2006: Six black youths assault a white teenager in Jena, Louisiana. The case would spark protests by those viewing the arrests and subsequent charges, initially attempted second-degree murder, as excessive and racially discriminatory. Supporters circulated online petitions, raised money for legal defense, and held a demonstration in Jena on Sept. 20, 2007 (pictured). All six defendants would eventually be convicted of simple battery.
1998: The Unity Module, the second module of the international space station, is launched on the space shuttle Endeavour on the first shuttle mission dedicated to assembly of the station. The 15-foot-by-18-foot Unity, the first U.S.-built component of the space station, joined the already orbiting Zarya module in space. The two modules were connected two days later.
1997: A day after the Golden State Warriors voided his the rest of his four-year, $32 million contract, the National Basketball Association suspends Latrell Sprewell of the Golden State Warriors for one year for choking and threatening to kill his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, in a Dec. 1 incident. An arbitrator later overturned the voiding of Sprewell's contract and reduced the league suspension to the remaining 68 games of the 1997-98 NBA season.
1993: Rock musician, composer and film director Frank Zappa dies of prostate cancer at the age of 52 in Los Angeles. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz and orchestral works, and produced nearly all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. Zappa, seen here in a 1973 promotional photo, also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers.
1992: U.S. President George H. W. Bush orders 28,000 U.S. troops to Somalia in Northeast Africa under a humanitarian mission code named Operation Restore Hope. Bush (left) is seen here in January 1993 during a visit to Mogadishu, Somalia.
1991: After declaring bankruptcy earlier in the year and having its profitable assets bought up by Delta Air Lines, Pan Am, once the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States, ceases operations.
1991: Journalist Terry A. Anderson is released after seven years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut. He was the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon.
1988: In Akron, Ohio, Roy Orbison gives his final concert. The rock singer, seen here in the January 1988 concert special "A Black and White Night," died of a heart attack at the age of 52 two days after the Akron concert.
1981: The drama "On Golden Pond," starring Henry Fonda, in his final film role, Katharine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, opens in limited release. The movie would go on to earn 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Mark Rydell, and Best Supporting Actress for Jane Fonda, with Henry Fonda and Hepburn winning for Best Actor and Best Actress and Ernest Thompson winning Best Adapted Screenplay for adopting his own play. The movie also found success at the box office, earning nearly $120 million to eventually finish as the year's second highest grossing film, behind only "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
1981: The drama "Reds," starring and directed by Warren Beatty, opens in theaters. The movie, which also stars Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, tells the life story of John Reed, the revolutionary communist, journalist and writer who chronicled the Russian Revolution in his book "Ten Days that Shook the World." The movie earned 12 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Beatty, and Best Actress for Keaton, but won only three, including a Best Director Oscar for Beatty.
1981: The prime-time soap opera "Falcon Crest" premieres on television. The show, which starred Jane Wynam and Robert Foxworth and revolved around the feuding factions of the wealthy Gioberti/Channing family in the California wine industry, would run for nine seasons before ending on May 17, 1990.
1980: Led Zeppelin officially disbands, sending out a press release announcing the breakup more than two months after the death of drummer John Bonham on Sept. 25. The band (from left to right, Bonham, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones) is seen here in the late 1960s in the early years of the band.
1973: Supermodel and TV personality Tyra Banks is born in Inglewood, California. Banks, who first became famous for appearing twice on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and working for Victoria's Secret, is the creator and host of the reality television show "America's Next Top Model" and was the host of her own talk show, "The Tyra Banks Show."
1971: The Montreux Casino in Switzerland is set ablaze by someone wielding a flare gun during a Frank Zappa concert. The incident would later be memorialized in the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water."
1969: Rapper Jay Z, one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, is born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York. He is known for such hits as "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)," "Big Pimpin'," "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" and "99 Problems," and his marriage to fellow music star Beyoncé.
1966: Actor and comedian Fred Armisen, best known for his television work on "Saturday Night Live" and "Portlandia," is born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
1965: The U.S. launches Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell on board. The two would spend nearly 14 days in space making a total of 206 orbits, and were joined in orbit by the Gemini-6A flight, which performed the first rendezvous maneuver of manned spacecraft. The two spacecraft came as close as 1 foot apart and could have docked had they been so equipped.
1964: Police arrest more than 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover and sit-in at the administration building in protest at the university regents' decision to forbid protests on UC property.
1964: The Beatles release their fourth studio album, "Beatles For Sale," in the United Kingdom. The album, which includes songs such as "No Reply," "I'm a Loser" and "Eight Days a Week," would hit the No. 1 spot in the United Kingdom and retain that position for 11 of the 46 weeks that it spent in the top 20. "Eight Days a Week" would also become the band's seventh No. 1 single in the United States in March 1965.
1964: Actress Marisa Tomei, best known for her roles in movies such as "My Cousin Vinny," "In the Bedroom" and "The Wrestler," is born in Brooklyn, New York. Tomei won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for "My Cousin Vinny" in 1993.
1956: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash get together for an impromptu jam at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, for the first and last time in history. The following day the Memphis Press-Scimitar newspaper would describe the four singers as the "Million Dollar Quartet," a name that stuck.
1956: Basketball Hall of Fame small forward Bernard King, who played 14 seasons with the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and the Washington Bullets, is born in Brooklyn, New York. The four-time NBA All-Star was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1978 and led the league in scoring in 1985. King, whose career was cut short by knee problems, ranked 16th on the all-time NBA scoring list when he retired in 1993.
1954: The first Burger King is opened in Miami, Florida.
1949: Actor Jeff Bridges, best known for his roles in movies such as "The Last Picture Show," "Tron," "Starman," "The Contender," "The Big Lebowski," "Crazy Heart" and "True Grit," is born in Los Angeles. Bridges, a six-time Oscar nominee who won for 2009's "Crazy Heart," is the son of late actor Lloyd Bridges and the brother of fellow actor Beau Bridges.
1945: By a vote of 65 to 7, the U.S. Senate approves full United States participation in the United Nations. The vote came a little more than a month after the organization's charter was ratified by the five then-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, including the United States, and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.
1944: Singer-songwriter and drummer Dennis Wilson, a founding member of The Beach Boys, is born in Hawthorne, California. Wilson, the middle brother of fellow Beach Boys members Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson, and cousin of Mike Love, was a member of the band from its formation until his drowning death at age 39 in 1983.
1937: Actor Max Baer Jr., best known for his role as Jethro Bodine on the TV sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," is born in Oakland, California.
1934: Wink Martindale, the host of numerous game shows, including "Gambit," "High Rollers," "Debt" and "Tic-Tac-Dough," is born in Jackson, Tennessee.
1921: Silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's first manslaughter trial in the death of actress Virginia Rappe ends in a hung jury. Arbuckle, who was accused of raping and accidentally killing Rappe, would go through two more highly publicized trials before being acquitted. Despite his acquittal, the scandal would mostly overshadow his legacy as a pioneering comedian.
1918: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sails for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first U.S. president to travel to Europe while in office.
1909: The first Grey Cup game, which decides the national championship of Canadian football, is played, with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeating the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club 26–6. The actual trophy was not ready for presentation following the game, and the Varsity Blues did not receive it until March 1910. They would retain the trophy in the following two years, defeating the Hamilton Tigers in 1910 and the Toronto Argonauts in 1911. Since 1958, the Grey Cup has been given to the winner of the Canadian Football League, Canada's professional football league.
1909: The Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club, the oldest professional hockey franchise in the world, is founded as a charter member of the National Hockey Association. Today the Canadiens, known officially as le Club de hockey Canadien, is the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL.
1892: Francisco Franco, who would go on to rule as dictator of Spain from 1939 to his death in 1975, is born in Ferrol, Spain.
1881: The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published as the Los Angeles Daily Times.
1816: Secretary of State James Monroe is elected the fifth president of the United States, defeating Federalist Party candidate Rufus King. Monroe won the Electoral College by the wide margin of 183 to 34, winning 16 out of 19 states and more than 68 percent of the popular vote.
1791: The first edition of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, is published in England.
1679: English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, one of the founders of modern political philosophy, dies of a paralytic stroke at age 91 in Derbyshire, England. His 1651 book "Leviathan" established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory.
1642: French clergyman and politician Cardinal Richelieu dies at age 57 in Paris, France. He had dominated the history of France since 1624 as Louis XIII’s chief minister and is considered to be one of the greatest politicians in French history.