2012: Science fiction author Ray Bradbury, best known for books such as "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes," dies at the age of 91 in Los Angeles, California, after a lengthy illness. He's seen here in 2009 after receiving a French medal for being named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
2004: Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States from 1981–89, dies at the age of 93 in Bel Air, California, of pneumonia, brought on by Alzheimer's disease. Reagan, who rose to fame as a radio, television and film actor before entering politics, also served as the governor of California between 1967 and 1975. Some of his most notable films include 1940's "Knute Rockne, All American," 1942's "Kings Row" and 1951's "Bedtime for Bonzo." As a president, Reagan became known for sweeping new political and economic initiatives, such as reducing tax rates to spur economic growth, deregulating the economy and reducing government spending. His time in office also saw the end of the Cold War, the beginning of the War on Drugs, and the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair.
2002: Dee Dee Ramone, a founding member, songwriter and bassist for punk rock band the Ramones, dies of a heroin overdose at the age of 50 in Los Angeles, California. Ramone, whose birth name was Douglas Glenn Colvin, was the band's most prolific lyricist and songwriter, writing many of the band's most well-known songs, such as "53rd & 3rd," "Commando," "Rockaway Beach" and "Poison Heart."
2002: Elizabeth Smart, 14, is kidnapped from her bedroom in her family's Salt Lake City home by Brian David Mitchell, a drifter who had previously worked at the Smart home. Nine months later, a heavily-veiled Smart was found walking with Mitchell and his wife in Salt Lake City. On May 25, 2011, Mitchell was sentenced to two life-terms in federal prison. Smart is seen here with her mother Lois meeting President George W. Bush at the signing of the PROTECT Act of 2003 in April 2003.
2001: Tropical Storm Allison makes landfall on the upper-Texas coastline as a strong tropical storm and dumps large amounts of rain over Houston. The storm would continue to the east-northeast, making landfall in Louisiana before moving across the southeast United States and the Mid-Atlantic states, ultimately causing $5.5 billion in damages to become the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history. Allison is also the only Atlantic tropical storm to have its name retired without ever having reached hurricane strength.
2001: Alicia Key's debut album "Songs in A Minor" is released. The album would debut at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and earn five Grammys, including Song of the Year for "Fallin'" and Best R&B Album.
1999: Singer-songwriter Mel Tormé, best known as a singer of jazz standards whose voice earned the nickname "The Velvet Fog," dies of a stroke at the age of 73 in Los Angeles, California. Tormé, who was also known for being an actor in radio, film and television, also composed the music for the classic holiday song "The Christmas Song" and co-wrote the lyrics with Bob Wells.
1993: Country music singer-songwriter and guitarist Conway Twitty dies of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at the age of 59 in Springfield, Missouri. Twitty, who was born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, held the record for the most No. 1 singles of any act, with 40 No. 1 Billboard country hits, until George Strait broke the record in 2006. He's well known for his string of hit duets with Loretta Lynn, including "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" and "After the Fire is Gone," and for solo hits such as "It's Only Make Believe," "Hello Darlin'," "You've Never Been This Far Before," "I'd Love to Lay You Down" and "Tight Fittin' Jeans."
1989: The "Unknown Rebel" halts the progress of a column of advancing tanks for more than half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Photographs of the man, who also became known as "Tank Man" and the "Unknown Protester," standing in front of the tanks became an iconic image of the protests and the resulting violent crackdown by the Chinese government. The man's identity has never been confirmed and there are several conflicting stories about what happened to him after the demonstration, with some sources claiming he was executed shortly after and others saying he remains alive in hiding today.
1981: The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that five people in Los Angeles, California, have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems. The patients turn out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.
1975: The Suez Canal opens for the first time since the Six-Day War eight years earlier. Here the USS Little Rock is seen steaming in the Suez Canal en route to Port Said for ceremonies reopening the canal.
1971: James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend" is released. It would go on to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart. It also won Grammy Awards for both Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and its writer, Carole King, (Song of the Year).
1971: Actor, model, rapper and producer Mark Wahlberg, who got his start with the rap group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and has gone on to an Oscar-nominated acting career, is born in Boston, Massachusetts. Wahlberg is best known for films such as "Boogie Nights," "The Perfect Storm," "The Italian Job," "Invincible," "The Departed" and "The Fighter." He earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for "The Departed" and has also served as the executive producer of the TV series "Entourage," "Boardwalk Empire" and "How to Make It in America."
1969: Singer-songwriter and producer Brian McKnight, whose hit songs include "Back at One" and "One Last Cry," is born in Buffalo, New York. Considered one of the strongest talents in the adult urban contemporary R&B genre, McKnight shares the record for most Grammy nominations without a win with rapper Snoop Dogg at 16 total nominations.
1968: U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, a leading Democratic candidate for U.S. president, is shot in the kitchen of Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian. Kennedy, who had just addressed his supporters in the hotel's ballroom after winning the California primary, would die the next day at the age of 42. His assassination came less than five years after the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy. Sirhan, who is now serving a life sentence, would later say that he felt betrayed by Kennedy's support for Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War, which had begun exactly one year before the assassination.
1967: The Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan begins with Israel launching surprise bombing raids against Egyptian air-fields. Within six days, Israel had won a decisive land war, taking control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. Here Israeli Air Force officers are seen next to a destroyed Egyptian MiG-21 at Bir Gifgafa, an airfield in the Sinai, about 55 miles east of the Suez Canal.
1967: Actor Ron Livingston, best known for his roles in the movie "Office Space" and in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," is born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
1964: The Rolling Stones make their American concert performance debut at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California, as the opening show on their first U.S. tour.
1962: Comedian, actor and filmmaker Jeff Garlin, best known for his role on the HBO comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm," is born in Chicago, Illinois. Garlin has also had voice roles in the animated movies "WALL-E," "Toy Story 3" and "Cars 2" and has appeared in movies such as "Daddy Day Care," "Full Frontal," "Fun with Dick and Jane," "The Rocker" and "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With," the last of which he also wrote and directed.
1956: Elvis Presley introduces his new single, "Hound Dog," on the final episode of "The Milton Berle Show," generating squeals of delight from the young women in the audience with his suggestive hip movements. The broadcast, seen by more than 40 million people, also generated much controversy, with Berle's network receiving letters of protest and Presley being attacked in the press as "immoral."
1956: Gene Vincent's song "Be-Bop-A-Lula" is released. One of the most famous pioneering rock 'n' roll songs, it was immediately successful and ended up charting on three American singles charts: it peaked at No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard pop music chart, No. 8 on the R&B chart and No. 5 on the Country & Western Best Seller chart.
1956: Saxophonist and songwriter Kenny G, the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era and one of the best-selling artists of all time, is born Kenneth Bruce Gorelick in Seattle, Washington.
1951: Financial advisor, motivational speaker and television host Suze Orman is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1947: Secretary of State George C. Marshall, speaking at Harvard University, outlines an aid program for Europe that came to be known as the Marshall Plan. Marshall would receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for the plan, which helped rebuild Europe in the wake of World War II.
1941: Actor and writer Spalding Gray is born in Providence, Rhode Island. Gray was best known for his monologues, three of which were turned into the movies "Swimming to Cambodia," "Monster in a Box" and "Gray's Anatomy." He also appeared as an actor in movies such as "The Killing Fields," "Beaches," "Straight Talk" and "The Paper." He committed suicide at age 62 in January 2004 by jumping off the side of the Staten Island Ferry.
1928: Film director Tony Richardson, whose five-decade film career included "Look Back in Anger," "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner," "Ned Kelly," "The Loved One," "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Tom Jones," is born Cecil Antonio Richardson in Shipley, Yorkshire, England. Richardson, whose five-year marriage to actress Vanessa Redgrave produced daughters Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson, both actors, won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for "Tom Jones." He died of complications from AIDS at the age of 63 on Nov. 14, 1991.
1919: Children's book author and illustrator Richard Scarry, most famous for his series of books about "Busytown," a fictional town inhabited by an assortment of anthropomorphic animals, is born in Boston, Massachusetts. He died of a heart attack at age 74 on April 30, 1994.
1917: World War I conscription begins in the United States as "Army registration day." The registration, the first of three during the war, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31, although the age range was expanded to 18 to 45 by the time of the third registration on Sept. 12, 1918.
1916: Louis Brandeis is sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, becoming the high court's first Jewish member. Brandeis was known for his dedication to progressive social causes and became one of the most famous and influential figures ever to serve on the high court.
1910: American author William Sidney Porter, better known by his pen name O. Henry, dies at the age of 47 in New York City of cirrhosis of the liver, complications of diabetes, and an enlarged heart. He was best known for short stories such as "The Gift of the Magi," "The Ransom of Red Chief" and "The Cop and the Anthem."
1900: Writer Stephen Crane, best known for his 1895 Civil War novel "The Red Badge of Courage," dies of tuberculosis at age 28 in a German sanatorium.
1878: Pancho Villa, one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary generals, is born José Doroteo Arango Arámbula in San Juan del Río, Durango, Mexico.
1851: Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery serial, "Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly," starts a 10-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper. It would be printed in book form the following year.
1850: Pat Garrett, the frontier lawman most famous for killing Billy the Kid in 1881, is born in Chambers County, Alabama.
1723: Moral philosopher and economics pioneer Adam Smith is born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. Smith is best known for his two classic works, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," the latter of which is considered the first modern work of economics.