2012: Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau commits suicide at age 43 by shooting himself in the chest in Oceanside, Calif. Seau, a 10-time All-Pro, 12-time Pro Bowl selection and member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, started for the San Diego Chargers for 13 seasons before spending three years with the Miami Dolphins and then finished his career with four years for the New England Patriots. After his death, studies by the National Institutes of Health concluded that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a type of chronic brain damage that had also been found in other deceased former NFL players.
2012: A pastel version of "The Scream" by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch sells for $120 million in a New York City auction, setting a new world record for an auctioned work of art.
2010: English actress Lynn Redgrave, known for such movies as "Tom Jones," "Georgy Girl," "Shine" and "Gods and Monsters," dies of breast cancer at the age of 67 in Kent, Conn. Redgrave, who's seen here in 2005 and who earned Oscar nominations for "Georgy Girl" and "Gods and Monsters," was a member of the famous British acting family, including her sister, Vanessa Redgrave, and her nieces, Joely Richardson and Natasha Richardson.
2009: Jack Kemp, the former NFL quarterback who was also Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole's running mate in 1996, dies of cancer at the age of 73 in Bethesda, Md. Kemp, who played 10 seasons in the AFL for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills, also represented western New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 1989 and served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush.
2008: Cyclone Nargis makes landfall in Burma, spawning a storm surge, killing more than 138,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless.
2008: The superhero action movie "Iron Man," starring Robert Downey Jr. as the titular hero, premieres in theaters. The movie would prove to be a box office hit, earning more than $300 million in North America alone, and spawning two direct sequels so far. Downey has also reprised the role in a cameo in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" and in the 2012 crossover film "Marvel's The Avengers."
1999: English actor Oliver Reed, best known for his roles in movies such as "Oliver!," "Women in Love," "The Three Musketeers," "Tommy" and "Gladiator" (pictured), dies of a heart attack at the age of 61 in Valletta, Malta. Reed's death came during a break in filming for "Gladiator" and several of his scenes in the eventual Best Picture Oscar-winner had to be completed using computer-generated imagery techniques.
1997: The spy-spoof comedy "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," starring Mike Myers and Elizabeth Hurley, premieres in theaters. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $53 million in the United States, but became a hit on video and spawned two sequels.
1985: Singer-songwriter Lily Allen, best known for songs such as "Smile," "LDN," "Not Fair" and "The Fear," is born in London, England.
1982: The Weather Channel debuts.
1977: Actress Jenna von Oy, best known for her role as Six LeMeure on the sitcom "Blossom," is born in Danbury, Conn.
1975: Soccer star David Beckham, one of the best known soccer players in the world, is born in London, England. Beckham rose to fame playing for Manchester United, debuting at age 17 and ultimately helping the team to six Premier League titles, two FA Cup wins, and the UEFA Champions League title in 1999. He's also played for Real Madrid, the Los Angeles Galaxy and AC Milan and captained the England national team for six years.
1972: J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, dies of a heart attack at the age of 77 in Washington, D.C. Hoover, seen here in 1961, became director of the Bureau of Investigation, the predecessor to the FBI, in 1924, and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death.
1972: Actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who has starred in movies such as "The Scorpion King," "Walking Tall," "The Game Plan," "Fast Five" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," is born in Hayward, Calif. Johnson, who has semi-retired from wrestling, had 17 championship reigns in WWE from 1996 to 2004.
1969: The British ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her maiden voyage to New York City.
1968: The comedy "The Odd Couple," starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, premieres in theaters. The movie, which was adapted by Neil Simon from his play of the same name, was a hit, earning more than $44 million at the box office, making it the fourth highest-grossing picture of 1968. It also inspired a 1970s TV series starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
1957: U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, best known for his accusations of Communist spies and sympathizers inside the federal government and elsewhere in America, dies of hepatitis at the age of 48 in Bethesda, Md. The term "McCarthyism" was originally coined to criticize the actions of McCarthy, who was censured by the U.S. Senate in 1954 following his highly publicized and unsuccessful hearings seeking to substantiate his claims.
1955: Tennessee Williams wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
1954: Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals sets a new major-league record for most home runs in a day when he hits five in a double-header against the New York Giants. He hit three homers in the first game, a 10-6 win for the Cardinals, and two more in the second, a 9-7 loss. The mark was tied by San Diego Padres first baseman Nate Colbert during a double-header on Aug. 1, 1972.
1952: The world's first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1, makes its maiden flight with fare-paying customers, traveling from London to Johannesburg.
1952: Actress Christine Baranski, known for her TV work on the series "Cybill," "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Good Wife," is born in Buffalo, N.Y. Baranski, who has also appeared in movies such as "The Birdcage," "Chicago," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Mamma Mia!," rose to fame as a Broadway actress, winning two Tony Awards, and continues to work on stage in addition to her screen appearances.
1948: Country music singer-songwriter and actor Larry Gatlin, who teamed up with his brothers to become one of country music's most successful acts of the 1970s and 1980s, is born in Seminole, Texas. Some of his biggest hits as Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers include "All the Gold in California" and "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)." He's seen here in 2009.
1946: A riot and standoff begin at Alcatraz Island Federal Penitentiary following an unsuccessful escape attempt. The standoff, known as the "Battle of Alcatraz," would last until May 4 and leave two guards and three inmates dead. Two of the surviving convicts were later executed for their roles.
1946: Singer Lesley Gore, best known for such pop hits as "It's My Party," "Judy's Turn to Cry" and "You Don't Own Me," is born Lesley Sue Goldstein in New York City.
1945: The Soviet Red Army takes Berlin after 12 days of fierce house-to-house fighting. Pictured here are Soviet soldiers hoisting the Soviet flag on the balcony of the Hotel Adlon in Berlin after the battle.
1945: Actress, model and activist Bianca Jagger, who became the first wife of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger in 1971, is born Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias in Managua, Nicaragua.
1939: New York Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig sits out a game for the first time in 14 years, a streak running 2,130 games that began on June 1, 1925. His record of consecutive games played wouldn't be broken until Cal Ripken Jr. did so in September 1995. Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, now commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in June 1939 and died on June 2, 1941.
1936: Pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck, best known for his No. 1 hits "Release Me" and "The Last Waltz," is born Arnold George Dorsey in Madras, British India.
1929: Rock 'n' roll singer-songwriter and guitarist Fred Lincoln "Link" Wray Jr., whose 1958 instrumental hit "Rumble" essentially introduced the power chord to rock music, is born in Dunn, N.C. Wray, who died of heart failure in 2005, has been credited with making both punk and hard rock possible and was named by Rolling Stone as the 45th best guitarist in history.
1920: The first baseball game of the Negro National League is played in Indianapolis. The new league was the first black baseball circuit to achieve stability and last more than one season. The league, which at first operated mainly in Midwestern cities, fell apart in 1931 during the Great Depression. A second Negro National League began play in 1933 and lasted until 1948, the year after Major League Baseball integrated. At that point its surviving teams merged into the Negro American League, which had begun playing in 1937.
1918: General Motors acquires the Chevrolet Motor Company.
1903: Pediatrician and writer Benjamin Spock, whose 1946 book "Baby and Child Care" is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time, is born in New Haven, Conn. He died at age 94 on March 15, 1998.
1885: Good Housekeeping magazine goes on sale for the first time.
1863: Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson is wounded by friendly fire during the Battle of Chancellorsville. He would survive the shooting with the loss of an arm to amputation but succumbed to pneumonia eight days later.
1729: Catherine the Great, the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, is born Sophia Augusta Fredericka in Stettin, Pomerania, Kingdom of Prussia. She came to power as empress following a coup and the assassination of her husband, Peter III, in 1762 and reigned until her death at the age of 67, revitalizing Russia into one of Europe's great powers.
1536: Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England as the second wife of King Henry VIII, is arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft. She would be found guilty on May 15 and beheaded four days later.
1519: Leonardo da Vinci, widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived, dies at the age of 67 in Amboise, France. Leonardo, often described as the archetype of the "Renaissance Man," was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. His most famous paintings include the "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper" and is also known for conceptualizing a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and more technological ideas during his life.
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