Published On: Jul 16 2012 02:56:14 PM EDTUpdated On: Jul 17 2015 02:00:00 AM EDT
2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shot down during its flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur by a ground-to-air missile over battle-torn eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. According to American and German intelligence sources, the plane was shot down by pro-Russian insurgents using a missile fired from the territory which they controlled. The crash was Malaysia Airlines' worst incident and its second of the year, after the disappearance of Flight 370 four months earlier.
2014: Actress and singer Elaine Stritch, best known for her work on Broadway, dies at the age of 89 in Birmingham, Michigan. Stritch's career began in the 1940s, spanning the stage, film and television. She was nominated for five Tony Awards and eight primetime Emmys over her long career. She did not win a Tony until her autobiographical one-woman show -- "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" -- won the 2002 special theatrical event Tony. Her 2002 performance also won an Emmy after it was made into an HBO show. Stritch was awarded two other acting Emmys, including one for a guest star role on "Law & Order" and one for playing Alec Baldwin's mother on "30 Rock," a recurring role she played from 2007 to 2012.
2011: Casey Anthony is released from jail in Orange County, Florida, 17 days after being cleared of murdering her daughter Caylee.
2009: Journalist Walter Cronkite, best known as anchorman for the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981, dies of cerebrovascular disease at age 92 in New York City. He was often cited as "the most trusted man in America."
2006: Author Mickey Spillane, best known for his best-selling crime novels featuring his signature detective character, Mike Hammer, dies of pancreatic carcinoma at age 88 in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. He's seen here in a 1974 guest appearance in an episode of the TV series "Columbo."
1998: A tsunami triggered by an undersea earthquake destroys 10 villages in Papua New Guinea, killing an estimated 3,183, leaving 2,000 more unaccounted for and thousands more homeless.
1997: After 117 years, the Woolworth Corp. closes its last 400 stores.
1996: Off the coast of Long Island, New York, Paris-bound TWA Flight 800 explodes, killing all 230 on board. Here reconstruction crews reassemble the jet's fuselage. A four-year investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board eventually found that the probable cause of the accident was an explosion of flammable fuel/air vapors in a fuel tank, and, although it could not be determined with certainty, the most likely cause of the explosion was a short circuit.
1995: The Nasdaq composite stock index rises above 1,000 for the first time.
1989: The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber flies for the first time.
1981: A structural failure leads to the collapse of a walkway at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri, killing 114 people and injuring more than 200. At the time, it was the deadliest structural collapse in U.S. history, not to be surpassed until the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001.
1981: The Humber Bridge at Kingston-upon-Hull, England, is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. Upon its opening, the bridge became the longest single-span bridge in the world (1,542 yards), a record it would hold for 16 years.
1981: After 23 years with the name Datsun, executives of Nissan change the name of their cars to Nissan.
1976: Country music singer-songwriter Luke Bryan, whose hits include "Rain Is a Good Thing," "Someone Else Calling You Baby," "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)," "I Don't Want This Night to End" and "Drunk on You," is born in Leesburg, Georgia.
1975: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.
1974: Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Jay "Dizzy" Dean, the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season, dies of a heart attack at age 64 in Reno, Nevada. A four-time All-Star who won a World Series title in 1934 with the St. Louis Cardinals, Dean also played for the Chicago Cubs during his 11-year career and also made a one-game comeback in 1947 for the publicity-starved St. Louis Browns.
1968: The Beatles' feature-length cartoon, "Yellow Submarine," premieres at the London Pavilion.
1967: Jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, who helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and was at the forefront of free jazz, dies of liver cancer at age 40 at Huntington Hospital on Long Island, New York.
1961: Hall of Fame baseball player Ty Cobb, widely credited with setting 90 Major League Baseball records during a 24-year career spent mostly with the Detroit Tigers, dies at age 74 in Atlanta, Georgia. He collected 4,189 hits in his career and still holds the record for career batting average at .366.
1959: Jazz singer Billie Holiday dies at age 44 in New York City from pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis of the liver. Some of her best known songs include "God Bless the Child," "Don't Explain," "Fine and Mellow" and "Lady Sings the Blues."
1959: Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller "North by Northwest," starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, premieres in Los Angeles. The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards and is considered one of Hitchcock's iconic films.
1955: Disneyland is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California.
1952: Actor David Hasselhoff, best known for his TV work in "Knight Rider" and "Baywatch," is born in Baltimore, Maryland.
1944: Near the San Francisco Bay, two ships laden with ammunition for the war explode in Port Chicago, California, killing 320.
1942: Connie Hawkins, a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and New York City playground legend, is born in Brooklyn, New York. Hawkins, known by his nickname "The Hawk," played in the ABL and the ABA and for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing seven seasons in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks. He led the Pittsburgh Pipers to the ABA title in 1968, leading the league in scoring that year and winning both the ABA's regular-season and playoff MVP awards. He was also a four-time NBA All-Star.
1935: Actress and singer Diahann Carroll is born Carol Diahann Johnson in The Bronx, New York. She started out in the 1950s appearing in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts such as "Carmen Jones" and "Porgy and Bess" and starred in her own sitcom, "Julia," from 1968 to 1971, winning a Golden Globe and becoming one of the first black actors to earn an Emmy nomination. A breast cancer survivor and activist, she also is known for her stint on the 1980s primetime soap opera "Dynasty," creating the role of Dominique Deveraux.
1935: Actor Donald Sutherland, known for roles in movies such as "The Dirty Dozen," "M*A*S*H," "Klute," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "National Lampoon's Animal House," "Ordinary People" and "The Hunger Games," is born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
1918: Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his family, their doctor and three of their servants are killed during the Russian Civil War by order of the Bolshevik government. At the end of the "February Revolution" of 1917, Nicholas had abdicated and gone into internal exile in Siberia. Rumors that members of the royal family, especially Grand Duchess Anastasia, had survived persist today, despite some skeletal remains later confirmed as belonging to Nicholas' son, Alexei, and one of daughters, being uncovered near Ekaterinburg, Russia, in 2007.
1918: The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, is sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55. Five lives were lost in the sinking.
1917: The British royal family adopts the Windsor name. The family name was changed from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, due to the anti-German sentiment in the British Empire during World War I.
1917: Comedian/actress Phyllis Diller is born Phyllis Ada Driver in Lima, Ohio. Diller's career as a stand-up comic, which she started at age 37, skyrocketed in the 1960s, partly because of her many appearances with Bob Hope on his television specials, USO tours and three movies. She became a pop culture icon for her disparaging jokes about her looks, her cooking and her fictitious husband "Fang." She wore a blonde fright wig, held a long cigarette holder as a prop and laughed with a loud cackle. Diller died at age 95 on Aug. 20, 2012.
1902: Willis Haviland Carrier completes drawings for what came to be recognized as the world's first scientific air conditioning system.
1899: Actor James Cagney, known for movies such as "The Public Enemy," "Angels with Dirty Faces," "White Heat" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy," is born in New York City. Cagney won an Academy Award for "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and was also nominated for "Angels with Dirty Faces" and "Love Me or Leave Me." He died of a heart attack at age 86 on March 30, 1986.
1867: Harvard School of Dental Medicine is established in Boston, becoming the first dental school in the U.S.
1856: The Great Train Wreck of 1856 in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, kills more than 60 people and injures more than 100, making it the deadliest railroad catastrophe in the world up to that time.
1790: Scottish philosopher and economics pioneer Adam Smith dies at age 67 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Smith is best known for his two classic works, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" and "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," the latter of which is considered the first modern work of economics.