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1948–Armenian-American painter, Arshile Gorky, dies of suicide from hanging in Sherman, Connecticut, at age 44. He had been suffering a series of personal and professional problems, as well as serious health issues. As an artist, he was a seminal influence on the development of Abstract Expressionism.



BC 356–The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is destroyed by arson.

BC 356–Alexander the Great is born Alexander III of Macedon in Pella, Macedon. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by philosopher, Aristotle, until the age of 16. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, until by the age of 30, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into northwest India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders.

230–Pope Pontian succeeds Urban I as the 18th Pope.

285–Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar and co-ruler.

365–A tsunami devastates the city of Alexandria, Egypt: it was caused by the 8.0 Crete earthquake. Five thousand people perished in Alexandria, and 45,000 more died outside the city.

628–Emperor Gaozong of Tang is born Li Zhi in China.

1242–Louis IX of France puts an end to the revolt of his vassals Henry III of England and Hugh X of Lusignan.

1403–King Henry IV of England defeats rebels to the north of the county town of Shropshire, England.

1425–Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos dies in Constantinople, Byzantine Empire, at age 75.

1545–The first landing of French troops take place during the French invasion of the Isle of Wight.

1568–Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva, defeats Louis of Nassau.

1645–Qing dynasty regent, Dorgon, issues an edict ordering all Han Chinese men to shave their forehead and braid the rest of their hair into a queue identical to those of the Manchus.

1656–The Raid on Málaga takes place during the Anglo-Spanish War.

1693–Politician, Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, is born. He was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1718–The Treaty of Passarowitz is signed between the Ottoman Empire, Austria, and the Republic of Venice.

1774–Russia and the Ottoman Empire sign the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca ending the Russo-Turkish War.

1789–Citizens of Strasbourg, France, ransack the Town Hall.

1796–Poet, Robert Burns, dies of heart disease in Dumfries, Scotland, at age 37. He’s known for his great Scottish songs, such as the perennial favorite, Auld Lang Syne; for his poems of country life; and for his love poems.

1798–Battle of the Pyramids takes place. It is a major engagement during the French Invasion of Egypt. The French army, under Napoleon Bonaparte, scores a decisive victory against the forces of the local Mamluk rulers, wiping out almost the entire Egyptian army.

1816–Paul Julius Reuter, founder of the British news agency, Reuters, is born in Kassel, Germany.

1824–Thai King, Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, dies suddenly of strangury (or possibly poisoning) at the Grand Palace, Phra Nakhon, Kingdom of Siam, at age 57.

1831–The inauguration of Leopold I of Belgium, first king of the Belgians, is held.

1851–American criminal, Sam Bass, is born.

1858–Maria Christina of Austria is born Maria Christina Henriette Desideria Felicitas Raineria von Habsburg-Lothringen in Brno, Moravia, Austria.

1861–The first Battle of Bull Run, at Manassas Junction, Virginia, begins and ends in a victory for the Confederate army during the American Civil War.

1865–In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first Western showdown.

1873–The first train robbery in the American Old West is committed by Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang, when they take $3,000 from the Rock Island Express in Adair, Iowa.

1877–After rioting by Baltimore and Ohio Railroad workers and the deaths of nine rail workers at the hands of the Maryland militia, workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, stage a sympathy strike that is met with an assault by the state militia.

1878–American criminal, Sam Bass, dies.

1897–The Tate Gallery in London, England, is opened by the Prince of Wales.

1898–Singer-songwriter, Sara Carter, of the Carter Family, is born in Copper Creek, Virginia. Remembered mostly for her deep, distinctive, mature singing voice, she was the lead singer on most of the recordings of the historic Carter Family act in the 1920s and 1930s.

1899–Novelist and adventurer, Ernest Hemingway, is born in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he took a job as a reporter in Kansas City, Missouri. A year later, when the U.S. entered World War I, he volunteered, but was rejected because of a bad eye. Despite this, he managed to see action as an ambulance driver on the Austro-Italian front, where he was wounded. This experience, and that of his subsequent hospitalization in Milan, Italy, formed the basis of his popular novel A Farewell to Arms. He spent much of his adult life abroad, based in Paris, France, where he wrote The Sun Also Rises. As he was becoming famous as a writer, he was also becoming well known as an adventurer and sportsman. His glorious exploits in hunting, fishing, and bullfighting were reported by Life and Esquire magazines. After World War II, he made a literary comeback with his short novel, The Old Man and the Sea, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

1904–Frenchman, Louis Rigolly, becomes the first man to break the 100 mph speed barrier on land, by driving a 15-liter Gobron-Brillié in Ostend, Belgium.

1907–The passenger steamer, SS Columbia, collides with the steam schooner, San Pedro, off Shelter Cove, California. The Columbia sinks, killing 88 people.

1911–(Herbert) Marshall McLuhan is born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A philosopher of communication theory, his work is considered to be the foundation of modern media theory. McLuhan coined the phrases "the medium is the message" and "the global village." He also predicted the advent of the Internet, nearly 30 years before its invention.

1914–The Crown council of Romania decides for the country to remain neutral in World War I.

1919–The dirigible, Wingfoot Air Express, crashes into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago, Illinois, killing 12 people.

1920–Violinist and conductor, Isaac Stern, is born in Kremenets/Krzemieniec, Ukrainian People's Republic (present-day Kremenets, Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine). He was 14 months old when his family moved to San Francisco in 1921. Among Stern's many recordings are concertos by Brahms, Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, and Vivaldi; and modern works by Barber, Bartók, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Rochberg, and Dutilleux.

1922–Singer, Kay Starr, is born Katherine Laverne Starks on a reservation in Dougherty, Oklahoma. She was a pop and jazz singer who enjoyed considerable success in the 1940s and 1950s. She is best known for introducing two songs that became #1 hits in the 1950s: Wheel of Fortune and The Rock and Roll Waltz.

1924–Actor, Don Knotts, is born Jesse Donald Knotts in Morgantown, West Virginia. He is best known for the role of Barney Fife on the TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show (a role which earned him five Emmy Awards). He first came to fame in 1956, on The Steve Allen Show, as part of Allen's repertory company: most notably in Allen's mock "Man in the Street" interviews, where he always played an extremely nervous man. He appeared in the films No Time for Sergeants, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Move Over, Darling, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut, The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Love God?, The Apple Dumpling Gang, and Pleasantville.

1925–In Dayton, Tennessee, high school biology teacher, John T. Scopes, is found guilty of teaching evolution in class and is fined $100.

1925–Sir Malcolm Campbell, father of Donald Campbell, becomes the first man to break the 150 mph land barrier at Pendine Sands in Wales. He drove a Sunbeam at a two-way average speed of 150.33 mph.

1926–Actor, Paul Burke, is born.

1926–Producer and director, Norman Jewison, is born in Canada.

1933–Novelist, poet, and teacher, John Gardner, is born in Batavia, New York. He was an active writer from childhood on, but had prospered in an academic career long before his first novel, Grendel, which relates the Beowulf epic from the monster's point of view. More novels followed, including The Sunlight Dialogues and October Light. In 1978, he published the book On Moral Fiction, which defends traditional literary forms.

1938–Lawyer and politician, Janet (Wood) Reno, is born in Miami, Florida. She was the 79th U.S. Attorney General. She served under President Bill Clinton from 1993 until 2001. Reno was the first woman to serve as Attorney General.

1939–Musician and producer, Kim (Vincent) Fowley, is born in Los Angeles, California. A ubiquitous behind-the-scenes figure on the L.A. music scene, the towering, skinny Fowley was best known as Svengali, producer, and promoter of the all-girl 1970s rock act, The Runaways. He has been described as "one of the most colorful characters in the annals of rock and roll" and as "a shadowy cult figure, well outside the margins of the mainstream."

1943–Actor, Edward (Kirk) Herrmann, is born in Washington, D.C. He appeared in the films The Paper Chase, The Day of the Dolphin, The Great Gatsby, The Great Waldo Pepper, Eleanor and Franklin, Reds, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Overboard, and The Emperor’s Club.

1944–During World War II, American troops land on Guam starting the Battle of Guam.

1944–Claus von Stauffenberg and fellow conspirators are executed in Berlin, Germany, for the July 20th plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

1946–Barry Whitwam, of Herman's Hermits, is born in Manchester, England.

1948–Armenian-American painter, Arshile Gorky, dies of suicide from hanging in Sherman, Connecticut, at age 44. He had been suffering a series of personal and professional problems, as well as serious health issues. As an artist, he was a seminal influence on the development of Abstract Expressionism.

1948–Singer-songwriter, Cat Stevens, is born Stephen Dimitri Georgiou in London, England. After a string of hits including Wild World, Father and Son, Moon Shadow, and Peace Train, he converted to Islam, changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and eventually retired from the music business.

1948–Cartoonist, Garry Trudeau, is born.

1949–The U.S. Senate ratifies the North Atlantic Treaty.

1951–Comedian and actor, Robin (McLaurin) Williams, is born in Chicago, Illinois. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy renaissance. He went on to establish a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. He was known for his amazing improvisational skills and his starring role in the TV sitcom Mork & Mindy. He appeared in the films Popeye, The World According to Garp, Moscow on the Hudson, Good Morning, Vietman, Dead Poets Socciety, Awakenings, The Fisher King, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, The Birdcage, Jack, Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come, Patch Adams, Bicentennial Man, One Hour Photo, Insomnia, The Night Listener, Night at the Museum, and The Face of Love.

1952–The 7.3 Kern County earthquake strikes Southern California, killing 12 and injuring hundreds of others.

1954–The Geneva Conference partitions Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. France surrenders North Vietnam to the Communists.

1956–Billboard magazine dubs Elvis Presley "the most controversial entertainer since Liberace."

1956–A chart topper: I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash.

1957–Comedian-actor, Jon Lovitz, is born.

1959–The NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, is launched as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" initiative.

1959–Elijah Jerry "Pumpsie" Green becomes the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last team to integrate.

1961–Astronaut, Gus Grissom, piloting Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).

1967–Actor, Basil Rathbone, dies of a heart attack in New York, New York, at age 75. He is best known for the role of Sherlock Holmes in 14 Hollywood films made between 1939 and 1946. He appeared also in the films A Notorious Affair, The Lady Surrenders, David Copperfield, Anna Karenina, Captain Blood, A Tale of Two Cities, Romeo and Juliet, Son of Frankenstein, We’re No Angels, and The Court Jester.

1969–The Beatles begin recording John Lennon’s stream of consciousness song, Come Together.

1970–After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam in Egypt is completed.

1972–The Provisional IRA detonates 22 bombs in central Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the space of 80 minutes, killing nine people and injuring 130 others.

1973–In the Lillehammer affair in Norway, Israeli Mossad agents kill a waiter who they mistakenly thought was involved in the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre.

1975–Artist, George Petty, dies in San Pedro, California, at age 81. His pin-up art appeared primarily in Esquire and Fawcett Publications's True during world War II, but was also in calendars marketed by Esquire, True, and Ridgid Tool Company. Petty's Esquire gatefolds originated and popularized the magazine device of centerfold spreads. Reproductions of his work, known as "Petty Girls," were widely rendered by military artists as nose art decorating warplanes, including the Memphis Belle.

1976–Christopher Ewart-Biggs, the British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, is assassinated by the Provisional IRA.

1977–The four-day-long Libyan-Egyptian War begins.

1982–Journalist and TV personality, Dave Garroway, dies.

1983 –The world's lowest temperature in an inhabited location is recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica, at -126.6 degrees F.

1984–The first case of a robot killing a human is documented in the U.S.

1987–Capitol Records releases its own pressings of The Beatles' first seven U.K. albums in America, with the original Parlophone track selections, while continuing to sell their original U.S. versions. None of the original U.S. versions would be released on CD, making the vinyl copies more rare.

1987–Paul McCartney finishes recording Russian-language versions of rock and roll songs for his Soviet Union-only release Choba B CCCP.

1995–The People's Liberation Army begins firing missiles into the waters north of Taiwan.

1998–Astronaut, Alan Shepard, dies.

1998–Actor, Robert Young, dies of respiratory failure in Westlake Village, California, at age 91. He is best known for his leading role of Jim Anderson in Father Knows Best, and physician Marcus Welby in Marcus Welby, M.D.

1999–U.S. Navy divers find the bodies of John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, in the wreckage of Kennedy's plane in the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard.

2001–At the conclusion of a fireworks display on Okura Beach in Akashi, Hyogo, Japan, 11 people are killed and more than 120 others are injured when a pedestrian footbridge connecting the beach to JR Asagiri Station becomes overcrowded.

2004–Film composer, Jerry Goldsmith, dies of colon cancer in Beverly Hills, California, at age 75. He was known for his work in American television and film. Among many others, he scored music for the films Lillies of the Field, A Patch of Blue, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Chinatown, Alien, Hoosiers, The River Wild, and L.A. Confidential.

2005–Musician, Long John Baldry, dies of a severe chest infection in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at age 64. His biggest hit was Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll.

2008–Ram Baran Yadav is declared the first President of Nepal.

2008–Businessman, Sidney (Harvey) Craig, dies of cancer in Del Mar, California, at age 76. He was the co-founder with his wife, Jenny, of the Jenny Craig diet centers.

2011–NASA's Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135.

2012–Erden Eruç completes the first solo human-powered circumnavigation of the world.

2014–Writer, poet, and educator, Louise Abeita, dies in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at age 87. She was 13 years old when her book, I Am a Pueblo Indian Girl (that has been described as the "first truly Indian book" by historians) was published in 1939. She was a member of the Isleta Pueblo.

2015–Actor, Theodore Bikel, dies of natural causes in Los Angeles, California, at age 91. He studied acting at Britain's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his London stage debut in 1948. He appeared in the films The African Queen, Moulin Rouge, I Bury the Living, The Defiant Ones, I Want to Live!, Woman Obsessed, The Blue Angel, My Fair Lady, 200 Motels, and See You in the Morning.

2015–Author, E.L. Doctorow, dies of lung cancer in New York, New York, at age 84. He is known internationally for his unique works of historical fiction. He taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Yale School of Drama, the University of Utah, the University of California-Irvine, and Princeton University. His novels include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, and Billy Bathgate.

2016–The last maker of VHS-compatible video cassette recorders, Japanese manufacturer Funai Electric, says it is going to stop producing the devices due to declining sales.

2016–Roger Ailes, who two decades ago began building Fox News Channel into a money-making ratings powerhouse, resigns as Chairman and Chief Executive, following allegations of sexual harassment. Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, the parent of Fox News, will assume the role of chairman and acting CEO of Fox News and Fox Business Network. Ailes, who will serve as an informal adviser to Rupert Murdoch and no longer have an official role at the company, will receive a severance package of about $40 million. In his resignation letter to Murdoch, Ailes did not indicate he had done anything wrong.

2016–Waves of Chinese protestors gather outside of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and Apple Stores across China, to express their anti-American sentiments after the ruling on the South Sea China Arbitration, as Chinese state media asks for calm. On July 12, 2016, Permanent Court of Arbitration gave a verdict claiming that China has no legal basis or historic claim on the so called “Nine-dash” line and asked the Chinese government to abide by international laws.


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