1993 Rocket explosion A Titan IV rocket explodes two minutes after liftoff from a California Air Force base. The cost of the rocket and the satellites it was carrying was $2 billion.
1990 Gulf War Iraqi president Saddam Hussein orders the invasion of Kuwait, claiming that Kuwait was threatening Iraq's economy by overproducing oil, and that Kuwait was historically part of Iraq. These actions were immediately condemned by the United Nations who demanded Iraq's immediate withdrawal from Kuwait.
1943 PT-109 The PT boat, commanded by LTJG John F. Kennedy, is rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, during World War II.
1927 Pres. Coolidge announces "I do not choose to run for president in 1928."
1909 The Lincoln head penny is first issued. Source: Famous First Facts
1909 First airplane purchased by the U.S. government A Wright biplane is purchased by the Army at a cost of $30,000.
1776 Signing of the Declaration of Independence The members of the Continental Congress begin signing their names. The last signer, Thomas McKean, didn't add his name until 1781.
1984 Lisa Simpson character on The Simpsons.
1963 Cynthia Stevenson American actress. TV: Cheers (Norm's secretary) and Bob (Bob's daughter).
1959 Victoria Jackson American comic, regular on Saturday Night Live.
1950 Lance Ito American judge. He presided over the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
1943 Kathy Lennon American singer, one of the Lennon Sisters. She and her sisters were a mainstay of The Lawrence Welk Show during the 50's and 60's.
1932 Peter O'Toole Irish actor. Film: Lawrence of Arabia (1962, title role).
1905 Myrna Loy d. 1993 (Myrna Williams), American actress. Film: The Jazz Singer (1927, as a chorus girl) and The Thin Man (1934, Nora Charles).
1892 Jack Leonard Warner d. 1978 American film executive, co-founder of Warner Bros. Pictures (1923).
1835 Elisha Gray d. 1901 American inventor. He filed a patent for the telephone the same day as Alexander Graham Bell (1876). A long legal battle ensued which Bell ultimately won (1888). He also invented a teleautograph for transmitting handwriting.
1754 Pierre Charles L'Enfant d. 1825 French-born American Revolutionary War officer, engineer. He designed the city of Washington D.C.
1997 William S. Burroughs b. 1914 American author, Naked Lunch (1959). He is credited with being the first to use "heavy metal" to describe something hip.
1976 Fritz Lang b. 1890 Austrian-born film director. Film: Metropolis (1927), M (1931), and Fury (1936).
1956 Albert Woolson b. 1847 American Civil War soldier, last surviving member of the Union Army. He served as a drummer (1865-66).
1939 Harvey Spencer Lewis b. 1883 American spiritualist, founder of the Rosicrucian order Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (1915).
1936 Louis Bleriot b. 1872 first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel (1909).
1924 Margaret Sidney b. 1844 (Harriet Lothrop), American children's author. Writings: Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1881).
1923 Warren Gamaliel Harding b. 1865 29th U.S. President (1921-23). He died while in office, making Vice-President Calvin Coolidge president.
1922 Alexander Graham Bell b. 1847 Scottish-born American inventor. He invented the telephone (1876) and the first successful phonograph record.
1921 Enrico Caruso b. 1873 Italian tenor, known for his power and control in performances such as Rigoletto and Pagliacci.
1887 Joseph Hayne Rainey b. 1832 American politician, first black member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1870-79).
1876 Wild Bill Hickok b. 1837 (James Butler Hickok), American frontiersman, U.S. marshal, and famous citizen of Deadwood, South Dakota. He was shot in the back during a poker game while holding two pair (aces and eights), since known as a "dead man's hand."
1859 Horace Mann b. 1796 American educator, "Father of Public Education" in the U.S. He was elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans (1900).
1811 William Williams b. 1731 American patriot, signer of the Declaration of Independence. He died on the 35th anniversary of his signing the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.
1799 Jacques Étienne Montgolfier b. 1745 French inventor. He and his brother invented the hot-air balloon (1782).
1788 Thomas Gainsborough b. 1727 English artist. Paintings: Blue Boy (1779).
686 John V b. ???? religious leader, 82nd Pope (685-686).
640 Severinus b. ???? Italian religious leader, 71st Pope (May - Aug. 640).
257 Saint Stephen I b. ???? Italian religious leader, 23rd Pope (254-257).