Published On: Jun 12 2014 02:13:42 PM CDTUpdated On: Jun 30 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT
2013: Nineteen firefighters die while fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire, northwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The firefighters were members of a "hotshot" crew from Prescott, Arizona, tasked with digging a fire line and creating an escape route. The deaths marked the highest wildland firefighter death toll in the United States since the 1933 Griffith Park Fire in Los Angeles killed 29 firefighters, and the highest death toll from any U.S. wildfire since the 1991 East Bay Hills fire around Oakland, California, killed 25 people. The Yarnell Hill wildfire was fully contained by July 10, 2013.
2004: The international Cassini spacecraft enters Saturn's orbit after a nearly seven-year journey, becoming the first spacecraft to ever orbit the planet.
2003: Actor and comedian Buddy Hackett, best known for movies like "The Music Man," "The Love Bug" and "The Little Mermaid," dies at age 78 in Malibu, California.
2002: Brazil defeats Germany 2-0 in Yokohama, Japan, for the its record fifth World Cup soccer title. Ronaldo scored both Brazil's goals, two of eight he scored overall in the tournament, and won the Golden Boot award as the World Cup's top goalscorer. The tournament, which was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, was the first to be played in Asia.
2001: Guitarist, singer-songwriter and producer Chet Atkins, who helped create the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, dies of cancer at age 77 in Nashville, Tennessee. A 14-time Grammy winner and an inductee of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, Atkins was known for his trademark guitar picking style. He produced records for acts such as Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Jerry Reed, Waylon Jennings and many others.
1998: Officials confirm that the remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery had been identified as those of Air Force Lt. Michael J. Blassie. The pilot had been shot down on May 11, 1972, near An L?c in what was then South Vietnam. Blassie's remains were returned to his family in Saint Louis, Missouri, and were later re-interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in July 1998.
1995: Actor Gale Gordon, best known as Lucille Ball's longtime television foil, dies of lung cancer at age 89 in Escondido, California. Gordon played cantankerous bank executive Theodore J. Mooney on Ball's second sitcom, "The Lucy Show," and also had starring roles in Ball's third series "Here's Lucy" and her short-lived fourth series "Life with Lucy."
1995: Eddie Murray of the Cleveland Indians becomes the 20th major-leaguer to reach 3,000 hits with a single to right field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome off Minnesota Twins pitcher Mike Trombley. He would end up with a total of 3,255 career hits before retiring in 1997.
1994: The U.S. Figure Skating Association strips Tonya Harding of the national championship and bans her from the organization for life for a January 1994 clubbing attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan during a practice round on the eve of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Harding had pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to hinder the prosecution of her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, who planned the attack, and Shane Stant, who actually carried out the assault. Harding, who ended up finishing eighth at the 1994 Winter Olympics, behind silver-medalist Kerrigan, has always maintained that she didn't know about the attack beforehand and never wanted to keep Kerrigan from skating.
1994: Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament of the rock band Pearl Jam testify at a congressional hearing concerning rising concert ticket prices, alleging that Ticketmaster used anti-competitive and monopolistic practices to gouge fans.
1989: Spike Lee's movie "Do the Right Thing" opens in theaters. The movie, which Lee not only starred in but also directed, produced and wrote, tells the story of simmering racial tension in a Brooklyn neighborhood that comes to a head on the hottest day of the summer. The movie also starred Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Samuel L. Jackson, and was the feature film debut for Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez. The movie earned an Academy Award nomination for Lee for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Supporting Actor for Aiello.
1987: The Royal Canadian Mint introduces the $1 coin, known as the Loonie.
1986: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Bowers v. Hardwick, upholding the constitutionality of a Georgia sodomy law criminalizing oral and anal sex in private between consenting adults when applied to homosexuals. The court directly overturned the decision in 2003's Lawrence v. Texas, ruling that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional.
1986: Madonna releases the album "True Blue." The singer's third studio album, it spawned three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in "Live to Tell," "Papa Don't Preach" and "Open Your Heart," and two more top-five singles in "True Blue" and "La Isla Bonita."
1985: The final 39 hostages from the hijacked TWA Flight 847 are freed in Beirut after being held for 17 days. The plane was hijacked June 14 by a pair of Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim extremists shortly after takeoff from Athens, Greece. The plane flew back and forth from Beirut to Algiers during the hostage crisis, with the hijackers killing one passenger, a U.S. Navy diver, during the ordeal.
1985: Swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 22 medals, is born in Towson, Maryland. Phelps holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals with 18 total and also won two silvers and two bronzes. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he won eight gold medals, setting the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic games.
1976: The movie western "The Outlaw Josey Wales," directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, opens in theaters.
1975: Cher and Gregg Allman get married. Cher filed for divorce just 10 days later, but the couple reconciled and remained married for four years.
1971: The Soviet Soyuz 11 mission ends in disaster when the crew capsule depressurizes during preparations for re-entry, killing all three crew members, Vladislav Volkov, Georgi Dobrovolski, and Viktor Patsayev. Earlier in the mission, the spacecraft had become the first and only manned mission to board the world's first space station, Salyut 1.
1971: The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, frees The New York Times and The Washington Post to resume immediate publication of articles based on the secret Pentagon Papers on the origins of the Vietnam War.
1971: The movie musical "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, opens in theaters. The movie, based off the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl, was a box office disappointment but has become a cult favorite over the years.
1966: The National Organization for Women, the United States' largest feminist organization, is founded.
1966: Boxer Mike Tyson is born in Brooklyn, New York. A former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, he holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles at 20 years, 4 months, and 22 days old. He won his first 19 professional matches by knockout and successfully defended the world heavyweight championship nine times. He's also known for a career filled with controversy, including a tumultuous marriage to actress Robin Givens, serving a three-year prison sentence for rape, and biting both of Evander Holyfield's ears during their 1997 bout.
1965: Hall of Fame basketball guard Mitch Richmond, a six-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team member and the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year, is born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He played for the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards and won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002, the final season of his 14-year career. He also won two Olympic medals, a bronze in 1988 and a gold in 1996.
1962: Los Angeles Dodger Sandy Koufax pitches his first no-hitter in a game against the expansion New York Mets. He would go on to pitch three more no-hitters in his career (including the eighth perfect game in baseball history), becoming the first major leaguer to pitch four no-hitters.
1959: Actor Vincent D'Onofrio, best known for his movie roles in "Full Metal Jacket" and "Men in Black" and for the TV series "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (pictured), is born in Brooklyn, New York. He's also appeared in movies such as "Adventures in Babysitting," "Mystic Pizza," "Ed Wood" and "The Cell."
1955: Actor and comedian David Alan Grier, best known for his work on the sketch comedy TV series "In Living Color," is born in Detroit, Michigan.
1953: The first Chevrolet Corvette rolls off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.
1952: "The Guiding Light" makes its television debut after 15 years as a radio serial. The daytime soap opera, which was renamed simply "Guiding Light" in 1975, would run for 57 seasons before being canceled in 2009, making it the longest-running television drama in history.
1943: Singer Florence Ballard, one of the founding members of the Motown group The Supremes, is born in Detroit, Michigan. She sang on 16 top 40 singles with The Supremes, including 10 No. 1 hits, before Motown founder Berry Gordy removed her from the group in 1967. Ballard died at age 32 on Feb. 22, 1976, from cardiac arrest caused by a blood clot in one of her coronary arteries. She was posthumously inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Supremes in 1988.
1937: The world's first emergency telephone number, 999, is introduced in London, England.
1936: Margaret Mitchell’s book "Gone with the Wind" is published. The only novel by Mitchell published during her lifetime, it would earn her the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and be adapted into the 1939 film of the same name, which won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
1934: In what became known as "The Night of the Long Knives," Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime violently purges his political rivals in Germany. At least 85 people were killed by July 2, with the series of political murders and arrests strengthening and consolidating Hitler's newly gained political power.
1934: Magician and author Harry Blackstone Jr., known for his best-selling magic kits and his television appearances, is born in Three Rivers, Michigan. Blackstone died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 62 on May 14, 1997.
1921: U.S. President Warren G. Harding nominates former President William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States. The Senate approved him 60-4 in a secret session on the same day and he took the oath of office on July 11, becoming the only person to ever be both a president and chief justice.
1917: Singer, actress and dancer Lena Horne is born in Brooklyn, New York. Horne started out as a nightclub singer at the age of 16 before moving to Hollywood and signing a contract with MGM in 1943, becoming the first black performer to sign a long-term contract with a major studio. She appeared in movies such as "Cabin in the Sky" and "Stormy Weather" before being blacklisted for her left-leaning political views. She then returned to nightclub singing, took part in the March on Washington in August 1963, and found work on television, all while releasing well-received record albums. Horne, seen here in a 1961 publicity photo, returned to the screen three more times: in the 1969 film "Death of a Gunfighter," in the 1978 musical "The Wiz" and the 1994 MGM retrospective "That's Entertainment! III." She died of heart failure at the age of 92 on May 9, 2010.
1905: The physics journal Annalen der Physik receives Albert Einstein's article "Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper" ("On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies"), in which he introduces special relativity, the accepted physical theory regarding the relationship between space and time. The journal would publish the article on Sept. 26, 1905.
1894: The Prince of Wales officially opens the Tower Bridge across the River Thames in London.
1882: Charles J. Guiteau is hanged in Washington, D.C., for the assassination of U.S. President James Garfield. Guiteau had shot Garfield on July 2, 1881, at a Washington, D.C., train station with the president eventually dying from infection on Sept. 19, 1881.
1864: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill granting Yosemite Valley to California for "public use, resort and recreation." This was the first time in history that a federal government had set aside scenic lands simply to protect them and to allow for their enjoyment by all people.
1520: Spanish conquistadors led by Hernán Cortés fight their way out of the Mexican capital at Tenochtitlan following the death of the Aztec king Moctezuma II, whom the Spaniards had been holding as a hostage. After a great loss of life and looted treasure in the escape, which became known as La Noche Triste or "The Night of Sorrows," Cortés and his men eventually made it to Tlaxcala, where they plotted the siege of Tenochtitlan and the eventual destruction of the Aztec Empire.