2011: Silvio Berlusconi resigns as prime minister of Italy due, in large part, to the European sovereign debt crisis.
2006: Former President Gerald R. Ford surpasses former President Ronald Reagan as the longest-lived U.S. president at 93 years and 121 days. Ford would die the following month. This picture of President George W. Bush, Ford and former first lady Betty Ford, taken on April 23, 2006, is the last known public photo of Ford.
2004: A jury in Redwood City, California, convicts Scott Peterson of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and dumping her body in San Francisco Bay. Peterson would later be sentenced to death.
2003: Actor Jonathan Brandis, whose best known role was as Lucas Wolenczak, a teen prodigy on the TV series "seaQuest DSV," dies at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood, California, of injuries he sustained after hanging himself at the age of 27. Brandis' career also included roles in "The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter," "Stephen King's It," "Ladybugs" and "Sidekicks."
2001: In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 en route to the Dominican Republic, crashes minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board and five on the ground. While the crash initially raised concerns of terrorism, the National Transportation Safety Board would instead attribute the disaster to the first officer's overuse of rudder controls in response to wake turbulence released by a Japan Airlines Boeing 747-400.
2001: Taliban forces abandon Kabul, Afghanistan, ahead of advancing Afghan Northern Alliance troops. By the time Northern Alliance forces arrived in the afternoon of the following day, only bomb craters, burned foliage and the burnt-out shells of Taliban gun emplacements and positions were there to greet them.
1998: German automaker Daimler-Benz completes a merger with Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler AG.
1997: Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He was later sentenced to 240 years in prison.
1996: A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 and a Kazakh Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane collide in mid-air near New Delhi, India, killing 349. The accident is the deadliest mid-air collision ever.
1994: Sprinter Wilma Rudolph, who was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, dies of cancer at the age of 54 in Nashville, Tennessee. In the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games. She also won a bronze at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.
1993: Political aide and businessman H. R. Haldeman, best known for his service as White House chief of staff to President Richard Nixon and his consequent involvement in the Watergate scandal, dies of abdominal cancer at age 67 in Santa Barbara, California. His role in the Watergate cover-up led to his resignation from government and eventual conviction of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He served 18 months in prison and became a successful businessman upon his release up until his death.
1993: Michael Jackson cancels his "Dangerous" tour during its third and final leg following five sold-out shows in Mexico City, saying that he had a dependence on painkillers.
1987: The American Medical Association issues a policy statement saying it is unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person has AIDS or is HIV-positive.
1984: Astronauts execute the first salvage operation in space when a Palapa B-2 satellite is retrieved by space shuttle Discovery. The following day the crew of Discovery recovered the Westar 6 satellite as well and both would be returned to Earth inside the shuttle's cargo bay on Nov. 16.
1984: Madonna releases the album "Like A Virgin." The singer's second album would become the first by a female to be certified for 5 million sales, solidifying her status as a star. The album would eventually be certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America and sell more than 21 million copies worldwide.
1982: Actress Anne Hathaway, best known for her roles in movies such as "The Princess Diaries," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Brokeback Mountain," "Love and Other Drugs," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Les Misérables," is born in Brooklyn, New York. Hathaway won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her performance in "Les Misérables" and also received an Oscar nomination for her role in 2008's "Rachel Getting Married."
1981: Actor William Holden, who starred in such blockbusters as "Sunset Boulevard," "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "The Wild Bunch" and "Network," bleeds to death after slipping on a rug while intoxicated in his Santa Monica, California, apartment and severely cutting his forehead on a bedside table. Holden, who was 63 when he died, received Oscar nominations for Best Actor for "Sunset Boulevard" and "Network" and won in 1954 for "Stalag 17."
1981: Mission STS-2, utilizing the space shuttle Columbia, marks the first time a manned spacecraft is launched into space twice.
1980: The NASA space probe Voyager I makes its closest approach to Saturn and takes the first images of its rings.
1980: Actor Ryan Gosling, known for his roles in movies such as "The Notebook," "Half Nelson," "Drive," "Blue Valentine," "Crazy Stupid Love" and "The Ides of March," is born in London, Ontario, Canada. Gosling earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance in 2006's "Half Nelson."
1979: President Jimmy Carter announces the immediate halt to all imports of Iranian oil in response to the Nov. 4 taking of 52 Americans hostage from the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran. Islamic students and militants would hold the hostages until Jan. 20, 1981.
1976: Queen's "Somebody To Love" is released. The song would reach No. 2 in the United Kingdom and No. 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
1970: The 1970 Bhola cyclone makes landfall on the coast of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), becoming the deadliest tropical cyclone in history. Up to 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta.
1970: Figure skater Tonya Harding is born in Portland Oregon. She became notorious after her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, conspired to physically assault her skating competitor Nancy Kerrigan at a practice session during the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Harding, who went on to win the 1994 U.S. Championships, finished eighth at the 1994 Olympics, behind Kerrigan, who won silver. The two-time Olympian and two-time Skate America Champion also won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and placed second in the World Championships in 1991. She was also the second woman, and the first American woman, to complete a triple axel jump in competition.
1969: During the Vietnam War, independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the story on the My Lai massacre, the March 16, 1968, mass murder of between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam by United States Army soldiers. Hersh would win the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his work in reporting on the massacre and its cover-up.
1968: Baseball player Sammy Sosa, who achieved national fame with Mark McGwire in 1998 for their home run-hitting race in pursuit of Roger Maris' home run record, is born in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. Sosa would finish the 1998 season second to McGwire, hitting 66 home runs to his 70, and would finish his career in 2007 with a total of 609 home runs, making him only the fifth player in MLB history to hit more than 600 career home runs.
1967: Boxer Michael Moorer (left), one of only four men to win one or more versions of the world heavyweight championship on three separate occasions, is born in Brooklyn, New York. A former world light heavyweight champion, Moorer is one of only three men to have won world titles at both light heavyweight and heavyweight. He first won the Lineal, IBF and WBA title belts by beating Evander Holyfield on April 22, 1994, before losing the belts, and his undefeated record, to 45-year-old George Foreman (right) on Nov. 5, 1994. He retired in 2008 with a career record of 52-4-1.
1961: Gymnast Nadia Comaneci, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, is born in Onesti, Romania. Comaneci, seen here in 1977, is the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics, which she did at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. She also earned three silvers and a bronze in her Olympic career, which also included the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
1958: Actress and singer Megan Mullally, best known for playing Karen Walker on the TV sitcom "Will & Grace," a role that won her two Emmys in seven nominations, is born in Los Angeles.
1954: Ellis Island, the immigration station in New York Harbor, closes after processing more than 20 million immigrants since 1892. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990.
1948: In Tokyo, an international war crimes tribunal sentences seven Japanese military and government officials, including Gen. Hideki Tojo (seated with headphones on), the prime minister of Japan during most of World War II, to death for their roles in the war.
1946: The Disney animated movie "Song of the South" premieres in Atlanta, Georgia. The film, based on the "Uncle Remus" stories by Joel Chandler Harris, features live actors as Uncle Remus tells the folk tales of Br'er Rabbit and his friends, who are depicted in animated sequences. Although the movie features the Oscar-winning song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," frequently used by Disney to this day, and inspired the Disney theme park attraction Splash Mountain, the company has never released the movie in its entirety on home video in the United States, due to content Disney executives worried would be considered politically incorrect or racist toward black people. In March 2010, Disney CEO Robert Iger called the film "antiquated" and "fairly offensive."
1945: Singer-songwriter Neil Young, known for his solo work as well as his work with the bands Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, is born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has had a career that has spanned more than 40 years and 35 studio albums.
1944: Television sportscaster Al Michaels is born in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his many years of calling play-by-play of National Football League games, including nearly two decades with "Monday Night Football." He's also known for famous calls in other sports, including the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics and the earthquake-interrupted Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.
1943: Actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, best known for his roles in the movies "Princess Bride" and "Clueless," is born in New York City. He made his acting debut in Woody Allen's "Manhattan" in 1979 and also starred in "My Dinner with Andre," which he wrote with co-star Andre Gregory. He's also an accomplished voice actor, providing voiceovers for "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore;" "Family Guy," playing Stewie's evil twin Bertram; "The Incredibles" and the "Toy Story" movies, in which he voices Rex the toy dinosaur.
1942: During World War II, the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal begins between Japanese and American forces in the Solomon Islands, east of Papua New Guinea. The Americans would win a major victory four days later, securing an airfield on the island that had been the focus of fighting since Allied forces took it over in August. In this picture taken from the USS President Adams, smoke can be seen rising from two Japanese aircraft shot down off Guadalcanal during the first day of the naval battle.
1934: Charles Manson, the convicted murder who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960s, is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1971, he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the 1969 murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca carried out by members of the group at his instruction and remains in prison to this day.
1933: Hugh Gray takes the first known purported photos of the Loch Ness Monster. Walking along the loch after church, Gray took several pictures of a creature that rose up from the lake, but only one of them showed up after they were developed. The image appeared to show a creature with a long tail and thick body at the surface of the loch. The image is blurred, suggesting the animal was splashing.
1931: Maple Leaf Gardens opens in Toronto, Canada, with the Toronto Maple Leafs losing 2–1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Pictured is a program from the arena's opening night. One of the cathedrals of hockey, it would serve as home to the NHL team from 1931 to 1999.
1929: Actress Grace Kelly, who would star in movies such as "High Noon," "Dial M for Murder," "Rear Window" and "To Catch a Thief" and later became the Princess of Monaco, is born in Philadelphia. She died at age 52 on Sept. 14, 1982, the day after suffering a stroke and driving down a mountainside.
1928: The British steamer SS Vestris sinks approximately 200 miles off Hampton Roads, Virginia, killing at least 110 passengers, mostly women and children who died after the vessel was abandoned.
1927: Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.
1922: Actress Kim Hunter is born Janet Cole in Detroit, Michigan. She won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, each as Best Supporting Actress, for her performance as Stella Kowalski in the 1951 film "A Streetcar Named Desire," and went on to star opposite Humphrey Bogart in 1952's "Deadline – U.S.A." After being blacklisted from film and television in the 1950s amid suspicions of communism in Hollywood, she went on to portray Zira, the sympathetic chimpanzee scientist in the 1968 film "Planet of the Apes" and two sequels, and earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 1980 for her role on the long-running TV soap opera "The Edge of Night." She died of a heart attack at age 79 on Sept. 11, 2002.
1920: Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (seated) is elected the first commissioner of baseball's American and National Leagues. In the wake of the 1919 World Series "Black Sox" scandal, Landis was given full power to act in the sport's best interest, and used that power extensively over the next quarter-century. Landis, who would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by a special vote shortly after his death in 1944, was widely praised for cleaning up the game.
1908: Harry Blackmun, who would go on to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1970 to 1994, is born in Nashville, Illinois. He is best known as the author of the court's decision in Roe v. Wade. He died on March 4, 1999, at the age of 90 of complications from hip replacement surgery.
1892: William "Pudge" Heffelfinger becomes the first professional football player when he is paid a $500 bonus for helping the Allegheny Athletic Association beat the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The game ended in a 4–0 Allegheny win. Heffelfinger scored the game's only touchdown on a recovered fumble.
1840: Sculptor Auguste Rodin, whose most widely known works are "The Kiss" and "The Thinker," is born in Paris, France.
1815: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the pioneering women's rights leader and social reformer, is born in Johnstown, New York. Her "Declaration of Sentiments," presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized women's rights and women's suffrage movements in the United States.