This Day in History


  • 2012 Died: Ann Rutherford, Canadian-American film, television, and radio actress best known for her role as Carreen O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.
  • 2003 Died: David Brinkley, American newscaster for NBC and ABC who received 10 Emmy Awards over the course of his television career.
  • 2001 Died: Timothy McVeigh, American terrorist responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995. He was executed by lethal injection.
  • 1999 Died: DeForest Kelley, American actor, screenwriter, poet and singer best known for his role as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the Star Trek franchise.
  • 1993 Steven Spielberg’s science fiction adventure film Jurassic Park was released. The film grossed over $900 million worldwide in its original theatrical run.
  • 1986 Born: Shia LaBeouf, American actor and director known for his riles in Transformers and its sequels, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Lawless.
  • 1982 Born: Marco Arment, American iOS and Web developer best known as former lead developer and chief technology officer of Tumblr.
  • 1979 Died: John Wayne (stage name of Marion Mitchell Morrison), American actor, director and producer. He won an Academy Award for his role in True Grit (1969).
  • 1978 Born: Joshua Jackson, Canadian-American actor best known for his roles as Pacey Witter in Dawson’s Creek and Peter Bishop in Fringe.
  • 1962 Three convicts escaped from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, California, using and inflatable raft.
  • 1959 Born: Hugh Laurie, English actor, comedian, director, musician, singer, and writer known as one-half of the Fry and Laurie double and for his role as Dr. Gregory House on House, M.D.
  • 1955 The 1955 Le Mans disaster, the most catastrophic accident in motorsport history, occurred. Two cars collided, killing 83 spectators and driver Pierre Levegh.
  • 1944 The United States Navy Iowa-class battleship USS Missouri was commissioned. It was the last battleship commissioned by the United States.
  • 1937 Died: R. J. Mitchell, British aeronautical engineer best known for his work on the Supermarine Spitfire, an iconic World War II fighter aircraft.
  • 1934 Died: Lev Vygotsky, Soviet psychologist best known as the founder of cultural-historical psychology and leader of the Vygotsky Circle.
  • 1925 Born: William Styron, American novelist and essayist whose best known novels include The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie’s Choice.
  • 1910 Born: Jacques Cousteau, French naval officer, explorer, oceanographer, scientist, inventor, filmmaker and writer who co-developed the Aqua-Lung.
  • 1903 Died: Alexander I of Serbia, also known as Aleksandar Obrenović, King of Serbia from 1889 to 1903. He was assassinated by a group of army officers.
  • 1899 Born: Yasunari Kawabata, Japanese novelist and short story writer, the first Japanese author to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (in 1968).
  • 1879 Died: William, Prince of Orange, the eldest son of King William III of the Netherlands and heir apparent to the throne of the Netherlands.
  • 1864 Born: Richard Strauss, German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is primarily known for his operas and tone poems.
  • 1859 Died: Klemens von Metternich, Austrian politician, statesman and diplomat who served as the 1st State Chancellor of the Austrian Empire from 1821 to 1848.
  • 1842 Born: Carl von Linde, German engineer and scientist best known for inventing the first industrial-scale air separation and gas liquefaction processes.
  • 1825 The cornerstone was set in place for Fort Hamilton in New York City. The construction lasted for six years and cost about a half million dollars.
  • 1776 Born: John Constable, English Romantic painter who is primarily known for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, Essex/Suffolk, England.
  • 1775 The Battle of Machias (also referred to as the Battle of the Margaretta) began during the American Revolutionary War. It was won by patriot forces.
  • 1770 HMS Endeavour under command of Lieutenant James Cook ran aground on a shoal of the Great Barrier Reef. The ship was badly damaged.
  • 1509 Henry VIII of England married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. The king annulled this marriage in 1533 in order to marry Anne Boleyn.
  • 1488 The Battle of Sauchieburn was fought during the second rebellion of Scottish nobles against King James III of Scotland. It resulted in decisive rebel victory.
  • 786 The Battle of Fakhkh was fought between the forces of the Abbasid Caliphate and the supporters of a pro-Alid rebellion in Mecca.
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