1998 Al-Qaeda Two US embassies in in Kenya and Tanzania, Africa are bombed by the terrorist organization. The attack in Nairobi, Kenya, kills 213 people, including 12 US nationals, and injures more than 4,500. The attack in Tanzania, kills 11 and injures 85.
1993 Buckingham Palace opens to the public For $12 visitors can view the palace while Queen Elizabeth II and family are on vacation.
1992 The ship Queen Elizabeth II discovers an uncharted rock off of Cape Cod causing a 74-foot gash forcing the evacuation of 1,815 people.
1992 New lawn mowers for old The EPA announces it will swap your old gas powered mower for a new cordless electric mower (valued at $400).
1990 Gulf War In response to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait days earlier, the U.S. announces it will provide land, air, and naval support to Saudi Arabia.
1978 Love Canal The area, near Niagara Falls, is declared a national disaster due to toxic waste.
1973 Lightning Strikes Roy C. Sullivan struck by lightning for the 5th of his record-breaking 7 times. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1959 First photograph of Earth taken from space The U.S. satellite Explorer VI is launched. It took its historic photo on August 14, showing a sun-lighted area of the Central Pacific ocean and its cloud cover.
1946 First U.S. coin to depict a black American A 50¢ commemorative coin featuring Booker T. Washington is authorized. Source: Famous First Facts
1888 The revolving door is patented, by Theophilus Van Kannel.
1794 Whiskey Rebellion Pres. Washington orders the rebelling western Pennsylvania farmers to go home and calls for 15,000 militia. They were protesting an excise duty placed on stills and spirits distilled in the U.S.
1789 U.S. War and Navy Departments are established by Congress.
1789 Congress gives the president the power to remove any U.S. officer except judges.
1782 Purple Heart General George Washington orders the creation of the Badge of Military Merit, which later became known as the Purple Heart.
1960 David Duchovny American actor. TV: The X-Files (1993-2002, Fox Mulder).
1942 Garrison Keillor American humorist. Radio: A Prairie Home Companion (host).
1929 Don Larsen American baseball pitcher. He pitched the first perfect no-hitter World Series game (1956).
1928 James Randi (Randall James Hamilton Zwinge), Canadian magician, skeptic, pseudoscience debunker. His One Million Dollar Challenge offers a $1,000,000 prize (USD) to anyone who is able to demonstrate any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event, under test conditions agreed to by both parties.
1927 Carl Switzer d. 1959 American actor. Film: Alfalfa of The Little Rascals, It's a Wonderful Life (1946, Freddie Othello). He was shot to death, after attacking a man with a knife, during an argument over $50.
1926 Stan Freberg American satirist, recorded the #1 hit St. George and the Dragonet (1953) a parody of the TV show Dragnet. It opened with "The legend you are about to here is true; only the needle should be changed to protect the record."
1903 Louis S.B. Leaky d. 1972 British anthropologist. He discovered the oldest-known manlike remains (1960), those of a 1,750,000-year-old juvenile.
1885 Billie Burke d. 1970 American actress. Film: The Wizard of Oz (1939, the Good Witch Glinda).
1876 Mata Hari d. 1917 (Margaret Gertrude Zelle), Dutch dancer, world's most famous spy. She refused a blind fold and blew a kiss to the firing squad before her execution.
1795 Joseph Rodman Drake d. 1820 American poet. Writings: The Culprit Fay (1816) and The American Flag (1819).
1783 John Heathcoat d. 1861 English manufacturer. He invented a lacemaking machine (1808) which was considered by far to be the most complicated machine of its time.
2005 Peter Charles Jennings b. 1938 Canadian-born TV news reporter. He scored 100 out of 100 on the U.S. citizenship exam. He was a high school drop out.
1999 Wally Albright b. 1925 (Walton Algernon Albright, Jr.), American actor, one of the Little Rascals, appeared in six Our Gang films (1934, Wally). Won the Men's National Track and Ski Championship (1957).
1992 John Anderson b. 1922 American actor. TV: Wyatt Earp (Virgil Earp).
1957 Oliver Hardy b. 1892 (Oliver Norvell Hardy), American comedian, actor. He made over 100 films with partner Stan Laurel.
1929 Victor Louis Berger b. 1860 Transylvanian-born American politician. He was the first socialist elected to the U.S. Congress (1910, House of Representatives for Wisconsin) and was one of the founders of the Socialist Party (1900).
1905 Alexander Melville Bell b. 1819 American teacher, inventor of visual speech for the hearing impaired.
1834 Joseph Marie Jacquard b. 1752 French inventor. He invented the first programmable loom capable of weaving figured patterns (1801).
1106 Henry IV b. 1050 Holy Roman Emperor (1056-1106).