1805: Historian and scientist Alexis de Tocqueville is born in Paris, France. His two-volume "Democracy in America," published in 1835 and 1840 after his travels in the United States, is today considered an early work of sociology and political science.
1836: The Arc de Triomphe is inaugurated in Paris, France. The iconic monument honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.
1883: Benito Mussolini, the politician and journalist who became the dictator of Italy from 1922 to his ousting in 1943, is born in Predappio, Forlì, Kingdom of Italy.
1890: Two days after shooting himself in the chest, artist Vincent van Gogh dies of his wounds in Auvers, France, at age 37.
1892: Actor William Powell, whose most famous role was that of Nick Charles in six "Thin Man" films, beginning with "The Thin Man" in 1934, is born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He also appeared in movies such as "Manhattan Melodrama," "The Great Ziegfeld," "Reckless" and "Mister Roberts," and earned Academy Award nominations for Best Actor for his performances in "The Thin Man," "My Man Godfrey" and "Life with Father."
1900: In Italy, King Umberto I is assassinated by the anarchist Gaetano Bresci.
1905: Actress Clara Bow, who rose to stardom in silent film during the 1920s, is born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Bow became known as "The It Girl" thanks to her role as a plucky shopgirl in the 1927 silent film "It." She appeared in 46 silent films and 11 talkies, including hits such as "Mantrap" and "Wings," and was one of the top box office draws of the late 1920s.
1921: Adolf Hitler becomes the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
1933: Actor Robert Fuller, best known for starring roles on the 1960s western series "Laramie" and "Wagon Train," and for the lead role, Dr. Kelly Brackett, in the 1970s medical drama "Emergency!," is born Buddy Lee in Troy, N.Y.
1938: Journalist and news anchor Peter Jennings is born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was the sole anchor of ABC's "World News Tonight" from 1983 until his death in 2005 of complications from lung cancer.
1948: After a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the first Summer Olympics to be held since the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, open in London, England. The event came to be known as the Austerity Games because of the economic climate and post-war rationing. No new venues were built for the games, and athletes were housed in existing accommodation instead of an Olympic Village.
1953: Documentary film director and producer Ken Burns, best known for award-winning documentaries like "The Civil War," "Baseball," "Jazz," "The War" and "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," is born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1953: Fashion consultant and TV personality Tim Gunn, best known for the TV shows "Project Runway" and "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style," is born in Washington, D.C.
1953: Singer-songwriter and bass player Geddy Lee, best known as the frontman for the band Rush, is born Gary Lee Weinrib in Willowdale, Ontario, Canada.
1957: Jack Paar debuts as host of NBC's "Tonight" show.
1958: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
1965: The Beatles' film "Help!" premieres in London, England, with Queen Elizabeth II among those in attendance.
1966: Bob Dylan is injured when he crashes his motorcycle near his home in Woodstock, N.Y. Although his exact injuries were never fully disclosed and no ambulance was called, Dylan later said that he broke several vertebrae in his neck. The singer took the opportunity to drop out of the spotlight for a while, withdrawing from public and not touring for eight years. As Dylan later revealed in his autobiography "I had been in a motorcycle accident and I'd been hurt, but I recovered. Truth was that I wanted to get out of the rat race."
1966: The American teen magazine Datebook causes an uproar when it prints some of John Lennon's London Evening Standard interview from five months earlier in which the Beatle said "We're more popular than Jesus now." The article would set off a public backlash in America against the band that would culminate in public bonfires of The Beatles' records and some radio stations banning the band's music.
1966: Country music singer-songwriter Martina McBride, whose No. 1 country hits include "Wild Angels," "A Broken Wing," "Wrong Again" and "I Love You," is born Martina Mariea Schiff in Sharon, Kan.
1967: During the Vietnam War, a missile misfire from a F-4 Phantom starts a fire onboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal off the coast of North Vietnam. The blaze would prove to be the worst U.S. naval disaster since World War II, killing 134 people and injuring another 161. Here the destroyer USS Rupertus can be seen helping extinguish the fire.
1972: Actor Wil Wheaton, best known for the movie "Stand By Me" and the TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation," is born in Burbank, Calif.
1973: Actor Stephen Dorff, known for his roles in movies like "Backbeat" and "Blade," is born in Atlanta, Ga.
1974: Singer Cass Elliot, best known as a member of The Mamas & the Papas, dies of a heart attack in her sleep at age 32 in London, England.
1974: Actor, director and writer Josh Radnor, best known for playing Ted Mosby on the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," is born in Columbus, Ohio. Radnor has also written, directed and starred in the indie comedies "happythankyoumoreplease" and "Liberal Arts."
1976: David Berkowitz, aka the "Son of Sam," kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks in the New York City area. He would eventually be arrested on Aug. 10, 1977, and confess to killing six people and wounding several others in the course of eight shootings. He later claimed that he was commanded to kill by a demon that possessed his neighbor's dog. In June 1978, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for each murder, to be served consecutively, making his maximum term 365 years.
1976: Liz Taylor's sixth divorce (her second divorce from actor Richard Burton) becomes official. The couple had been married for 10 years before first divorcing in June 1974. Their second marriage lasted less than a year. Taylor would go on to marry -- and divorce -- two more times in her lifetime. Taylor and Burton are seen here in the 1965 film "The Sandpiper."
1976: Mickey Cohen, part of the Jewish Mafia and the most famous West Coast gangster in the 1950s, dies in his sleep of natural causes at age 62 in Los Angeles, Calif.
1977: Musician, DJ, songwriter and producer Danger Mouse is born Brian Joseph Burton in White Plains, N.Y. He first became famous in 2004 when he released "The Grey Album," which combined the vocals from Jay-Z's "The Black Album" with instrumentals from the Beatles' "White Album." He went on to form the duo Gnarls Barkley with Cee Lo Green, producing their albums "St. Elsewhere" and "The Odd Couple," and has produced albums for the Gorillaz, Beck, Norah Jones and The Black Keys. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Producer of the Year category five times, winning the award in 2011.
1981: A worldwide television audience of more than 700 million people watch the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral in London, England.
1983: Canadian-American actor Raymond Massey, best known for movies such as "Abe Lincoln in Illinois," "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "East of Eden," dies of pneumonia at age 86 in Los Angeles, Calif.
1983: English actor David Niven, best known for movies such as "A Matter of Life and Death," "The Bishop's Wife," "Enchantment," "Around the World in 80 Days," "The Pink Panther" and "Separate Tables," dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at age 73 in Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland. He was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1959 for his performance in "Separate Tables."
1986: A jury in New York rules that the NFL violated antitrust laws and awards the USFL $1 in damages, which was tripled under antitrust laws to $3. The league immediately suspended operations for the 1986 season, with the original intention of returning in 1987, but would never see another game played.
1994: Megan Kanka, 7, is raped and killed by convicted sex offender Jesse Timmendequas in Hamilton Township, N.J. The next day Timmendequas, Kanka's neighbor, confessed to investigators and led them to where he had dumped her body. The murder attracted national attention and subsequently led to the introduction of "Megan's Law," which requires law enforcement to disclose details relating to the location of registered sex offenders. Timmendequas was eventually found guilty and initially sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole when the New Jersey Legislature abolished the state's death penalty in 2007.
1999: Day trader Mark Barton opens fire in two Atlanta brokerage offices, killing nine people and wounding 13. Four hours after the Atlanta shootings, Barton committed suicide at a gas station in Acworth, Ga. Police also found Barton's second wife and his two children dead in their Stockbridge, Ga., home. According to a note Barton left at the scene, his wife was killed July 27 and the children murdered July 28.
2000: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt get married in a private wedding ceremony in Malibu, Calif. The Hollywood power couple would eventually announce their separation in January 2005.
2007: Journalist and talk show host Tom Snyder dies at the age of 71 in San Francisco, Calif., from complications of leukemia. Snyder was best known for his late night talk shows "The Tomorrow Show" on NBC in the 1970s and 1980s, and "The Late Late Show," on CBS in the 1990s. He was also the pioneer anchor of the primetime "NBC News Update," in the 1970s and early 1980s, which was a one-minute capsule of news updates in primetime.