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1979–American Airlines Flight 191 from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California, loses an engine during takeoff, crashing moments afterwards. It would ultimately be determined that the engine loss was due to faulty maintenance by American Airlines. All 258 passengers and 13 crew members were killed, making this the deadliest crash on American soil.



BC 567–Servius Tullius, King of Rome, celebrates a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans.

BC 240–The first recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet is noted.

615–Pope Boniface IV, (608-615), dies in Rome, Byzantine Empire.

675–Prince Li Hong of China dies of poisoning at Hebi Palace, Luoyang, Tang Dynasty, at age 23.

967–Emperor Murakami of Japan dies at age 41.

992–Mieszko I of Poland dies in Poznan, Poland, at age 62.

1048–Emperor Shenzong of China is born Zhao Xu in China.

1085–Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo, Spain, back from the Moors.

1085–Pope Gregory VII, (1073-1085), dies in exile in Salerno, Duchy of Apulia, at age 70.

1261–Pope Alexander IV, (1254-1261), dies in Viterbo, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire, at age 62.

1320–Mongol Emperor, Toghon Temür, is born Ukhaghatu Khan Toghon Temür in Kusala, in Central Asia.

1334–Emperor Suko of Japan is born Masuhito in Japan.

1401–Maria, Queen of Sicily, dies in Lentini, Kingdom of Sicily, at age 37.

1420–Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ.

1521–The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther and his followers to be outlaws.

1644–General Wu Sangui of Ming forms an alliance with the invading Manchus and opens the gates of the Great Wall of China at Shanhaiguan pass, letting the Manchus through towards Beijing.

1659–Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England.

1660–Charles II lands at Dover, at the invitation of the Convention Parliament (England), which marks the end of the Cromwell-proclaimed Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, beginning the Restoration of the British monarchy.

1661–King Charles II marries Portuguese Princess, Catherina the Braganca.

1713–John Stuart, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is born in Parliament Square, Edinburgh, Midlothian, England.

1738–A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ends the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.

1786–Peter III of Portugal dies in Queluz, Portugal, at age 68.

1787–The Constitutional Convention opens in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with George Washington presiding.

1791–Vietnamese Emperor Minh Mang is born Nguyen Phuc Dam in Gia Djnh, Dai Nam. He was well known for his opposition to French involvement in Vietnam and his rigid Confucian orthodoxy.

1793–Father Stephen Theodore Badin is the first U.S. Roman Catholic priest to be ordained.

1798–During the United Irishmen Rebellion, the Battle of Carlow begins with executions of suspected rebels at Carnew and at Dunlavin Green.

1803–Essayist and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, is born in Boston, Massachusetts, having descended from a long line of New England clergymen. After graduating from Harvard, he went to divinity school and became a minister. He only lasted at his post for three years: he resigned because of his religious doubts and because he disliked the idea of teaching religious orthodoxy. He sailed to England, where he met Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Carlyle. On his return to America, he moved to Concord, Massachusetts, and took up a literary career.

1809–A patriot revolt in Chuquisaca (present-day Sucre) against the Spanish Empire, sparks the Latin American wars of independence.

1810–Citizens of Buenos Aires expel Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the May week, starting the Argentine War of Independence.

1819–The Argentine Constitution of 1819 is declared law.

1833–The Chilean Constitution of 1833 is declared law.

1837–The Rebels of Lower Canada rebel against the British for governmental reforms in Quebec.

1844–The first news dispatch is sent by telegraph from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland.

1846–Princess Helena, daughter of Queen Victoria, is born Helena Augusta Victoria at Buckingham Palace in London, England.

1865–An ordnance depot explodes in Mobile, Alabama, killing 300 people.

1878–The Gilbert & Sullivan opera, HMS Pinafore, premieres in London, England.

1878–Actor and dancer, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, is born Luther Robinson in Richmond, Virginia. He was a tap dancer and the best known and most highly paid African American entertainer in the first half of the 20th century.

1887–A gas lamp at the Paris Opera starts a fire, killing 200 people.

1895–The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as President.

1898–Oscar Wilde is convicted of indecency and sodomy. He is sentenced to two years of hard labor.

1898–Bennett (Alfred) Cerf, publisher at Random House, is born in Manhattan, New York. He was also a regular panelist on the TV game show What's My Line? He was married to actress, Sylvia Sidney.

1898–Gene Tunney, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion (1926-1930), is born James Joseph Tunney in New York, New York. Tunney's successful title defense against Jack Dempsey remains one of the most famous bouts in boxing history and is known as The Long Count Fight.

1900–Eyre M. Shaw becomes the oldest Gold Medalist in the Olympics at age 78.

1903–Actress, Binnie Barnes, is born Gertrude Maud Barnes in Islington, London, England. She appeared in the films The Private Life of Henry VIII, the Lady is Willing, Diamond Jim, The Last of the Mohicans, Broadway Melody of 1938, The Adventures of Marco Polo, The Three Musketeers, Angels with Broken Wings, The Trouble with Angels, Where Angels Go Trouble Follows, and 40 Carats.

1907–U Nu is born in Wakema, Myaungmya District, British Burma. He was the first Prime Minister of Burma.

1908–Film director, David Lean, is born in Croydon, Surrey, England. His films include This Happy Breed, Blithe Spirit, Bried Encounter, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Hobson’s Choice, Summertime, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Ryan’s Daughter, and A Passage to India.

1911–Revolution in Mexico overthrows President Jose Porfirio Diaz.

1914–The British House of Commons passes the Irish Home Rule bill.

1917–Actor, Steve Cochran, is born Robert Alexander Cochran in Eureka, California. He appeared in the films The Kid from Brooklyn, The Best Years of Our Lives, Copacabana, A Song Is Born, White Heat, The Damned Don’t Cry, Storm Warning, Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison, The Desert Song, Carnival Story, and The Beat Generaton.

1921–Lyricist, Hal David, is born Harold Lane David in New York, New York. He and his partner, Burt Bacharach, wrote some of the most popular songs of the 20th century, among them Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, This Guy's in Love with You, I'll Never Fall in Love Again, Do You Know the Way to San Jose, Walk On By, What the World Needs Now Is Love, I Say a Little Prayer, (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me, One Less Bell to Answer and Anyone Who Had a Heart.

1925–John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in Tennessee.

1925–Actress, Jeanne (Elizabeth) Crain, is born in Barstow, California. She appeared in the films State Fair, Leave Her to Heaven, Margie, Apartment for Peggy, A Letter to Three Wives, Pinky, Cheaper by the Dozen, Belles on Their Toes, The Feastest Gun Alive, The Joker is Wild, and Hot Rods to Hell.

1926–Sholom Schwartzbard assassinates Symon Petliura, the head of the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic, which is in government-in-exile in Paris, France.

1926–Character actor, Claude (Marion) Akins, is born in Nelson, Georgia. He appeared in numerous TV shows, among them I Love Lucy and The Twilight Zone. He appeared in the films From Here to Eternity, The Caine Mutiny, The Defiant Ones, Rio Bravo, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Concrete Cowboys, and Falling from Grace.

1926–Jazz trumpeter, Miles Davis, is born Miles Dewey Davis III in Alton, Illinois. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. He has been described as one of the great innovators in jazz, and has been given the titles The Prince of Darkness and The Picasso of Jazz. His LP, Kind of Blue, remains the best selling jazz album of all time.

1927–Automaker, Henry Ford, stops producing the Model T, and starts production on the Model A.

1927–Novelist, Robert Ludlum, is born in New York, New York. He was an American author of 27 thriller novels including The Osterman Weekend and The Bourne Identity. The number of copies of his books in print is estimated between 290 million and 500 million, and they have been published in 33 languages and 40 countries.

1927–Norman Petty, the pianist who became Buddy Holly's producer, is born in Clovis, New Mexico. His studio, in Clovis, turned out hits by Buddy Holly (That’ll Be the Day), Buddy Knox (Party Doll), and The Fireballs (Torquay). Petty also managed Buddy Holly and the Crickets for a time. As a producer, he helped pioneer the Tex-Mex sound.

1929–Opera singer, Beverly Sills, is born Belle Miriam Silverman in Brooklyn, New York. She was an American operatic soprano whose peak career was between the 1950s and 1970s. Her signature roles include Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Massenet's Manon, Donizetti's La fille du régiment, the three heroines in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann, Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, and most notably Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux.

1930–Fashion designer, Sonia Rykiel, is born Sonia Flis in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France. She created the Poor Boy Sweater, which was featured on the cover of French Elle magazine. Her knitwear designs and new fashion techniques led her to be dubbed the "Queen of Knits."

1931–Russian cosmonaut, Georgy (Mikhaylovich) Grechko, is born in Leningrad, Soviet Union. He flew on several space flights including Soyuz 17, Soyuz 26, and Soyuz T-14.

1932–Author, John Gregory Dunne, is born in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a screenwriter and journalist. His screenplays include Panic in Needle Park, Play It as It Lays, A Star Is Born, True Confessions, and Up Close & Personal. His brother was writer, Dominick Dunne; his nephew is actor, Griffin Dunne; and his niece was actress, Dominique Dunne. He was married to writer, Joan Didion.

1932–Comedian, Steve Rossi, is born Joseph Charles Michael Tafarella in New York, New York. He is best known for his work with Marty Allen, as the comedy team of Allen & Rossi. The pair made many appearances in the 1950s and 1960s, including 44 guest shots on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1934–Composer, Gustav Holst, dies of heart failure in London, England, at age 59. He is best known for his composition The Planets.

1935–Baseball player, Babe Ruth, hits the final home run of his career (number 714), at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1935–Jesse Owens, of Ohio State University, breaks three world records and ties a fourth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1936–The Remington Rand strike, led by the American Federation of Labor, begins.

1936–Country singer, Tom T. Hall, is born Thomas Hall in Olive Hill, Kentucky.

1937–The 13th National Spelling Bee: Waneeta Beckley wins, spelling promiscuous.

1938–During the Spanish Civil War, the bombing of Alicante kills 313 people.

1939–Actress, Dixie (Virginia) Carter, is born in McLemoresville, Tennessee. She is best known for role of Julia Sugarbaker on the sitcom Designing Women. She was married to actor, Hal Holbrook.

1939–Actor, Ian (Murray) McKellen, is born in Burnley, Lancashire, England. He is well known for the role of the wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: consisting of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003). He also appeared in the films Alfred the Great, The Promise, Plenty, Scandal, The Ballad of Little Jo, Six Degrees of Separation, Jack & Sarah, Richard III, Restoration, Gods and Monsters, and The Da Vinci Code.

1940–The Golden Gate International Expo reopens in San Francisco, California.

1941–A storm hits the Ganges Delta region in India, and 500 people drown.

1943–TV talk show host, Sally Jesse Raphael, is born Sally Lowenthal in Easton, Pennsylvania.

1943–Singer-actress, Leslie (Marian) Uggams, is born in New York, New York. She got her start on the TV show Sing Along with Mitch. Later, she had a major role in the TV mini-series Roots. She appeared in the films Two Weeks in Another Town, Skyjacked, Black Girl, Poor Pretty Eddie, Sugar Hill, and Toe to Toe.

1944–Puppetteer, Frank Oz, is born in Hereford, England. He is best known for his work with “The Muppets.”

1946–The Parliament of Transjordan declares Abdullah I as their king.

1946–Nursery school and kindergarten teacher, Patty Smith Hill, dies in New York, New York, at age 77. She co-wrote the song Happy Birthday To You, with her sister Mildred Hill.

1947–Country singer, Jessi Colter, is born Miriam Johnson in Phoenix, Arizona. She had a big hit with the song I'm Not Lisa.

1947–Actress, Karen (Lynne) Valentine, is born in Sebastopol, California. She starred in the TV show Room 222.

1950–The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel opens in New York City.

1950–A Chicago Surface Lines streetcar crashes into a fuel truck, killing 33 people in Chicago, Illinois.

1951–The 24th National Spelling Bee: Irving Belz wins, spelling insouciant.

1953–The first public television station in the United States officially begins broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.

1953–The first atomic cannon is electronically fired at Frenchman Flat, Nevada.

1955–The first ascent of Kangchenjunga (the third-highest mountain in the world) is made by a British expedition led by Charles Evans.

1955–A series of 19 tornadoes destroys Udall, Kansas, and most of Blackwell, Oklahoma.

1955–Actress, Connie Selleca, is born Concetta Sellecchia in the Bronx, New York. She is best known for her roles on the TV shows The Greatest American Hero and Hotel. She was married to actor, Gil Girard, and musician, John Tesh.

1960–The Cavern Club, in Liverpool, England, changes its style, opening its doors to rock and roll or "beat groups."

1961–President John F. Kennedy sets the goal of putting a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

1962–The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, goes out of business.

1962–The U.S. conducts an atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island.

1963–The Organisation of African Unity is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

1964–The 16th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards announces its winners. Best Dramatic Series: The Defenders; Best Comedy Series: The Dick Van Dyke Show; Best Musical or Variety Series: The Danny Kaye Show; Best Children’s Program: Discovery; Best Public Service Program: NBC White Paper; Best Actor: Dick Van Dyke; Best Actress: Mary Tyler Moore. The ceremonies are held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California. The hosts are Joey Bishop and E.G. Marshall.

1965–Dave Davies, of The Kinks, is knocked unconscious when he careens into drummer Mick Avory's cymbal during a concert in London, England. The group cancels the remainder of their U.K. tour.

1965–Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston in Round 1 for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship.

1967–John Lennon takes delivery of his one-of-a-kind, psychedelically-painted Rolls Royce from JP Fallon Coachworks.

1968–The Gateway Arch is dedicated in St. Louis, Missouri.

1968–The 1968 Monterey Pop Festival is cancelled. The citizens of the town don't like the festival, and $52,000 in profits from the 1967 event are discovered missing, along with festival accountant, Sandra Beebe.

1969–The film, Midnight Cowboy, is released with an “X” rating.

1969–Actress, Anne (Celeste) Heche, is born in Aurora, Ohio. She appeared in the films I’ll Do Anything, Milk Money, Wild Side, The Juror, Donnie Brasco, Volcano, Wag the Dog, Six Days Seven Nights, Return to Paradise, and the remake of Psycho.

1971–The USSR conducts a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh.

1971–Child actor, Justin Henry, is born in Rye, New York. He is best known for his role in the film Kramer vs Kramer.

1972–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1973–HNS Velos, anchored at Fiumicino, Italy, while participating in a NATO exercise refuses to return to Greece in protest against the country’s dictatorship.

1975–The 29th NBA Championship: The Golden Warriors beat the Wash Bullets, in 4 games.

1975–The Indianapolis 500: Bobby Unser wins in 2:54:55.

1976–Valleyfair Amusement Park opens in Shakopee, Minnesota, with 20 rides and attractions, among them the High Roller (coaster), Bumper Cars, a Carousel, and a Ferris Wheel.

1977–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1977–Star Wars is released in theaters throughout America.

1977–The Chinese government removes a decade old ban on William Shakespeare's work, effectively ending the Cultural Revolution that began in 1966.

1978–The Stanley Cup: The Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins, 4 games to 2.

1979–American Airlines Flight 191 from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California, loses an engine during takeoff, crashing moments afterwards. It would ultimately be determined that the engine loss was due to faulty maintenance by American Airlines. All 258 passengers and 13 crew members were killed, making this the deadliest crash on American soil.

1980–The Indianapolis 500: Johnny Rutherford wins in 3:29:59.

1981–In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation Council is created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

1981–Racecar driver, Bobby Unser, becomes the first Indianapolis 500 winner to be disqualified.

1982–The HMS Coventry is sunk during the Falklands War.

1983–France performs a nuclear test.

1983–Return of the Jedi (part of the Stars Wars franchise) is released in American theaters.

1983–Idris of Libya dies at the Sultan Palace in the district of Dokki in Cairo, Egypt, at age 94. He was the first and only King of Libya, reigning from 1951 to 1969, and the chief of the Senussi Muslim order. While in Turkey for medical treatment, Idris was deposed in a 1969 coup d'etat by army officers led by Muammar Gaddafi.

1985–Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people.

1986–“Hands Across America” takes place, with seven million people holding hands for charity across 4,150 miles of road, from California to New York.

1989–Mikhail Gorbachev is elected Executive President in the Soviet Union.

1989–The Stanley Cup: The Calgary Flames beat the Montreal Canadiens, 4 games to 2.

1990–Actor, Vic Tayback, dies of a heart attack in Glendale, California, at age 60. He is best known for the role of Mel on the TV sitcom Alice.

1991–The Stanley Cup: The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Minneapolis North Stars, 4 games to 2.

1992–Oscar Luigi Scalfaro is elected President of Italy.

1992–Jay Leno becomes the permanent host of The Tonight Show.

1993–The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is founded.

1997–A military coup in Sierra Leone replaces President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koromah.

1999–The U.S. House of Representatives releases the Cox Report, which details the People's Republic of China's nuclear espionage against the U.S. over the prior two decades.

2000–Israel withdraws its army from Lebanese territory (except for the disputed Shebaa farms zone) 22 years after its invasion in 1978.

2001–Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado, becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

2002–China Airlines Flight 611 disintegrates in mid-air and crashes into the Taiwan Strait, killing all 225 people on board.

2003–The Indianapolis 500: Gil de Ferran wins in 3:11:56.

2006–Jamaican ska musician, Desmond Dekker, of Desmond Dekker & the Aces, dies at age 65. They had a big hit in the 1960s with The Israelites.

2007–TV personality, Charles Nelson Reilly, dies of pneumonia in Beverly Hills, California, at age 76. He appeared on dozens of TV shows during the 1960s and 1970s.

2008–NASA's Phoenix lander sits down in the Green Valley region of Mars to search for environments suitable for water and microbial life.

2008–The Indianapolis 500: Scott Dixon wins in 3:28:57.

2009–North Korea allegedly tests its second nuclear device. Following the nuclear test, Pyongyang also conducted several missile tests, creating tensions in the international community.

2011–After 25 years, Oprah Winfrey appears for the last time on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

2012–The SpaceX Dragon becomes the first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous with the International Space Station.

2013–Suspected Maoist rebels kill at least 28 people and injure 32 others in an attack on a convoy of Indian National Congress politicians in Chhattisgarh, India.

2013–A gas cylinder explodes on a school bus in Gujrat, Pakistan, killing at least 18 people.

2013–At age 80, Yuichiro Miura, of Japan, becomes the oldest person to climb Mount Everest.

2013–Marshall Lytle, bass player for Bill Haley & His Comets, dies of lung cancer in New Port Richey, Florida, at age 79. He played upright slap bass on the iconic 1950s rock and roll records Crazy Man, Crazy, Shake, Rattle and Roll, and Rock Around the Clock.

2014–Photographer and model, Bunny Yeager, dies of congestive heart failure in North Miami, Florida, at age 85. She met Bettie Page in 1954, and took over 1,000 photographs of her that year. Yeager appeared in Playboy magazine as a model five times: one appearance with the headline, "Queen of the Playboy Centerfolds," was photographed by Hugh Hefner. Her work was also published in mainstream magazines including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Pageant, Redbook, and Women's Wear Daily.

2015–Actor, Sam Shepard, is arrested on suspicion of aggravated drunken driving in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2015–Photographer and journalist, Mary Ellen Mark, dies of myelodysplastic syndrome in New York, New York, at age 75. She photographed people who were "away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes." Mark had 18 collections of her work published, most notably Streetwise and Ward 81. Her work was exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide and widely published in Life, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair.

2016–The Eurozone agrees to a ¤10.3 billion ($11.48 billion) bailout package for Greece.

2017–Greg Gianforte wins the Montana congressional election with over 50% of the vote to Rob Quist's 44%. Gianforte is officially charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly body slamming reporter, Ben Jacobs (from The Guardian). The political fallout if any is unknown as many voters cast unchangable absentee ballots before the incident took place.


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