Published On: Jun 18 2014 06:11:12 PM CDTUpdated On: Jul 28 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT
2013: Actress Eileen Brennan, best known for her Academy Award-nominated role as Capt. Doreen Lewis in "Private Benjamin," dies of bladder cancer at age 80 in Burbank, California. Brennan also reprised her role in the TV adaptation of "Private Benjamin," winning both a Golden Globe and Emmy for her performance, and appeared in movies such as "The Sting," "The Last Picture Show" and "Clue."
2004: English biologist Francis Crick, who co-discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule in 1953 with James Watson, dies of colon cancer at age 88 in San Diego, California. Crick, Watson and Maurice Wilkins were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries.
2001: Australian Ian Thorpe becomes the first swimmer to win six gold medals at a single World Championships.
1998: Bell Atlantic and GTE announce a $52 billion merger that would eventually form the renamed company Verizon upon Federal Communications Commission approval two years later.
1994: Texas Rangers left-hander Kenny Rogers pitches the 14th perfect game in major league baseball history, beating the California Angels 4-0 at The Ballpark in Arlington.
1991: Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Expos pitches the 13th perfect game in major league baseball history, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Martinez was also the first Latin American-born pitcher to pitch a perfect game in the majors.
1984: The Summer Olympics open at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This was the second time Los Angeles had hosted the games, with the previous time coming in 1932. The games were boycotted by 14 Eastern Bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany, over the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.
1982: The drama "An Officer and a Gentleman," starring Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett Jr., opens in theaters. The movie tells the story of a U.S. Navy aviation officer candidate who comes into conflict with the drill instructor training him and his class. It was widely considered one of the best films of the year and was an enormous box office success, earning nearly $130 million domestically. It was also nominated for six Academy Awards, winning Best Supporting Actor for Gossett and Best Original Song for the No. 1 hit "Up Where We Belong."
1978: The comedy "National Lampoon's Animal House" opens in theaters. The movie, about a misfit group of fraternity members who challenge the dean of Faber College, featured a young ensemble cast including John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Karen Allen and Tom Hulce and was directed by John Landis. A box office hit, it is now considered by many fans and critics as one of the greatest comedy films ever made.
1977: Professional basketball guard Manu Ginobili, who has won four NBA championships since joining the San Antonio Spurs in 2002, is born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is one of only two players, along with Bill Bradley, to have won a Euroleague title, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal.
1976: The Tangshan earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 moment magnitude flattens Tangshan, China. While official figures from the Chinese government listed 242,769 dead and another 164,851 injured, some sources have estimated a death toll up to three times higher. Those numbers would make the quake the deadliest in modern times and the second or third deadliest in recorded history.
1972: Actress Elizabeth Berkley, best known for the TV series "Saved by the Bell" and the movie "Showgirls," is born in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
1964: Actress Lori Loughlin, best known for her TV roles on "Full House," "90210" and "Summerland," is born in Queens, New York.
1954: The crime drama "On the Waterfront" premieres in New York City. The movie was directed by Elia Kazan and stars Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, and, in her film debut, Eva Marie Saint. It received 12 Academy Award nominations, winning eight, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Brando, Best Supporting Actress for Saint, and Best Director for Kazan.
1954: Hugo Chávez, the military officer and politician who was elected president of Venezuela in 1999, is born in Sabaneta, Venezuela. He had served as an army officer before attempting to overthrow the country's government in 1992, for which he served two years in prison. He served as president from his election in 1999 until his death following a long battle with cancer in March 2013.
1948: Actress Sally Struthers, best known for her TV roles on "All in the Family" and "Gilmore GIrls," is born in Portland, Oregon.
1945: Cartoonist Jim Davis, the creator of the "Garfield" comic strip, is born in Marion, Indiana.
1945: A B-25 bomber piloted in thick fog by Lt. Col. William Franklin Smith Jr. crashes into the side of the Empire State Building between the 79th and 80th floors. A total of 14 people, including the entire three-man crew of the bomber, were killed in the accident and the resulting fire.
1943: Basketball player and politician Bill Bradley is born in Crystal City, Missouri. Bradley, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983, led Princeton to the Final Four in 1965, earning Most Outstanding Player honors for his performance. He played 10 years in the NBA for the New York Knicks, winning two NBA championships, and won an Olympic gold medal as part of Team USA in 1964. Bradley, who also attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, served three terms in the U.S. Senate and mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2000.
1943: In what was codenamed Operation Gomorrah, the British bomb Hamburg, Germany, causing a firestorm that kills 42,000 German civilians and practically destroys the entire city.
1935: The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress flies for the first time. The four-engine heavy bomber aircraft was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II.
1932: U.S. President Herbert Hoover orders the Army to forcibly evict the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans from Washington, D.C., after an earlier police effort was met with resistance and led to the police shooting of two veterans. With many veterans out of work since the beginning of the Great Depression, the Bonus Army was seeking the immediate payment of military bonuses promised to be paid in 1945 while the Senate was deliberating a bill further delaying payment. Even after the Senate proposal was defeated, the veterans remained in their camp, pressing for action from Hoover.
1929: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the U.S. first lady from 1961 until 1963 as the wife of President John F. Kennedy, is born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Southampton, New York. Five years after President Kennedy's assassination, she married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and they remained married until his death in 1975. A fashion icon also known for her contributions to the arts and preservation of historic architecture, she had a career as a book editor during the last two decades of her life before her death on May 19, 1994.
1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia after Serbia fails to agree to all of the conditions in an ultimatum following the June 28 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (pictured). The declaration of war set off a series of events that led to World War I.
1901: Singer, actor and saxophonist Rudy Vallée, one of the first modern teen idol pop stars, is born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont. The most popular of "crooner" singers, he often sang through a megaphone and became a movie star in the 1930s and '40s, appearing in movies such as "The Palm Beach Story," "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer," "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." He died of cancer at age 84 on July 3, 1986.
1900: Louis Lassen of Louis' Lunch, a small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, sells the first hamburger in the U.S., frying up a patty made of ground beef trimmings after finding he was out of steaks and serving it between two pieces of toast.
1876: Joe Borden of the National Association team Philadelphia White Stockings pitches the first recorded no-hitter in professional baseball history, beating the Chicago White Stockings.
1866: Author, illustrator and natural scientist Beatrix Potter, best known for her imaginative children's books including "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," is born in London, England.
1854: The USS Constellation, the last all-sail warship built by the U.S. Navy, is commissioned. The ship was decommissioned in February 1955 and today is a museum ship harbored in Baltimore as the last existing intact naval vessel from the American Civil War.
1750: Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the main composers of the Baroque period who is also considered one of the greatest composers of all time, dies at age 65 in Leipzig, Germany. Modern historians speculate that the cause of death was a stroke complicated by pneumonia.
1741: Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi dies at age 63 in Vienna, Austria. Vivaldi, who was also a Catholic priest and virtuoso violinist, is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and more than 40 operas. His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as "The Four Seasons."
1655: Cyrano de Bergerac, the French soldier and writer who served as the inspiration for French poet Edmond Rostand's play bearing his name, dies at age 36 in Sannois, France, from injuries suffered more than a year earlier in what was either an accident or a botched assassination attempt.
1540: On the same day he marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard (left), Henry VIII of England has his chief minister, Thomas Cromwell (right), executed on charges of treason. Cromwell had fallen from power thanks after arranging Henry's fourth marriage, to German princess Anne of Cleves, which ended in annulment after just six months.