2011: Saxophonist Clarence Clemons, best known for being a part of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band for nearly 40 years, dies at age 69 in West Palm Beach, Florida, of complications from a stroke he suffered six days earlier. Clemons, who was nicknamed "The Big Man" because of his imposing presence at 6 feet 4 inches and well over 200 pounds, also released several solo albums and appeared as a guest musician with other performers and bands. He also appeared as an actor in several films, including "New York, New York" and "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and made cameo appearances in several TV series, including "Diff'rent Strokes," "Nash Bridges," "The Simpsons" and "The Wire."
2010: The Disney/Pixar animated film "Toy Story 3" opens in theaters. The movie, the third in a series of films, focuses on the toys Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and their friends dealing with an uncertain future as their owner, Andy, prepares to leave for college. The film earned more than $1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing movie of 2010 and the first animated movie to break the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. It was also nominated for five Academy Awards, becoming the third animated film (after "Beauty and the Beast" and "Up") to be nominated for Best Picture. It won two Oscars, for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.
2009: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a NASA robotic spacecraft, is launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The LRO mission, which is a precursor to future potential manned missions to the moon, is using a detailed mapping program to identify safe landing sites and locate potential resources on the moon.
2007: A fire at the the Charleston Sofa Super Store in Charleston, South Carolina, causes the entire structure to collapse, killing nine firefighters. It was the greatest single loss of firefighters in the United States since 343 firefighters were lost in the collapse of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks of Sept.11, 2001.
2003: Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Larry Doby, who became the first black baseball player in the American League when he signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians in July 1947, dies of cancer at the age of 79 in Montclair, New Jersey. Doby's historic signing came just 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson had broken Major League Baseball's color barrier with the National League's Brooklyn Dodgers. A seven-time consecutive All-Star center fielder, Doby and teammate Satchel Paige became the first black players to win a World Series championship when the Indians won in 1948.
2002: Sportscaster Jack Buck, best known for his work announcing Major League Baseball games of the St. Louis Cardinals for nearly 50 years, dies from a combination of illnesses at the age of 77 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was in the hospital to undergo treatment for lung cancer and Parkinson's disease and to correct an intestinal blockage at the time of his death. Besides his work with the Cardinals, Buck also worked on many national sportscasts, including radio coverage of 18 Super Bowls and 11 World Series, earning recognition from numerous Halls of Fame, such as the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame. Some of Buck's famous play-by-play calls include Kirk's Gibson 1988 World Series Game 1 home run, Ozzie Smith's 1985 NLCS home run, and Kirby Puckett's walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series.
1996: Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, is indicted on 10 criminal counts in connection with the bombing spree that killed three and injured 23 over 17 years. He would eventually plead guilty to all charges, agreeing to life in prison without parole in order to avoid the death penalty.
1983: Astronaut Sally Ride rides the space shuttle Challenger into orbit, becoming the first American woman in space.
1982: American author John Cheever, best known for his short stories, including "The Enormous Radio," "The Five-Forty-Eight" and "The Swimmer," dies of cancer at the age of 70 in Ossining, New York. A compilation of his short stories, "The Stories of John Cheever," won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
1981: The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the first operational aircraft initially designed around stealth technology, makes its first flight. The F-117, which was commonly referred to as the "Stealth Fighter" despite being strictly a ground-attack aircraft, was used by the U.S. Air Force in the Persian Gulf War and in Yugoslavia.
1976: Country music singer-songwriter Blake Shelton, whose No. 1 country hits include "Austin," "The Baby," "Some Beach," "Hillbilly Bone," "Honey Bee" and "Sure Be Cool If You Did," is born in Ada, Oklahoma. He is also known as one of the judges on the singing competition show "The Voice."
1969: The western "The Wild Bunch," starring William Holden, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson and Warren Oates, and directed by Sam Peckinpah, premieres in theaters. The movie, which focuses on an aging group of outlaws looking for one last big score as the traditional American West is disappearing around them, became controversial for its graphic violence. Peckinpah earned a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for his work and the film also received Oscar nominations for its screenplay and score.
1963: Elvis Presley releases the song "(You're the) Devil in Disguise." The song peaked at No. 3 in the U.S. on the Billboard singles chart and No. 9 on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues singles chart, becoming his last top 10 single on the Rhythm and Blues chart.
1963: Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith, who holds the NFL career record for quarterback sacks with 200, is born in Norfolk, Virginia. Smith, who played college football at Virginia Tech and is also an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame, played in the NFL for Buffalo and Washington and was a member of the Bills teams that played in four consecutive Super Bowls as AFC champions in the early 1990s. He's seen here at the 2009 Pro Bowl.
1959: Actress Ethel Barrymore, a highly regarded stage actress in New York City and a major Broadway performer, dies of cardiovascular disease at the age of 79 in Hollywood, California. Barrymore was a member of the Barrymore family of actors, being the sister of actors John Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore and the grand-aunt of actress Drew Barrymore. Barrymore won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1944 film "None but the Lonely Heart" opposite Cary Grant and also appeared in movies such as "The Spiral Staircase," "The Paradine Case" and "Portrait of Jennie."
1952: Actress Carol Kane, best known for movies such as "Hester Street," "Annie Hall," "The Princess Bride" and "Scrooged," and the sitcom "Taxi," is born in Cleveland, Ohio. Kane earned an Academy Award nomination for 1975's "Hester Street" and won two Emmys for playing the wife of the "Taxi" character played by Andy Kaufman.
1952: Actress Isabella Rossellini, best known for movies such as "Blue Velvet," "White Nights," "Wild at Heart" and "Death Becomes Her," is born in Rome, Italy.
1942: Movie critic Roger Ebert, the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, is born in Urbana, Illinois. Ebert was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his April 4, 2013, death after a recurrence of cancer. He, along with Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel, helped popularize nationally televised film reviewing when they co-hosted the PBS show "Sneak Previews" from 1975 through 1982, followed by several variously named "At the Movies" programs.
1942: Paul McCartney, who gained worldwide fame as a member of The Beatles, is born James Paul McCartney in Liverpool, England. After The Beatles broke up, he pursued a solo career and later formed the band Wings. He is one of the most successful songwriters and recording artists of all time, and his collaboration with John Lennon is one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.
1939: Hall of Fame left fielder Lou Brock, best known for breaking Ty Cobb's all-time major league stolen base record with 938 stolen bases, is born in El Dorado, Arkansas. Brock, a six-time All-Star who won two World Series championships with the St. Louis Cardinals, hit for a .293 career batting average and collected 3,023 hits.
1928: Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who led the Antarctic expedition that discovered the South Pole in December 1911 and he was the first expedition leader to undisputedly reach the North Pole in 1926, disappears over the Barents Sea in the Arctic while flying on a rescue mission. Amundsen, who was 55 when he was disappeared, was never found.
1928: Aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean, accompanying pilot Wilmer Stultz and copilot/mechanic Louis Gordon. The flight departed Trepassey Harbor, Newfoundland, and landed at Burry Port, Wales, United Kingdom, exactly 20 hours and 40 minutes later. She was nominally a passenger, but with the added duty of keeping the flight log.
1924: Hall of Fame basketball center George Mikan, one of basketball's pioneering big men, is born in Joliet, Illinois. Mikan, who played with the Chicago American Gears and Minneapolis Lakers, won seven championships and led three different professional leagues in scoring. He played college basketball at DePaul University, seen here wearing No. 99, where his dominating play led to an NIT title in 1945 and an NCAA rule prohibiting goaltending.
1886: Mountaineer George Mallory, who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s, is born in Mobberley, Cheshire, England. Mallory disappeared in 1924 during an attempt to make the first ascent of Everest, with his body found 75 years later.
1873: Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election. True to her word in court, where she declared, "I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty," she never paid the fine for the rest of her life.
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte is defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time. Napoleon was exiled to Saint Helena, where he died in 1821.
1812: The U.S. Congress declares war on the United Kingdom, beginning the War of 1812. This was the first time that the United States had declared war on another nation.
1778: During the American Revolutionary War, British Gen. Henry Clinton evacuates Philadelphia in order to reinforce New York City. Shadowing Clinton's forces, Gen. George Washington harried the British army all the way across New Jersey, and successfully forced a battle at Monmouth Court House 10 days later that was one of the largest battles of the war.
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