Published On: Apr 15 2013 12:35:29 PM EDTUpdated On: Apr 16 2014 02:00:00 AM EDT
2013: Pat Summerall, the football player turned legendary play-by-play announcer, dies of cardiac arrest at the age of 82 in Dallas, Texas. He was best known as a broadcaster for teaming with former NFL coach John Madden for 22 years. Summerall became the voice of the NFL in the 1970s and 1980s, calling most of the league's signature games, and worked more than 10 Super Bowls. As a player, he was a placekicker and played 10 seasons for the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants from 1952 to 1961, scoring more than 500 points as an NFL player.
2010: Daryl Gates, the former Los Angeles police chief credited with creating the anti-drug D.A.R.E. program, dies of bladder cancer at the age of 83 in Dana Point, California. Gates, also considered the father of SWAT teams, resigned from the Los Angeles Police Department in 1992 following the Rodney King beating and the riots afterward.
2008: Mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz, a pioneer of chaos theory who coined the term "butterfly effect," dies of cancer at the age of 90 in Cambridge, Mass. Lorenz, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was trying to explain why it is so hard to make good weather forecasts when he discovered chaos theory in 1961.
2007: In the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in American history, Virginia Tech senior Seung-Hui Cho kills 32 and injures 17 at the Blacksburg, Virginia, university before fatally shooting himself. Six more people were injured when they jumped from second-story windows to escape.
2003: Michael Jordan plays his last NBA game as his Washington Wizards end their season with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The five-time NBA MVP and 10-time NBA scoring champion won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s before finishing out his last two seasons with the Wizards.
2002: Actor Robert Urich, best known for the television series "Vega$," "S.W.A.T." and "Spenser: For Hire," dies of synovial cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, at the age of 55 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. In addition to his work in television, he also starred in several movies, most notably "Magnum Force," "The Ice Pirates" and "Turk 182."
2001: Film director Michael Ritchie, who directed movies such as "The Candidate," "The Bad News Bears," "Semi-Tough," "Fletch," "Wildcats" and "The Scout," dies of complications from prostate cancer at the age of 62 in New York City. He's seen here in 1989 on the set of "Fletch Lives."
1994: American author Ralph Ellison, best known for his National Book Award-winning novel "Invisible Man," dies of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80 in New York City.
1991: Film director, editor and screenwriter David Lean, best known for big-screen epics such as "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago" and "A Passage to India," dies of throat cancer at the age of 83 in London, England. Lean earned 11 Academy Award nominations in his career, winning Best Director for "The Bridge on the River Kwai" in 1958 and for "Lawrence of Arabia" in 1963.
1982: Mixed martial arts fighter and actress Gina Carano is born in Dallas County, Texas. Carano, once the third-best 145-pound female mixed martial arts fighter in the world, according to the Unified Women's MMA Rankings, has gone on to star in movies like "Haywire" (pictured) and "Fast & Furious 6."
1976: Actor Lukas Haas, best known for movies such as "Mars Attacks!" and "Witness," is born in West Hollywood, Calif.
1972: Apollo 16 is launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The mission was the fifth and penultimate mission of the Apollo program to land on the moon and the first to land in the lunar highlands.
1971: The Rolling Stones release the single "Brown Sugar" in the United Kingdom. It was the first record on their own label, Rolling Stones Records, and would be released the following month in the United States. The song would become a No. 1 hit in the U.S. while reaching No. 2 in the UK.
1971: Actor Peter Billingsley, best known for his role as Ralphie in the 1983 movie "A Christmas Story," is born in New York City.
1971: Singer-songwriter Selena Quintanilla, who was known simply as Selena and was called "The Queen of Tejano music," is born in Lake Jackson, Texas. Selena was murdered by her fan club president at the age of 23 in 1995.
1965: Actor Jon Cryer, best known for the movie "Pretty in Pink" and the sitcom "Two and a Half Men," is born in New York City.
1965: Actor and comedian Martin Lawrence, best known for movies such as "Bad Boys," "Blue Streak" and "Big Momma's House," and his own sitcom, "Martin," is born in Frankfurt, Germany.
1964: The Rolling Stones' self-titled debut album is released in the United Kingdom. The album's tracks reflected the band's love for R&B, including covers of songs by Chuck Berry and Willie Dixon, and featured only one Mick Jagger and Keith Richards original composition, "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)." The American edition of the album, with a slightly different track list, would be released on May 30, 1964, with the added title "England's Newest Hit Makers."
1963: Martin Luther King Jr. pens his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" while incarcerated in Birmingham, Ala., for protesting against racial segregation by Birmingham's city government and downtown retailers.
1962: Walter Cronkite takes over as the lead news anchor of the "CBS Evening News." He would remain as anchor until 1981, during which time he would become known as "the most trusted man in America."
1956: Buddy Holly releases his first single, "Blue Days, Black Nights." Low sales of the single, plus a second single, December's "Modern Don Juan," convinced Decca to shelve the remaining tracks Holly had recorded earlier in the year in Nashville. Holly would break out with the song "That'll Be the Day" the following year.
1954: Actress Ellen Barkin, best known for movies such as "The Big Easy," "Sea of Love" and "Switch," is born in The Bronx, N.Y. She's seen here in 2007's "Ocean's Thirteen."
1952: Football coach Bill Belichick, who has coached the NFL's New England Patriots to six Super Bowl appearances, including victories in Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX and XLIX, is born in Nashville, Tennessee.
1947: The French ship Grandcamp, containing ammonium nitrate fertilizer, explodes while in port in Texas City, Texas, causing much of the city to catch fire, killing almost 600 and injuring another 5,000. The incident is generally considered the worst industrial accident in U.S. history. Pictured is the SS Wilson B. Keene, a nearby ship destroyed when the cargo ship High Flyer, also carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, caught fire after the initial explosion and also exploded. The large piece of debris in the foreground is likely a piece of the Grandcamp.
1947: During a speech in South Carolina, financier and presidential advisor Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
1947: The Zoomar lens, the first zoom lens for the television camera, is demonstrated by the National Broadcasting Company during a baseball game in New York City. Previously, moving into a closeup shot or backing out for a wide angle shot on a TV broadcast required moving the entire camera. The lens would be patented as a "varifocal lens for cameras" by its inventor, Frank Gerard Back, on Nov. 23, 1948.
1947: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time points leader and a six-time NBA champion, is born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. in New York City. Abdul-Jabbar, who also won three NCAA titles for John Wooden's UCLA Bruins, won his first NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971 and won five more between 1980 and 1988 with the Los Angeles Lakers. He is a member of both the College Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
1945: The Red Army begins the final assault on German forces around Berlin, with nearly one million Soviet soldiers fighting 110,000 entrenched German soldiers in the Battle of the Seelow Heights. At the end of the battle on April 19, the road to Berlin, less than 60 miles to the west, lay open. By April 23, Berlin was fully encircled and the Battle of Berlin entered its last stage.
1943: The hallucinogenic effect of the drug LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide, is first observed. Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann (seen here in 1993), who had synthesized the drug five years earlier in hopes of treating respiratory problems, accidentally absorbed some of the drug through his skin from touching its container. The drug affected his nervous system and he became dizzy with hallucinations. Three days later, he intentionally ingested 250 micrograms of LSD, becoming the first intentional acid trip.
1940: Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians throws the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0. It was the first of three no-hitters he would pitch in his Hall of Fame career.
1939: Pop singer Dusty Springfield, who scored six top 20 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart from 1963 to 1989, is born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien in London, England. Her best known songs include the hits "I Only Want to Be with You," "Wishin' and Hopin'," "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" and "Son of a Preacher Man." She died of breast cancer at age 59 on March 2, 1999, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two weeks after her death.
1937: Professional wrestler William James Myers, better known by his ring name of George "The Animal" Steele, is born in Detroit, Mich. Steele's career with the WWF lasted from 1967 until 1989, though he made occasional wrestling appearances into the 1990s and 2000s, and he portrayed Swedish wrestler/actor Tor Johnson in Tim Burton's movie "Ed Wood."
1935: Pop singer Bobby Vinton, best known for his cover of the song "Blue Velvet," which hit No. 1 for him in 1963, is born in Canonsburg, Pa. He also scored No. 1 hits with the songs "Roses Are Red (My Love)" and "Mr. Lonely" and saw success with the songs "There! I've Said It Again," "I Love How You Love Me" and "My Melody of Love."
1927: Pope Benedict XVI, who served as pope from 2005 to 2013, is born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in Marktl, Germany. Benedict resigned due to health issues on Feb. 28, 2013, becoming the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and is now pope emeritus of the Catholic Church.
1924: Composer Henry Mancini, best known for his film and television scores, including the themes to "The Pink Panther" film series and the "Peter Gunn" TV series, is born in Cleveland, Ohio. Mancini, who died of pancreatic cancer on June 14, 1994, was nominated for an unprecedented 72 Grammys, winning 20. He also won four Academy Awards out of 18 nominations, including Oscars for Best Original Song for "Moon River" from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Days of Wine and Roses" from the movie of the same title, both shared with Johnny Mercer. His other two Oscars were for the scores for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Victor Victoria."
1921: Actor Peter Ustinov, best known for movies such as "Quo Vadis," "Spartacus," "Billy Budd," "Topkapi" and "Death on the Nile," is born in London, England. Ustinov, seen here in 1986, was also a renowned filmmaker, theater and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humorist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster, and television presenter, winning Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards and a Grammy during his career. He died of heart failure at age 82 on March 28, 2004.
1889: Actor and film director Charlie Chaplin, the silent film star who became one of the world's biggest celebrities before World War I, is born in London, England. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "The Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures of the film industry. Chaplin, who wrote, directed, produced, edited, scored and starred in most of his films, also co-founded the distribution company United Artists with Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffiths and Mary Pickford, giving him complete control over his films.
1881: In Dodge City, Kan., Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle. The frontier lawman, gambler and buffalo hunter would move to New York in 1902, where he eventually became a U.S. marshal and later a sports writer.
1867: Wilbur Wright, who with his brother Orville is credited with inventing the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, is born in Millville, Ind.
1862: The Confederate Congress and President Jefferson Davis approve a conscription act for white males between 18 and 35. The act was the first of its kind in America.
1859: French historian Alexis de Tocqueville dies of tuberculosis at the age of 53 in Cannes, France. His two-volume "Democracy in America," published in 1835 and 1840 after his travels in the United States, is today considered an early work of sociology and political science.
1850: French-English artist Marie Tussaud, who founded the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London, England, during the 1830s, dies in her sleep at the age of 88 in London.
1828: Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya, regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns, dies of a stroke at the age of 82 in Bordeaux, France. Known for paintings such as "The Third of May 1808," Goya provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.