1986 Challenger disaster The space shuttle explodes 73 seconds after lift-off, killing the crew of seven, including New Hampshire schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
1985 We Are the World Dozens of top-name music stars join together to record the chart-topping single.
1978 Fantasy Island debuts on ABC, "Boss, da plane, da plane!"
1973 Barnaby Jones debuts on CBS.
1956 Elvis Presley The King makes his television debut, on Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's Stage Show (CBS) singing Heartbreak Hotel.
1916 First Jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis is appointed by Pres. Wilson.
1915 U.S. Coast Guard is established, when Congress combines the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life Saving Service.
1878 First telephone switchboard is installed, New Haven, Connecticut.
1807 First street lit by gaslight London's Pall Mall.
1950 Barbi Benton American actress, singer, Playboy bunny.
1943 Susan Howard (Jeri Lynn Mooney), American actress. TV: Dallas (Donna Krebbs) and Star Trek (the first female Klingon).
1936 Alan Alda American actor. TV: M*A*S*H (Hawkeye).
1910 John Banner d. 1973 Austrian actor. TV: Hogan's Heroes (Sgt. Schultz).
1890 Robert Stroud d. 1963 American convicted killer, known as the Birdman of Alcatraz. He became an expert on bird diseases while spending 44 years in solitary confinement. He was portrayed by Burt Lancaster in the 1962 movie.
1884 Jean Felix Piccard d. 1963 Swiss-born American pioneer in ballooning and diving vehicles, and identical twin of Auguste. In 1934 he and his wife made the first successful stratospheric flight through clouds (11 miles high).
1884 Auguste Piccard d. 1962 Swiss physicist, pioneer in ballooning and diving vehicles, and identical twin of Jean Felix. He and his twin established many records, including the highest ascent into the stratosphere and lowest descent into the ocean.
1864 Charles W. Nash d. 1948 American automobile manufacturer, president of Buick Motor Co. (1910-16) and General Motors (1912-16), and founder and president of the Nash Motors Co. (1916-32).
1855 William Seward Burroughs d. 1898 American inventor. He invented the recording adding machine (1892).
1834 Sabine Baring-Gould d. 1924 English clergyman, author of the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers. Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1600 Clement IX d. 1669 Italian religious leader, 238th Pope (1667-69).
1457 Henry VII d. 1509 King of England (1485-1509). He ordered the beheading of bakers who underweighted their loaves of bread. They would throw in an extra loaf to be on the safe side, thus the term "baker's dozen."
1991 Harold "Red" Grange b. 1903 American football player, the "Galloping Ghost." He and C.C. Pyle formed the first American Football League (AFL) in 1926, although it folded a year later.
1986 Gregory B. Jarvis b. 1944 American astronaut. He died in the Challenger space shuttle explosion.
1973 John Banner b. 1910 Austrian actor. TV: Hogan's Heroes (Sgt. Schultz).
1963 Jean Felix Piccard b. 1884 Swiss-born American pioneer in ballooning and diving vehicles, and identical twin of Auguste. In 1934 he and his wife made the first successful stratospheric flight through clouds (11 miles high).
1955 Robert F. McGowan b. 1882 American film director, directed the Our Gang comedies.
1621 Paul V b. ???? Italian religious leader, 233rd Pope (1605-21).
1596 Sir Francis Drake b. circa 1540 English navigator. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe (1577-80).
1547 Henry VIII b. 1491 King of England (1509-47), found a way to avoid alimony.
1119 Gelasius II b. ???? religious leader, 161st Pope (1118-19).
814 Emperor Charlemagne b. 742 (Charles the Great), King of the Franks and Emperor of the Romans, introduced (789) the royal foot as a unit of length.