Published On: Jul 15 2014 05:59:54 PM CDTUpdated On: Aug 04 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT
2012: South Africa's Oscar Pistorius becomes the first double amputee to compete at the Olympic Games, and the first the first amputee to compete in an Olympic track event, running in the 400 meters. He took second place in the first heat of five runners, finishing with a time of 45.44 seconds to reach the semifinals the following day, where he finished last in his heat and 23rd overall. Pistorius also competed as part of South Africa's 4x400 meters relay team, which eventually finished eighth out of a field of nine in the final for the event. Pistorius, who was born without fibulas and had his lower legs amputated when he was 11 months old, runs on carbon-fiber blades.
2007: Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants ties Hank Aaron's record of 755 career home runs, connecting off Clay Hensley of the San Diego Padres for a 382-foot homer. He would break the record three days later.
1999: Actor Victor Mature, best known for movies such as "My Darling Clementine," "The Robe" and "Samson and Delilah," dies of leukemia at age 86 in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
1997: Jeanne Calment, the French supercentenarian who had the longest confirmed human lifespan on record, dies at the age of 122 years and 164 days. Calment is seen here at the age of 20 in 1895.
1995: The movie "Babe," which tells the story of a pig who wants to be a sheepdog, opens in theaters. The movie was a surprise box office blockbuster, earning $254 million worldwide, and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Chris Noonan, Best Supporting Actor for James Cromwell and Best Adapted Screenplay, ultimately winning for Best Visual Effects. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
1993: A federal judge sentences Los Angeles Police Department officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 32 months in prison for violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King (pictured). Two other officers, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno, had been acquitted when the verdicts were read on April 17, 1993.
1987: The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine, which had required radio and television broadcasters to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the view of the FCC, honest, equitable and balanced.
1985: Tom Seaver of the Chicago White Sox and Rod Carew of the California Angels reach major-league baseball milestones on the same day. Seaver pitched a complete game against the New York Yankees for the 300th victory of his career while Carew reached the 3,000th hit club with a single off Minnesota Twins left-hander Frank Viola.
1984: Prince's "Purple Rain" album reaches No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, a position it would hold for 24 straight weeks.
1983: New York Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield accidentally hits and kills a seagull during warm-up tosses between innings during a road game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Winfield was arrested after the game for "causing unnecessary suffering to an animal," although the charge was dropped the next day.
1981: Actor Melvyn Douglas, best known for his Academy Award-winning performances in 1963's "Hud" and 1979's "Being There," dies of pneumonia and cardiac complications at age 80 in New York City. Douglas also starred in movies such as "Ninotchka" (as pictured here with Greta Garbo), "I Never Sang for My Father" and "The Candidate."
1977: President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.
1972: The blaxploitation movie "Super Fly," featuring a score by Curtis Mayfield and his famous title song, is released.
1971: NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, a four-time Sprint Cup champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner, is born in Vallejo, California.
1968: Actor Daniel Dae Kim, best known for his TV work on "Lost" and "Hawaii Five-0" (pictured), is born in Busan, South Korea.
1965: Author Dennis Lehane is born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is best known for his books "Mystic River," "Gone, Baby, Gone" and "Shutter Island," all of which have been adapted into films.
1964: The Kinks release "You Really Got Me" in the United Kingdom. The song would reach No. 1 on the UK singles chart the next month and become the group's breakthrough hit, climbing to No. 7 in America after its Aug. 26 release in the U.S.
1964: Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found dead near Philadelphia, Mississippi, after disappearing on June 21. The three had been working on the "Freedom Summer" campaign, attempting to register black voters. While state authorities refused to prosecute, the federal government charged 18 people in connection with the deaths, but was only able to secure convictions for seven of them, each of them receiving sentences ranging from three to 10 years. Four decades later, former Ku Klux Klan organizer Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of three counts of manslaughter in the deaths and sentenced to 60 years in prison. The case, which was dramatized in the 1988 movie "Mississippi Burning," helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
1962: Roger Clemens, one of the most dominant pitchers in major league history, is born in Dayton, Ohio. He compiled totals of 354 wins, a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts in 24-season career that saw him play for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Houston Astros. He won seven Cy Young Awards, the most of any pitcher in MLB history, and was an 11-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion. He also won the American League MVP in 1986, won the pitching triple crown in 1997 and 1998, and led the AL in wins four times and in strikeouts five times.
1961: Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, is born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
1958: Billboard magazine combines its five separate sales, jukebox and DJ charts to make one main chart known as the "Billboard Hot 100." The first No. 1 song listed on the chart was Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool."
1955: Actor and filmmaker Billy Bob Thornton is born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Thornton rose to fame by writing, directing and starring in 1996's "Sling Blade," receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and winning for Best Adapted Screenplay. He's since earned another Oscar nomination for 1998's "A Simple Plan" and has starred in movies such as "Armageddon," "Primary Colors," "Monster's Ball," "The Man Who Wasn't There," "Bad Santa" and "Friday Night Lights." He's seen here in the 2014 TV anthology series "Fargo," for which he received an Emmy nomination.
1949: Pro Football Hall of Fame running back John Riggins is born in Centralia, Kansas. Riggins won a championship with Washington in Super Bowl XVII, also earning MVP honors in the 1983 game by carrying the ball 38 times for 166 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown. Riggins, who also played for the New York Jets, also won NFL MVP honors in 1983 and led the league in rushing touchdowns twice. He retired after the 1985 NFL season with career totals of 11,352 rushing yards and 104 touchdowns.
1944: Actor and comedian Richard Belzer, best known for his role as John Munch on the TV series "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," is born in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
1944: Acting on a tip from a Dutch informer, Gestapo agents storm a sealed-off annex in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Anne Frank, her family and four others. Anne, her mother and her sister would all die in concentration camps and she would become famous for her posthumously published diary. Pictured is a memorial to her and her sister Margot at the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, where both girls died due to typhus.
1921: Hockey Hall of Famer Maurice "The Rocket" Richard, who won eight Stanley Cup championships with the Montreal Canadiens, is born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Richard played for the Canadiens from 1942 to 1960 and was the most prolific goal-scorer of his era. He was the first NHL player to score 50 goals in one season and the first to score 500 goals in a career. He finished his career with 544 goals in the regular season, with 82 in the playoffs, and led the league in goals five times. He also amassed 421 assists for a total of 965 points in 978 games and retired as the NHL's all-time leading scorer. Richard died of lung failure at age 78 on May 27, 2000.
1920: Journalist and author Helen Thomas, the longest-serving White House journalist who covered 10 presidents over nearly half a century, is born in Winchester, Kentucky. Thomas began covering the White House for United Press International when John F. Kennedy became president in 1961 and was a fixture there until her retirement in 2010. She died at age 92 on July 20, 2013.
1901: Legendary jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. With his inventive playing, distinctive gravelly voice and skill at scat singing, he became a foundational influence in jazz. Among his most famous songs were "Jeepers Creepers," "What a Wonderful World," "Ain't Misbehavin'," "When The Saints Go Marching In" and "Hello, Dolly!" He died at age 69 on July 6, 1971.
1900: Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, the eventual wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, is born, most likely in London, England. She was queen consort of the United Kingdom from her husband's accession to the throne in 1936 until his death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in order to avoid confusion with her daughter. She died at age 101 on March 30, 2002.
1892: Lizzie Borden's father and stepmother are killed with a hatchet in their Fall River, Massachusetts, home. Despite the famous rhyme accusing Borden of giving "her mother 40 whacks," she was eventually acquitted of murdering them.
1875: Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, best remembered for his fairy tales, including "The Princess and the Pea," "Thumbelina," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Emperor's New Clothes," dies of liver cancer at age 70 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1855: John Bartlett privately publishes the first edition of his "Familiar Quotations."
1821: Louis Vuitton, the founder of the Louis Vuitton brand of leather goods, is born in Anchay, France. Vuitton began manufacturing trunks in Paris in 1854, and the company he started went on to become one of the world's most famous makers of luxury goods.
1792: Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley is born in Sussex, England. The author of such poem as "Ozymandias," "Ode to the West Wind," "To a Skylark," "Music, When Soft Voices Die," "The Cloud" and "The Masque of Anarchy," Shelley did not find fame during his lifetime, but recognition for his poetry grew steadily following his drowning death at age 29 in July 1822. His second wife, Mary Shelley, was famous herself as the author of "Frankenstein."
Benjamin Franklin dies, Daffy Duck makes his debut, the Bay of Pigs invasion begins, the ill-fated Apollo 13 returns to Earth, and two Los Angeles police officers are convicted in the Rodney King beating, all on this day.