Published On: Aug 19 2012 02:46:11 AM CDTUpdated On: Aug 20 2016 01:00:00 AM CDT
2013: Author Elmore Leonard, best known for his westerns and crime novels, several of which have been turned into movies and TV shows, dies at age 87 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, of complications from a stroke suffered three weeks earlier. Among his most well-known books are "Get Shorty," "Out of Sight," "3:10 to Yuma," "Rum Punch" (the basis for Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown") and "Pronto," which introduced the character of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, the central figure in the FX television series "Justified."
2012: Comedian/actress Phyllis Diller dies at the age of 95 in Los Angeles. Diller's career as a stand-up comic, which she started at age 37, skyrocketed in the 1960s, partly because of her many appearances with Bob Hope on his television specials, USO tours and three movies. She became a pop culture icon for her disparaging jokes about her looks, her cooking and her fictitious husband "Fang." She wore a blonde fright wig, held a long cigarette holder as a prop and laughed with a loud cackle.
2008: Gene Upshaw, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the executive director of the National Football League Players' Association, dies of pancreatic cancer at age 63 in Lake Tahoe, California. Upshaw, who won two Super Bowl titles in his 15 seasons as a guard for the Oakland Raiders, had served as executive director of the NFLPA since 1983. During his tenure, he oversaw a player strike, several antitrust lawsuits, and the collective bargaining agreement of 1993.
2007: Leona Helmsley dies from congestive heart failure at age 87 in Greenwich, Connecticut. The hotel operator and real estate investor was known for her flamboyant personality and tyrannical behavior -- earning her the nickname "Queen of Mean" -- and was convicted of federal income tax evasion in 1989.
1998: The United States launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan (pictured) in retaliation for the Aug. 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
1992: Actress and singer Demi Lovato, whose hit songs include "Here We Go Again," "Skyscraper," "Give Your Heart a Break" and "Heart Attack," is born in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1988: Firefighting continues in Yellowstone National Park, with the wildfires burning so much ground and producing such thick black smoke that the day is labeled "Black Saturday." The fires were part of a series of nearly 250 wildfires that burned through the park starting in June. On Sept. 8, 1988, the entire park was closed to all non-emergency personnel for the first time in its history.
1986: In Edmond, Oklahoma, U.S. Postal employee Patrick Sherrill shoots 20 of his co-workers, killing 14 of them, and then commits suicide. The incident is credited with inspiring the American phrase "going postal." Pictured here is a memorial at the site of the shooting.
1979: Bob Dylan releases the album "Slow Train Coming," his first since becoming a born-again Christian. While the religious-themed album divided his fans, it sold sell, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and generated the Grammy-winning single "Gotta Serve Somebody," Dylan's first hit in three years.
1977: NASA launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space.
1975: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars. It eventually became the first spacecraft to successfully land on Mars and perform its mission, and held the record for the longest Mars surface mission of six years and 116 days until that record was broken by the Opportunity Rover on May 19, 2010.
1974: Actress Amy Adams, best known for movies like "Enchanted," "The Fighter," "The Muppets," "Man of Steel" and "American Hustle," is born in Vicenza, Italy. Adams has earned Oscar nominations for her roles in "Junebug," "Doubt," "The Fighter," "The Master" and "American Hustle," and won Golden Globes for her performances in "American Hustle" and "Big Eyes."
1973: The Rolling Stones release "Angie." The song would go right to the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and reach No. 5 on the UK singles chart.
1970: Fred Durst, best known as the singer-songwriter for heavy metal band Limp Bizkit, is born in Gastonia, North Carolina. He's also worked as a film director, first in 2007 with the independent film "The Education of Charlie Banks" and again in 2008 with the Ice Cube-starring "The Longshots."
1958: Film director and screenwriter David O. Russell, best known for movies such as "Three Kings," "I Heart Huckabees," "The Fighter," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle," is born in New York City. Russell received Academy Award nominations for directing "The Fighter," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle" and was also nominated for Oscars for the latter two's screenplays.
1956: Actress Joan Allen, best known for movies such as "Nixon," "The Ice Storm," "Pleasantville" and "The Bourne Supremacy," is born in Rochelle, Illinois. Allen has earned Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for "Nixon" and "The Crucible," and for Best Actress for "The Contender" (pictured).
1954: Weatherman, actor and author Al Roker, best known for being the weather anchor on NBC's "Today" show, is born in Queens, New York.
1948: Actor John Noble, best known for playing Dr. Walter Bishop on the TV series "Fringe," is born in Port Pirie, Australia.
1948: Robert Plant, best known as the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, is born in West Bromwich, England.
1946: Connie Chung, the journalist who has been an anchor and reporter for the news networks NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC, is born in Washington, D.C.
1945: Tommy Brown of the Brooklyn Dodgers becomes the youngest player to hit a home run in a major-league baseball game. Brown was 17 years, eight months and 14 days old at the time.
1942: Singer-songwriter and actor Isaac Hayes ("Theme from Shaft," "South Park") is born in Covington, Tennessee. Hayes is seen here performing at the International Amphitheater in Chicago at the 1973 PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) Black Expo. He died from a stroke at age 65 on Aug. 10, 2008.
1940: In Mexico City, exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded with an ice axe by Spanish-born Soviet agent Ramón Mercader on the orders of Joseph Stalin. He would die the next day.
1940: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill makes the fourth of his famous wartime speeches, containing the line "Never was so much owed by so many to so few."
1938: Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees hits his 23rd career grand slam, setting a major-leage baseball record that still stands today. However, fellow Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez tied the mark on June 12, 2012.
1931: Boxing promoter Don King is born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1923: Country singer Jim Reeves is born in Galloway, Texas. Some of Reeves' best known hits include "Four Walls," "He'll Have to Go," "Billy Bayou" and "Welcome to My World." He died on July 31, 1964, at age 40 when his single-engine Beechcraft airplane crashed near Nashville, Tennessee.
1920: The National Football League is founded at a car dealership in Canton, Ohio. It was originally called the American Professional Football Conference and featured teams from the Ohio League.
1914: Pope Pius X, the head of the Catholic Church since Aug. 4, 1903, dies of a heart attack at age 79 in Vatican City. Born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto in Riese, Italy (then the Austrian Empire), Pius was known for promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox theology, rejecting more modern interpretations of Catholic doctrine. He also was the first to publish the Code of Canon Law, which collected the laws of the church into one volume for the first time. After his death, he became the first pope since Pius V, who was pope in the mid-1500s, to be canonized as a saint.
1912: William Booth, the preacher who founded The Salvation Army in 1865, dies at age 83 in London, England.
1890: H. P. Lovecraft, the author of horror, fantasy and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction, is born in Providence, Rhode Island. Lovecraft, seen here in 1915, is best known for his "Cthulhu Mythos" story cycle and the "Necronomicon," a fictional magical textbook of rites and forbidden lore.
1882: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" debuts in Moscow. The song is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes, and brass fanfare finale.
1866: President Andrew Johnson formally declares the American Civil War over. The fighting had stopped months earlier.
1858: Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution through natural selection in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace's same theory.
1833: Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States, is born in North Bend, Ohio.