Published On: Sep 19 2012 11:42:08 PM CDTUpdated On: Sep 20 2016 01:00:00 AM CDT
2011: The United States ends its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military for the first time.
2008: A dump truck full of explosives detonates in front of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing 54 people and injuring 266 others.
2007: Between 15,000 and 20,000 protesters march on Jena, Louisiana, in support of six black youths who had been convicted of assaulting a white classmate.
2001: In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, President George W. Bush declares a "war on terror."
1998: After playing in a record 2,632 consecutive games over 16 seasons, Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles sits out a game against the New York Yankees.
1987: Walter Payton scores the 107th rushing touchdown of his career, breaking the then-NFL record held by Jim Brown. He would retire following the season with a career total of 110. Payton now ranks fourth on the NFL career rushing touchdown list, having been passed by Marcus Allen (123), LaDainian Tomlinson (145) and Emmitt Smith (164), since retiring.
1984: "The Cosby Show," starring Bill Cosby as Dr. Cliff Huxtable, premieres. The show would run for 201 episodes over eight seasons, reviving the sitcom genre and topping the ratings from 1985 through 1990.
1976: "The Captain & Tennille Show" premieres on ABC. Despite steep competition from NBC's "Little House on the Prairie" and the CBS sitcoms "Rhoda" and "Phyllis," the hour-long musical-variety program proved to be a solid ratings success. However, the pop singing dup asked out of their contract after one year to instead focus on their music and touring career.
1973: Singer-songwriter Jim Croce, known for such songs as "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle," is killed in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana, along with five others while on his way to Sherman, Texas, for a concert. Croce was 30.
1973: Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in "The Battle of the Sexes" tennis match at the Houston Astrodome.
1971: Having weakened after making landfall in Nicaragua the previous day, Hurricane Irene regains enough strength to be renamed Hurricane Olivia, making it the first known hurricane to cross from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific.
1970: Jim Morrison is found guilty in Miami, Florida, of misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and profanity, while being acquitted on charges of "lewd and lascivious" behavior. The charges were related to a March 1, 1969, performance by The Doors in which a drunken and verbally abusive Morrison allegedly exposed himself for a brief instance. In October 1970, he would be sentenced to six months of hard labor and a $500 fine for public exposure and 60 days of hard labor for profanity. He was freed on a $50,000 bond while appealing the conviction, but died before the appeal could be heard.
1968: Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees hits the 536th and final home run of his career. The future All-Star would retire the following spring.
1962: James Meredith is temporarily barred from entering the University of Mississippi as its first black student. On Oct. 1, 1962, he was successfully admitted to the school.
1958: The movie "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," starring Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor, opens in theaters. The movie, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tennessee Williams, would go on to earn six Academy Award nominations, including nods for Newman and Taylor, Best Director for Richard Brooks, and Best Picture.
1957: Buddy Holly releases the single "Peggy Sue," with "Everyday" as the B-side. The song would peak at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 100 music chart later in the year, making it Holly's second hit, following the No. 1 hit "That'll Be the Day" from earlier in the year.
1951: Hockey Hall of Fame right wing Guy Lafleur, the first NHL player to score 50 goals and 100 points in six straight seasons, is born in Thurso, Quebec, Canada. Lafleur played 14 seasons for the Montreal Canadiens starting in 1971, serving as a cornerstone of five Stanley Cup championship teams. After a rebuffed trade request, he retired in 1985 but returned after his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame to play a season for the New York Rangers in 1988-89 and two more with the Quebec Nordiques from 1989 to 1991 before retiring for good. He's seen here in 2009, speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Canadiens hockey club in Montreal.
1948: Author and screenwriter George R. R. Martin, best known for "A Song of Ice and Fire," his international bestselling series of epic fantasy novels that HBO adapted into the dramatic series "Game of Thrones," is born in Bayonne, New Jersey.
1934: Actress Sophia Loren ("Two Women," "El Cid," "Grumpier Old Men") is born under the birth name Sofia Villani Scicolone in Rome, Italy. She's seen here in a publicity photo from 1959.
1932: Gandhi begins his hunger strike against the treatment of India's Dalit population, known as the "untouchables." The six-day strike would result in a public outcry that successfully forced the government to adopt an equitable arrangement for the untouchables.
1917: Basketball coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach, who won nine NBA titles as a coach of the Boston Celtics and another seven as the team's general manager and president, is born in Brooklyn, New York. He's seen here being honored for his service in the Navy during World War II just a few days before his death in October 2006.
1911: White Star Line's RMS Olympic ocean liner collides with the British warship HMS Hawke off the Isle of Wight. The collision tore two large holes in the Olympic's hull while the Hawke suffered severe damage to her bow and nearly capsized. The Olympic was able to return to Southampton, England, under her own power, and nobody was seriously injured or killed.
1893: Charles Duryea and his brother Frank road-test the first American-made gasoline-powered automobile in a portion of Springfield, Massachusetts, that is now located in the city of Chicopee. The Duryeas' "motor wagon" was a used horse drawn buggy that the brothers had purchased for $70 and into which they had installed a four horse-power, single-cylinder gasoline engine.
1881: Chester A. Arthur is inaugurated as the 21st president of the United States around 2:15 a.m. following the death of James Garfield the night before from injuries suffered in a July 2 shooting.
1878: Upton Sinclair, author of "The Jungle" and a passionate crusader for social reform, is born in Baltimore, Maryland.
1863: Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans are defeated by the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen. Braxton Bragg at the Battle of Chickamauga in northwest Georgia. The battle was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and involved the second highest number of casualties in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg.
1860: The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of the United Kingdom) undertakes the first tour of North America by an heir to the British throne.
1519: Ferdinand Magellan sets sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain, with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe. Although one of his five ships would eventually complete the journey nearly three years later, Magellan would be killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines on April 27, 1521.