2005 Hurricane Katrina - Heck of a Job Brownie FEMA director Michael Brown states that he was unaware that people were trapped in the New Orleans Convention Center (Apparently he didn't have access to a TV set). The following day Pres. Bush would commend him on his performance, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
1992 Office of Public Health in Jonesboro, Louisiana is closed due to rats.
1992 Bobby Fischer spits on a Treasury Department letter informing him that his planned Yugoslavian chess match with Boris Spassky would be in violation of U.S. law.
1985 The Titanic The remains of the four-story "unsinkable" ship are located by ocean researchers. She sank in 1912 after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic during her maiden voyage.
1983 A Soviet fighter shoots down a South Korean airliner after it strayed off course, killing all 269 aboard.
1979 Pioneer 2 flies past Saturn discovering an eleventh moon and two new rings.
1972 Mark Spitz wins the fourth and fifth of his seven 1972 Olympic gold medals.
1972 First American to win the world chess championship Bobby Fischer defeats Boris Spassky of the USSR. He was the first American to compete in the tournament.
1969 The Libyan Arab Republic is proclaimed, after Muammar el-Qaddafi led a successful revolution against King Idris.
1968 Clown College The first U.S. school committed exclusively to training circus clowns is established in Venice, Florida by Irvin Feld of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
1946 First U.S. Women's Open golf championship It was won by Patty Berg.
1939 World War II Germany invades Poland, starting the war.
1923 Earthquake destroys Tokyo and Yokohama, killing 140,000 people.
1897 First U.S. municipal subway Boston's Tremont Street Subway opens to traffic. Construction had begun in 1895.
1878 First woman telephone operator Emma M. Nutt of Boston is hired.
1873 First cable streetcar Andrew Hallidie's invention begins regular service on Clay Street Hill, San Francisco.
1872 America's First trained nurse Linda Ann Judson Richards begins her education at the Training School of the New England Hospital for Women and Children. She graduated September 1, 1873.
1859 First Pullman sleeping car George Mortimer Pullman introduces his sleeper on a train ride from Bloomington Illinois to Chicago.
1854 First railroad bridge across the Mississippi River The cornerstone is laid for a bridge between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa.
1836 First white women to cross the American continent Narcissa Prentiss Whitman and Eliza Hart Spalding, accompanied by their husbands, reach their destination - Fort Walla Walla, Washington.
1807 First arrest of a U.S. Vice-President Former Vice-Pres. Aaron Burr is acquitted of treason against the U.S. He had organized an armed militia of about 60 men; the exact purpose of which has never been determined.
1804 Third discovery of an asteroid Juno is discovered by K.L. Harding.
1651 Robinson Crusoe The fictional character embarks on his first sea voyage, from Hull to London.
1946 Barry Gibb British singer, with the Bee Gees. Music: Stayin' Alive (1977) and Night Fever (1977, #1).
1939 Lily Tomlin (Mary Jean Tomlin), American actress, comedian. TV: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (the telephone operator and 5-year-old Edith Ann - and that's the truth, pthhhhh).
1933 Conway Twitty d. 1993 (Harold Lloyd Jenkins), American Grammy-winning country singer. Music: After The Fire is Gone (1971, Grammy). In 1982 he opened Twitty City, a nine-acre tourist attraction outside of Nashville.
1923 Rocky Marciano d. 1969 (Rocco Francis Marchegiano), Italian-American boxer. He was the undefeated (49-0) world heavyweight champion (1952-56). He is the only undefeated heavyweight champion.
1922 Yvonne De Carlo d. 2007 (Margaret Yvonne Middleton), Canadian-born American actress. TV: The Munsters (Lily Munster). Film: The Ten Commandments (1956, Moses' wife).
1900 Richard Arlen d. 1976 (Richard Cornelius van Mattimore), American actor. Film: Star of the first Oscar-winning film (Wings, 1927).
1898 James Hatlo d. 1963 American cartoonist, creator of They'll Do It Every Time (1929) and Little Iodine (1943).
1875 Edgar Rice Burroughs d. 1950 American novelist, creator of Tarzan (1914).
1866 James "Gentleman Jim" Corbett d. 1933 American boxer, world heavyweight boxing champ (1892, the first to win under the Marquis of Queensberry rules). He is considered to be the first scientific boxer.
1854 Engelbert Humperdinck d. 1921 German composer. Opera: Hänsel and Gretel (1893).
1850 Jim O'Rourke d. 1919 American baseball player, made the first hit of the first National League game (1876), for Boston.
1849 Elizabeth Harrison d. 1927 American educator, leader in the U.S. kindergarten movement. She was one of the founders of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers.
1826 Alfred Ely Beach d. 1896 American inventor, publisher of Scientific American (1846 et seq.). He built New York City's first underground transit system (1870, A 10-passenger car that was pushed and pulled through a tunnel by a giant fan).
1795 James Gordon Bennett d. 1872 Scottish-born American publisher. Founder of The New York Herald (1835).
2008 Jerry Reed b. 1937 (Jerry Hubbard), American Grammy-winning country musician, actor. Music: Lord, Mr. Ford (1973, #1) and She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft). Film: Smokey and the Bandit (1977).
2003 Rand Brooks b. 1918 American actor. TV: The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (Corporal Boone). Film: Hopalong Cassidy's sidekick Lucky Jenkins in 12 movies.
1977 Ethel Waters b. 1896 American actress, singer, first black actress nominated for an Emmy (1961, for an episode of Route 66) and the first black star of a TV dramatic series (1950-53, Beulah). She was the second black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award. Harold Arlen composed the song Stormy Weather for her.
1948 Charles Austin Beard b. 1874 American historian, known for his economic interpretation of history, co-author with his wife of The Rise of American Civilization (1927).
1838 William Clark b. 1770 American soldier, explorer, governor of the Missouri Territory. With Lewis he explored the American West (1804-06) establishing a route to the Pacific.
1715 Louis XIV b. 1638 (Louis Dieudonné), King of France (1643-1715), became king at the age of 5. His successor, great-grandson Louis XV, also became king at age 5.
1557 Jacques Cartier b. 1491 French explorer, discovered the St. Lawrence River (1534) and claimed possession of Canada for France.
1159 Adrian IV b. ???? English-born religious leader, 169th Pope (1154-59). He was the first English pope.