1988 An Iranian passenger jet is shot down by the USS Vincennes, killing all 290 persons aboard. It had mistaken it for an Iranian F-14 jet fighter.
1987 First transatlantic hot-air balloon crossing British billionaire and Virgin Records co-founder Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand arrive at the Scottish coast in their hot-air balloon the Virgin Atlantic Flyer. They had departed from Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine, 33 hours earlier and travelled a distance of 2,900 miles.
1976 Flight 139 Israeli commandos rescue 103 hostages from an Air France flight. It had been hijacked to Uganda by the PLO June 27th.
1958 The Andy Williams Show debuts on ABC.
1950 Pantomime Quiz debuts on CBS. It was one of only four shows to appear on all four major TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, DuMont), and won the first Emmy for Most Popular TV Program (1948 while still a local program in Los Angeles).
1934 First payments by the FDIC on a closed bank The depositors in the Fond du Lac State Bank of East Peoria, Illinois are paid off. The bank had closed in May.
1930 Veterans Administration (VA) is established, to consolidate and administer a system of benefits for veterans and their dependents.
1928 First public demonstration of color TV Inventor John L. Baird shows his device in London.
1906 Pope St. Pius X formally condemns the intellectual movement within the Roman Catholic Church.
1890 Idaho becomes the 43rd state.
1886 First linotype machine begins operation by the New York Times.
1886 First Automobile Karl Benz takes his creation for its first drive in Mannheim, Germany, reaching a top speed of 10 mph.
1871 Narrow Gauge Railroad The first U.S. made narrow-gauge locomotive for mountain use goes into service on the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway Company.
1863 Civil War - Battle of Gettysburg ends The Confederate Army led by General George Pickett sounds the retreat, marking the beginning of the end for the South. Each side had lost more than 3,000 men in this two-day battle.
1852 U.S. Mint in San Francisco is established by Congress.
1844 The Great Auk becomes extinct The last pair is clubbed to death on the Island of Eldey off of Iceland.
1775 American Revolution George Washington takes command of the Continental Army.
1754 French and Indian War George Washington is forced to surrender Fort Necessity at Great Meadows to the numerically superior French.
1608 Quebec is founded, by French explorer Samuel de Champlain.
1964 Yeardley Smith American actress. TV: The Simpsons (voice of Lisa) and Herman's Head (Louise).
1962 Tom Cruise (Thomas Cruise Mapother IV), American Golden Globe-winning actor, couch jumper, Scientologist. Film: Risky Business (1983), Top Gun (1986), Rain Man (1988), The Firm (1993), and Interview with the Vampire (1994, Lestat), and Mission Impossible (1996).
1957 Laura Branigan d. 2004 American singer. Music: Gloria (1982, #2). She died of a brain aneurism, which also killed her father and paternal grandfather.
1949 Jan Smithers American actress. TV: WKRP in Cincinnati (Bailey).
1947 Dave Barry American Pulitzer-winning humorist.
1947 Betty Buckley American actress. TV: Eight is Enough (Abby Bradford).
1930 Pete Fountain (Pierre Dewey LaFontaine, Jr.), American jazz clarinetist, New Orleans French Quarter musician. As a member of the Lawrence Welk orchestra, he was one of the most famous musicians on TV. However, he was fired by Welk for "jazzing up" a Christmas song.
1927 Ken Russell British director. Film: Women In Love (1969), The Music Lover (1971), and Altered States (1979).
1912 Elizabeth Taylor d. 1975 British novelist (not the actress). Quote: People with no vices usually have annoying virtues. Source: Fifth 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said Writings: The Devastating Boys.
1906 George Sanders d. 1972 British Oscar-winning Actor. Film: Starred in The Saint and The Falcon movies. He was married to both Zsa Zsa Gabor and her sister Magda. He died of suicide.
1879 Alfred Korzybski d. 1950 American scientist, pioneer in the study of semantics, founded the Institute of General Semantics (1938) in Chicago.
1878 George M. Cohan d. 1942 American playwright, songwriter, Over There, You're a Grand Old Flag and I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy. Note: He told people his birthday was July 4.
1731 Samuel Huntington d. 1796 7th president of the Continental Congress (1779-81), signer of the Declaration of Independence, president of the Continental Congress (1779-81), and governor of Connecticut (1786-96).
1423 Louis XI d. 1483 King of France (1461-83).
1993 Don Drysdale b. 1936 American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, sportscaster. TV: Monday Night Baseball.
1993 "Curly" Joe DeRita b. 1909 American comic, one of the Three Stooges. Replacing Joe Besser, he appeared in Have Rocket Will Travel (1959), Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961), and The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962).
1989 Jim Backus b. 1913 (James Gilmore Backus), American actor. TV: Gilligan's Island (Thurston Howell III) and Mr. Magoo (voice of Magoo).
1986 Rudy Vallee b. 1901 (Hubert Prior Vallee), American singer, actor, "The Vagabond Lover." He learned the saxophone through a mail-order course.
1981 Ross Martin b. 1920 (Martin Rosenblatt), Polish-born American actor. TV: The Wild, Wild West (Artemus Gordon).
1971 Jim Morrison b. 1943 American singer, with The Doors, "The Lizard King." Music: Light My Fire (1967, #1) and L.A. Woman (1971).
1969 Brian Jones b. 1942 British singer, guitarist, founder of The Rolling Stones.
1962 e.e. cummings b. 1894 (Edward Estlin Cummings), American poet. Writings: The Enormous Room (1922) describing his imprisonment by the French after being mistaken for a spy.
1935 Andre Gustave Citroën b. 1878 French automaker, industrialist. He brought Henry Ford's mass production to the European auto industry. In 1915, during the lead up to WWI, he built a munitions plant that had a capacity of 55,000 shells a day. After the war he converted his munitions plant to produce the small, inexpensive Citroën automobile (1919).
1920 William Crawford Gorgas b. 1854 American sanitarian, controlled malaria and yellow fever outbreaks during the construction of the Panama Canal.
1916 Hetty Green b. 1835 (Henrietta Howland Green), American financial wizard and miser, called the Witch of Wall Street. She wore the same black dress for years (eventually it turned green and then brown), used old newspapers for lingerie and lived in an unheated apartment. Her estate was valued at $100,000,000.
1908 Joel Chandler Harris b. 1848 American author, creator of Uncle Remus.
1904 Theodor Herzl b. 1860 Hungarian journalist, founder of modern Zionism. His efforts led to the establishment of the state of Israel (1948). Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1833 Joseph Nicéphore Niepce b. 1765 French inventor. He created the first true photographs (1826).