2009: Susan Atkins, a convicted murderer who was a member of the "Manson family," dies of natural causes at age 61 at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, California. Atkins was convicted for her participation in eight of the killings committed by Charles Manson and his followers in 1969, including the most notorious, the "Tate/LaBianca" murders. She was sentenced to death, which was subsequently commuted to life in prison.
2008: The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago is topped off at 1,389 feet, at the time becoming the world's highest residence above ground-level. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai would take over that claim when it opened in January 2010. Today, the Trump International Hotel and Tower is the third-tallest building in the United States, after the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) in Chicago and One World Trade Center in New York City.
2007: About 73,000 United Auto Workers walk off the job at General Motors' plants in the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976. A tentative pact would end the walkout two days later.
2005: Hurricane Rita makes landfall in the United States as a Category 3 hurricane, devastating Beaumont, Texas, and portions of southwestern Louisiana, and causing $12 billion in damages to the U.S. Gulf Coast in total.
1998: The U.S. Federal Reserve releases into circulation $2 billion in new harder-to-counterfeit $20 bills. The picture of the White House on the new bills was changed to the north side view. A larger, off-center portrait of Jackson was used on front, and several anti-counterfeiting features were added, including color-shifting ink, microprinting and a watermark.
1996: The United States, represented by President Bill Clinton, and the world's other major nuclear powers sign a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons. Despite the number of nations that have signed onto the treaty, it has not yet been put into force, needing ratification by eight more countries -- the U.S., China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, India, North Korea and Pakistan -- before it can go into effect.
1995: Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" becomes the first single by a female artist to debut at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and only the second overall single to do so after "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson.
1993: The comedy "Dazed and Confused" premieres in theaters. The coming-of-age movie, which starred the likes of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Joey Lauren Adams, Milla Jovovich, Jason London, Cole Hauser, Parker Posey and Renee Zellwegger before they were famous, follows various groups of teenagers during the last day of school in the summer of 1976. The movie would gross only $918,127 in its opening weekend and make $7.9 million in North America overall, but would eventually become a cult classic.
1991: Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to children of all ages as the children's book author Dr. Seuss, dies of throat cancer at the age of 87 in La Jolla, California.
1991: Nirvana's album "Nevermind" is released. The second release from the Seattle-based band led by Kurt Cobain would become a surprise success in late 1991, largely due to the popularity of its first single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
1988: James Brown is arrested in Georgia following a high-speed car chase near the Georgia-South Carolina state line. He would eventually be convicted of carrying an unlicensed pistol and assaulting a police officer, along with various drug-related and driving offenses. Although he was sentenced to six years in prison, he was released in 1991 after serving only three years of his sentence.
1982: Prince's "1999" single is released. The song did not make it into the Top 40 in the U.S. or England on the first attempt. However, upon being re-promoted after "Little Red Corvette" hit the Top 10, it peaked at No. 12 in the U.S. and No. 25 in the U.K.
1979: The Eagles release the album "The Long Run," which would end up being their last studio album before breaking up for 14 years. The album proved to be a commercial hit, topping the charts and selling seven million copies. It also featured three Top 10 singles in "Heartache Tonight," "The Long Run" and "I Can't Tell You Why." The band would win their fourth Grammy for "Heartache Tonight."
1977: "The Love Boat" debuts on television. The show, which starred Gavin MacLeod as the cruise ship's captain, would air for nine seasons before ending on May 24, 1986.
1975: The political thriller "Three Days of the Condor," starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway, premieres in New York City.
1972: Jack Tatum of the Oakland Raiders returns a fumble 104 yards against the Green Bay Packers, setting an NFL record that stands to this day. However, the record was also tied by Aeneas Williams of the Arizona Cardinals against Washington on Nov. 5, 2000.
1970: Soviet Luna 16 lands on Earth, completing the first unmanned round trip to moon. Pictured is a model of the Luna 16 lander spacecraft in Moscow's Space Museum.
1970: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles release the song "The Tears of a Clown." The song quickly became a No. 1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts, making it the group's first and only No. 1 hit while Robinson was lead singer.
1968: The news magazine "60 Minutes" debuts on CBS. The show is still on the air today.
1968: "The Mod Squad" premieres on TV. The show, a police drama featuring three young, hip crime fighters, starred (from left to right) Clarence Williams III, Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole. "The Mod Squad" would run for five seasons, ending on Aug. 23, 1973.
1964: The sitcom "The Munsters" premieres on TV. The show, which depicted the home life of a family of monsters, starred Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster and Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, Lily Munster. The show would last for a total of 70 episodes over two seasons, ending on May 12, 1966.
1962: Actress and filmmaker Nia Vardalos, best known for writing and starring in the 2002 film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," is born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She earned an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
1960: The USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is launched.
1960: On the final episode of "Howdy Doody," Clarabell the Clown finally talks, whispering "Goodbye, kids."
1958: Actor Kevin Sorbo, best known for his starring role in the TV series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," is born in Mound, Minnesota. He also starred in the TV series "Andromeda" as well as movies such as "Kull the Conqueror," "Meet the Spartans" and "Soul Surfer."
1957: The Brooklyn Dodgers play their last game at Ebbets Field, which the Dodgers won 2–0 over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team moved west to become the Los Angeles Dodgers the following season.
1957: Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" is released as a single with the B-side of "Treat Me Nice." The song, released to coincide with the release of Presley's movie of the same name, was a No. 1 hit in the U.S. for seven weeks in the fall of 1957, and a UK No. 1 hit for three weeks early in 1958.
1957: Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe, is opened in Barcelona, Spain. The soccer stadium, which seats 99,354, has been the home of Futbol Club Barcelona since it opened.
1955: President Dwight Eisenhower suffers a serious heart attack while on vacation in Denver, Colorado. His recovery would require hospitalization for six weeks, during which time Vice President Richard Nixon, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and White House Chief of Staff Sherman Adams assumed administrative duties and provided communication with Eisenhower.
1948: The Honda Motor Company is founded.
1948: Comedian and actor Phil Hartman, best known for TV roles on "Saturday Night Live" and "NewsRadio" and for films such as "Houseguest," "Sgt. Bilko" and "Jingle All the Way," is born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. He was shot and killed by his wife on May 28, 1998, while he was sleeping in their California home. His wife committed suicide several hours later.
1946: Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle "Mean Joe" Greene is born under the birth name Charles Edward Greene in Temple, Texas. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest defensive linemen ever and was the cornerstone of the Steelers' legendary "Steel Curtain" defense in the 1970s that helped the team to four Super Bowl titles. The inductee of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame also starred in a Coca-Cola TV commercial that ranks among the most memorable ads ever, in which he tosses a boy his jersey in exchange for a bottle of Coke.
1945: German physicist Hans Geiger, the co-inventor of the Geiger counter, dies at age 62 in Potsdam, Germany.
1941: Photographer and singer Linda McCartney (center), best known as Paul McCartney's wife and a member of the band Wings, is born Linda Louise Eastman in New York City. She died of breast cancer at the age of 56 on April 17, 1998.
1940: Jimmie Foxx of the Boston Red Sox becomes the second player in major-league baseball history to hit 500 career home runs, after Babe Ruth. He would end up with a total of 534 before retiring in 1945.
1936: Jim Henson, the puppeteer and director best known as the creator of The Muppets, is born in Greenville, Mississippi. As a puppeteer, Henson performed in various television programs, such as "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show," films such as "The Muppet Movie" and "The Great Muppet Caper," and created advanced puppets for projects like "Fraggle Rock," "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth." He died
of organ failure resulting from a severe streptococcal infection at the age of 53 on May 16, 1990.
1929: Lt. James H. Doolittle guides a Consolidated N-Y-2 Biplane over Mitchell Field in New York in the first all-instrument flight. Doolittle became the first pilot to take off, fly and land an airplane using instruments alone, without a view outside the cockpit.
1906: President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation's first National Monument.
1896: Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of "The Great Gatsby" and widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, is born in St. Paul, Minnesota.
1869: Gold prices plummet after Ulysses S. Grant orders the U.S. Treasury to sell large quantities of gold after speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk plotted to control the market. The day became known as Black Friday.
1852: The first airship powered by an engine, created by Henri Giffard, travels 17 miles from Paris to Trappes, France. The hydrogen-filled airship was equipped with a three-horsepower steam engine that drove a propeller.
1789: The United States Congress passes the Judiciary Act, which creates the office of attorney general and the federal judiciary system, and orders the composition of the Supreme Court of the United States.
1780: American Continental Army Gen. Benedict Arnold flees to British Army lines after the previous day's arrest of British Maj. John André exposed Arnold's plot to surrender West Point to the British. After his defection, he was commissioned as a brigadier general in the British Army.
1755: John Marshall, who served as the fourth chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835, is born in Germantown, Virginia.
1664: The Dutch Republic surrenders the colonial settlement of New Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan Island to England.