Published On: Apr 02 2013 06:57:21 PM EDTUpdated On: Apr 04 2015 02:00:00 AM EDT
2013: Movie critic Roger Ebert, the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, dies at the age of 70 in Chicago, Illinois, after a recurrence of cancer. Ebert, who had lived with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands since 2002, was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death. He, along with Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel, helped popularize nationally televised film reviewing when they co-hosted the PBS show "Sneak Previews" from 1975 through 1982, followed by several variously named "At the Movies" programs.
2007: Radio talk show host Don Imus makes offensive on-air remarks about the Rutgers University women's basketball team, including calling the players "rough girls" because of their tattoos and "nappy-headed hos." He was later fired by CBS Radio and cable network MSNBC over the comments.
2003: Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs becomes the 18th major league baseball player to hit 500 career home runs. He would retire following the 2007 season with a career total of 609 home runs.
2000: Singer Pink releases her debut album "Can't Take Me Home." It produced three singles, "There You Go," "Most Girls" and "You Make Me Sick," and peaked at No. 26 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.
1999: Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Early Wynn, who pitched for the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox during a 25-year career, dies at age 79 in Venice, Florida. One of the most intimidating pitchers of his era, he won the 1959 Cy Young Award and retired in 1963 with exactly 300 career wins.
1994: Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark found Netscape Communications Corporation under the name Mosaic Communications Corporation.
1991: U.S. Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania, the son of the heir to the H. J. Heinz Company, is killed with six others when a helicopter collides with their plane over an elementary school in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. His widow, Teresa Heinz, later married U.S. Sen. John Kerry.
1983: Actress Gloria Swanson, best known for her role as Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star, in the 1950 film "Sunset Boulevard," dies from a heart ailment at the age of 84 in New York City. Swanson was one of the most prominent stars during the silent film era as both an actress and a fashion icon. She was nominated for the first Academy Award in the Best Actress category in 1929 for the drama "Sadie Thompson" and earned two more Best Actress Oscar nominations in her career, in 1930 for "The Trespasser" and in 1951 for "Sunset Boulevard."
1983: The space shuttle Challenger makes its maiden voyage into space, becoming NASA's second space shuttle orbiter put into service.
1979: Actor Heath Ledger, best known for movies such as "10 Things I Hate About You," "A Knight's Tale," "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Dark Knight," is born in Perth, Western Australia. Ledger, who died from an accidental prescription drug intoxication on Jan. 22, 2008, earned a posthumous Academy Award for his performance as The Joker in "The Dark Knight."
1976: The political-thriller "All the President's Men," starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, premieres in Washington, D.C. The movie, based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two journalists investigating the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post, won four Academy Awards, including wins for its screenplay and supporting actor Jason Robards, and was nominated for four more Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
1975: Microsoft is founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The two are seen here in 1981.
1974: Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves ties Babe Ruth's career home run record by hitting his 714th homer in Cincinnati. He would break Ruth's record four days later and end his career following the 1976 season with 755 career home runs.
1973: Illusionist David Blaine, who became famous as a performer of street and close-up magic and is best known for his high-profile feats of endurance, including setting and breaking several world records, is born David Blaine White in Brooklyn, New York.
1973: In the last of 54 "Operation Homecoming" flights out of Hanoi, North Vietnam, a C-141 transport flies the last group of POWs released by North Vietnam home.
1973: The World Trade Center in New York City is officially dedicated.
1969: Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas. The recipient, a dying man named Haskell Karp, lived for 64 hours with the artificial heart until a human heart was available for transplant. However, he died 32 hours after receiving a real heart. The original prototype of the artificial heart used in the operation is displayed in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
1968: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.
1966: Actor Nancy McKeon, best known for her role as Jo Polniaczek on the1980s sitcom "The Facts of Life," is born in Westbury, New York.
1965: Actor Robert Downey Jr., best known for movies such as "Chaplin," "Zodiac," "Tropic Thunder," "Iron Man," "Sherlock Holmes" and "The Avengers," is born in New York City.
1964: Actor and comedian David Cross, best known for his TV work in "Mr. Show," "Arrested Development" and "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret," and the movies "Alvin and the Chipmunks," "Kung Fu Panda" and "Megamind," is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
1964: The Beatles make music history by holding the top five places on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Can't Buy Me Love," "Twist and Shout," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Please Please Me." The band also had seven more songs on the chart.
1963: The movie musical "Bye Bye Birdie," starring Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh and Ann-Margret, premieres in New York City. The film, an adaptation of the stage musical, is credited with making Ann-Margret a superstar in the mid-1960s.
1960: Actor Hugo Weaving, best known for his roles in "The Matrix" and "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogies, is born in Ibadan, Nigeria Protectorate. He's also appeared in movies such as "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," "V for Vendetta" and "Captain America: The First Avenger."
1959: Buddy Holly's "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" hits No. 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming his first posthumous hit, and his last top 20 hit. The song was recorded in October 1958 during the last formal recording session for Holly, who died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 1959, along with Ritchie Valens, J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson.
1958: Johnny Stompanato, a former United States Marine who became a bodyguard and enforcer for gangster Mickey Cohen, is stabbed and killed by Cheryl Crane, the teenage daughter of his girlfriend, actress Lana Turner. Crane claimed Stompanato had been attacking her mother and that she had stabbed Stompanato defending her mother. The courts agreed, ruling the death to be justifiable homicide.
1956: Writer and producer David E. Kelley, known as the creator of "Picket Fences," "Chicago Hope," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal," "Boston Public," "Boston Legal" and "Harry's Law" as well as several films, is born in Waterville, Maine. He's seen here with his wife, actress Michelle Pfeiffer.
1950: Actress Christine Lahti, best known for her TV roles in "Chicago Hope" and "Jacky & Bobby," and for movies like "Swing Shift" and "Running on Empty," is born in Birmingham, Michigan.
1949: Twelve nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
1945: The Ohrdruf forced labor and concentration camp near Weimar, Germany, is liberated by the 4th Armored Division and the 89th Infantry Division. It was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by the U.S. Army.
1944: Actor Craig T. Nelson, best known for his Emmy-winning role as football coach Hayden Fox on the sitcom "Coach," is born Craig Richard Nelson in Spokane, Washington. Nelson is also known for the movies "Stir Crazy," "Poltergeist" and "The Incredibles" and also stars in the sitcom "Parenthood."
1933: The U.S. Navy airship USS Akron is wrecked off the New Jersey coast due to severe weather, killing 73 of the 76 crew and passengers on board. This was the largest loss of life for any airship disaster on record.
1932: Actor Anthony Perkins, best known for playing Norman Bates in "Psycho," is born in New York City. He received the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor and an Academy Award nomination for his second film, 1956's "Friendly Persuasion," reprised the role of Bates in three sequels to "Psycho," and also appeared in movies such as "Fear Strikes Out," "Goodbye Again" and "The Black Hole." He died at age 60 on Sept. 12, 1992, from AIDS-related pneumonia.
1932: Record producer and music industry executive Clive Davis, who has won five Grammy Awards and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer, is born in Brooklyn, New York. Davis has worked with artists such as Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Chicago, Billy Joel,Pink Floyd, Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, Christina Aguilera, Carlos Santana, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis and Jennifer Hudson and is credited with bringing Whitney Houston to prominence.
1929: German engine designer and car engineer Karl Benz, the pioneering founder of automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz and generally considered the inventor of the gasoline-powered automobile, dies of a bronchial inflammation at the age of 84 in Ladenburg, Germany.
1928: Actor Estelle Harris, best known for her role as Estelle Costanza on the sitcom "Seinfeld" and as the voice of Mrs. Potato Head in the "Toy Story" movie franchise, is born in New York City.
1928: Author and poet Maya Angelou, best known for her series of autobiographies, including "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," and poems such as "On the Pulse of Morning" and "A Brave and Startling Truth," is born Marguerite Ann Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. She had also been a singer, a journalist, an actor and a producer and was active in the Civil Rights movement, working with both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. In 1993, Angelou recited "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961. She died at the age of 86 on May 28, 2014.
1913: Blues musician Muddy Waters, considered the "father of modern Chicago blues," is born McKinley Morganfield in Issaquena County, Mississippi. Some of his best known songs include "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Make Love to You," "I'm Ready," "Mannish Boy" and "Got My Mojo Working." He died of heart failure at age 70 on April 30, 1983.
1905: In India, an earthquake hits the Kangra valley, killing 20,000 and destroying most buildings in the towns of Kangra, Mcleodganj and Dharamshala.
1895: Dance teacher Arthur Murray, whose name is most often associated with the dance studio chain that bears his name, is born Moses Teichman in Galicia, Austria-Hungary.
1888: Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Tris Speaker, considered one of the best offensive and defensive center fielders in MLB history, is born in Hubbard, Texas. Speaker led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships in 1912 and 1915 and led the Cleveland Indians to their first World Series title in 1920 as a player-manager. He compiled a career batting average of .345, good for sixth all-time, and 3,514 hits, ranking him fifth all-time. He holds the career record for doubles at 792 and his career records for assists, double plays and unassisted double plays by an outfielder still stand.
1887: The voters of Argonia, Kansas, elect Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States.
1873: The Kennel Club, the oldest and first official registry of purebred dogs in the world, is founded in England.
1865: A day after Union forces captured Richmond, Virginia, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln visits the Confederate capital.
1850: Los Angeles, California, is incorporated as a city.
1841: U.S. President William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia on just his 32nd day in office, becoming the first president of the United States to die in office and the one with the shortest term served.
1818: The United States Congress adopts the flag of the United States with 13 red and white stripes and one star for each state (then 20). It also provided that subsequent changes in the number of stars should be made on the first July 4 following the new state's admission.