2012: American painter LeRoy Neiman, known for his brilliantly colored, expressionist paintings and screen prints of athletes, musicians and sporting events, dies at the age of 91 in New York City. Neiman is seen here in 2004, at left, with boxer Bernard Hopkins holding up a portrait of himself painted by the artist.
2011: Stuntman and actor Ryan Dunn, a star of MTV's "Jackass" and member of the "Viva La Bam" crew, dies in a car crash at age 34 in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. According to the police report and subsequent toxicology report, Dunn was intoxicated and driving more than 100 mph before he veered off the road and hit a tree, killing himself and his friend, Zachary Hartwell.
2009: During the Iranian election protests in Tehran, Neda Agha-Soltan is fatally shot in the chest by a Basij militia member. Her death was captured on video and spread virally on the Internet. It became a rallying point for the opposition to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and has been called "probably the most widely witnessed death in human history."
2007: Sammy Sosa of the Texas Rangers becomes the fifth major leaguer to hit 600 career home runs. He would retire following the 2007 season with a career total of 609 home runs. Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Jim Thome have since also joined the 600 home run club, along with previous members Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
2005: American physicist Jack Kilby, who helped develop the first integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments in 1958, dies of cancer at age 81 in Dallas, Texas. Integrated circuits are used in virtually all electronic equipment today in the form of microchips and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Also the inventor of the handheld calculator and the thermal printer, Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000.
2002: The U.S. Supreme Court declares that executing mentally handicapped murderers violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishments.
2001: Andrea Yates drowns her five children, who ranged in age from 6 months to 7 years, in the bathtub in her family's home in Houston, Texas. Yates, who had been suffering from very severe postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis, was initially found guilty and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. However, that sentence was later overturned on appeal and after a new trial in 2006 she was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Since then, she has been committed to mental hospitals in Texas.
1989: Actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who made his film debut playing the character best known as "McLovin" in the 2007 comedy "Superbad" (pictured), is born in Los Angeles, California. He's also starred in movies such as "Role Models," "Kick Ass," "Fright Night" and "This Is the End."
1980: The musical comedy film "The Blues Brothers," starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, opens in theaters. The movie, based off characters the duo originated on "Saturday Night Live," also features musical numbers by R&B, soul and blues singers James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker. Dogged by delays and budget overruns, it defied expectations to earn just under $5 million in its opening weekend and went on to gross $115.2 million in theaters worldwide.
1975: The thriller "Jaws," starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw, and directed by Steven Spielberg, premieres in theaters. The movie was an instant box office success, becoming the highest-grossing film in history at the time. It would remain the most successful motion picture of all time until "Star Wars" and helped establish summer as the season dominated by Hollywood blockbusters.
1974: The neo-noir film "Chinatown," starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston, and directed by Roman Polanski, premieres in theaters. The movie would go on to earn 11 Academy Award nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress, but won only for Robert Towne's screenplay. Polanski, Nicholson and Towne all won Golden Globes for the film, which also captured the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama.
1968: Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, best known for directing movies such as "El Mariachi," "Desperado," "From Dusk till Dawn," "Spy Kids," "Sin City" and "Machete," is born in San Antonio, Texas.
1967: Muhammad Ali is convicted for refusing induction into the U.S. Army and sentenced to five years in prison. On June 28, 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed his conviction in Clay v. United States.
1967: Actress Nicole Kidman, best known for movies such as "Days of Thunder," "Moulin Rouge!," "To Die For," "Eyes Wide Shut," "The Others," "Cold Mountain" and "The Hours," is born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kidman, who grew up in Australia, won an Academy Award for Best Actress for portraying author Virginia Woolf in "The Hours" and was also nominated for "Moulin Rouge!" and 2010's "Rabbit Hole."
1965: Singer-songwriter and mandolin player Ira Louvin (left), best known as one half of the country music duo The Louvin Brothers, dies at age 41 when a drunken driver strikes his car in Williamsburg, Missouri. Ira and Charlie Louvin, whose hit songs included "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby," "The Knoxville Girl," "When I Stop Dreaming" and "Cash on the Barrelhead," started off as gospel artists and became Grand Ole Opry members in 1955.
1963: The Moscow-Washington hotline, which became known in pop culture as the "red telephone," is established between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cuban Missile Crisis. Despite its popular name, the hotline was never a telephone line and no red phones were used. The system first used teletype equipment, which was replaced by facsimile units in 1988 and a secure computer link for email in 2008. The hotline transmitted its first test messages on Aug. 30, 1963, with Washington sending Moscow the text "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back 1234567890" to ensure all the keys on the teletypes were in working order. The Soviets sent back a poetic description of Moscow's setting sun.
1963: The last episode of the sitcom "Leave it to Beaver" airs. The episode, titled "Family Scrapbook," offered a retrospective look at the show's six seasons as the Cleavers leaf through an old scrapbook, recalling past moments. The series, which starred Jerry Mathers as the title character, Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver, originally debuted on Oct. 4, 1957. The show, which also starred Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont as Beaver's parents, June and Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Beaver's brother Wally, eventually attained iconic status.
1963: The World War II prison camp drama "The Great Escape" premieres in London, England. The movie, which starred an ensemble cast including Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and James Coburn, would open in the United States on July 4, 1963, and go on to earn more than $11 million at the box office, making it one of the year's highest-grossing films. It has since become regarded as a cinema classic.
1952: Actor John Goodman, best known for playing Dan Conner on the sitcom "Roseanne" and for movies such as "Raising Arizona," "The Flintstones," "The Big Lebowski," "Monsters, Inc." and "Argo," is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
1949: Singer-songwriter and musician Lionel Richie, best known for his solo work and as a former lead singer of the Commodores, is born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Richie's solo hits include "Endless Love," "Truly," "All Night Long (All Night)," "Hello," "Say You, Say Me" and "Dancing on the Ceiling." He also wrote the song "Lady" for Kenny Rogers and some of the Commodores' biggest hits, including "Easy" and "Three Times a Lady."
1948: The TV variety show "Toast of the Town," which would later be renamed "The Ed Sullivan Show," makes its debut. The show would run for almost 23 years before ending on June 6, 1971.
1947: Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, a mobster with the Genovese crime family and a driving force behind the development of the Las Vegas Strip, is shot dead at the Beverly Hills home of his girlfriend. No one was charged with the murder, and the crime remains officially unsolved.
1946: Bob Vila, the home improvement television show host known for the shows "This Old House," "Bob Vila's Home Again" and "Bob Vila," is born in Miami, Florida.
1945: U.S. Secretary of State Edward Reilly Stettinius Jr. approves the transfer of Wernher von Braun (pictured) and his team of Nazi rocket scientists to America as part of the then-secret Operation Paperclip. Von Braun was one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and continued his work in the United States, earning the title the "Father of Rocket Science."
1945: Singer and guitarist Anne Murray is born Morna Anne Murray in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. Murray was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach No. 1 on the U.S. charts, and also the first to earn a Gold record for one of her signature songs, 1970's "Snowbird." The four-time Grammy winner is also known for such hits as "Danny's Song," "You Needed Me" and "Could I Have This Dance."
1944: The Battle of the Philippine Sea concludes with a decisive U.S. naval victory that eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. Here the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku (center) and two destroyers maneuver while under attack by U.S. Navy carrier aircraft during the battle.
1943: A fist fight that developed into a bigger altercation between black and white youth grows into a race riot in Detroit. The riot would last for three days before federal troops regained control, by which time 34 people had died, another 433 had been injured and $2 million in property had been destroyed. With the booming defense industry bringing an influx of both black and white workers to a city with little available housing, tensions had risen as some fiercely opposed letting blacks move into all-white neighborhoods.
1942: Singer-songwriter and musician Brian Wilson, best known as a founding member of The Beach Boys, is born in Inglewood, California. Besides being their primary composer, he also functioned as the band's main producer and arranger. He wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen top 40 hits for the band, including "Good Vibrations," "I Get Around," "Help Me, Rhonda" and "California Girls," before his role in the band diminished starting in the late 1960s over his deteriorating mental health. He launched a solo career in 1988 and briefly reunited with The Beach Boys for a 50th anniversary reunion tour in 2012.
1941: The U.S. Army Air Force is established, replacing the Army Air Corps. The AAF remained a part of the Army until the independent U.S. Air Force came into being in September 1947.
1941: Film director Stephen Frears, best known for directing movies such as "My Beautiful Laundrette," "Dangerous Liaisons," "The Grifters," "High Fidelity," "The Queen" and "Philomena," is born in Leicester, England. Frears received Academy Award nominations for Best Director for "The Grifters" and "The Queen," and "Philomena," "Dangerous Liaisons" and "The Queen" were also nominated for Oscars for Best Picture.
1940: Actor John Mahoney, best known for playing Martin Crane on the sitcom "Frasier," is born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
1935: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson is born in Alliance, Ohio. Dawson led the Kansas City Chiefs to three AFL Championships (the first in 1962 when the team was still located in Dallas and known as the Texans) and a victory in Super Bowl IV in 1970, for which he won the game's MVP award. The six-time AFL All-Star selection played college football for Purdue University and also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.
1931: Actress Olympia Dukakis, best known for movies such as "Moonstruck," Steel Magnolias" and "Mr. Holland's Opus," is born in Lowell, Massachusetts. Dukakis won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her role in "Moonstruck" (pictured).
1928: Actor Martin Landau, best known for his roles in movies like "North by Northwest" (pictured), "Tucker: The Man and His Dream," "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and "Ed Wood," is born in Brooklyn, New York. He also had continuing roles in the television series "Mission: Impossible," for which he received several Emmy Award nominations, and "Space: 1999." He earned an Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award for portraying Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood."
1909: Actor Errol Flynn, known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his playboy lifestyle, is born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Some of his best known movies include "The Adventures of Robin Hood," "The Sea Hawk" and "Captain Blood." He died of a heart attack at age 50 on Oct. 14, 1959.
1893: Lizzie Borden is acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother. Nobody else was ever charged in the deaths, which famously inspired the rhyme about Borden giving her mother "40 whacks" with an axe.
1863: After breaking away from Virginia during the American Civil War, West Virginia is admitted as the 35th U.S. state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state and was one of two states formed during the American Civil War, with the other being Nevada.
1840: Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph.
1837: Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne. Victoria became a national icon during her 63-year reign and was identified with strict standards of personal morality.
1819: The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrives at Liverpool, England. She was the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, although most of the journey was made under sail.
1782: The U.S. Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States. Pictured is the first die of the seal, created in 1782 and used until 1841.