2012: William Asher, one of the most prolific early television directors, known especially for his work on "I Love Lucy" and "Bewitched," dies from complications of Alzheimer's disease at age 90 in Palm Desert, California. Asher directed more than 100 episodes of "I Love Lucy" and also produced "Bewitched" during its entire eight-year run. At that time, he was married to the show's star Elizabeth Montgomery, although they divorced soon after the series' cancellation in 1972. He also directed episodes of "Make Room for Daddy," "The Twilight Zone," "The Patty Duke Show," "Gidget," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Alice," and several movies, including "Muscle Beach Party," "Bikini Beach" and "Beach Blanket Bingo."
2012: Country singer Kitty Wells dies at age 92 in Madison, Tennessee, from complications of a stroke. Her 1952 hit recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and transformed her into the first female country star. Wells ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of Billboard's country charts, with other hit songs like "Heartbreak U.S.A.," "Paying For That Back Street Affair" and "Making Believe."
2011: President Barack Obama meets the Dalai Lama at the White House despite a warning from the People's Republic of China.
2005: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth book in J. K. Rowling's best-selling series, is released. It sold nine million copies in the first 24 hours after its release, a record at the time that was eventually broken by its sequel, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."
2004: Martha Stewart is sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement by a federal judge for lying about a stock sale.
2004: Chicago's Millennium Park is opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley.
1999: John F. Kennedy Jr., piloting a Piper Saratoga aircraft, dies at age 38 when his plane crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. His wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (pictured left) and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette were also killed.
1994: The first parts of Comet Shoemaker-Levy begin to hit Jupiter and would continue until July 22, providing the first direct observation of an extraterrestrial collision of Solar System objects. The brown spots mark the places where the comet fragments tore through Jupiter's atmosphere.
1994: At the age of 26, Anna Nicole Smith weds 89-year-old billionaire J. Howard Marshall II. She's seen here in 2006 arriving at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., for a hearing in a lawsuit over Marshall's estate.
1993: San Francisco Giants outfielder Darren Lewis sets a major-league record with 267 consecutive errorless games, snapping Don Demeter's record. He would eventually run the streak to 392 games, a record that stands today.
1981: Singer-songwriter Harry Chapin ("Cat's in the Cradle") dies in a car crash at the age of 38 in Jericho, New York. He was on his way to a benefit concert.
1980: Ronald Reagan wins the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Detroit.
1979: Iraqi President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and is replaced by Saddam Hussein.
1979: Actress Jayma Mays, best known for her roles on the TV series "Glee" and in movies such as "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and "The Smurfs," is born in Grundy, Virginia.
1972: Smokey Robinson and the Miracles give their farewell concert in Washington, D.C.
1971: Actor Corey Feldman, known for movies like "Stand by Me," "License to Drive," "The Lost Boys" and "The Goonies," is born in Los Angeles.
1969: Apollo 11, the first manned space mission to land on the Moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1968: Barry Sanders, a Heisman Trophy winner, four-time NFL rushing champion and 1997 NFL MVP, is born in Wichita, Kansas. Sanders, who played collegiately at Oklahoma State and spent his entire 10-season NFL career with the Detroit Lions, is an inductee of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1967: Actor and comedian Will Ferrell, known for movies such as "Old School," "Elf" and "Anchorman," is born in Irvine, California.
1966: In London, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker form the band Cream.
1963: Actress Phoebe Cates, known for movies such as "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Gremlins," is born in New York City. She's seen here in 2009 with her husband, Kevin Kline.
1960: The USS George Washington, a modified Skipjack class submarine, successfully test fires the first ballistic missile while submerged.
1958: Irish-American dancer and choreographer Michael Flatley, known for Irish dance shows "Riverdance," "Lord of the Dance," "Feet of Flames" and "Celtic Tiger," is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1957: U.S. Marine Maj. John Glenn flies a Vought F8U-1P Crusader supersonic jet from California to New York in three hours, 23 minutes and eight seconds, setting a new transcontinental speed record. Glenn received his fifth Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission.
1956: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closes its very last "Big Tent" show in Pittsburgh. Due to changing economics, all the company's subsequent circus shows would be held in arenas.
1956: Playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner is born in New York City. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes." He also co-wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film "Munich" and wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film "Lincoln."
1951: "The Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger is published for the first time.
1948: "Key Largo," starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Edward G. Robinson, is released.
1945: The leaders of World War II's three Allied nations, Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin, meet in the German city of Potsdam to decide the future of a defeated Germany.
1945: The USS Indianapolis leaves San Francisco with parts for the atomic bomb "Little Boy" bound for Tinian Island. This would be the last time the Indianapolis would be seen by the mainland as she was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese Submarine I-58 on July 30. Of her 1,196 crewmen, about 900 survived the sinking. The survivors faced exposure, dehydration and shark attacks while waiting for assistance while floating with few lifeboats and almost no food or water. When they were rescued four days later, only 316 had survived.
1945: The Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon at the Trinity site near Alamogordo, New Mexico, as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project.
1943: Football coach Jimmy Johnson, who won a NCAA championship with the University of Miami in 1987 and two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, is born in Port Arthur, Texas. Johnson, who also coached at Oklahoma State University–Stillwater and with the Miami Dolphins, is an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame.
1942: Tennis player Margaret Court, who amassed more major titles than any other player in history, is born in Albury, New South Wales, Australia. A retired world No. 1 player, won 24 majors during her career and in 1970 became the first woman during tennis's open era to win the singles Grand Slam (all four majors in the same calendar year). She also won 19 women's doubles and 21 mixed doubles titles at major tournaments, giving her a record 64 major titles overall.
1941: Joe DiMaggio hits safely for the 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as a MLB record.
1935: The world's first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City.
1911: Actress and dancer Ginger Rogers, best known as Fred Astaire's romantic interest and dancing partner in a series of Hollywood musicals in the 1930s, including "Top Hat," "Swing Time" and "Shall We Dance," is born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri. Rogers won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in 1940's "Kitty Foyle" and also appeared in movies such as "Stage Door," "Roxie Hart" and "Monkey Business." She died of a heart attack at the age of 83 on April 25, 1995.
1907: Botanist and entrepreneur Orville Redenbacher, most often associated with the brand of popcorn that bears his name, is born in Brazil, Indiana.
1907: Actress Barbara Stanwyck, best known for movies like "The Lady Eve" and "Double Indemnity," is born Ruby Catherine Stevens in Brooklyn, New York. Stanwyck received Oscar nominations for "Double Indemnity," "Stella Dallas," "Ball of Fire" and "Sorry, Wrong Number." Following her movie career she moved on to television, starring in her own anthology drama series before landing a lead role in the Western series "The Big Valley," winning an Emmy for each. She later won a third Emmy for her role in the miniseries "The Thorn Birds." She died at age 82 on Jan. 20, 1990, of congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
1888: Baseball player "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, who would go on to play a disputed part in the 1919 "Chicago Black Sox" scandal, is born in Pickens County, South Carolina. Jackson, who played left field for most of his career, currently has the third-highest career batting average in major league history. Jackson, pictured on the right in 1913 with Ty Cobb, was banned from the major leagues after the 1920 season and died at age 64 on Dec. 5, 1951.
1882: Former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of President Abraham Lincoln, dies at the age of 63 in Springfield, Illinois.
1872: Explorer Roald Amundsen, who led the Antarctic expedition that discovered the South Pole in December 1911 and he was the first expedition leader to undisputedly reach the North Pole in 1926, is born in Borge, Østfold, Norway.
1862: David Farragut is promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank.
1790: The District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.
1782: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" is performed for the first time.
1769: Father Junipero Serra founds California's first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Over the following decades, it would evolve into the city of San Diego.
1661: The first banknotes in Europe are issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco, a predecessor of the Bank of Sweden.
1557: Anne of Cleves, the fourth of King Henry VIII's six wives, dies at age 41 in London, England, from what was likely cancer. Despite marrying Henry, the marriage was never consummated, and she was not crowned queen consort. Following an annulment, Anne was given a settlement by Henry and was thereafter referred to as "the King's Beloved Sister."