Published On: Oct 15 2012 04:58:21 PM CDTUpdated On: Oct 17 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT
2008: Singer and actor Levi Stubbs, best known as the lead vocalist of the Motown R&B group the Four Tops, dies at age 72 in Detroit, Michigan, after a long series of illnesses, including cancer and a stroke. Stubbs was also known for providing the voice of the alien plant Audrey II in the 1986 musical horror film "Little Shop of Horrors."
2007: Entertainer Joey Bishop, a member of the "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin, dies of heart failure at age 89 in Newport Beach, California.
2005: "The Colbert Report," hosted by Stephen Colbert, premieres on Comedy Central.
2003: The pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, allowing it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 184 feet and become the world's tallest highrise. It would officially rank as the world's tallest building until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010.
2000: Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche earns his 448th victory as a goalie in the NHL, passing Terry Sawchuck to become the record holder for career victories. He would end up with 551 career regular season wins by the time he retired, a record that would stand until broken by Martin Brodeur on March 17, 2009.
1991: Singer and actor Tennessee Ernie Ford, best remembered for his hit recording of "Sixteen Tons," dies of liver failure at age 72 in Reston, Virginia. He also recorded the No. 1 country hits "Mule Train" and "The Shotgun Boogie" and hosted his own prime-time variety show in the 1960s.
1990: The Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) is created.
1989: The Loma Prieta earthquake (6.9 on the Richter scale) hits the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 63 people throughout northern California, injuring 3,757 and leaving some 3,000 people homeless. The earthquake occurred during warm-ups for the third game of the 1989 World Series, featuring both of the Bay Area's Major League Baseball teams, the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. Because of game-related television coverage, this was the first major earthquake in the United States to have its initial jolt broadcast live on television.
1988: The Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup comprised of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty, release their first single, "Handle With Care." The song would end up being the last release for group member Roy Orbison prior to his death on Dec. 6, 1988.
1987: U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan undergoes a modified radical mastectomy at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland after being diagnosed earlier in the month with breast cancer.
1987: The first indoor World Series game is held, as the Minnesota Twins host the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.
1986: Reinhold Messner (seen here in 2009) becomes the first mountain climber to ascend all 14 "eight-thousanders" (peaks more than 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) above sea level) after reaching the peak of Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain on Earth, on the border of Tibet and Nepal.
1979: Mother Teresa wins the Nobel Peace Prize "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace." She would refuse the conventional ceremonial banquet given to laureates, and ask that the $192,000 in prize money be given to the poor in India.
1973: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) begins an oil embargo against several countries including the U.S. and Great Britain. The incident stemmed from Western support of Israel when Egypt and Syria attacked the nation on Oct. 6, 1973. The embargo would last until March 1974, during which government price controls and gas rationing in the U.S. commonly led to long lines at gas stations.
1972: Rapper and actor Eminem, who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and won an Oscar for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself" from the movie "8 Mile," is born under the birth name Marshall Bruce Mathers III in Saint Joseph, Missouri.
1969: Professional golfer Ernie Els, a former world No. 1 player with four major championships to his name, is born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and in 1997 and The Open Championship in 2002 and in 2012, making him one of six golfers to twice win both of those majors.
1969: Singer Wyclef Jean, known for his solo work as well as for being a member of The Fugees, is born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti.
1968: The action movie "Bullitt," starring Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset, premieres in theaters. The movie grossed more than $42.3 million in the United States, making it the fifth highest grossing film of 1968.
1965: The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair closes after a two-year run in the borough of Queens. More than 51 million people had attended the event. The fair is best remembered as a showcase of mid-20th-century American culture and technology.
1963: Comedian and actor Norm Macdonald, best known for his stint on "Saturday Night Live," is born in Quebec City, Canada.
1962: Cartoonist, filmmaker and voice actor Mike Judge, best known as the creator of "Beavis and Butt-head" and "King of the Hill" and as the director of "Office Space," is born in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
1960: Theater and film director and choreographer Rob Marshall, best known for directing the 2002 Best Picture Oscar winner "Chicago," is born in Madison, Wisconsin. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for "Chicago" and has also directed the movies "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Nine" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." He has also been nominated for six Tony Awards for his work on Broadway.
1958: Country singer-songwriter Alan Jackson, a two-time Grammy winner who has recorded 35 No. 1 country hits, is born in Newnan, Georgia.
1957: The Elvis Presley movie "Jailhouse Rock" has its premiere in Memphis, Tennessee.
1956: Donald Byrne, 26, and Bobby Fischer, 13, play a famous chess game called "The Game of the Century," with Fischer beating Byrne.
1948: Actress Margot Kidder, best known for her role as Lois Lane in four "Superman" movies opposite Christopher Reeve, is born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.
1948: Actor George Wendt, best known for his role of Norm Peterson on the TV sitcom "Cheers," is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1947: Actor Michael McKean, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Leonard "Lenny" Kosnowski on the sitcom "Laverne & Shirley" and as David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap, is born in New York City. McKean is also known for appearing in the ensemble movies of his "This is Spinal Tap" co-star Christopher Guest, including "Best in Show" (pictured), "A Mighty Wind" and "For Your Consideration."
1939: The drama "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," starring Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur and directed by Frank Capra, premieres in Washington, D.C. The movie would prove to be a box office success and turn Stewart into a movie star. It would also earn 11 Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Original Story.
1938: Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s, is born under the birth name Robert Craig Knievel in Butte, Montana. In his career he attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980, and, in 1974, a failed jump across Snake River Canyon in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket. The 35 broken bones he suffered during his career earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of "most bones broken in a lifetime." Seen here signing an autograph for a fan in 2001, he died of pulmonary disease at age 69 on Nov. 30, 2007.
1931: Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion. He would be sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, at the time the longest tax evasion sentence ever given, along with heavy fines, and liens were filed against his various properties.
1930: Robert Atkins, the physician and cardiologist who created the Atkins diet, is born in Columbus, Ohio. He died on April 17, 2003, at age 72, nine days after slipping on icy pavement in New York City and suffering severe head trauma.
1920: Actor Montgomery Clift, known for roles in movies such as "The Search," "Red River," "A Place in the Sun," "From Here to Eternity" and "Judgment at Nuremberg," is born in Omaha, Nebraska. He died of a heart attack at age 45 on July 23, 1966.
1918: Actress and dancer Rita Hayworth, best known for her roles in movies such as "Cover Girl," "Gilda" and "Only Angels Have Wings," is born under the birth name Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn, New York. She died of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 68 on May 14, 1987.
1915: Playwright Arthur Miller, whose plays include "All My Sons," "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible," is born in Harlem, New York City. He died of heart failure at age 89 on Feb. 10, 2005.
1914: Writer Jerry Siegel, the co-creator of the DC Comics character Superman (along with artist Joe Shuster), first published in "Action Comics #1" in June 1938, is born in Cleveland, Ohio. Siegel and Shuster sold all rights to the character to DC Comics for $130 in March 1938 and fought a number of legal battles over ownership of the superhero the rest of their lives, eventually gaining recognition for their roles in creating him.
1912: Albino Luciani, who would go on to become Pope John Paul I in 1978, is born in Forno di Canale (now Canale d'Agordo) in Belluno, a province of the Veneto region in Northern Italy. He died of an apparent heart attack just 33 days into his term as pope, making his reign among the shortest in papal history.
1907: Guglielmo Marconi's company begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Clifden, Ireland.
1902: Actress Irene Ryan, best known for playing Daisy "Granny" Moses on the sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," is born Irene Noblett in El Paso, Texas. Ryan was also one of the few entertainers who found success in vaudeville, radio, film, television and Broadway. She died of a stroke at the age of 70 on April 26, 1973.
1900: Actress Jean Arthur, best known for her roles in the Frank Capra films "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," "You Can't Take It With You" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and for her role as the rancher's wife in the Western "Shane," is born Gladys Georgianna Greene in Plattsburgh, New York. Arthur also was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1944 for her performance in "The More the Merrier." She died of heart failure at age 90 on June 19, 1991.
1888: The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is released at newsstands.
1860: The Open Championship, now known as the British Open, is held for the first time, at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. The inaugural tournament was restricted to professionals and attracted a field of eight golfers who played three rounds of 12 holes each in a single day. Scottish golfer Willie Park Sr. won with a score of 174, beating the favorite, fellow Scot Old Tom Morris, by two strokes. The tournament is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf and the only one to take place outside the United States.
1849: Polish musician and composer Frédéric Chopin, considered one of the great masters of Romantic music, dies of tuberculosis at the age of 39 in Paris, France.
1781: British Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders at the Siege of Yorktown. The surrender would prompt the British government to negotiate an end to the American Revolutionary War.
1771: The opera "Ascanio in Alba," composed by a 15-year-old Wolfgang Mozart, has its debut at the Teatro Regio Ducal in Milan, Italy.
Coca-Cola is brewed for the first time, Elvis Presley begins boot camp, the last U.S. soldiers leave Vietnam, Henry Fonda wins his first and only Oscar, and the Tennessee Lady Vols complete an unbeaten season, all on this day.