1999: After 20 days of flight, the experimental Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon, flown by Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard, touches down in the Egyptian desert to complete the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight. Piccard is the grandson of the balloon flight pioneer Auguste Piccard.
1994: Bruce Springsteen wins an Oscar for the song "Streets of Philadelphia" from the Tom Hanks movie "Philadelphia."
1994: Steven Spielberg wins his first Academy Awards, winning Best Director for "Schindler's List," which also won him an Oscar for Best Picture as one of the film's producers. The movie also dominated the night's awards, winning five more Oscars out of its 12 nominations in total.
1989: Madonna's album "Like a Prayer" is released. Her fourth studio album, it would be certified quadruple platinum in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America and top the album charts in 18 countries, including the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Six singles were released from the album: "Like a Prayer," "Express Yourself," "Cherish," "Oh Father," "Dear Jessie" and "Keep It Together." The title track became Madonna's seventh No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, while "Express Yourself" and "Cherish" peaked at No. 2.
1987: U2 releases the single "With or Without You." The song, from their fifth album "The Joshua Tree," would become the group's most successful single at the time, becoming their first No. 1 hit in both the United States and Canada.
1987: Actor Robert Preston, best remembered for originating the role of Harold Hill in the 1957 stage musical "The Music Man" and the subsequent film adaptation, dies of lung cancer at the age of 68 in Montecito, Calif. Preston also appeared in the movies "How the West Was Won," "Mame," "Victor Victoria," for which he earned an Academy Award nomination, and "The Last Starfighter."
1985: Arthur Ashe is named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1968, Ashe became the first black tennis player to be ranked No. 1 in world. He won three Grand Slam titles during his career, ranking him among the best tennis players from the United States.
1980: Soccer star Ronaldinho, a two-time winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005 who helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup, is born Ronaldo de Assis Moreira in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He also won his first Champions League in 2006 with FC Barcelona and the Ballon d'Or, as Europe's top player, in 2005.
1980: In an episode of the TV show "Dallas" titled "A House Divided," the character J.R. Ewing, played by Larry Hagman, is shot by an unknown assailant. Viewers had to wait until the October conclusion, "Who Done It," to discover who had shot him.
1980: President Jimmy Carter tells a group of U.S. athletes that America will boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. It marked the first and only time that the United States has boycotted the Olympics. The boycott, which was joined by more than 60 other countries, would prompt the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
1978: Dancer, actor and rapper Kevin Federline, best known for his marriage to pop singer Britney Spears from 2004 to 2007, is born in Fresno, Calif.
1970: The first Earth Day proclamation is issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto.
1965: Martin Luther King Jr. leads 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. The marchers averaged 10 miles a day along U.S. Route 80, known in Alabama as the "Jefferson Davis Highway." Protected by 2,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army, 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under federal command, and many FBI agents and U.S. marshals, the marchers arrived in Montgomery on March 24, and at the Alabama State Capitol on March 25, where King delivered the speech "How Long, Not Long."
1965: NASA launches Ranger 9, which is the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes. The probe was designed to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface in the minutes before it crashed into the moon's surface.
1963: Alcatraz, a federal penitentiary on an island in San Francisco Bay, closes. The facility, which first served as a military prison and then a federal prison since 1934, is now a museum and one of San Francisco's major tourist attractions.
1962: Comedian and actress Rosie O'Donnell, best known for hosting the Emmy-winning "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and for movies such as "A League of their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle" and "The Flintstones," is born in Commack, N.Y.
1962: Actor Matthew Broderick, best known for his roles in movies like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "WarGames," "Biloxi Blues," "The Freshman" and "Election," is born in New York City. Broderick also voiced Simba in Disney's "The Lion King" and has appeared on Broadway in "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "The Producers," which he also starred in the movie version of.
1958: Actor Gary Oldman, best known for his roles in movies like "Sid and Nancy," "JFK," "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Léon: The Professional," "Immortal Beloved," "The Dark Knight" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," is born in London, England. Oldman earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."
1956: The movie "Rock Around the Clock," about a concert promoter (played by radio disc jockey Alan Freed) who brings rock 'n' roll to the masses, opens in theaters. The film stars Bill Haley and His Comets and is named after their hit song.
1952: Radio disc jockey Alan Freed presents the Moondog Coronation Ball, widely considered to be the first rock 'n' roll concert, in Cleveland, Ohio. The crowd at Cleveland Arena was over capacity and police shut down the show because of fire code violations after just one song. Despite the event being cut short, it proved to the music industry the widespread appeal of this new form of music.
1949: Singer-songwriter Eddie Money, known for his string of hits and platinum albums in the 1970s and '80s, including "Baby Hold On," "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Take Me Home Tonight," is born Edward Joseph Mahoney in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1946: Actor Timothy Dalton, best known for playing James Bond in 1987's "The Living Daylights" and 1989's "Licence to Kill," is born in Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales.
1946: The Los Angeles Rams sign running back Kenny Washington, making him the first black player in the NFL in the modern era.
1943: Wehrmacht officer Rudolf von Gersdorff plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler by using a suicide bomb, but the plan falls through when Hitler's planned 30-minute visit to a military museum in Berlin is cut short as a security precaution. Von Gersdorff was able to defuse the bomb in time and avoid suspicion.
1940: Singer Solomon Burke, one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s, is born in Philadelphia, Pa. Over his 55-year career, Burke had 35 singles that charted in the U.S., including hits like "Cry to Me," "If You Need Me," "Got to Get You Off My Mind," "Down in the Valley" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love." In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died on Oct. 10, 2010, at the age of 70 in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands.
1928: President Calvin Coolidge presents Charles Lindbergh with the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration, for the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.
1922: Film director and producer Russ Meyer, known primarily for writing and directing a series of successful low-budget sexploitation films that featured campy humor, sly satire and large-breasted women such as "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" and "Vixen!," is born in San Leandro, Calif. He died of pneumonia at age 82 on Sept. 18, 2004.
1919: The Hungarian Soviet Republic is established, becoming the first Communist government to be formed in Europe after the October Revolution in Russia brought the Bolsheviks to power. The independent communist state was short lived, however, lasting only until Aug. 1, 1919, when the Hungarian Red Army was defeated by Romanian forces and the country's leaders, including revolutionary leader Béla Kun (seen here), fled the country.
1902: Blues singer and guitarist Eddie James "Son" House Jr., noted for his highly emotional style of singing and slide guitar playing, is born in Lyon, Miss. In a short career interrupted by a spell in Parchman Farm penitentiary for allegedly killing a man in self-defense, Son House was a formative influence on blues greats like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.
1788: A fire in New Orleans leaves most of the town in ruins. The fire, fed by a strong wind from the southeast, destroyed 856 of the 1,100 structures in the city in about five hours, spanning the south central French Quarter from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the riverfront buildings.
1617: Pocahontas, a daughter of the Algonquin chief Powhatan from the Tidewater region of Virginia who was kidnapped by the English during Anglo-Indian hostilities in 1613, is buried in Gravesend, England. During her captivity, she converted to Christianity, took the name Rebecca and eventually married tobacco planter John Rolfe and traveled to England. She died sometime earlier in March 1617 after boarding a ship in England with her husband for a return home to Virginia. Pocahontas is best known for the historical anecdote in which she is said to have saved the life of Englishman John Smith in 1607 by placing her head upon his own when her father raised his war club to execute him. While that story is believed to either be untrue or a misinterpretation of events, she did contribute significantly to the early survival of the Jamestown colony in Virginia and played a brief but dramatic role in English imperial propaganda.