2008: An earthquake measuring around 8.0 magnitude hits Sichuan, China, killing more than 69,000 people.
2002: Former U.S. PresidentJimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro, becoming the first president of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution. During his visit, Carter delivered a speech to the Cuban public uncensored on national television and radio, calling on America to end its 40-year economic embargo against the country.
2001: Singer and actor Perry Como dies in his sleep at age 88 in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida. During a career spanning more than half a century, Como sold millions of records and became a television pioneer, hosting a weekly musical variety TV show from 1949 until 1963. He won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male, in 1959, won five Emmys in the 1950s and was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1990.
1992: Actor Robert Reed, best known as Mike Brady on the sitcom "The Brady Bunch," dies of colon cancer at age 59 in Pasadena, California. He was also known for his TV roles in "The Defenders," "Rich Man, Poor Man" and "Roots."
1986: Actress Emily VanCamp, best known for her TV roles in "Everwood," "Brothers & Sisters" and "Revenge," is born in Port Perry, Ontario, Canada.
1982: A day before the one-year anniversary of another attempt on his life, Pope John Paul II survives an assassination attempt when security guards stop bayonet-wielding Juan María Fernández y Krohn outside the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal. An ultraconservative Spanish priest opposed to reforms being undertaken at the Vatican, Fernández y Krohn later said he believed the pope had to be killed for being an "agent of Moscow." Fernández y Krohn subsequently left the priesthood and served three years of a six-year sentence.
1978: Actress and model Malin Åkerman, best known for movies such as "27 Dresses," "Watchmen," "Couples Retreat," "Wanderlust" and "Rock of Ages," is born in Stockholm, Sweden. She is also known for her TV roles on "Childrens Hospital," "Suburgatory" and "Trophy Wife."
1978: Actor Jason Biggs, who became famous thanks to his role in the "American Pie" film series, is born in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. Biggs has also appeared in movies such as "Saving Silverman" and "Jersey Girl" and on the TV series "Orange Is the New Black."
1972: The Rolling Stones release the double album "Exile on Main Street." Often ranked on various lists as one of the greatest albums of all time, it featured songs such as "Tumbling Dice," "Shine a Light" and "All Down the Line" and topped both the American and British album charts.
1970: The Senate votes unanimously to confirm Harry A. Blackmun as a Supreme Court justice. Appointed by Republican President Richard Nixon, Blackmun initially was one of the more conservative justices on the court, but ultimately became one of its more liberal justices. He is best known for authoring the court's opinion in Roe v. Wade, invalidating a Texas statute making it a felony to administer an abortion in most circumstances.
1970: Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs becomes the ninth major-leaguer to reach 500 career home runs. He would hit 12 more for a career total of 512 before retiring after the 1971 season.
1969: Actress Kim Fields, best known for her role as Tootie Ramsey on the 1980s sitcom "The Facts of Life," is born in New York City. She is also known for her role on the sitcom "Living Single" from 1993 to 1997.
1968: Tony Hawk, one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding, is born in Carlsbad, California. He is well known for completing the first documented 900, for his licensed video game titles, and for his appearances in movies.
1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience releases its debut album, "Are You Experienced," in the United Kingdom. Widely considered one of the greatest debuts in the history of rock music, the U.K. version omitted the A-sides of the band's first three singles, "Purple Haze," "Hey Joe" and "The Wind Cries Mary," which were included in the American version released on Aug. 23, 1967. Both versions of the album also included the songs "Foxy Lady," "Fire" and "Manic Depression."
1965: The Soviet spacecraft Luna 5, intended to become the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the moon, instead crashes into the lunar surface after its retrorockets fail. It was the second Soviet spacecraft to reach the surface of the moon, following Luna 2 in 1959.
1962: Actor and director Emilio Estevez, best known for movies such as "The Breakfast Club," "St. Elmo's Fire," "Repo Man," "The Mighty Ducks" and "Young Guns," is born in Staten Island, New York.
1959: Actor Ving Rhames, best known for his roles in movies such as "Pulp Fiction," "Out of Sight," "Dawn of the Dead," "Con Air," and the "Mission: Impossible" film series, is born in New York City.
1955: Singer-songwriter Kix Brooks, half of the country duo known as Brooks & Dunn, is born Leon Eric Brooks III in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1950: Actor Bruce Boxleitner, best known for his roles in the movie "Tron" and the TV series "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and "Babylon 5," is born in Elgin, Illinois.
1950: Actor Gabriel Byrne, known for movies such as "The Usual Suspects" and "Miller's Crossing" and the HBO drama "In Treatment," is born in Dublin, Ireland.
1950: Singer-songwriter and guitarist Billy Squier, best known for rock hits like "The Stroke," "Rock Me Tonite," "My Kinda Lover," "Lonely Is the Night" and "Everybody Wants You," is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
1949: The Soviet Union lifts its blockade of Berlin, Germany, after nearly 11 months. The Soviets first blocked the Western Allies' railway, road and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control in June 1948, hoping to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin. Instead, the Western Allies organized the Berlin airlift to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin.
1948: Singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Winwood is born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England. Winwood was a member of the bands Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go and has had solo hits with the songs "Back in the High Life Again," "Higher Love" and "Roll With It." He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.
1941: German inventor and computer pioneer Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic digital computer, in Berlin. Thanks to the machine, Zuse is often considered the inventor of the computer. The original Z3 was destroyed in 1943 during an Allied bombing of Berlin, but a fully functioning replica was built in the 1960s and is on permanent display in the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany.
1937: The Duke and Duchess of York are crowned as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of theUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at a ceremony in Westminster Abbey.
1937: Comedian, actor and author George Carlin is born in Manhattan, New York. A groundbreaking stand-up comic, Carlin was especially known for his irreverent attitude and tackling of taboo subjects. His "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" and "Filthy Words" routines led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that helped establish the extent to which the federal government could regulate speech on broadcast television and radio in the United States. Carlin was also a frequent performer and guest host on "The Tonight Show" during the three-decade Johnny Carson era, hosted the first episode of "Saturday Night Live," filmed 14 HBO specials, and appeared in movies such as "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "The Prince of Tides." He died of heart failure at age 71 on June 22, 2008.
1936: Journalist and talk show host Tom Snyder is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Snyder was best known for his late night talk shows "The Tomorrow Show" on NBC in the 1970s and 1980s, and "The Late Late Show," on CBS in the 1990s. He was also the pioneer anchor of the primetime "NBC News Update," in the 1970s and early 1980s, which was a one-minute capsule of news updates in primetime. He died from complications of leukemia at the age of 71 on July 29, 2007.
1932: Ten weeks after he was abducted, the infant son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, Charles Jr., is found dead in Hopewell, New Jersey, just a few miles from the Lindberghs' home. Bruno Richard Hauptmann was eventually convicted of extortion and murder in the killing and was executed by electric chair in 1936.
1928: Singer-songwriter and composer Burt Bacharach is born in Kansas City, Missouri. A six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, Bacharach is best known for his popular hit songs and compositions from the late 1950s through the 1980s, including "The Story of My Life," "The Look of Love," "Don't Make Me Over," "Walk On By," "Wishin' and Hopin'," "(They Long to Be) Close to You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," "What the World Needs Now Is Love," "What's New, Pussycat?," "This Guy's in Love with You," "That's What Friends Are For," "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" and "Do You Know the Way to San José?"
1926: The Italian-built airship Norge becomes the first verified vessel to fly over the North Pole. Among those on the expedition were polar explorer and expedition leader Roald Amundsen, the airship's designer and pilot Umberto Nobile and American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth.
1925: Baseball Hall of Famer Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is born in St. Louis, Missouri. Berra, who played almost his entire 19-year baseball career for the New York Yankees, is one of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times and is one of seven managers to lead both American and national League teams to the World Series. Widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, he appeared in 21 World Series as either a player, coach or manager. He is also known for his mangled quotes, such as "It ain't over 'til it's over" and "90 percent of the game is half mental."
1907: Actress Katharine Hepburn, a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years, is born in Hartford, Connecticut. She received four Academy Awards for Best Actress -- a record for any performer -- for her performances in "Morning Glory," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "The Lion in Winter" and "On Golden Pond." She received a total of 12 Oscar nominations and is also known for her roles in "The Philadelphia Story," "Woman of the Year," "The African Queen," "Bringing Up Baby," "Adam's Rib" and "Long Day's Journey into Night." She died of cancer at age 96 on June 29, 2003.
1820: Florence Nightingale, a social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing, is born in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a nurse during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. In 1860, she laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London, making it the first secular nursing school in the world.
1780: In the largest defeat for the Continental Army, British Gen. Henry Clinton and his forces capture Charleston, South Carolina, after a siege that had lasted six weeks. The loss of the city and its 5,000 troops was the largest surrender of an American armed force until the 1862 surrender of Union forces at Harper's Ferry during the Antietam Campaign of the Civil War.
While many Central Coast homeowners using solar are saving a significant amount of money on their electrical bills, the increasing popular electrical system may not be the best financial option for everyone.
Santa Barbara says it's going to the ocean to get new water for the city, unless there's a massive amount of rain in the next two months. The report to the Regional Water Quality Control Board was part of a review of the city's proposed reopening of a desalination plant.
Sara Gilbert, who celebrates her 40th birthday on Thursday, grew up in front of TV audiences on "Roseanne." In honor of her birthday, click on to see what she and the rest of her co-stars are up to today.