Published On: May 22 2013 07:15:11 PM EDTUpdated On: May 24 2015 02:00:00 AM EDT
2008: Comedian Dick Martin (right), best known as the co-host of the TV sketch comedy program "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" with Dan Rowan (left) from 1968 to 1973, dies of breathing complications at the age of 86 in Santa Monica, California.
2006: "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary film calling attention to global warming and starring former Vice President Al Gore, opens in New York City and Los Angeles. The documentary was a critical and box-office success, winning two Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song.
1995: The historical drama "Braveheart," starring Mel Gibson as the 13th century Scottish warrior William Wallace, premieres in theaters. The movie, which was also directed by Gibson, would go on to earn 10 Academy Award nominations, winning five, including Best Picture and Best Director.
1994: Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal A. Ayyad and Ahmad Ajaj are each sentenced to 240 years in prison after being convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City. In November 1997, two more were convicted: Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the bombing, and Eyad Ismoil, who drove the truck carrying the bomb.
1991: The movie "Thelma & Louise," starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, premieres in theaters. The film, directed by Ridley Scott and also featuring Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen and Brad Pitt in supporting roles, became a critical and commercial success. Both Sarandon and Davis were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress, two of six total Oscar nominations for the movie, but lost out to Jodie Foster for "The Silence of the Lambs."
1989: The action-adventure movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" premieres in theaters. The movie, the third in the blockbuster movie franchise directed by Steven Spielberg, added Sean Connery to play the father of Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones. In the film, set largely in 1938, Indiana searches for his father, a Holy Grail scholar, who has been kidnapped by Nazis. It set an opening day record by earning more than $11 million at the box office and ended up making $475 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film worldwide in 1989.
1988: Singer Billy Gilman, who made his country music debut at age 11 and became the youngest singer to score a Top 40 hit on the country music charts, is born in Westerly, Rhode Island. Gillman's debut single, "One Voice," peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and reached No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
1984: Wrestling promoter and businessman Vince McMahon Sr., the founder of WWE, dies of pancreatic cancer at the age of 69 in North Miami, Florida. In 1982, McMahon had sold the parent company of the then-WWF to his son Vincent Kennedy McMahon, who began an expansion process that fundamentally changed the professional wrestling industry and transformed the company into a worldwide business.
1976: The supersonic passenger airliner Concorde begins service to America, with the London to Washington, D.C., service departing and arriving from Washington Dulles International Airport.
1974: Composer, pianist and big-band leader Duke Ellington, a major figure in the history of jazz whose career spanned more than 50 years, dies from lung cancer and pneumonia at the age of 75 in New York City.
1968: The Rolling Stones release "Jumpin' Jack Flash" in the United Kingdom. The song, which would be released about a week later in the United States, became one of their most popular and recognizable songs, topping the charts in the U.K. and reaching No. 3 in the U.S.
1967: Rapper Heavy D, whose hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s included "We Got Our Own Thang" and "Now That We Found Love," is born Dwight Arrington Myers in Mandeville, Jamaica. The rapper released five albums with the hip-hop group Heavy D & the Boyz, was the president of Uptown Records and tried his hand at acting during his career. He died from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 44 on Nov. 8, 2011.
1965: Actor John C. Reilly, best known for his roles in movies like "Boogie Nights," "Chicago," "Step Brothers" and "Wreck-It Ralph," is born in Chicago, Illinois. Reilly earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for "Chicago."
1963: Author Michael Chabon, the best-selling writer of books such as "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh," "Wonder Boys," "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" and "The Yiddish Policemen's Union," is born in Washington, D.C.
1962: American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule as part of the Mercury program. Carpenter was the second American to orbit the Earth, after John Glenn earlier in the year aboard the Friendship 7 capsule.
1960: Actress Kristin Scott Thomas, best known for movies such as "Bitter Moon," "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "The English Patient" (pictured), is born in Redruth, Cornwall, England.
1959: John Foster Dulles, who served as U.S. secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, dies of colon cancer at the age of 71 in Washington, D.C. The Washington Dulles International Airport, located in Dulles, Virginia, is named in his honor. He's seen here with Eisenhower in 1956.
1955: Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, the eldest daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, is born in Memphis, Tennessee. She is best known for her 1981 breakthrough hit "Seven Year Ache" and other songs like the Grammy-winning "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me" and "Blue Moon with Heartache." She's seen here (left) with her father and her stepmother, June Carter Cash, in 1996.
1953: Actor Alfred Molina, best known for the TV series "Law & Order: LA" and movies such as "Spider-Man 2," "Boogie Nights," "Frida" and "Prince of Persia," is born in London, England.
1949: Actor Jim Broadbent, best known for movies such as "Iris," "Moulin Rouge!," "Bridget Jones's Diary," "The Iron Lady" and the later "Harry Potter" films, is born in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for 2001's "Iris."
1945: Priscilla Presley, the actress and businesswoman best known for her six-year marriage to Elvis Presley, is born Priscilla Ann Wagner in Brooklyn, New York. As chairwoman of the board for Elvis Presley Enterprises from 1982 to 1998, she helped turn Graceland into a multi-million dollar tourist attraction. She also starred with Leslie Nielsen in the "Naked Gun" film series and played Jenna Wade on the television series "Dallas" for five years.
1944: Singer-songwriter and actress Patti LaBelle, best known for songs such as "Lady Marmalade," "If You Only Knew," "Love Has Finally Come at Last," "New Attitude" and "On My Own," is born Patricia Louise Holte in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1943: Actor Gary Burghoff, best known for playing Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly on the "M*A*S*H" movie and sitcom, is born in Bristol, Connecticut.
1941: Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades, is born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota. Some of Dylan's hits include "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are a-Changing," "Like a Rolling Stone," "Positively 4th Street," "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35," "Lay Lady Lay" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, he has sold more than 100 million records in his career and won 11 Grammys, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1941: During the Battle of the Denmark Strait, the German Battleship Bismarck sinks the British battlecruiser HMS Hood. Of the 1,418 crew, only three men survived. The sinking of the ship, the then pride of the British fleet, had a profound effect on the British people and Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the Royal Navy to "sink the Bismarck!" Three days later that order was fulfilled, with the Bismarck sinking after a sustained bombardment from a British fleet.
1938: Comedian and actor Tommy Chong, known for the Cheech & Chong stoner comedy movies with Cheech Marin, is born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
1935: The first night game in Major League Baseball history is played in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 at Crosley Field.
1883: The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City opens to traffic after 14 years of construction. On that first day, a total of 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people crossed what was then the only land passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
1879: H. B. Reese, the candymaker who created Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, is born in York County, Pennsylvania.
1856: John Brown and his men kill five slavery supporters north of Pottawatomie Creek in Kansas in retaliation for the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas, by pro-slavery activists three days earlier.
1844: Samuel Morse sends the message "What hath God wrought" from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the basement of the U.S. Capitol building to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate the first telegraph line.
1830: The nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" is first published by the Boston publishing firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon as an original poem by Sarah Josepha Hale.
1819: Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is born Alexandrina Victoria in Kensington Palace in London. Victoria became a national icon during her 63-year reign and was identified with strict standards of personal morality.
1626: Peter Minuit buys the island of Manhattan from the native population for goods valued at 60 Dutch guilders, which is estimated to be about $1,000 in today's dollars.
1543: Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who formulated a comprehensive heliocentric model which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center of the universe, dies at the age of 70 in Frombork,Royal Prussia, Kingdom of Poland.