes his European racing debut at the Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France in Reims, France on this day in 1948.
James Oliver Huberty opens fire in a crowded McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 people and wounding 19 others with several automatic weapons. Minutes earlier, Huberty had left home, telling his wife, "I'm going hunting... hunting for humans."
The great fire of Rome breaks out and destroys much of the city on this day in the year 64. Despite the well-known stories, there is no evidence that the Roman emperor, Nero, either started the fire or played the fiddle while it burned. Still, he did use the disaster to further his political agenda.
Seven months after being released from Landsberg jail, Nazi leader
Adolf Hitler publishes the first volume of his personal manifesto, Mein Kampf. Dictated by Hitler during his nine-month stay in prison, Mein Kampf, or "My Struggle," was a bitter and turgid narrative filled with anti-Semitic outpourings, disdain for morality, worship of power, and the blueprints for his plan of Nazi world domination. The autobiographical work soon became the bible of Germany's Nazi Party.
On July 18, 1936, the Spanish Civil War
begins as a revolt by right-wing Spanish military officers in Spanish Morocco and spreads to mainland Spain. From the Canary Islands, General Francisco Franco broadcasts a message calling for all army officers to join the uprising and overthrow Spain's leftist Republican government. Within three days, the rebels captured Morocco, much of northern Spain, and several key cities in the south. The Republicans succeeded in putting down the uprising in other areas, including Madrid, Spain's capital. The Republicans and the Nationalists, as the rebels were called, then proceeded to secure their respective territories by executing thousands of suspected political opponents. Meanwhile, Franco flew to Morocco and prepared to bring the Army of Africa over to the mainland.
Shortly after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy of Massachusetts drives an Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond. Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. The senator did not report the fatal car accident for 10 hours.
On this day in 1986, new close-up videotapes of the sunken ocean liner Titanic are released to the public. Taken on the first manned expedition to the wreck, the videotapes are stunning in their clarity and detail, showing one of the ship's majestic grand staircases and a coral-covered chandelier swinging slowly in the ocean current.
She was several inches short of five feet tall, even in socks and saddle shoes, and she weighed no more than 90 pounds, but her voice was that of a heavyweight. Just 15 years old but already five years into a professional recording career, "Little Miss Dynamite" Brenda Lee earned the first of her many smash pop hits when "I'm Sorry" reached the top of the Billboard charts on July 18, 1960
On this day in 1947, President Harry S. Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act. This act revised an older succession act that was passed in 1792 during George Washington's first term.
On this day in 1962, Congress votes in favor of a bill that preserves former President Teddy Roosevelt's birthplace and former home in Manhattan, as well as an estate called Sagamore Hill where he lived from 1885 until his death.
On July 18, 1999, New York Yankee David Cone pitches the 16th perfect game in major league history and 14th in the modern era with a no-hit, no-walk victory over the Montreal Expos.
Disneyland, Walt Disney's metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opens on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.
Jul 17, 1920:
Nils Bohlin, the Swedish engineer and inventor responsible for the three-point lap and shoulder seatbelt--considered one of the most important innovations in automobile safety--is born on July 17, 1920 in Härnösand, Sweden.
An ammunition ship explodes while being loaded in Port Chicago, California, killing 332 people on this day in 1944. The United States' World War II military campaign in the Pacific was in full swing at the time. Poor procedures and lack of training led to the disaster.
As part of a mission aimed at developing space rescue capability, the U.S. spacecraft Apollo 18 and the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 rendezvous and dock in space. As the hatch was opened between the two vessels, commanders Thomas P. Safford and Aleksei Leonov shook hands and exchanged gifts in celebration of the first such meeting between the two Cold War adversaries in space. Back on Earth, United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim congratulated the two superpowers for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and praised their unprecedented spirit of cooperation and peace in planning and executing the mission.
Shortly after takeoff from New York's Kennedy International Airport, a TWA Boeing 747 jetliner bound for Paris explodes over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 people aboard. Flight 800 had just received clearance to initiate a climb to cruise altitude when it exploded without warning. Because the plane was loaded with fuel for the long transatlantic journey, it vaporized within moments, creating a fireball seen almost all along the coastline of Long Island.
On July 17, 1967, one of the oddest musical pairings in history comes to an end when Jimi Hendrix dropped out as the opening act for teenybopper sensations The Monkees.
On this day in 1941, New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio fails to get a hit against the Cleveland Indians, which brings his historic 56-game hitting streak to an end. The record run had captivated the country for two months.
On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
The world's first parking meter, known as Park-O-Meter No. 1, is installed on the southeast corner of what was then First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on this day in 1935.
More than 1,000 people are killed when a 7.7-magnitude earthquake strikes Luzon Island in the Philippines on this day in 1990. The massive tremor wreaked havoc across a sizeable portion of Luzon, the country's largest island, with Baguio City suffering the most devastating effects.
Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan missionary, founds the first Catholic mission in California on the site of present-day San Diego. After Serra blessed his new outpost of Christianity in a high mass, the royal standard of Spain was unfurled over the mission, which he named San Diego de Alcala.
At 9:32 a.m. EDT, Apollo 11, the first U.S. lunar landing mission, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a historic journey to the surface of the moon. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19.
On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr.; his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy; and her sister, Lauren Bessette, die when the single-engine plane that Kennedy was piloting crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
J.D. Salinger's only novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is published by Little, Brown on this day in 1951. The book, about a confused teenager disillusioned by the adult world, is an instant hit and will be taught in high schools for half a century.
By the standard laws of pop success, 17-year old Tommy James and his band The Shondells had already had their chance and missed it by the winter of 1965-66. They'd recorded a couple of records while still in high school, but when neither managed to gain attention outside of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana, the young men were staring at the same fate that awaits most garage bands when they graduate high school: real life. But thanks to an incredible sequence of chance events, a very different fate awaited young Tommy James, who earned his first #1 hit on this day in 1966 with "Hanky Panky." The original Shondells would not be so fortunate.
On this day in 1790, the young American Congress declares that a swampy, humid, muddy and mosquito-infested site on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia will be the nation's permanent capital. "Washington," in the newly designated federal "District of Columbia," was named after the leader of the American Revolution and the country's first president: George Washington. It was Washington who saw the area's potential economic and accessibility benefits due to the proximity of navigable rivers.
On July 16, 1948, Brooklyn Dodgers Manager Leo Durocher announces that he will be joining the New York Giants, the Dodgers archrival. The move was the swiftest and most stunning managerial change in baseball history.
During a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stuns the nation by announcing that he will visit communist China the following year. The statement marked a dramatic turning point in U.S.-China relations, as well as a major shift in American foreign policy.
On this day in 1903, the newly formed Ford Motor Company takes its first order from Chicago dentist Ernst Pfenning: an $850 two-cylinder Model A automobile with a tonneau (or backseat). The car, produced at Ford's plant on Mack Street (now Mack Avenue) in Detroit, was delivered to Dr. Pfenning just over a week later.
The Bandai volcano erupts on the Japanese island of Honshu on this day in 1888, killing hundreds and burying many nearby villages in ash.
The great Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn is born in Leiden on July 15, 1606, the son of a miller. His humble origins may help account for the uncommon depth of compassion given to the human subjects of his art. His more than 600 paintings, many of them portraits or self-portraits, are characterized by rich brushwork and color, and a dramatic interplay of shadow and light.
Zebulon Pike, the U.S. Army officer who in 1805 led an exploring party in search of the source of the Mississippi River, sets off with a new expedition to explore the American Southwest. Pike was instructed to seek out headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers and to investigate Spanish settlements in New Mexico.
The unmanned spacecraft Mariner 4 passes over Mars at an altitude of 6,000 feet and sends back to Earth the first close-up images of the red planet.
Spree killer Andrew Cunanan murders world-renowned Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace on the steps outside his Miami mansion. Versace was shot twice in the head, and Cunanan fled.
On this day in 1988, Die Hard, an action film starring Bruce Willis as wisecracking New York City cop John McClane, opens in theaters across the United States. A huge box-office hit, the film established Willis as a movie star and spawned three sequels. Die Hard also became Hollywood shorthand for describing the plot of other actions films, as in Speed is Die Hard on a bus.
The critically acclaimed 2002 biopic Walk The Line depicts the life and career of Johnny Cash from his initial rise to stardom in the 1950s to his resurgence following a drug-fueled decline in the 1960s. The selection of this time span made perfect sense from a Hollywood perspective, but from a historical perspective, it left out more than half of the story. There was still another dramatic resurgence to come in the second half of Johnny Cash's 50-year career, which reached another low point on this day in 1986, when Columbia Records dropped him from its roster after 26 years of history-making partnership.
On this day in 2003, former Dallas Cowboys General Manager Tex Schramm dies at the age of 83. Schramm served as the architect of 30 Cowboys teams, from the franchises inception as an NFL expansion team in 1960 until 1989, when owner Burn Bright sold the team to oil billionaire Jerry Jones. Under Schramms stewardship, the Cowboys won five NFC titles and two Super Bowl championships.
Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil and terror in which King Louis XVI was overthrown and tens of thousands of people, including the king and his wife Marie Antoinette, were executed.
Sheriff Pat Garrett shoots Henry McCarty, popularly known as Billy the Kid, to death at the Maxwell Ranch in New Mexico. Garrett, who had been tracking the Kid for three months after the gunslinger had escaped from prison only days before his scheduled execution, got a tip that Billy was holed up with friends. While Billy was gone, Garrett waited in the dark in his bedroom. When Billy entered, Garrett shot him to death.
Hurricane Claudette gathers strength over the Gulf of Mexico and heads for the Texas coast on this day in 2003. By the time it passes through Texas, it causes major damage, especially in Galveston, where it kills two people.
Representatives of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) were not in attendance at the 1995 christening of the infant technology that would shake their business model to its core just a few years later. Known formally as "MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3," the technology in question was an efficient new format for the encoding of high-quality digital audio using a highly efficient data-compression algorithm. In other words, it was a way to make CD-quality music files small enough to be stored in bulk on the average computer and transferred manageably across the Internet. Released to the pubic one week earlier, the brand-new MP3 format was given its name and its familiar ".mp3" file extension on this day in 1995.
On July 14, 1968, Atlanta Braves slugger Henry "Hank" Aaron hits the 500th home run of his career in a 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants.
On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially open Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. Continued at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and at other arenas around the world, the 16-hour "superconcert" was globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations. In a triumph of technology and good will, the event raised more than $125 million in famine relief for Africa.
On this day in 1978, Ford Motor Company chairman Henry Ford II fires Lee Iacocca as Ford's president, ending years of tension between the two men.
Nightclub owner Ruth Ellis is convicted of murdering boyfriend David Blakely on this day in 1955. Ellis was later executed by hanging and became the last woman in Great Britain to be put to death.
On this day in 1951, rivers across eastern Kansas crest well above flood stage, causing the greatest destruction from flooding in the midwestern United States to that time. Five-hundred-thousand people were left homeless and 24 people died in the disaster.
The Battle of Kursk, involving some 6,000 tanks, two million men, and 5,000 aircraft, ends with the German offensive repulsed by the Soviets at heavy cost.
In Los Angeles, California, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts is nominated for the presidency by the Democratic Party Convention, defeating Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. The next day, Johnson was named Kennedy's running mate by a unanimous vote of the convention.
On July 13, 1930, France defeats Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeats Belgium 3-0 in the first-ever World Cup football matches, played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. The World Cup has since become the worlds most watched sporting event.
On this day in 2010, George Steinbrenner, the larger-than-life, longtime owner of the New York Yankees, who re-established the team as one of baseballs most successful franchises, dies of a heart attack at age 80 in Tampa, Florida. Under Steinbrenner, who owned the team from 1973 until his death, the Yankees won seven World Series championships and 11 American League pennants. Nicknamed the Boss, the influential, demanding and controversial owner also built the Yankees into baseballs first billion-dollar team.
Walter Mondale, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, announces that he has chosen Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate. Ferraro, a daughter of Italian immigrants, had previously gained notoriety as a vocal advocate of women's rights in Congress.
The first three-wheeled, multi-directional Dymaxion car--designed by the architect, engineer and philosopher Buckminster Fuller--is manufactured in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on this day in 1933.
Special commissioner Albert Pike completes treaties with the members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, giving the new Confederate States of America several allies in Indian Territory. Some members of the tribes also fought for the Confederacy.
On this day in 1995, a heat advisory is issued in Chicago, Illinois, warning of an impending record-breaking heat wave. By the time the heat breaks a week later, nearly 1,000 people are dead in Illinois and Wisconsin.
President Abraham Lincoln signs into law a measure calling for the awarding of a U.S. Army Medal of Honor, in the name of Congress, "to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection." The previous December, Lincoln had approved a provision creating a U.S. Navy Medal of Valor, which was the basis of the Army Medal of Honor created by Congress in July 1862. The first U.S. Army soldiers to receive what would become the nation's highest military honor were six members of a Union raiding party who in 1862 penetrated deep into Confederate territory to destroy bridges and railroad tracks between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia
As the 1970s came to an end, the age of disco was also nearing its finale. But for all of its decadence and overexposure, disco didn't quite die a natural death by collapsing under its own weight. Instead, it was killed by a public backlash that reached its peak on this day in 1979 with the infamous "Disco Demolition" night at Chicago's Comiskey Park. That incident, which led to at least nine injuries, 39 arrests and the cancellation and forfeit of a Major League Baseball game, is widely creditedor, depending on your perspective, blamedwith dealing disco its death blow.
Wild Bill Hickok begins to establish his reputation as a gunfighter after he coolly shoots three men during a shootout in Nebraska.
On this day in 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the first president to ride in the newest advance in aviation technology: the helicopter.
On July 12, 1998, France defeats favored Brazil 3-0 to win the FIFA World Cup at Stade de France in Saint Denis. This was the first World Cup France had hosted since 1938 and the countrys first-ever World Cup title.
The National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and American socialist Norman Thomas appeal to North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh on behalf of captured American pilots. The number of American captives was on the increase due to the intensification of Operation Rolling Thunder, the U.S. bombing campaign against North Vietnam. On July 15, 18 senators opposed to President Lyndon B. Johnson's Vietnam policy signed a statement calling on North Vietnam to "refrain from any act of vengeance against American airmen." The next day, the United Nations Secretary General also urged North Vietnam to exercise restraint in the treatment of American prisoners of war. On July 19, North Vietnamese ambassadors in Beijing and Prague asserted that the captured Americans would go on trial as war criminals. However, Ho Chi Minh subsequently gave assurances of a humanitarian policy toward the prisoners, in response, he said, to the appeal he received from SANE and Norman Thomas. Despite Ho's assurances, the American POWs were routinely mistreated and tortured. They were released in 1973 as part of the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords that were signed on January 27, 1973.
In a duel held in Weehawken, New Jersey, Vice President Aaron Burr fatally shoots his long-time political antagonist Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, a leading Federalist and the chief architect of America's political economy, died the following day.
On this day in 1916, in a ceremony at the White House, President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Aid Road Act. The law established a national policy of federal aid for highways.
On this day in 1978, a truck carrying liquid gas crashes into a campsite, crowded with vacationers, in San Carlos de la Rapita, Spain. The resulting explosion killed more than 200 people; many others suffered severe burns.
Parts of Skylab, America's first space station, come crashing down on Australia and into the Indian Ocean five years after the last manned Skylab mission ended. No one was injured.
On this day in 2010, after a two-year manhunt, 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore of Washington state is arrested following a high-speed boat chase in the Bahamas. Harris-Moore was suspected of stealing an airplane in Indiana and crash-landing it in the Bahamas the week before. Nicknamed the Barefoot Bandit for going shoeless during some of his alleged crimes, the teen was a suspect in scores of other burglaries in the U.S. and Canada, where he was accused of swiping everything from potato chips to credit cards, small planes, boats and cars. During his time as a fugitive, Harris-Moore gained a cult-like following online, with fans viewing him as a folk hero and praising his brazenness and his uncanny ability to elude law-enforcement officials.
On July 11, 1914, in his major league debut, George Herman "Babe" Ruth pitches seven strong innings to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Cleveland Indians, 4-3.
On this day in 1922, the Hollywood Bowl, one of the worlds largest natural amphitheaters, opens with a performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Since that time, a long, diverse list of performers, including The Beatles, Luciano Pavarotti and Judy Garland, have appeared on stage at the Hollywood Bowl. The venue has become a famous Los Angeles landmark and has been featured in numerous movies.
A Harris survey taken shortly after the bombing raids on the Hanoi-Haiphong area shows that 62 percent of those interviewed favored the raids, 11 percent were opposed, and 27 percent were undecided. Of those polled, 86 percent felt the raids would hasten the end of the war. The raids under discussion were part of the expansion of Operation Rolling Thunder, which had begun in March 1965.
On this day in 1944, Count Claus von Stauffenberg, a German army officer, transports a bomb to Adolf Hitler's headquarters in Berchtesgaden, in Bavaria, with the intention of assassinating the Fuhrer.
On this day in 1951, Paris, the capital city of France, celebrates turning 2,000 years old. In fact, a few more candles would've technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C.
On this day in 1776, a 2,000-pound copper-and-tin bell now known as the Liberty Bell rings out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Four days earlier, the historic document had been adopted by delegates to the Continental Congress, but the bell did not ring to announce the issuing of the document until the Declaration of Independence returned from the printer on July 8.
On July 8, 2004, Suzuki Motor Corporation and Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, agree to a settlement in an eight-year-long lawsuit in which the automaker accused Consumer Reports of damaging its reputation with claims that its Samurai sport utility vehicle (SUV) was prone to rolling over.
Torrential rains in the Carpathian Mountains cause serious flooding in the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany on this day in 1997. In all, 104 people died as a result of the deluge. In the aftermath, authorities from each country blamed the others for the extent of the disaster.
Bill Withers stepped into a recording studio for the very first time at the age of 32, and two years later, he'd written and recorded one of the most beloved pop songs of the modern era: "Lean On Me," which began its first stay at #1 on the pop charts on this day in 1972.
Jul 8, 1941:
On this day in 1941, with his team trailing 5-4 with two outs in the ninth inning, Ted Williams hits a three-run home run to lead the American League to a 7-5 victory in the All-Star Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.
Maj. Dale R. Ruis and Master Sgt. Chester M. Ovnand become the first Americans killed in the American phase of the Vietnam War when guerrillas strike a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) compound in Bien Hoa, 20 miles northeast of Saigon. The group had arrived in South Vietnam on November 1, 1955, to provide military assistance. The organization consisted of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps personnel who provided advice and assistance to the Ministry of Defense, Joint General Staff, corps and division commanders, training centers, and province and district headquarters.
On this day in 1918, Ernest Hemingway, an 18-year-old ambulance driver for the American Red Cross, is struck by a mortar shell while serving on the Italian front, along the Piave delta, in World War I.
On this day in 1930, construction of the Hoover Dam begins. Over the next five years, a total of 21,000 men would work ceaselessly to produce what would be the largest dam of its time, as well as one of the largest manmade structures in the world.
On this day in 2000--eight weeks to the day after the fourth-generation NASCAR driver Adam Petty was killed during practice at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire--the driver Kenny Irwin Jr. dies at the same speedway, near the exact same spot, after his car slams into the wall at 150 mph during a practice run.
A gasoline tanker truck crashes into an ice cream parlor in Herborn, Germany, on this day in 1987. The resulting explosion and fire killed 50 people.
For the first time in history, women are enrolled into the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. On May 28, 1980, 62 of these female cadets graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants.
On the morning of July 7, 2005, bombs are detonated in three crowded London subways and one bus during the peak of the city's rush hour. The synchronized suicide bombings, which were thought to be the work of al-Qaida, killed 56 people including the bombers and injured another 700. It was the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II. No warning was given.
On this day in 1912, Jim Thorpe wins the pentathlon at the fifth modern Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. At the time, Thorpe, a Native American who attended Pennsylvanias Carlisle Indian School, was only beginning to establish his reputation as the greatest all-around athlete in the world.
A battalion of the U.S. 9th Infantry Division leaves Saigon in the initial withdrawal of U.S. troops. The 814 soldiers were the first of 25,000 troops that were withdrawn in the first stage of the U.S. disengagement from the war. There would be 14 more increments in the withdrawal, but the last U.S. troops did not leave until after the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973.
On this day in 1957, Althea Gibson claims the women's singles tennis title at Wimbledon and becomes the first African American to win a championship at London's All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
On this day in 1775, one day after restating their fidelity to King George III and wishing him "a long and prosperous reign" in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress sets "forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms" against British authority in the American colonies. The declaration also proclaimed their preference "to die free men rather than live as slaves."
FBI agents arrest George "Bugs" Moran, along with fellow crooks Virgil Summers and Albert Fouts, in Kentucky. Once one of the biggest organized crime figures in America, Moran had been reduced to small bank robberies by this time. He died in prison 11 years later.
On this day in 1988, an explosion rips through an oil rig in the North Sea, killing 167 workers. It was the worst offshore oil-rig disaster in history.
In Hartford, Connecticut, a fire breaks out under the big top of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, killing 167 people and injuring 682. Two-thirds of those who perished were children. The cause of the fire was unknown, but it spread at incredible speed, racing up the canvas of the circus tent. Scarcely before the 8,000 spectators inside the big top could react, patches of burning canvas began falling on them from above, and a stampede for the exits began. Many were trapped under fallen canvas, but most were able to rip through it and escape. However, after the tent's ropes burned and its poles gave way, the whole burning big top came crashing down, consuming those who remained inside. Within 10 minutes it was over, and some 100 children and 60 of their adult escorts were dead or dying.
In Annapolis, Maryland, the United States Naval Academy admits women for the first time in its history with the induction of 81 female midshipmen. In May 1980, Elizabeth Anne Rowe became the first woman member of the class to graduate. Four years later, Kristine Holderied became the first female midshipman to graduate at the top of her class.
On this day in 1994, the movie Forrest Gump opens in U.S. theaters. A huge box-office success,the filmstarred Tom Hanks in the title role of Forrest, a good-hearted man with a low I.Q. who winds up at the center of key cultural and historical events of the second half of the 20th century.
The front-page headline of the Liverpool Evening Express on July 6, 1957, read "MERSEYSIDE SIZZLES," in reference to the heat wave then gripping not just northern England, but all of Europe. The same headline could well have been used over a story that received no coverage at all that day: The story of the first encounter between two Liverpool teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Like the personal and professional relationship it would lead to, their historic first meeting was a highly charged combination of excitement, rivalry and mutual respect.
On this day in 1933, Major League Baseballs first All-Star Game took place at Chicagos Comiskey Park. The brainchild of a determined sports editor, the event was designed to bolster the sport and improve its reputation during the darkest years of the Great Depression. Originally billed as a one-time Game of the Century, it has now become a permanent and much-loved fixture of the baseball season.
On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed "bikini," inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.
After Judge Hugo Friend denies a motion to quash the indictments against the major league baseball players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, a trial begins with jury selection. The Chicago White Sox players, including stars Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, and Eddie Cicotte, subsequently became known as the "Black Sox" after the scandal was revealed.
An Air Canada DC-8 crashes while landing in Toronto, killing 108 people on this day in 1970. The crash was caused by poor landing procedures and inadvertent pilot error. The terrible accident came less than two days after another jet crash had killed more than 100 people in Spain
In the East End of London, revivalist preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine establish the Christian Mission, later known as the Salvation Army. Determined to wage war against the evils of poverty and religious indifference with military efficiency, Booth modeled his Methodist sect after the British army, labeling uniformed ministers as "officers" and new members as "recruits."
Near Sojong, South Korea, Private Kenneth Shadrick, a 19-year-old infantryman from Skin Fork, West Virginia, becomes the first American reported killed in the Korean War. Shadrick, a member of a bazooka squad, had just fired the weapon at a Soviet-made tank when he looked up to check his aim and was cut down by enemy machine-gun fire.
On this day in 1996, Dolly the sheep--the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell--is born at the Roslin Institute in Scotland.
On this day in 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces that all person-to-person transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has ceased. In the previous eight months, the disease had killed about 775 people in 29 countries and exposed the dangers of globalization in the context of public health. In spite of WHO's announcement, a new case was diagnosed in China in January 2004, and four more diagnoses followed that April.
History credits Sam Phillips, the owner and operator of Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, with the discovery of Elvis Presley, which is perfectly fair, though it fails to account for the roles of four others in making that discovery possible: The business partner who first spotted something special in Elvis, the two session men who vouched for his musical talent and the blues figure who wrote the song he was playing when Sam Phillips realized what he had on his hands. The song in question was "That's All Right" by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, and Elvis' unrehearsed performance of itrecorded by Sam Phillips on this day in 1954is a moment some regard as the true beginning of the rock-and-roll revolution.
On this day in 1865, President Andrew Johnson signs an executive order that confirms the military conviction of a group of people who had conspired to kill the late President Abraham Lincoln, then commander in chief of the U.S. Army. With his signature, Johnson ordered four of the guilty to be executed.
On this day in 1975, Arthur Ashe defeats the heavily favored Jimmy Connors to become the first black man ever to win Wimbledon, the most coveted championship in tennis.
Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its king. The declaration came 442 days after the first volleys of the American Revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts and marked an ideological expansion of the conflict that would eventually encourage France's intervention on behalf of the Patriots.
Marilyn Sheppard is beaten to death inside her suburban home in Cleveland, Ohio. Her husband, Dr. Sam Sheppard, claimed to have fallen asleep in the family's living room and awakened to find a man with bushy hair fleeing the scene. The authorities, who uncovered the fact that Dr. Sheppard had been having an affair, did not believe his story and charged him with killing his pregnant wife.
On this day in 1911, record temperatures are set in the northeastern United States as a deadly heat wave hits the area that would go on to kill 380 people. In Nashua, New Hampshire, the mercury peaked at 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Other high-temperature records were set all over New England during an 11-day period.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third presidents of the United States, respectively, die on this day, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Both men had been central in the drafting of the historic document; Jefferson had authored it, and Adams, who was known as the "colossus of the debate," served on the drafting committee and had argued eloquently for the declaration's passage.
On this day, Walt Whitman's first edition of the self-published Leaves of Grass is printed, containing a dozen poems.
Formed as the first shots of the punk revolution were being fired, The Clash storm onto the UK scene with their debut performance on the Fourth of July, 1976, at The Black Swan in Sheffield, England, as the opening act for The Sex Pistols.
On this day in 1919, challenger Jack Dempsey defeats heavyweight champion Jess Willard in searing heat in Toledo, Ohio, to win the heavyweight championship of the world.
On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.
Martha Ann Johnson is arrested in Georgia for the 1982 murder of her oldest child, Jennyann Wright, after an Atlanta newspaper initiated a new investigation into her suspicious death. Johnson's three other children had also mysteriously died between 1977 and 1982.
On this day in 1970, a British Dan-Air charter, flying a Comet 4 turbojet, crashes into the sea near Barcelona, Spain, killing 112 people.
In the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger jet that it mistakes for a hostile Iranian fighter aircraft. Two missiles were fired from the American warship--the aircraft was hit, and all 290 people aboard were killed. The attack came near the end of the Iran-Iraq War, when U.S. vessels were in the gulf defending Kuwaiti oil tankers. Minutes before Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down, the Vincennes had engaged Iranian gunboats that shot at its helicopter.
On this day in 1962, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV is born in Syracuse. After his breakout role in the 1983 film Risky Business, Cruise went on to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, appearing in a long list of critically acclaimed dramas and blockbuster action movies.
Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones is found dead of an apparent accidental drowning on this day in 1969. Two years later to the day, in 1971, Jim Morrison dies of heart failure in a Paris bathtub
Idaho, the last of the 50 states to be explored by whites, is admitted to the union
On this day in 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Rivers and Harbors Flood Control Bill, which allocates funds to improve flood-control and water-storage systems across the country. Eisenhower had sent back two earlier bills to Congress, but was pleased with the revisions included in Senate Bill 3910
On this day in 1974, Los Angeles Dodger Mike Marshall sets a major league record for most games pitched in consecutively when he relieves starting pitcher Tommy John to pitch in his 13th consecutive game. Marshalls was remarkable for his ability to pitch every day without experiencing the soreness and injury that plagued other pitchers, like Tommy John.
The U.S. command in Saigon releases figures showing that more Americans were killed during the first six months of 1968 than in all of 1967. These casualty figures were a direct result of the heavy fighting that had occurred during, and immediately after, the communist Tet Offensive. The offensive had begun on January 30, when communist forces attacked Saigon, Hue, five of six autonomous cities, 36 of 44 provincial capitals, and 64 of 245 district capitals. The timing and magnitude of the attacks caught the South Vietnamese and American forces completely off guard, but eventually the Allied forces turned the tide. Militarily, the Tet Offensive was a disaster for the communists. By the end of March 1968, they had not achieved any of their objectives and had lost 32,000 soldiers with 5,800 captured. U.S. forces suffered 3,895 dead; South Vietnamese losses were 4,954; non-U.S. allies lost 214. More than 14,300 South Vietnamese civilians died.
On this day in 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act in a nationally televised ceremony at the White House.
On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress, assembled in Philadelphia, formally adopts Richard Henry Lee's resolution for independence from Great Britain. The vote is unanimous, with only New York abstaining.
The 1 millionth Corvette, a white LT1 roadster with a red interior and a black roof--the same colors as the original 1953 model--rolls off the assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky on this day in 1992.
Only four months into his administration, President James A. Garfield is shot as he walks through a railroad waiting room in Washington, D.C. His assailant, Charles J. Guiteau, was a disgruntled and perhaps insane office seeker who had unsuccessfully sought an appointment to the U.S. consul in Paris. The president was shot in the back and the arm, and Guiteau was arrested.
A stampede of religious pilgrims in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca leaves more than 1,400 people dead on this day in 1990. This was the most deadly of a series of incidents over 20 years affecting Muslims making the trip to Mecca.
In the sky over Germany's Lake Constance, Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, a retired Prussian army officer, successfully demonstrates the world's first rigid airship. The 420-foot, cigar-shaped craft was lifted by hydrogen gas and powered by a 16-horsepower engine.
On July 2, 1937, the Lockheed aircraft carrying American aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Frederick Noonan is reported missing near Howland Island in the Pacific. The pair were attempting to fly around the world when they lost their bearings during the most challenging leg of the global journey: Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island, a tiny island 2,227 nautical miles away, in the center of the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca was in sporadic radio contact with Earhart as she approached Howland Island and received messages that she was lost and running low on fuel. Soon after, she probably tried to ditch the Lockheed in the ocean. No trace of Earhart or Noonan was ever found.
On this day in 1977, Hollywood composer Bill Conti scores a #1 pop hit with the single "Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)."
On this day in 1938, Helen Wills Moody defeats a hobbled Helen Jacobs 6-4, 6-0 to win her eighth Wimbledon singles title. The victory was the final major championship for Moody, who had been the dominant player in womens tennis for the better part of two decades.
At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand Hong Kongers protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful
The last Thunderbird, Ford Motor Company's iconic sports car, emerges from a Ford factory in Wixom, Michigan on this day in 2005.
The largest military conflict in North American history begins this day when Union and Confederate forces collide at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The epic battle lasted three days and resulted in a retreat to Virginia by Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
A Russian Tupolev 154 collides in midair with a Boeing 757 cargo plane over southern Germany on this day in 2002. The 69 passengers and crew on the Russian plane and the two-person cargo crew were all killed. The collision occurred even though each plane had TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) collision-avoidance equipment onboard and everything functioned correctly.
A female employee at a Colorado resort goes to police to file sexual misconduct charges against basketball star Kobe Bryant on this day in 2003. A few days later, an arrest warrant was issued for Bryant, and the ensuing case generated a media frenzy.
The autonomous Dominion of Canada, a confederation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the future provinces of Ontario and Quebec, is officially recognized by Great Britain with the passage of the British North America Act.
On this day in 1984, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which oversees the voluntary rating system for movies, introduces a new rating, PG-13.
The transistor radio was a technological marvel that put music literally into consumers' hands in the mid-1950s. It was cheap, it was reliable and it was portable, but it could never even approximate the sound quality of a record being played on a home stereo. It was, however, the only technology available to on-the-go music lovers until the Sony Corporation sparked a revolution in personal electronics with the introduction of the first personal stereo cassette player. A device as astonishing on first encounter as the cellular phone or digital camera would later be, the Sony Walkman went on sale for the very first time on July 1, 1979.
On this day in 1951, Cleveland Indians ace Bob Feller pitches the third no-hit game of his career to lead the Indians over the Detroit Tigers 2-1. This made him the first modern pitcher ever to throw three no-hitters.
Undersecretary of State George Ball submits a memo to President Lyndon B. Johnson titled "A Compromise Solution for South Vietnam." It began bluntly: "The South Vietnamese are losing the war to the Viet Cong. No one can assure you that we can beat the Viet Cong, or even force them to the conference table on our terms, no matter how many hundred thousand white, foreign (U.S.) troops we deploy." Ball advised that the United States not commit any more troops, restrict the combat role of those already in place, and seek to negotiate a way out of the war.
Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for a blockbuster 1939 movie, is published on this day in 1936.
On this day in 1953, the first production Corvette is built at the General Motors facility in Flint, Michigan. Tony Kleiber, a worker on the assembly line, is given the privilege of driving the now-historic car off the line.
Just three days after the United Nations Security Council voted to provide military assistance to South Korea, President Harry S. Truman orders U.S. armed forces to assist in defending that nation from invading North Korean armies. Truman's dramatic step marked the official entry of the United States into the Korean War.
On this day in 1900, four German boats burn at the docks in Hoboken, New Jersey, killing more than 300 people. The fire was so large that it could be seen by nearly every person in the New York City area.
Glen Godwin, a young business owner, is convicted of murder in Riverside County, California, and sentenced to 26-years-to-life in prison. According to his roommate's testimony, Godwin stomped on, choked, and then stabbed Kim LeValley, an acquaintance and local drug dealer, 28 times before using homemade explosives to blow up his body in the desert near Palm Springs. Godwin, who had no previous record, eventually found his way onto the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.
The three Soviet cosmonauts who served as the first crew of the world's first space station die when their spacecraft depressurizes during reentry.
On June 30, 1962, Sandy Koufax strikes out 13 batters and walks five to lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to victory over the New York Mets 5-0 with his first career no-hitter. Koufax went on to throw three more no-hitters, including a perfect game on September 9, 1965, in which he allowed no hits and no walks.
Jun 29, 1995:
On this day in 1995, the American space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir to form the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.
Jun 29, 1967:
Blonde bombshell actress Jayne Mansfield is killed instantly on this day in 1967 when the car in which she is riding strikes the rear of a trailer truck on Interstate-90 east of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jun 29, 2001:
On June 29, 2001, Boston doctor Dirk Greineder, 60, is found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Mabel Greineder, 58, his wife of more than 30 years.
The Sampoong department store in Seoul, South Korea, collapses on this day in 1995, killing more than 500 people. The tragedy in the upscale store occurred due to a series of errors made by the designers and contractors who built the store and the criminal negligence of the store's owner.
Jun 29, 2003:
On this day in 2003, Katharine Hepburn--a four-time Academy Award winner for Best Actress and one of the greatest screen legends of Hollywood's golden era--dies of natural causes at the age of 96, at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
On June 29, 1967, Keith Richards sat before magistrates in Chichester, West Sussex, England, facing charges that stemmed from the infamous raid of Richards' Redlands estate five months earlier. Though the raid netted very little in the way of actual drugs, what it did net was a great deal of notoriety for the already notorious Rolling Stones. It was during this raid that the police famously encountered a young Marianne Faithfull clad only in a bearskin rug, a fact that the prosecutor in the case seemed to regard as highly relevant to the case at hand. In questioning Richards, Queen's Counsel Malcolm Morris tried to imply that Faithfull's nudity was probably the result of a loss of inhibition due to cannabis use:
Jun 29, 1958:
On June 29, 1958, Brazil defeats host nation Sweden 5-2 to win its first World Cup. Brazil came into the tournament as a favorite, and did not disappoint, thrilling the world with their spectacular play, which was often referred to as the "beautiful game."
On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia. In addition to ordering U.S. forces to Korea, Truman also deployed the U.S. 7th Fleet to Formosa (Taiwan) to guard against invasion by communist China and ordered an acceleration of military aid to French forces fighting communist guerrillas in Vietnam.
After 59 years, the iconic Route 66 enters the realm of history on this day in 1985, when the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials decertifies the road and votes to remove all its highway signs.
Marcley pleads guilty to attempted larceny of a motorcycle in New York. Since this was his first offense, he received a suspended sentence, which, after the establishment of Baumes law five years later, saved him from later serving a life sentence.
A factory storekeeper in the Nzara township of Sudan becomes ill on this day in 1976. Five days later, he dies, and the world's first recorded Ebola virus epidemic begins making its way through the area. By the time the epidemic is over, 284 cases are reported, with about half of the victims dying from the disease.
Joseph Smith, the founder and leader of the Mormon religion, is murdered along with his brother Hyrum when an anti-Mormon mob breaks into a jail where they are being held in Carthage, Illinois.
On this day in 1939, one of the most famous scenes in movie history is filmed--Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara parting in Gone with the Wind. Director Victor Fleming also shot the scene using the alternate line, "Frankly, my dear, I just don't care," in case the film censors objected to the word "damn." The censors approved the movie but fined producer David O. Selznick $5,000 for including the curse.
There was quite a bit more than just 12 years and a few extra pounds separating the Elvis Presley of 1968 from the Elvis that set the world on fire in 1956. With a nearly decade-long string of forgettable movies and inconsistent recordings behind him, Elvis had drifted so far from his glorious, youthful incarnation that he'd turned himself into a historical artifact without any help from the Beatles, Bob Dylan or the Stones. And then something amazing happened: A television special for NBC that Elvis' manager Colonel Tom Parker envisioned as an Andy Williams-like sequence of Christmas carol performances instead became a thrilling turning point in Elvis's legendary career. Elvis began taping his legendary "Comeback Special" on this day in 1968.
On June 27, 1988, heavyweight champion Mike Tyson knocks out challenger Michael Spinks 91 seconds into the first round. The decisive victory left the boxing world wondering if anyone could beat "Iron Mike" Tyson.
On this day in 1948, U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade.
On this day in 1956, the U.S. Congress approves the Federal Highway Act, which allocates more than $30 billion for the construction of some 41,000 miles of interstate highways; it will be the largest public construction project in U.S. history to that date.
On this day in 1807, lightning hits a gunpowder factory in the small European country of Luxembourg, killing more than 300 people. Lightning kills approximately 73 people every year in the United States alone, but victims are almost always killed one at a time. The Luxembourg disaster may have been the most deadly lightning strike in history.
In a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II, the St. Lawrence Seaway is officially opened, creating a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to all the Great Lakes. The seaway, made up of a system of canals, locks, and dredged waterways, extends a distance of nearly 2,500 miles, from the Atlantic Ocean through the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Duluth, Minnesota, on Lake Superior.
In retaliation for an Iraqi plot to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush during his April visit to Kuwait, President Bill Clinton orders U.S. warships to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraqi intelligence headquarters in downtown Baghdad.
On this day in 1998, the classic Civil War-era blockbuster Gone with the Wind, originally released in 1939, is re-released in U.S. theaters by New Line Pictures.
On June 26, 1911, Mildred Didrikson is born in Port Arthur, Texas. As a child, Mildred earned the nicknamed "Babe," after Babe Ruth, for her ability to hit a baseball farther than anyone else in her town. In 1930, after excelling in basketball and track at Beaumont High School, she was hired by the Employers Casualty Company of Dallas to play for its Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball team. Because her amateur status would end if she were hired as an athlete, the company hired her as a "secretary" and then put a basketball in her hand; she also competed for the company in track and field. At the 1932 AAU championships, which was then the only real qualifier for the Olympics, Didrikson won five of the eight events she entered, setting world records in the javelin throw, 80-meter hurdles, high jump and baseball throw.
Gen. William Westmoreland, senior U.S. military commander in Vietnam, is given formal authority to commit American troops to battle when he decides they are necessary "to strengthen the relative position of the GVN [Government of Vietnam] forces." This authorization permitted Westmoreland to put his forces on the offensive. Heretofore, U.S. combat forces had been restricted to protecting U.S. airbases and other facilities
On this day in 1945, the Charter for the United Nations is signed in San Francisco.
On this day in 1876, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana's Little Bighorn River.
The last Packard--the classic American luxury car with the famously enigmatic slogan "Ask the Man Who Owns One"--rolls off the production line at Packard's plant in Detroit, Michigan on this day in 1956.
Armed forces from communist North Korea smash into South Korea, setting off the Korean War. The United States, acting under the auspices of the United Nations, quickly sprang to the defense of South Korea and fought a bloody and frustrating war for the next three years.
Congress passes the Mann Act, also known as the White Slave Traffic Act, which was ostensibly aimed at keeping innocent girls from being lured into prostitution, but really offered a way to make a crime out of many kinds of consensual sexual activity.
A hurricane watch is declared for the Texas and Louisiana coastlines as a tropical depression from the Gulf of Mexico heads toward the United States. The storm quickly becomes Hurricane Audrey, which kills 390 people
On this day in 2009, Michael Jackson, one of the most commercially successful entertainers in history, dies at the age of 50 at his home in Los Angeles, California, after suffering from cardiac arrest caused by a fatal combination of drugs given to him by his personal doctor
Contrary to what some critics of teen pop might imagine, pop sensation Debbie Gibson saw herself not as the next Madonna, but as the next Carole King. And when her single "Foolish Beat" reached the top of the Biilboard Hot 100 on this day in 1988, she achieved something very much in keeping with that goal: She became the youngest person ever to write, produce and perform her own #1 pop single.
On June 25, 1948, Joe Louis defeats Jersey Joe Walcott to retain the heavyweight championship.
On this day in 1950, an American team composed largely of amateurs defeated its more polished English opponents at the World Cup, held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Dubbed the Miracle on Green, the game is considered one of the greatest soccer upsets of all time.
On this day in 1997, U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.
On this day in 1966, the United States Senate votes 76-0 for the passage of what will become the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson the following September, the act created the nation's first mandatory federal safety standards for motor vehicles.
On June 24, 1993, Yale University computer science professor David Gelernter (1955- ) is seriously injured while opening his mail when a padded envelope explodes in his hands. The attack just came two days after a University of California geneticist was injured by a similar bomb and was the latest in a string of bombings since 1978 that authorities believed to be related.
An Eastern Airlines jet crashes near John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, killing 115 people on this day in 1975. The Boeing 727 was brought down by wind shear, a sudden change in wind speed or direction.
On June 24, 1901, the first major exhibition of Pablo Picasso's artwork opens at a gallery on Paris' rue Lafitte, a street known for its prestigious art galleries. The precocious 19-year-old Spaniard was at the time a relative unknown outside Barcelona, but he had already produced hundreds of paintings. The 75 works displayed at Picasso's first Paris exhibition offered moody, representational paintings by a young artist with obvious talent.
On June 24, 1997, the Walt Disney Corporation orders one of its subsidiary record labels to recall 100,000 already shipped copies of an album by a recently signed artistInsane Clown Posseon the day of its planned release. The issue at hand: the graphic nature of the Detroit "horror-core" rap duo's lyrics.
On this day in 1953, Jacqueline Bouvier and Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy publicly announce their engagement. Kennedy went on to become the 35th president and Jackie, as she was known, became one of the most popular first ladies ever to grace the White House.
On June 24, 1915, young Oswald Boelcke, one of the earliest and best German fighter pilots of World War I, makes the first operational flight of the Fokker Eindecker plane.
Mafia boss John Gotti, who was nicknamed the "Teflon Don" after escaping unscathed from several trials during the 1980s, is sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering. Moments after his sentence was read in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, hundreds of Gotti's supporters stormed the building and overturned and smashed cars before being forced back by police reinforcements.
On this day in 1902, German automaker Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) first registers "Mercedes" as a brand name; the name will gain full legal protection the next September.
William Bayly is convicted of murder in New Zealand despite the fact that the body of one of his alleged victims was never found. Most of the evidence against Bayly consisted of trace amounts of human hair, bone, and tissue, representing a marked advance in the field of forensics.
A spate of tornadoes across West Virginia and Pennsylvania kills more than 150 people on this day in 1944. Most of the twisters were classified as F3, but the most deadly one was an F4 on the Fujita scale, meaning it was a devastating tornado, with winds in excess of 207 mph.
On this day in 1989, Tim Burtons noir spin on the well-known story of the DC Comics hero Batman is released in theaters.
On this day in 1972, President Richard Nixon signs into law the Higher Education Act, which includes the groundbreaking Title IX legislation. Title IX barred discrimination in higher education programs, including funding for sports and other extracurricular activities. As a result, women's participation in team sports, particularly in collegiate athletics, surged with the passage of this act.
On this day in 1972, Title IX of the education amendments of 1972 is enacted into law. Title IX prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students or employees based on sex. It begins: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." As a result of Title IX, any school that receives any federal money from the elementary to university level--in short, nearly all schools--must provide fair and equal treatment of the sexes in all areas, including athletics.
On this day in 1940, Adolf Hitler surveys notable sites in the French capital, now German-occupied territory.
On this day in 1944, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the G.I. Bill, an unprecedented act of legislation designed to compensate returning members of the armed services--known as G.I.s--for their efforts in World War II.As the last of its sweeping New Deal reforms, Roosevelt's administration created the G.I. Bill--officially the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944--hoping to avoid a relapse into the Great Depression after the war ended. FDR particularly wanted to prevent a repeat of the Bonus March of 1932, when 20,000 unemployed veterans and their families flocked in protest to Washington. The American Legion, a veteran's organization, successfully fought for many of the provisions included in the bill, which gave returning servicemen access to unemployment compensation, low-interest home and business loans, and--most importantly--funding for education.
On this day in 2001, "The Fast and the Furious," a crime drama based in the underground world of street racing in Southern California, debuts in theaters across the United States.
On this day in 2006, jury selection begins in the retrial of Andrea Yates, the former Texas nurse who in 2001 drowned her five children in a bathtub. Yates was charged with the deaths of Noah, 7, Mary, 6, and John, 5, and found guilty in March 2002.
On this day in 1962, an Air France Boeing 707 crashes on the island of Guadeloupe, killing all 113 passengers and crew members aboard. This crash was only one of five major accidents involving Boeing 707s during the year. Altogether, the five crashes killed 457 people.
In Chicago's Comiskey Park, Joe Louis wins the world heavyweight boxing title when he defeats American Jim Braddock in an eighth-round knockout. Louis was the first African American heavyweight champ since Jack Johnson, who lost the title in 1915. During his subsequent reign, the longest in the history of the heavyweight division, Louis successfully defended his title 25 times, scoring 21 knockouts.
On this day in 2008, the influential comic writer, actor and stand-up comedian George Carlin dies of heart failure at the age of 71.
On this day in 1986, Argentine midfielder Diego Maradona scores two goals to lead Argentina past England and into the semifinals of the World Cup.
New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.
Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney are killed by a Ku Klux Klan lynch mob near Meridian, Mississippi. The three young civil rights workers were working to register black voters in Mississippi, thus inspiring the ire of the local Klan. The deaths of Schwerner and Goodman, white Northerners and members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), caused a national outrage.
An earthquake near the Caspian Sea in Iran kills more than 50,000 and injures another 135,000 people on this day in 1990. The 7.7-magnitude tremor wrecked havoc on the simply constructed houses in the area.
John W. Hinckley, Jr., who on March 30, 1981, shot President Ronald Reagan and three others outside a Washington, D.C., hotel, was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity. In the trial, Hinckley's defense attorneys argued that their client was ill with narcissistic personality disorder, citing medical evidence, and had a pathological obsession with the 1976 film Taxi Driver, in which the main character attempts to assassinate a fictional senator. His lawyers claimed that Hinckley had watched the movie more than a dozen times, was obsessed with the lead actress, Jodie Foster, and had attempted to reenact the events of the film in his own life. The movie, not Hinckley, they successfully argued, was the actual planning force behind the events that occurred on March 30, 1981.
Swarms of admirers mob the Hollywood film actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, who arrive in London on their honeymoon on this day in 1920. Two of films earliest stars, Pickford and Fairbanks had been business partners since 1919, when they teamed up with Charlie Chaplin and director D.W. Griffith to form United Artists. As a wedding present for Pickford, Fairbanks bought an estate boasting 22 rooms and Beverly Hills first swimming pool. The couple dubbed the sprawling property Pickfair.
Released on this day in 1965, the Byrds' debut album, Mr. Tambourine Man, marked the beginning of the folk-rock revolution. In just a few months, the Byrds had become a household name, with a #1 single and a smash-hit album that married the ringing guitars and backbeat of the British Invasion with the harmonies and lyrical depth of folk to create an entirely new sound.
On this day in 1975, Jaws, a film directed by Steven Spielberg that made countless viewers afraid to go into the water, opens in theaters. The story of a great white shark that terrorizes a New England resort town became an instant blockbuster and the highest-grossing film in movie history until it was bested by 1977's Star Wars. Jaws was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category and took home three Oscars, for Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound. The film, a breakthrough for director Spielberg, then 27 years old, spawned three sequels.
On this day in 1782, Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States after six years of discussion.
After a long and bitter struggle on the part of Henry Ford against cooperation with organized labor unions, Ford Motor Company signs its first contract with the United Automobile Workers of America and Congress of Industrial Organizations (UAW-CIO) on this day in 1941.
During the Civil War, West Virginia is admitted into the Union as the 35th U.S. state, or the 24th state if the secession of the 11 Southern states were taken into account. The same day, Arthur Boreman was inaugurated as West Virginia's first state governor.
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, the man who brought organized crime to the West Coast, is shot and killed at his mistress Virginia Hill's home in Beverly Hills, California. Siegel had been talking to his associate Allen Smiley when three bullets were fired through the window and into his head, killing him instantly.
A gas explosion in a Chinese coal mine kills 111 workers on this day in 2002. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this tragic incident is that it was not unique. Poor safety regulations in China have long made mining there an extremely hazardous occupation.
With a flip of a switch in Prudhoe Bay, crude oil from the nation's largest oil field begins flowing south down the trans-Alaska pipeline to the ice-free port of Valdez, Alaska. The steel pipeline, 48 inches in diameter, winds through 800 miles of Alaskan wilderness, crossing three Arctic mountain ranges and hundreds of rivers and streams. Environmentalists fought to prevent its construction, saying it would destroy a pristine ecosystem, but they were ultimately overruled by Congress, who saw it as a way of lessening America's dependence on foreign oil. The trans-Alaska pipeline was the world's largest privately funded construction project to that date, costing $8 billion and taking three years to build.
It was the summer of 1981, and after an 11-year hiatus, the sound of the Fab Four once again ruled the radio airwaves. Only instead of John, Paul, George and Ringo, this time the world had to settle for Bas, Hans, Jaap and Okkiethe Dutch studio musicians behind the phenomenon called Stars on 45. Not so much a band as an audacious business plan, Stars on 45 climbed all the way to the top of the U.S. pop charts on June 20, 1981, with a single whose impossibly long title takes almost as long to read as the song itself takes to play: "Medley: Intro 'Venus'/Sugar Sugar/No Reply/I'll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want To Know A Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/Nowhere Man/You're Going To Lose That Girl/Stars On 45."
President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter climb to the White House roof to celebrate the installation of solar-energy panels there on this day in 1979.
On this day in 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair. The Rosenbergs were the first U.S. citizens to be convicted and executed for espionage during peacetime and their case remains controversial to this day.
After 14 Formula One race car drivers withdraw due to safety concerns over the Michelin-made tires on their vehicles, German driver Michael Schumacher wins a less-than-satisfying victory at the United States Grand Prix on this day in 2005. The race, held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana, will go down one of the most controversial Formula One racing events in history.
On this day in 1938, a flood in Montana kills 46 people and seriously injures more than 60 when it washes out train tracks.
In Music Fund Hall in Philadelphia, the first national convention of the Republican Party, founded two years before, comes to its conclusion. John Charles Fremont of California, the famous explorer of the West, was nominated for the presidency, and William Dewis Dayton of New Jersey was chosen as the candidate for the vice presidency.
On this day in 1905, some 450 people attend the opening day of the worlds first nickelodeon, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and developed by the showman Harry Davis. The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged each patron five cents. Nickelodeons (named for a combination of the admission cost and the Greek word for theater) soon spread across the country. Their usual offerings included live vaudeville acts as well as short films. By 1907, some 2 million Americans had visited a nickelodeon, and the storefront theaters remained the main outlet for films until they were replaced around 1910 by large modern theaters.
Carole King began her career in music as a young newlywed and college graduate, working a 9-to-5 shift alongside her then-husband, Gerry Goffin, in Don Kirshner's songwriting factory, Aldon Music. It was there, working in a cubicle with a piano, staff paper and tape recorder that she co-wrote her first hit song (the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," 1960), her second and third hit songs (the Drifters' "Some Kind Of Wonderful" and Bobby Vee's "Take Good Care Of My Baby," both 1961), her 14th and 17th hit songs (the Chiffons' "One Fine Day," 1963, and Herman's Hermits' "Something Tells Me I'm Into Something Good," 1964) and so on and so forth. It was not until 10 years after her songwriting breakthrough, however, that Carole King finally fulfilled her long-held dream of having her own hit record as both singer and songwriter. On June 19, 1971, she earned her first #1 single as a performer with the double-sided hit "It's Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move."
On June 19, 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against Curt Flood in Flood v. Kuhn, denying Flood free agency as a baseball player. Flood was trying to break the reserve clause that had tied baseball players to one franchise since the establishment of professional baseball.
The day after the Senate followed the House of Representatives in voting to declare war against Great Britain, President James Madison signs the declaration into law--and the War of 1812 begins. The American war declaration, opposed by a sizable minority in Congress, had been called in response to the British economic blockade of France, the induction of American seaman into the British Royal Navy against their will, and the British support of hostile Indian tribes along the Great Lakes frontier. A faction of Congress known as the "War Hawks" had been advocating war with Britain for several years and had not hidden their hopes that a U.S. invasion of Canada might result in significant territorial land gains for the United States
On June 18, 1923, the first Checker Cab rolls off the line at the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Radio talk host Alan Berg, the self-described "man you love to hate," is gunned down in the driveway of his home in Denver, Colorado. With his own show on KOA aiming to stir up controversy, Berg was used to receiving an endless stream of death threats.
On this day in 1972, a Trident jetliner crashes after takeoff from Heathrow Airport in London, killing 118 people. The official cause of this accident remains unknown, but it may have happened simply because the plane was carrying too much weight.
On this day in 1942, Roger Ebert, who will become famous as the movie critic who used his thumbs to pass judgment on Hollywoods latest offerings on his long-running TV show, is born in Urbana, Illinois.
By the time they got to Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who and the Grateful Dead were established superstarsheroes to the roughly half a million worshipful fans who trekked up to Max Yasgur's farm to see them in the summer of 1969. Yet just two years earlier, they were entirely unknown to most of those worshipers. All four iconic figures on the 1960s music scene entered the American popular consciousness at an event that preceded and provided the inspiration for Woodstock itself: the Monterey Pop Festival. Held over three days during the height of the Summer of Love, the Monterey Pop Festival came to a close on this day in 1967, with a lineup of performers that included all of the aforementioned acts as well as Ravi Shankar, Buffalo Springfield and the Mamas and the Papas.
President John Adams passes the Naturalization Act, the first of four pieces of controversial legislation known together as the Alien and Sedition Acts, on this day in 1798. Strong political opposition to these acts succeeded in undermining the Adams administration, helping Thomas Jefferson to win the presidency in 1800.
On June 18, 1960, Arnold Palmer shoots a 65 to win the U.S. Open at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, Colorado. It was the best final round in U.S. Open history.
For the first time, 28 B-52s fly-bomb a Viet Cong concentration in a heavily forested area of Binh Duong Province northwest of Saigon. Such flights, under the aegis of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), became known as Operation Arc Light. The B-52s that took part in the Arc Light missions had been deployed to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and more bombers were later deployed to bases in Okinawa and U-Tapao, Thailand.
The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, arrives in New York City's harbor.
Viewers across the nation are glued to their television screens on this day in 1994, watching as a fleet of black-and-white police cars pursues a white Ford Bronco along Interstate-405 in Los Angeles, California. Inside the Bronco is Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson, a former professional football player, actor and sports commentator whom police suspected of involvement in the recent murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
On this day in 1958, a bridge being built to connect eastern and northern Vancouver in western Canada collapses, killing 59 workers. The bridge, known as the Second Narrows Bridge, was finally completed in 1960 and, in 1996, it was renamed Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to commemorate the people who lost their lives during its construction. The disaster was the worst involving a bridge in Canada's history.
In the early morning of June 17, 1972, five men are arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate, an office-hotel-apartment complex in Washington, D.C. In their possession were burglary tools, cameras and film, and three pen-size tear gas guns. At the scene of the crime, and in rooms the men rented at the Watergate, sophisticated electronic bugging equipment was found. Three of the men were Cuban exiles, one was a Cuban American, and the fifth was James W. McCord, Jr., a former CIA agent. That day, the suspects, who said they were "anti-communists," were charged with felonious burglary and possession of implements of crime.
While hairstyles and fashions may come and go, and while musical styles may evolve over time, one thing that repeats itself in music history with great regularity is the ascendancy of boy bands as a pop-cultural force. In the late 1980s, this cyclical process yielded New Kids on the Blockanother in a long line of telegenic male pop groups engineered to bedazzle America's preteen girls. Although they would last no longer than those who came before or after, New Kids on the Block enjoyed a tremendous run of success that peaked when "I'll Be Loving You Forever" reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart on June 17, 1989.
On June 17, 1954, Rocky Marciano successfully defends his heavyweight title against Ezzard Charles at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It was Marcianos 47th consecutive victory.
On this day in 1884, the first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York. Known as a switchback railway, it was the brainchild of LaMarcus Thompson, traveled approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride. The new entertainment was an instant success and by the turn of the century there were hundreds of roller coasters around the country.
At 9:30 in the morning on this day in 1903, Henry Ford and other prospective stockholders in the Ford Motor Company meet in Detroit to sign the official paperwork required to create a new corporation. Twelve stockholders were listed on the forms, which were signed, notarized and sent to the office of Michigan's secretary of state. The company was officially incorporated the following day, when the secretary of state's office received the articles of association.
As daylight breaks, survivors of a tsunami in Japan find that more than 20,000 of their friends and family have perished overnight.
On June 16, 1963, aboard Vostok 6, Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to travel into space. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to earth, having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date.
By the spring of 1965, Bob Dylan's presence in the world of music was beginning to be felt well outside the boundaries of his nominal genre. Within the world of folk music, he had been hailed as a hero for several years already, but now his music was capturing the attention and influencing the direction of artists like the Byrds, the Beatles and even a young Stevie Wonder. With Dylan as a direct inspiration, popular music was about to change its direction, but so was Dylan himself. On June 16, 1965, on their second day of recording at Columbia Records' Studio A in Manhattan, he and a band featuring electric guitars and an organ laid down the master take of the song that would announce that change: "Like A Rolling Stone." It would prove to be "folksinger" Bob Dylan's magnum opus and, arguably, the greatest rock and roll record of all time.
On this day in 1858, newly nominated senatorial candidate Abraham Lincoln addresses the Illinois Republican Convention in Springfield and warns that the nation faces a crisis that could destroy the Union. Speaking to more than 1,000 delegates in an ominous tone, Lincoln paraphrased a passage from the New Testament: "a house divided against itself cannot stand."
On June 16, 1968, golfer Lee Trevino wins the U.S. Open at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. His score of 275 for 72 holes tied a U.S. Open record.
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces that 21,000 more U.S. troops are to be sent to Vietnam. He also claimed that it was now known that North Vietnamese regular troops had begun to infiltrate South Vietnam. The new U.S. troops were to join the U.S. Marines and paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade that had arrived earlier to secure U.S. airbases and facilities. These forces would soon transition from defensive missions to direct combat operations. As the war escalated, more and more U.S. combat troops were sent to South Vietnam. By 1969, there were over 540,000 American troops in Vietnam.
Jun 15, 1776:
On this day in 1776, the Assembly of the Lower Counties of Pennsylvania declares itself independent of British and Pennsylvanian authority, thereby creating the state of Delaware.
235 years and a 7 days later, Mben was born in the first state of the Union!
Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or "Great Charter." The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation's laws. Although more a reactionary than a progressive document in its day, the Magna Carta was seen as a cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations.
On this day in 1776, the Assembly of the Lower Counties of Pennsylvania declares itself independent of British and Pennsylvanian authority, thereby creating the state of Delaware.
On this day in 1986, driving legend Richard Petty makes the 1,000th start of his National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) career, in the Miller American 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan. He became the first driver in NASCAR history to log 1,000 career starts.
On this day in 2005, more than two weeks after Alabama teen Natalee Holloway disappeared while on vacation in Aruba, Aruban police search for any sign of her on Malmok Beach, a patch of swampy beachfront near a Marriott hotel. The search failed to turn up any leads.
More than 1,000 people taking a pleasure trip on New York City's East River are drowned or burned to death when a fire sweeps through the boat. This was one of the United States' worst maritime disasters.
Representatives of Great Britain and the United States sign the Oregon Treaty, which settles a long-standing dispute with Britain over who controlled the Oregon territory. The treaty established the 49th parallel from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia as the boundary between the United States and British Canada. The United States gained formal control over the future states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and the British retained Vancouver Island and navigation rights to part of the Columbia River
Henry Ossian Flipper, born a slave in Thomasville, Georgia, in 1856, is the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Flipper, who was never spoken to by a white cadet during his four years at West Point, was appointed a second lieutenant in the all-African American 10th Cavalry, stationed at Fort Sill in Indian Territory.
On June 15, 1963, Kyu Sakamoto accomplished something never achieved before or since when he earned a #1 hit on the American pop charts with a song sung entirely in Japanesea song originally written and recorded under the title "Ue O Muite Aruk?." This was not the title under which it climbed the U.S. pop charts, however. Instead of a faithfully translated title like "I Look Up When I Walk," Sakamoto's ballad was called, for no particular reason, "Sukiyaki."
On this day in 1775, George Washington, who would one day become the first American president, accepts an assignment to lead the Continental Army.
On this day in 1938, Cincinnati Red Johnny Vander Meer pitches his second consecutive no-hit, no-run game. Vander Meer is the only pitcher in baseball history to throw two back-to-back no-hitters.
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." The national flag, which became known as the "Stars and Stripes," was based on the "Grand Union" flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.
On this day in 1777, during the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."
TWA Flight 847 from Athens to Rome is hijacked by Shiite Hezbollah terrorists who immediately demand to know the identity of ''those with Jewish-sounding names." Two of the Lebanese terrorists, armed with grenades and a 9-mm. pistol, then forced the plane to land in Beirut, Lebanon.
A flash flood in Oregon kills 324 people on this day in 1903. The sudden onslaught of water caused millions of dollars in damages to the central Oregon town of Heppner.
Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives, a prominent folk singer and Academy Award-winning actor, is born on this day in 1909 near Hunt City, Illinois.
On this day in 1922, President Warren G. Harding, while addressing a crowd at the dedication of a memorial site for the composer of the "Star Spangled Banner," Francis Scott Key, becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio. The broadcast heralded a revolutionary shift in how presidents addressed the American public. It was not until three years later, however, that a president would deliver a radio-specific address. That honor went to President Calvin Coolidge.
On June 14, 1998, Michael Jordan leads the Chicago Bulls to an 87-86 win over the Utah Jazz in Game Six of the NBA Finals to clinch their third consecutive NBA title. Jordan scored 45 points and hit the winning jump shot with 5.2 seconds left on the clock in what seemed a fitting end to a historic career.
The U.S. command announces that three combat units will be withdrawn from Vietnam. They were the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the U.S. Army 9th Infantry Division and Regimental Landing Team 9 of the 3rd Marine Division--a total of about 13,000 to 14,000 men. These troops were part of the first U.S. troop withdrawal, which had been announced on June 8 by President Richard Nixon at the Midway conference with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu. Nixon had promised that 25,000 troops would be withdrawn by the end of the year, and more support troops were later sent home in addition to the aforementioned combat forces in order to meet that number.
On this day in 1966, the Supreme Court hands down its decision in Miranda v. Arizona, establishing the principle that all criminal suspects must be advised of their rights before interrogation. Now considered standard police procedure, "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you," has been heard so many times in television and film dramas that it has become almost cliche.
On this day in 1972, severe weather conditions over the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico begin to converge and form a tropical depression that would become Hurricane Agnes over the next two weeks. By the time the storm dissipated, damages were in the billions and 121 people were dead. Although incredibly strong winds hit the Florida coast, it was the immense amount of rain that the storm brought to the northeastern United States that proved to be most deadly.
President Lyndon Johnson appoints U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Thurgood Marshall to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom C. Clark. On August 30, after a heated debate, the Senate confirmed Marshall's nomination by a vote of 69 to 11. Two days later, he was sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren, making him the first African American in history to sit on America's highest court.
After more than a decade in space, Pioneer 10, the world's first outer-planetary probe, leaves the solar system. The next day, it radioed back its first scientific data on interstellar space.
By the end of the 1970s, the decade of her greatest commercial success, Linda Ronstadt was being hailed with honors like "the First Lady of Rock" and "Top Female Pop Singer of the Decade." But neither of those titles captured the true breadth of her musical pursuits or of her popularity. As synonymous as she was in the late 1970s with the pop mainstream, Ronstadt began her rise to stardom working in an idiom as compatible with country-music fashions as with rock. In fact, her first top-10 hit was with the Hank Williams song "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)," and the biggest hit of her career was "When Will I Be Loved," which became a #1 hit on the country-music charts on this day in 1975.
On June 13, 1905, pitcher Christy Matthewson of the New York Giants throws the second no-hitter of his career to lead his Giants to a 1-0 win over the powerful Chicago Cubs.
On this day in 1987, in one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down" the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.
On this day in 1940, Edsel Ford telephones William Knudsen of the U.S. Office of Production Management (OPM) to confirm Ford Motor Company's acceptance of Knudsen's proposal to manufacture 9,000 Rolls-Royce-designed engines to be used in British and U.S. airplanes.
On this day in 1920, Man O War wins the 52nd Belmont Stakes, and sets the record for the fastest mile ever run by a horse to that time. Man O War was the biggest star yet in a country obsessed with horse racing, and the most successful thoroughbred of his generation.
On this day in 1979, John Wayne, an iconic American film actor famous for starring in countless westerns, dies at age 72 after battling cancer for more than a decade.
On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress selects Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert R. Livingston of New York to draft a declaration of independence.
The hit John Hughes-directed teen comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," released on this day in 1986, stars a young Matthew Broderick as a popular high school student in suburban Illinois who fakes an illness in order to score a day off from school, then leads his best friend and his girlfriend on a whirlwind day through Chicago. The movie's cast also included Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones and Jennifer Grey. However, the most memorable performer may have been an automobile: the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, a custom-built car revered by auto collectors.
John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Lee Morris attempt to escape from Alcatraz federal prison. The three men were never seen again, and although some believe that theirs was the only successful getaway from what was known as "The Rock," it is far more likely that they drowned in the chilly water. Four days after their escape, a bag containing photos, which belonged to Clarence Anglin, was found in San Francisco Bay. Escape From Alcatraz, both a J. Campbell Bruce book and a Clint Eastwood movie, later dramatized the incident.
On this day in 1955, a racing car in Le Mans, France, goes out of control and crashes into stands filled with spectators, killing 82 people. The tragedy in the famous 24-hour race leads to a ban on racing in several nations.
Facing federalized Alabama National Guard troops, Alabama Governor George Wallace ends his blockade of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and allows two African American students to enroll.
Then 34-year-old director Steven Spielberg reportedly drew on his own experiences as an unusually imaginative, often-lonely child of divorce for his science-fiction classic E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, which is released on this day in 1982.
In the tragically short life of country legend Hank Williams, Sr., there were many broken relationships, both personal and professional, that resulted from his self-destructive behavior. One such relationship was with the most important institution in his chosen field: The Grand Ole Opry. Shortly before it cost him his life, Hank's drinking cost him his membership in the Opry, just three years after his triumphant debut. That debut, however, remains one of the most famous in the history of the live country-music performance program broadcast weekly on WSN Nashville since 1925. Hank Williams took to the microphone for his Grand Ole Opry debut on June 11, 1949, electrifying a live audience at Ryman Auditorium that called Williams out for six encores and had to be implored not to call him out for more in order to allow the rest of the show to go on.
On this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy issues presidential proclamation 3542, forcing Alabama Governor George Wallace to comply with federal court orders allowing two African-American students to register for the summer session at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The proclamation ordered Wallace and all persons acting in concert with him to cease and desist from obstructing justice.
On June 11, 1950, Ben Hogan bests Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio in an 18-hole playoff at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, to win the U.S. Open.
On this day in 1991 at Clark Air Base in the Philippines, 14,500 personnel are evacuated in anticipation of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Over the next several days, the eruptions killed hundreds of people and sent tons of ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.
In Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Bridget Bishop, the first colonist to be tried in the Salem witch trials, is hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft.
On this day in 2002, Clint Messina, 21, of Lacombe, Louisiana, is arrested and charged in the attempted murder of a police officer after driving into a patrol car while attempting to flee from sheriffs deputies. Soon after, police discovered that he was already a wanted man.
In New York City, two recovering alcoholics, one a New York broker and the other an Ohio physician, found Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), a 12-step rehabilitation program that eventually helps countless people cope with alcoholism.
Though the First Amendment to the Constitution clearly states that the U.S. Congress "shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech," free speech is widely understood to have its limits. It is dangerous and potentially criminal, for instance, to yell, "Fire!" in a crowded theater. But what about yelling "$&%#@!!" in a crowded nightclub? Lenny Bruce and other comedians tested the limits of that practice in the 1960s, but it was not until the late 1980s that the issue of obscenity came front and center in the world of popular music. The group that brought it there was 2LiveCrew, a hip-hop outfit led by Luther "Luke Skyywalker" Campbell. On June 10, 1990, just days after a controversial ruling by a Florida federal judge, Campbell and two other members of 2LiveCrew were arrested on charges of public obscenity after performing material from their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be in a Hollywood, Florida, nightclub.
On June 10, 1944, 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall becomes the youngest person ever to play Major League Baseball when he pitches in a game for the Cincinnati Reds. Nuxhall threw two-thirds of the ninth inning in an 18-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals; he was pulled only after one wild pitch and allowing five runs on five walks and two hits. The game was played during World War II, when it became common for adolescent and older players to fill in for big leaguers fighting overseas.
Jun 9, 1973:
With a spectacular victory at the Belmont Stakes, Secretariat becomes the first horse since Citation in 1948 to win America's coveted Triple Crown--the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. In one of the finest performances in racing history, Secretariat, ridden by Ron Turcotte, completed the 1.5-mile race in 2 minutes and 24 seconds, a dirt-track record for that distance.
Jun 9, 1993:
On this day in 1993, the now-infamous madam-to-the-stars Heidi Fleiss is arrested as part of a sting operation run by the Los Angeles Police and Beverly Hills Police Departments and the U.S. Justice Department.
Jun 9, 1891:
On this day in 1891, the great composer and lyricist Cole Porter-one of the most important American songwriters of the 20th century-is born in Peru, Indiana.
Jun 9, 1972:
A flash flood in Rapid City, South Dakota, kills more than 200 people on this day in 1972. This flood demonstrated the danger of building homes and businesses in a floodplain region.
With protests for democratic reforms entering their seventh week, the Chinese government authorizes its soldiers and tanks to reclaim Beijing's Tiananmen Square at all costs. By nightfall on June 4, Chinese troops had forcibly cleared the square, killing hundreds and arresting thousands of demonstrators and suspected dissidents.
On this day in 1957, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the chemical company E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. must give up its large stock interest in the Detroit-based automobile company General Motors on the grounds that it constituted a monopoly, or a concentration of power that reduced competition or otherwise interfered with trade.
On this day, Union General Ulysses S. Grant makes what he later recognizes to be his greatest mistake by ordering a frontal assault on entrenched Confederates at Cold Harbor, Virginia. The result was some 7,000 Union casualties in less than an hour of fighting.
In a freak and tragic accident, a natural-gas pipeline explodes in Russia's Ural Mountains just as two trains pass it.
John Adams, the second president of the United States, becomes the first president to reside in Washington, D.C., when he takes up residence at Union Tavern in Georgetown.
One hundred and 20 miles above the earth, Major Edward H. White II opens the hatch of the Gemini 4 and steps out of the capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to walk in space. Attached to the craft by a 25-foot tether and controlling his movements with a hand-held oxygen jet-propulsion gun, White remained outside the capsule for just over 20 minutes. As a space walker, White had been preceded by Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov, who on March 18, 1965, was the first man ever to walk in space.
Santa Cruz, California, a favorite early haunt of author Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, was an established capital of the West Coast counterculture scene by the mid-1960s. Yet just 10 years earlier, the balance of power in this crunchy beach town 70 miles south of San Francisco tilted heavily toward the older side of the generation gap. In the early months of the rock-and-roll revolution, in fact, at a time when adult authorities around the country were struggling to come to terms with a booming population of teenagers with vastly different musical tastes and attitudes, Santa Cruz captured national attention for its response to the crisis. On June 3, 1956, city authorities announced a total ban on rock and roll at public gatherings, calling the music "Detrimental to both the health and morals of our youth and community."
On this day in 1937, The Sporting News reports that catcher Josh Gibson of the Negro Leagues Homestead Grays hit a ball two feet from the top of the façade of Yankee Stadium, 580 feet from home plate. If Negro League records were kept alongside those of the National and American Leagues, Gibsons home run would eclipse Mickey Mantles record 565-foot home run hit off Chuck Stobbs in Washingtons Griffith Stadium on April 17, 1953 as the longest ever hit. This is not the only record Gibson might hold, and possibly not the only record for distance. Some credit him with crushing a fair ball out of Yankee Stadium in 1934, which if true would make him the only player ever to accomplish that feat.
On June 3, 1916, United States President Woodrow Wilson signs into law the National Defense Act, which expanded the size and scope of the National Guardthe network of states' militias that had been developing steadily since colonial timesand guaranteed its status as the nation's permanent reserve force.
On this day in 1935, Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, ends his Major League playing career after 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs. The following year, Ruth, a larger-than-life figure whose name became synonymous with baseball, was one of the first five players inducted into the sport's hall of fame.
The 32-year-old race car driver Bruce McLaren dies in a crash while testing an experimental car of his own design at a track in Goodwood, England on this day in 1970
Torrential rains slam Pueblo County in Colorado, causing a flash flood that leaves more than 100 people dead and millions of dollars in property damaged. This was the worst flood in state history to that time.
Leonard Lake is arrested near San Francisco, California, ending one of the rare cases of serial killers working together. Lake and Charles Ng were responsible for a series of particularly brutal crimes against young women in California and the Pacific Northwest during the mid-1980s.
In an event that is generally regarded as marking the end of the Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. With Smith's surrender, the last Confederate army ceased to exist, bringing a formal end to the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.
With Congress' passage of the Indian Citizenship Act, the government of the United States confers citizenship on all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the country.
On June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II is formally crowned monarch of the United Kingdom in a lavish ceremony steeped in traditions that date back a millennium. A thousand dignitaries and guests attended the coronation at London's Westminster Abbey, and hundreds of millions listened on radio and for the first time watched the proceedings on live television. After the ceremony, millions of rain-drenched spectators cheered the 27-year-old queen and her husband, the 30-year-old duke of Edinburgh, as they passed along a five-mile procession route in a gilded horse-drawn carriage.
Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. Army soldier, is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Ray Charles was one of the founding fathers of soul musica style he helped create and popularize with a string of early 1950s hits on Atlantic Records like "I Got A Woman" and "What'd I Say." This fact is well known to almost anyone who has ever heard of the man they called "the Genius," but what is less well knownto younger fans especiallyis the pivotal role that Charles played in shaping the course of a seemingly very different genre of popular music. In the words of his good friend and sometime collaborator, Willie Nelson, speaking before Charles' death in 2004, Ray Charles the R&B legend "did more for country music than any other living human being." The landmark album that earned Ray Charles that praise was Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which gave him his third #1 hit in "I Can't Stop Loving You," which topped the U.S. pop charts on this day in 1962
President Grover Cleveland becomes the first sitting president to marry in the White House on this day in 1886.
On June 2, 1985, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) bans English football (soccer) clubs from competing in Europe. The ban followed the death of 39 Italian and Belgian football fans at Brussels Heysel Stadium in a riot caused by English football hooligans at that years European Cup final.
The first contingent of Australian combat troops arrives by plane in Saigon. They joined the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade at Bien Hoa air base. Another contingent of 400 Australian troops would arrive by ship on June 8. These Australian troops became part of the Free World Military Forces, an effort by President Lyndon B. Johnson to enlist other nations to support the American cause in South Vietnam by sending military aid and troops. The level of support was not the primary issue; Johnson wanted to portray international solidarity and consensus for U.S. policies in Southeast Asia and he believed that participation by a number of countries would do that. The effort was also known as the "many flags" program.
On this day in 1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world's first 24-hour television news network, makes its debut. The network signed on at 6 p.m. EST from its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with a lead story about the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. CNN went on to change the notion that news could only be reported at fixed times throughout the day. At the time of CNN's launch, TV news was dominated by three major networks--ABC, CBS and NBC--and their nightly 30-minute broadcasts. Initially available in less than two million U.S. homes, today CNN is seen in more than 89 million American households and over 160 million homes internationally.
On this day in 1934, the Tokyo-based Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha (Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in English) takes on a new name: Nissan Motor Company.
On this day in 2004, opening statements begin in the trial of Scott Peterson, accused of murdering his wife Laci and the couple's unborn son. On Christmas Eve 2002, the pregnant Laci had disappeared from Modesto, California. The case captivated millions across America and saturated national media coverage for nearly two years.
A coal mine explosion kills 236 workers at the Yamano mine near Fukuoka, Japan, on this day in 1965. The tragic disaster might have been avoided if the operators of the mine had taken even the most basic safety precautions.
On June 1, 1968, Helen Keller dies in Westport, Connecticut, at the age of 87. Blind and deaf from infancy, Keller circumvented her disabilities to become a world-renowned writer and lecturer.
At a superpowers summit meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a historic agreement to end production of chemical weapons and begin the destruction of both nations' sizable reserves of them. According to the agreement, on-site inspectors from both countries would observe the destruction process.
Norma Jeane Mortenson--who will become better known around the world as the glamorous actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe--is born on this day in 1926, in Los Angeles, California. She was later given her mothers name, and baptized Norma Jeane Baker.
Bob Dylan's instant reaction to the recently completed album Paul McCartney brought by his London hotel room for a quick listen in the spring of 1967 may not sound like the most thoughtful analysis ever offered, but it still to hit the nail on the head. "Oh I get it," Dylan said to Paul on hearing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time, "you don't want to be cute anymore." In time, the Beatles' eighth studio album would come to be regarded by many as the greatest in the history of rock and roll, and oceans of ink would be spilt in praising and analyzing its revolutionary qualities. But what Bob Dylan picked up on immediately was its meaning to the Beatles themselves, who turned a critical corner in their career with the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on this day in 1967.
On June 1, 2005, Basketball Hall of Famer George Mikan dies at age 80. The first true gate attraction in professional basketball, Mikan drew fans to NBA games at a time when the leagues success was far from assured.
On this day in 1942, a Warsaw underground newspaper, the Liberty Brigade, makes public the news of the gassing of tens of thousands of Jews at Chelmno, a death camp in Polandalmost seven months after extermination of prisoners began.
The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen's Tower, rings out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time on this day in 1859.
After two years of exploratory visits and friendly negotiations, Ford Motor Company signs a landmark agreement to produce cars in the Soviet Union on this day in 1929.
The South Fork Dam collapses on this day in 1889, causing a flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, that kills more than 2,200 people.
Near Tel Aviv, Israel, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler's "final solution of the Jewish question," was executed for his crimes against humanity.
Best known to his many fans for one of his most memorable screen incarnations--San Francisco Police Inspector Dirty Harry Callahan--the actor and Oscar-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood is born on this day in 1930, in San Francisco, California.
Thirty years after its release, John Lydonbetter known as Johnny Rottenoffered this assessment of the song that made the Sex Pistols the most reviled and revered figures in England in the spring of 1977: "There are not many songs written over baked beans at the breakfast table that went on to divide a nation and force a change in popular culture." Timed with typical Sex Pistols flair to coincide with Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, the release of "God Save The Queen" was greeted by precisely the torrent of negative press that Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had hoped. On May 31, 1977, the song earned a total ban on radio airplay from the BBCa kiss of death for a normal pop single, but a powerful endorsement for an anti-establishment rant like "God Save The Queen."
On this day in 1997, Ila Borders becomes the first woman to pitch in a minor league baseball game, when she enters a game in relief for the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League. Mike Veeck, son of famous baseball impresario and promoter Bill Veeck, owned the Saints, and signed Borders to garner publicity for his team and the Northern League, an independent minor league not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Borders, though, was more than an attraction: She could throw strikes, and she went on to pitch in the Northern League for three years.
Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, honors the men and women who died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer. In 2011, Memorial Day is observed on Monday, May 30.
At Rouen in English-controlled Normandy, Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the savior of France, is burned at the stake for heresy.
On this day in 1911, Ray Harroun drives his single-seater Marmon Wasp to victory in the inaugural Indianapolis 500, now one of the world's most famous motor racing competitions.
On this day in 1927, the Kentucky River peaks during a massive flood that kills 89 people and leaves thousands homeless. Torrential rains caused this unprecedented flood.
By proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, the first major Memorial Day observance is held to honor those who died "in defense of their country during the late rebellion." Known to some as "Decoration Day," mourners honored the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with flowers. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
The U.S. unmanned space probe Mariner 9 is launched on a mission to gather scientific information on Mars, the fourth planet from the sun. The 1,116-pound spacecraft entered the planet's orbit on November 13, 1971, and circled Mars twice each day for almost a year, photographing the surface and analyzing the atmosphere with infrared and ultraviolet instruments. It gathered data on the atmospheric composition, density, pressure, and temperature of Mars, and also information about the surface composition, temperature, and topography of the planet.
Former President William Howard Taft dedicates the Lincoln Memorial on the Washington Mall on this day in 1922. At the time, Taft was serving as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
At 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, become the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. The two, part of a British expedition, made their final assault on the summit after spending a fitful night at 27,900 feet. News of their achievement broke around the world on June 2, the day of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, and Britons hailed it as a good omen for their country's future.
On this day in 2005, 23-year-old Danica Patrick becomes the first female driver to take the lead in the storied Indianapolis 500.
Judge John Wood, known as "Maximum John," is assassinated outside his San Antonio, Texas, home as he bent down to look at a flat tire on his car. Actor Woody Harrelson's father, Charles Harrelson, was charged with the murder after evidence revealed that drug kingpin Jimmy Chagra, whose case was about to come up before "Maximum John," had paid him $250,000.
Heavy fog causes a collision of boats on the St. Lawrence River in Canada that kills 1,073 people on this day in 1914. Caused by a horrible series of blunders, this was one of the worst maritime disasters in history.
Following approval of statehood by the territory's citizens, Wisconsin enters the Union as the 30th state.
Some 35 U.S. states declare it to be Bob Hope Day on this day in 2003, when the iconic comedic actor and entertainer turns 100 years old.
Some of those in attendance to see the Ballets Russes at the Théâtre des Champs-élysées on May 29, 1913, would already have been familiar with the young Russian composer Igor Stravinsky through his 1910 ballet L'Oiseau de feu (The Firebird).But if they expected his newest work to proceed in the same familiar and pleasing vein as his first, they were in for a surprise. From the moment the premiere performance of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring) began on this night in 1913, it was clear that even an audience of sophisticated Parisians was totally unprepared for something so avant-garde.
One of America's best-loved presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, is born into a politically and socially prominent family in Brookline, Massachusetts, on this day in 1917. He was the first American president to be born in the 20th century.
On May 29, 1922, the United States Supreme Court rules that organized baseball did not violate antitrust laws as alleged by the Baltimore franchise of the defunct Federal League in 1915. The Supreme Court held that organized baseball is not a business, but a sport.
On this day in 1961, the British newspaper The London Observer publishes British lawyer Peter Benenson's article "The Forgotten Prisoners" on its front page, launching the Appeal for Amnesty 1961--a campaign calling for the release of all people imprisoned in various parts of the world because of the peaceful expression of their beliefs.
On this day in 1937, the government of Germany--then under the control of Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party--forms a new state-owned automobile company, then known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed simply Volkswagenwerk, or "The People's Car Company."
Methane gas causes a mine explosion near Dharbad, India, that kills 375 people and injures hundreds more on this day in 1965. The blast was so powerful that even workers on the surface of the mine were killed.
In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, a Virginia militia under 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeats a French reconnaissance party in southwestern Pennsylvania. In a surprise attack, the Virginians killed 10 French soldiers from Fort Duquesne, including the French commander, Coulon de Jumonville, and took 21 prisoners. Only one of Washington's men was killed.
On this day in 1998, the comedian and actor Phil Hartman, famous for his work on Saturday Night Live and NewsRadio, is shot to death by his troubled wife, Brynn, in a murder-suicide. He was 49.
Irene Cara's song "Flashdance (What a Feeling)", from the Flashdance movie soundtrack, goes to the top of the U.S. pop charts on this day in 1983.
On May 28, 1957, National League owners vote unanimously to allow the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers to move to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively, at the mid-season owners meeting in Chicago, Illinois.
U.S. troops abandon Ap Bia Mountain. A spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division said that the U.S. troops "have completed their search of the mountain and are now continuing their reconnaissance-in-force mission throughout the A Shau Valley."
On May 27, 1941, the British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France. The German death toll was more than 2,000.
On this day in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco with Marin County, California, officially opens amid citywide celebration.
A tornado in Jarrell, Texas, destroys the town and kills nearly 30 people on this day in 1997. This F5 tornadoa rating indicating it had winds of more than 260 miles per hour--was unusual in that it traveled south along the ground; nearly all tornadoes in North America move northeast.
After winning access to the Baltic Sea through his victories in the Great Northern War, Czar Peter I founds the city of St. Petersburg as the new Russian capital.
On this day in 1963, Bob Dylan releases his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, which goes on to transform him from a popular local act to a global phenomenon.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces a state of unlimited national emergency in response to Nazi Germany's threats of world domination on this day in 1941. In a speech on this day, he repeated his famous remark from a speech he made in 1933 during the Great Depression: the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
On May 27, 1972, Mark Donohue wins the Indianapolis 500 with an average speed of 163.645 miles an hour, six miles an hour faster than the previous speed record.
The first copies of the classic vampire novel Dracula, by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appear in London bookshops on this day in 1897.
On this day in 1927, Henry Ford and his son Edsel drive the 15 millionth Model T Ford out of their factory, marking the famous automobile's official last day of production.
On this day in 1991, a Boeing 767 crashes into the jungle near Bangkok, Thailand, and kills all 223 people on board. The plane was owned and operated by the Austrian company Lauda-Air was the nation's largest charter operation and famed race car driver Niki Lauda's first foray into business after his retirement from racing.
Anxious to create new free territories during the Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs an act establishing the Montana Territory. However, as Montana was on the unstable frontier, it did little to add to the integrity of the Union, and Sidney Edgerton, the territory's first governor, fled after suffering through several months of Indian raids.
At the end of a historic two-month trial, the U.S. Senate narrowly fails to convict President Andrew Johnson of the impeachment charges levied against him by the House of Representatives three months earlier. The senators voted 35 guilty and 19 not guilty on the second article of impeachment, a charge related to his violation of the Tenure of Office Act in the previous year. Ten days earlier, the Senate had likewise failed to convict Johnson on another article of impeachment, the 11th, voting an identical 35 for conviction and 19 for acquittal. Because both votes fell short--by one vote--of the two-thirds majority needed to convict Johnson, he was judged not guilty and remained in office.
On this day in 2008, the film director, producer and actor Sidney Pollack, whose string of hits included Tootsie, Out of Africa and The Firm, dies of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, at the age of 73.
If you'd told a randomly selected group of American music fans in the spring of 1962 that a British act would soon achieve total dominance of the American pop scene, change the face of music and fashion and inspire a generation of future pop stars to take up an instrument and join a band, they would probably have scratched their heads and struggled to imagine such a thing. And if any image popped into their heads, it wouldn't have been of young lads playing guitars in mop tops and Nehru jackets. The Beatles, after all, were complete unknowns at this point. No, if there was any image that would have come to mind, it would have been of middle-aged men playing the clarinet in bowler hats and stripey waistcoats. Up to that point, after all, the single, solitary Briton ever to have reached the top of the American charts in the rock and roll era was a man by the name of Mr. Acker Bilk. His instrumental single, "Stranger On the Shore" provided the first, false hint of the British Invasion to come when it went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 26, 1962.
John Wayne, an actor who came to epitomize the American West, is born in Winterset, Iowa.
On this day in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signs into law the Comprehensive Immigration Act, the most stringent immigration policy up to that time in the nation's history.
On this day in 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves, only to lose the game on a two-run double by Braves first baseman Joe Adcock in the 13th inning. It was the first time a pitcher threw more than nine perfect innings in major league history.
On this day in 1977, Memorial Day weekend opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas' blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters.
On this day in 1994, the ashes of 71-year-old George Swanson are buried (according to Swanson's request) in the driver's seat of his 1984 white Corvette in Hempfield County, Pennsylvania.
Almost 300 people are killed on this day in 1979 when an American Airlines flight crashes and explodes after losing one engine just after takeoff.
By the spring of 1877, the English light-opera team of W.S. Gilbert and Richard Sullivan had established a strong reputation based on several well-received earlier works, but they had yet to have a true smash hit. That would change on this day in 1878, when Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore premiered at the Opéra-Comique in London, beginning a near-record run of 571 performances in its original production.
In 1975, the grizzly bear--once the undisputed king of the western wilderness--is given federal protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy announces to Congress his goal of sending an American to the moon by the end of the decade and asks for financial support of an accelerated space program. He made the task a national priority and a mission in which all Americans would share, stating that it will not be one man going to the moonit will be an entire nation.
On May 25, 1935, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Babe Ruth hits his 714th home run, a record for career home runs that would stand for almost 40 years. This was one of Ruths last games, and the last home run of his career. Ruth went four for four on the day, hitting three home runs and driving in six runs.
After 14 years and 27 deaths while being constructed, the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River is opened, connecting the great cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. Thousands of residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island turned out to witness the dedication ceremony, which was presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland. Designed by the late John A. Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge ever built to that date.
A referee's call in a soccer match between Peru and Argentina sparks a riot on this day in 1964. More than 300 fans were killed and another 500 people were injured in the violent melee that followed at National Stadium in Lima, Peru.
The highest compliment Edward Kennedy Ellington knew how to pay to a fellow musician was to refer to him as being "beyond category." If any label could possibly capture the essence of Ellington himself, it would be that one. In a career spanning five decades, the man they called "Duke" put an indelible stamp on 20th-century American music as an instrumentalist, as a composer and as an orchestra leader. Equally at home and equally revered in the Cotton Club and Carnegie Hall, if any musician ever defied categorization, it was Duke Ellington. Fifty years after becoming a household name, and without slowing down professionally until the very end, Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington died on May 24, 1974, at the age of 75.
On this day in 1991, the critically acclaimed road movie "Thelma and Louise" debuts in theaters, stunning audiences with a climactic scene in which its two heroines drive off a cliff into the Grand Canyon, in a vintage 1966 green Ford Thunderbird convertible.
The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 on this night in 1935 in Major League Baseballs first-ever night game, played courtesy of recently installed lights at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.
On this day in 1934, notorious criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are shot to death by Texas and Louisiana state police while driving a stolen car near Sailes, Louisiana.
A tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Chile travels across the Pacific Ocean and kills 61 people in Hilo, Hawaii, on this day in 1960. The massive 8.5-magnitude quake had killed thousands in Chile the previous day.
At London's Execution Dock, British privateer William Kidd, popularly known as Captain Kidd, is hanged for piracy and murder.
Sergeant William Harvey Carney is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery on July 18, 1863, while fighting for the Union cause as a member of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry. He was the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, which is the nation's highest military honor.
In a ceremony presided over by President William Howard Taft, the New York Public Library, the largest marble structure ever constructed in the United States, is dedicated in New York City. Occupying a two-block section of Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, the monumental beaux-arts structure took 14 years to complete at a cost of $9 million. The day after its dedication, the library opened its doors to the public, and some 40,000 citizens passed through to make use of a collection that already consisted of more than a million books.
The music industry is notorious for its creative accounting practices and for onerous contracts that can keep even some top-selling artists perpetually in debt to their record labels. In a typical recording contract, a record label advances an artist a certain sum of money against future earnings from royalties. But because the cost of things like studio time, marketing support and tour expenses must be "recouped" by the label before an artist earns any royalties, many artists who sign recording contracts never sell enough records to "earn out" their advance. Where this system truly breaks down is when a top-selling artist or group like TLC or Run-DMC finds itself deeply in debt to its record label despite having sold millions of records. Those are but two groups that have pursued a strategy made famous by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Tom Petty when he declared bankruptcy on this day in 1979 in an effort to free himself from his contract with Shelter Records.
On May 23, 1941, Joe Louis beats Buddy Baer to retain his heavyweight title. The fight was widely considered the most exciting heavyweight match-up since Dempsey vs. Firpo in 1923. Baer proved to be more than Louis bargained for, and he shocked fans by sending the champ to the canvas for four seconds in the first round. Louis clawed his way back, however, and eventually gutted out a victory in front of 35,000 people at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C.