Published On: Apr 29 2013 05:40:57 PM CDTUpdated On: Apr 30 2015 01:00:00 AM CDT
2015: Soul singer Ben E. King, perhaps best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me," dies of natural causes at age 76 in Hackensack, New Jersey.
2009: The Chrysler automobile company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The automaker would emerge from bankruptcy proceedings on June 10, 2009, with the United Auto Workers pension fund, Fiat, and the U.S. and Canadian governments as principal owners. However, Fiat gradually acquired the other parties' shares to take majority ownership of the company.
2009: Venetia Burney, the first person to suggest the name for the planet Pluto in 1930, dies at age 90 in Banstead, England. Burney was an 11-year-old English schoolgirl when she suggested the name after the Roman god of the underworld. She told her grandfather, Falconer Madan, a librarian at Oxford University, who then forwarded the suggestion to British astronomer Herbert Hall Turner, who cabled his American colleagues at Lowell Observatory, where the discovery was made.
2008: Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia, are confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, (third from right) and one of his sisters. After the February Revolution of 1917, Nikolaevich, the son of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his family were sent into internal exile in Siberia. There, he, his parents and his four sisters (Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia) were murdered during the Russian Civil War by order of the Bolshevik government, though rumors that he and other family members had survived persist today.
2007: Actor Tom Poston, best known for his TV work in sitcoms like "The Bob Newhart Show," "Mork & Mindy" and "Newhart" (pictured), dies of respiratory failure at the age of 85 in Los Angeles, California.
1997: ABC airs the "coming out" episode of the sitcom "Ellen." The title character, played by Ellen DeGeneres, admitted she was a lesbian, becoming the first main character of a television show to come out as gay. DeGeneres herself came out on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and in Time magazine shortly before the episode was broadcast.
1994: Children's book author and illustrator Richard Scarry, most famous for his series of books about "Busytown," a fictional town inhabited by an assortment of anthropomorphic animals, dies of a heart attack at age 74 in Gstaad, Switzerland.
1993: Monica Seles (seen here at the 1993 Australian Open) is stabbed by Günter Parche, an obsessed fan of Seles' rival Steffi Graf, during a quarterfinal match of the 1993 Citizen Cup in Hamburg, Germany. Although her physical injuries took only a few weeks to heal, Seles did not return to competitive tennis for more than two years. Parche was charged following the attack, but was not imprisoned after being found to be psychologically abnormal. He was instead sentenced to two years of probation and psychological treatment.
1992: The last episode of the sitcom "The Cosby Show" airs after eight seasons. The show, which starred comedian Bill Cosby as obstetrician Cliff Huxtable, was TV's biggest hit of the 1980s, finishing at No. 1 in the ratings for five straight years starting with the second season and never falling out of the top five except for its final season. The show won six Emmys, three Golden Globes, a Peabody Award and 26 People's Choice Awards.
1989: Italian film director Sergio Leone, mostly associated with the "Spaghetti Western" genre and known for movies such as "A Fistful of Dollars," "For a Few Dollars More," "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "Once Upon a Time in the West," dies of a heart attack at the age of 60 in Rome, Italy.
1985: Model and actress Gal Gadot is born in Rosh HaAyin, Israel. She won Miss Israel in 2004 and is best known for her performances in "The Fast and the Furious" movie franchise as well as for playing Wonder Woman in the upcoming superhero movie "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."
1983: Blues musician, singer-songwriter and bandleader Muddy Waters, considered the "father of modern Chicago blues," dies in his sleep from heart failure at the age of 70 in Westmont, Illinois. Born McKinley Morganfield in Issaquena County, Mississippi, some of his best known songs include "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Make Love to You," "I'm Ready," "Mannish Boy" and "Got My Mojo Working."
1982: Actress Kirsten Dunst, best known for movies such as "Interview with the Vampire," "Bring it On," the "Spider-Man" film trilogy and "Marie Antoinette," is born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
1982: Rock music journalist, author and musician Lester Bangs, who wrote for Creem and Rolling Stone magazines and was known for his leading influence in rock music criticism, dies at the age of 33 in New York City of an accidental overdose of Darvon, Valium, and Nyquil.
1977: At the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, Led Zeppelin plays a show to an audience of 76,229, setting a new record for attendance at a single-act concert. The concert came on what would end up being the band's last North American tour.
1975: Actor Johnny Galecki, best known for his television roles on the sitcoms "Roseanne" and "The Big Bang Theory," is born in Bree, Belgium.
1975: Communist forces gain control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ends with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese President Duong Van Minh. Pictured is one of the tanks that crashed through the gates of the South Vietnamese presidential palace, one of the iconic images of the fall of Saigon.
1973: R&B and hip-hop singer-songwriter Akon, best known for hits such as "Locked Up," "Smack That," "I Wanna Love You" and "Don't Matter," is born Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam in St. Louis, Missouri.
1973: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that top White House aides H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and others have resigned as a result of the Watergate scandal. Nixon also fired White House Counsel John Dean, who went on to testify before the Senate and became the key witness against the president. Both Haldeman and Ehrlichman would eventually be indicted, convicted and sentenced to prison for their roles in the scandal.
1961: Basketball Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas, a 12-time NBA All-Star who won two NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons in a 13-year career, is born in Chicago, Illinois. Thomas also led the University of Indiana to a NCAA Championship in 1981.
1961: K-19, the first Soviet nuclear submarine equipped with nuclear missiles, is commissioned.
1958: The American Association of Retired Persons is founded in Washington, D.C.
1956: Film director Lars von Trier, best known for movies such as "Breaking the Waves," "Dancer in the Dark" and "Dogville," is born in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.
1954: Filmmaker Jane Campion, who in 1994 became the second ever woman nominated for a Best Director Oscar, for "The Piano," is born in Wellington, New Zealand. While Campion did not win the Best Director Oscar, she won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for "The Piano," which was also nominated for Best Picture. Seen here in 2010, Campion has also directed movies such as "The Portrait of a Lady," "Holy Smoke!" and "In the Cut."
1952: Mr. Potato Head becomes the first toy advertised on television. The toy, which went on sale the following day, originally cost 98 cents and contained hands, feet, ears, two mouths, two pairs of eyes, four noses, three hats, eyeglasses, a pipe and eight felt pieces resembling facial hair. The original Mr. Potato Head kit did not come with a potato "body," so parents had to provide their own potato into which children could stick the various pieces. In 1964, a plastic potato body was introduced, replacing the need for a real potato.
1945: With the Soviet army within blocks of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide the day after their marriage. Braun bit into a cyanide capsule while Hitler shot himself. Their bodies were then carried out of their underground bunker and burned. Berlin would officially surrender to the Soviets on May 2.
1943: Pop singer Bobby Vee, best known for hits such as "Rubber Ball," "Take Good Care of My Baby," "Devil or Angel" and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," is born Robert Thomas Velline in Fargo, North Dakota.
1940: Actor Burt Young, best known for his Academy Award-nominated role as Sylvester Stallone's brother-in-law and best friend Paulie in the "Rocky" film series, is born Gerald Tommaso DeLouise in Queens, New York.
1939: The 1939-40 New York World's Fair opens. The fair, which was the second largest American world's fair of all time, exceeded only by St. Louis's Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904, drew more than 44 million people to its future-themed exhibits over its two seasons.
1939: Lou Gehrig plays his last game with the New York Yankees. The game was his 2,130th consecutive major league game, a record that wouldn't be broken until Cal Ripken Jr. did so in September 1995. Gehrig would be diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in June 1939 and pass away on June 2, 1941.
1938: The animated cartoon short "Porky's Hare Hunt" debuts in movie theaters, introducing Happy Rabbit (a prototype of Bugs Bunny).
1926: Actress Cloris Leachman, best known for her television work on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Phyllis," is born in Des Moines, Iowa. Leachman has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards (more than any other performer) and one Daytime Emmy Award. She's appeared in movies such as "Young Frankenstein," "Spanglish" and "The Last Picture Show," for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and also appeared in the TV shows "The Facts of Life," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Raising Hope."
1925: Country singer Johnny Horton, whose best-known songs include "The Battle of New Orleans" and "North to Alaska," is born in Los Angeles, California. He died at age 35 in a Nov. 5, 1960, car crash in Milano, Texas.
1923: Actor Al Lewis, best known for his role as Grandpa Munster on the sitcom "The Munsters," is born Albert Meister in New York City. He died at age 82 on Feb. 3, 2006.
1904: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition opens in St. Louis, Missouri, to mark the centennial of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Informally known as the St. Louis World's Fair, it ran through Dec. 1, 1904.
1900: Railroad engineer Casey Jones dies in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express between Memphis, Tennessee, and Canton, Mississippi. The passenger train collided with a stalled freight train in rainy and foggy conditions, but Jones was hailed as a hero for his attempts to slow the train down before the collision. Jones, who was the lone fatality in the crash, was immortalized in a popular ballad sung by his friend Wallace Saunders.
1885: New York Gov. David B. Hill signs legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, the first state park in the United States, ensuring that Niagara Falls will not be devoted solely to industrial and commercial use.
1883: French painter Édouard Manet, a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism, dies of rheumatism and untreated syphilis at the age of 51 in Paris, France. Some of Manet's masterworks include "The Luncheon on the Grass" and "Olympia."
1877: Alice B. Toklas, the companion to writer Gertrude Stein for nearly 40 years until Stein's death in 1946, is born in San Francisco, California. Toklas and Stein met in Paris in 1907 and hosted parties that attracted expatriate American writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Paul Bowles, Thornton Wilder and Sherwood Anderson, and avant-garde painters, including Picasso, Matisse and Braque. Stein's bestselling memoir, published in 1933, was titled "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas."
1859: Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" is first published in serial form in a literary magazine.
1812: The Territory of Orleans becomes the 18th U.S. state under the name Louisiana.
1803: The United States purchases the Louisiana territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation. The property included all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska and parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Louisiana.
1789: On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected president of the United States.