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1947–The first widely reported sighting of "flying saucers" is made over the Cascades, near Mt. Rainier, Washington, by pilot Ken Arnold. It sets off a national fixation with unidentified flying objects (UFOs).



BC 217–The Romans, led by Gaius Flaminius, are ambushed and defeated by Hannibal at the Battle of Lake Trasimene.

109–Roman Emperor Trajan inaugurates the Aqua Traiana, an aqueduct that channels water from Lake Bracciano, 25 miles northwest of Rome, Italy.

474–Julius Nepos forces Roman usurper Glycerius to abdicate the throne and proclaims himself Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

637–The Battle of Moira is fought between the High King of Ireland and the Kings of Ulster and Dál Riata. It is claimed to be the largest battle in the history of Ireland.

946–Commander and politician, Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid, dies in Damascus, at age 64. He was Abbasid Governor of Egypt and the founder of the Ikhshidid Dynasty.

1128–Forces led by Afonso I defeat forces led by his mother, Teresa of León, and her lover, Fernando Pérez de Traba. After the battle, the future king calls himself "Prince of Portugal," the first step towards "official independence" that will be reached in 1139, after the Battle of Ourique.

1242–Beatrice of England is born in Bordeaux, France. She was a Princess of England as the daughter of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence. Her siblings were Edward I of England, Margaret Queen of Scotland, Edmund Crouchback 1st Earl of Lancaster, Richard of England, John of England, Katherine of England, William of England, and Henry of England. She and her family were members of the Royal House of Plantagenet, which first ruled in the 12th century and was founded by Henry II of England.

1314–The Battle of Bannockburn concludes with a decisive victory by Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce, although England did not recognize Scottish independence until 1328, with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton.

1340–During the Hundred Years' War, the French fleet is almost completely destroyed by the English fleet, commanded in person by King Edward III.

1374–An outbreak of Dancing Mania (sometimes known as “St. John’s Dance”) erupts in Aix-la-Chapelle, wherein people are overcome by the ravages of uncontrollable, manic dance. Frothing at the mouth, diabolical screaming, and sexual frenzy are not unheard of in regard to the condition. Ergot (fungus) madness is now suspected as being the ultimate cause of the mania, which lasted well into the month of July.

1398–Emperor Hongwu of China dies in Nanjing, Jiangsu, Ming Empire, at age 69. Historians consider the Emperor Hongwu to have been one of the most significant emperors of China.

1497–The first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place as explorer, John Cabot, spots land, probably in present-day Canada.

1509–Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon are crowned King and Queen of England.

1519–Murderess, Lucretia Borgia, dies after giving birth in Ferrara, Italy, at age 39. She was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. It was rumoured that Lucrezia had a hollow ring that she used frequently to poison drinks.

1531–San Juan del Río, Mexico, is founded.

1535–Joanna of Austria, Princess of Portugal, is born in Madrid, Spain.

1571–Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founds Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines.

1597–The first Dutch voyage to the East Indies reaches Banten (on Java).

1604–Samuel de Champlain discovers the mouth of the Saint John River, the site of Reversing Falls and the present-day city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

1664–The colony of New Jersey is founded.

1692–Kingston, Jamaica, is founded.

1717–The Grand Lodge of England, the first Freemasonic Grand Lodge (present-day United Grand Lodge of England), is founded in London, England.

1771–Chemist-scientist, E.I. Du Pont, is born Eleuthere Irenee du Pont de Nemours in Paris, France. His descendants, the Du Pont family, have been one of America's richest and most prominent families since the 19th century, with generations of influential businessmen, politicians, and philanthropists.

1793–The first Republican constitution in France is adopted.

1812–In the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon's Grande Armée crosses the Neman River, beginning the invasion of Russia.

1813–At the Battle of Beaver Dams, a British and Indian combined force defeats the United States Army.

1817–The first coffee is planted in Hawaii on the Kona coast.

1817–Attorney, Thomas McKean, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, dies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at age 83. McKean served as President of Delaware, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, and Governor of Pennsylvania.

1821–The Battle of Carabobo takes place, as the decisive battle in the war of independence of Venezuela from Spain.

1853–The Gadsden Purchase, a 29,670-square-mile area from Mexico (present-day southern Arizona and New Mexico) is made for $10 million, signed by President Franklin Pierce.

1859–Sardinia and France defeat Austria in Solferino, northern Italy.

1860–Mercedes of Orléans, Queen of Spain, is born María de las Mercedes Isabel Francisca de Asís Antonia Luisa Fernanda de Orléans y Borbón in Palacio Real, Madrid, Spain.

1861–Tennessee becomes the 11th, and last, state to secede from the Union.

1880–The first performance of O Canada, the song that would become the national anthem of Canada, takes place at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français.

1893–Roy O. Disney, a co-founder of the Walt Disney Productions, is born Roy Oliver Disney in Chicago, Illinois. He was the older brother of Walt Disney. Walt was the creative man, while Roy was the one who made sure the company was financially stable. Roy and Walt both founded Disney Studios as brothers, but Walt would buy out most of Roy's share in 1929. Roy became the company's first CEO in 1929, although the official title was not given until 1968. He also shared the role of Chairman of the Board with Walt from 1945. After Walt Disney's death in 1966, Roy postponed his retirement to oversee construction of what was then known as Disney World. He later renamed it Walt Disney World as a tribute to his brother. Roy became the president of Walt Disney Productions on December 15, 1966, and remained so until 1968. After Walt Disney World opened in October 1971, Roy Disney finally retired.

1894–A decision is made to hold the modern Olympics every four years.

1894–Marie François Sadi Carnot, President of France (1887-1894), is assassinated in Lyon, France, at age 56. He was stabbed by Italian anarchist, Sante Geronimo Caserio.

1895–Jack Dempsey, Heavyweight Boxing Champion (1919-1926), is born William Harrison Dempsey in Manassa, Colorado. He became a cultural icon of the 1920s. His aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history.

1899–Actor, Chief Dan George, is born Geswanouth Slahoot in Tsleil-Waututh, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His English name was originally Dan Slaholt. He didn’t begin acting until he was 60 years old. He appeared in the films Smith!, Little Big Man, Cancel My Reservation, Alien Thunder, The Bears and I, Harry and Tonto, Cold Journey, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Shadow of the Hawk, Pump It Up, Americathon, Spirit of the Wind, and Nothing Personal.

1901–The first exhibition by 19-year-old painter, Pablo Picasso, opens in Paris, France, to critical acclaim.

1902–King Edward VII of the United Kingdom develops appendicitis, delaying his coronation.

1908–Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th U.S. President (1885-1889 and 1893-1897), dies of a heart attack at age 71. His last words were, "I have tried so hard to do right."

1913–Greece and Serbia annul their alliance with Bulgaria.

1916–Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to sign a million dollar contract.

1918–The first airmail service in Canada goes from Montreal to Toronto.

1919–Actor, Al Molinaro, is born Albert Francis Molinaro in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is best known for the roles of Murray the Cop on the TV sitcom The Odd Couple and Al Delvecchio on the TV series Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi.

1922–Comedian-actor, Jack Carter, is born Jack Chakrin in Brooklyn, New York. He made appearances on many television shows, including The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Rockford Files, 7th Heaven, The Road West, Sanford and Son, Tattletales, Monk, and Desperate Housewives. He appeared in the films The Horizontal Lieutenant, Viva Las Vegas, Hustle, The Amazing Dobermans, The Glove, The Octagon, Alligator, History of the World Part I, The Funny Farm, Hambone and Hillie, Caged Fury, and Play It to the Bone.

1923–Photojournalist, Marc Riboud, is born in Saint-Genis-Laval, France. He is best known for his extensive reports on the East: The Three Banners of China, Face of North Vietnam, Visions of China, and In China.

1929–Astronomer, Carolyn S. Shoemaker, is born Carolyn Jean Spellmann in Gallup, New Mexico. She is a co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. She once held the record for most comets discovered by an individual.

1932–A bloodless revolution, revolution, instigated by the People's Party, ends the absolute power of King Prajadhipok of Siam (present-day Thailand).

1938–A 450-metric-ton meteorite strikes the Earth in an empty field near Chicora, Pennsylvania.

1938–Writer, Lawrence Block, is born in Buffalo, New York. He is a crime writer best known for two long-running New York-based series about the recovering alcoholic, P.I. Matthew Scudder, and the gentleman burglar, Bernie Rhodenbarr. The Scudder novels include Eight Million Ways to Die and When the Sacred Ginmill Closes. The Rhodenbarr novels include Burglars Can’t Be Choosers and The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart.

1939–Siam is renamed Thailand by Plaek Pibulsonggram, the country's third Prime Minister.

1941–The entire Jewish male population of Gorzhdy, Lithuania, is exterminated.

1942–Singer, Arthur (Wilton) Brown, is born in Whitby, North Riding of Yorkshire, England. He had the big hit Fire with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Although Brown has had limited commercial success, he has been a significant influence on a wide range of musicians and artists. Due to his operatic vocal style and wild stage persona and concepts, he is considered a pioneer of shock rock and progressive rock, and influential on heavy metal music.

1942–Rocker, Mick Fleetwood, is born Michael John Kells Fleetwood in Redruth, Cornwall, England. He is best known as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood, whose surname was merged with that of John McVie to form the name of the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. The group’s hit albums include Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, Tusk, and Mirage.

1942–Actress, Michele Lee, is born in Los Angeles, California. She is best known for the role of Karen on Knots Landing. She appeared in the films How to Suceed in Business Without Really Trying and The Love Bug.

1943–The Allies begin a 10-day bombing of Hamburg, Germany.

1943–Actor, Georg Sanford Brown, is born in Havana, Cuba. He is best known for his role on the TV series The Rookies. He appeared in the films How to Steal a Million, The Comedians, Bullitt, Wild in the Sky, The Man, Stir Crazy, and House Party 2. He was married to actress, Tyne Daly.

1944–Rock guitarist, Jeff Beck, is born Geoffrey Arnold Beck in Wallington, London Borough of Sutton, England. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice. His hit albums include Beck-Ola, Jeff Beck Group, Beck, Bogert & Appice, and Blow by Blow.

1945–Colin Blunstone, of The Zombies, is born Colin Edward Michael Blunstone in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The group had hits with Tell Her No and She’s Not There.

1945–Politician, George E. Pataki, is born in Peekskill, New York. He was the 53rd Governor of New York. A member of the Republican Party, Pataki served three consecutive four-year terms from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2006.

1946–Georges Bidault is elected Premier of France.

1947–The first widely reported sighting of "flying saucers" is made over the Cascades, near Mt. Rainier, Washington, by pilot Ken Arnold. It sets off a national fixation with unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

1947–Actor, Peter Weller, is born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He appeared in the films The Silence, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Just Tell Me What You Want, Shoot the Moon, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Firstborn, A Killing Affair, RoboCop, Naked Lunch, The Substitute Wife, Mighty Aphrodite, and Star Trek Into Darkness.

1948–Berlin, Germany is completely isolated from the outside world. Joseph Stalin, Premier of Soviet Russia (who had already cut rail and road access to the city three months earlier) blocks all ground and water access and cuts electricity to the Western sector.

1949–Billboard magazine replaces the term “Race Record” on its record charts with “Rhythm & Blues.”

1949–Hopalong Cassidy becomes the first network Western on NBC-TV.

1949–John (Edward) Illsley, of Dire Straits, is born in Leicester, England.

1950–Actress, Nancy (Anne) Allen, is born in New York, New York. She appeared in the films The Last Detail, Carrie, I Want to Hold Your Hand, 1941, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Strange Invaders, The Buddy System, Terror in the Aisles, The Philadelphia Experiment, and RoboCop. She was married to film director, Brian De Palma, and comedian, Craig Shoemaker.

1953–John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier announce their engagement.

1957–The popular sitcom, I Love Lucy, airs for the last time on CBS-TV.

1961–Iraq demands dominion over Kuwait.

1963–The United Kingdom grants Zanzibar internal self-government.

1963–The first demonstration of a home video recorder is made at the BBC Studios in London, England.

1964–The Federal Trade Commission, acting on an unfavorable report from the Surgeon General, announces that health warnings will be put on cigarette packages.

1965–John Lennon's second book, A Spaniard In the Works, is published in the U.K. by Jonathan Cape. The book is heavy with political cynicism and sarcasm, throws a couple of veiled verbal assaults at his father, and otherwise concentrates on nonsense. Although Lennon is offered a lucrative deal to write a third book for Cape, he backs down just before the proposed delivery date of his manuscript.

1967–The worst caving disaster in British history kills six people at Mossdale Caverns, in the Yorkshire Dales, England.

1967–Actress, Sherry (Lea) Stringfield, is born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is best known for the role of Dr. Susan Lewis on the TV medical drama ER.

1968–”Resurrection City,” a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People's March on Washington, D.C., is closed down by authorities.

1968–Joe Frazier defeats Manda Ramos for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship.

1973–The UpStairs Lounge arson attack takes place at a gay bar located on the second floor of a three-story building in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Thirty-two people die as a result of fire or smoke inhalation.

1975–The U.S. Attorney of Newark, New Jersey, indicts 19 music business executives, including Arista CEO, Clive Davis, on counts of income tax evasion and payola. The indictments are the result of a two-year investigation.

1976–American photographer, Imogen Cunningham, dies in San Francisco, California, at age 93. She was known for her botanical photography, nudes, and industrial landscapes. Dedicated to her art, Cunningham was still taking photographs up until a few days before her death.

1977–The IRS reveals the President Jimmy Carter paid no taxes in 1976.

1980–In the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, John Lennon spots a freesia hybrid named “Double Fantasy.” He will borrow that name for the title of the album he is now planning to record upon his return to New York.

1981–The Humber Bridge opens to traffic, connecting Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, England.

1982–British Airways Flight 9 flies into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, resulting in the failure of all four engines.

1984–At an auction in New York, Yoko Ono sells many items from her private collection. The sale is entitled “Yoko’s Attic Sales.”

1987–Entertainer, Jackie Gleason, dies of colon cancer in Lauderhill, Florida, at age 71. Gleason was one of TV’s biggest stars in the 1950s and 1960s. He is best known for the role of bus driver, Ralph Kramden, in the sitcom The Honeymooners. He started on the DuMont Television Network, became a celebrated fixture on CBS-TV with his series The Jackie Gleason Show, and later worked in film. He appeared in the films Navy Blues, All Through the Night, Larceny, Inc., Orchestra Wives, Springtime in the Rockies, The Hustler, Gigot, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Papa’s Delicate Condition, Soldier in the Rain, Skidoo, Smokey and the Bandit, The Toy, and Nothing in Common.

1989–After the Tiananmen Square protests, Jiang Zemin succeeds Zhao Ziyang to become the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.

1994–Actress, Sally Field, files for divorce from her second husband, Alan Greisman.

1995–The Stanley Cup: The New Jersey Devils beat the Detroit Red Wings, 4 games to 0.

1997–Actor, Brian Keith, dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Malibu, California, at age 75. He suffered from emphysema and lung cancer despite having quit smoking 10 years earlier, and was also struggling with depression. He is best known for the role of bachelor-uncle-turned-reluctant-parent, Bill Davis, on the TV sitcom Family Affair. He appeared in the films The Violent Men, 5 Against the House, Nightfall, The Young Philadelphians, The Parent Trap, The Pleasure Seekers, Those Calloways, The Hallelujah Trail, The Rare Breed, Nevada Smith, Way... Way Out, With Six You Get Eggroll, Krakatoa, East of Java, The Wind and the Lion, Hooper, and Young Guns.

1999–The first permanent exhibition of John Lennon's artwork (drawings and prints) opens at the Mathew Street Gallery in Liverpool, England. Ian Wallace, who began collecting Lennon limited editions in the early 1990s, was the driving force behind the opening of the gallery. The gallery is located just yards from the original site of the Cavern Club, where Lennon (as a member of The Beatles) paid his musical dues. John Lennon was a student at the Liverpool College of Art between 1957 and 1960.

1999–Eric Clapton auctions off one hundred of his guitars in New York to raise money for the Crossroads Clinic in Antigua. The 1956 Fender Stratocaster on which he composed Layla fetches a record price of $497,500.

2002–The Igandu train disaster in Tanzania kills 281 people. It is the worst train accident in African history.

2004–Capital punishment is declared unconstitutional in the state of New York.

2005–Paul Winchell, voice actor and ventriloquist, dies of natural causes in Los Angeles, California, at age 82. Winchell's best-known ventriloquist dummies were Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff: the original Jerry Mahoney and one copy of Knucklehead Smiff are in storage at the Smithsonian Institution.

2010–Julia Gillard assumes office as the first female Prime Minister of Australia.

2010–John Isner (of the United States) defeats Nicolas Mahut (of France) at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history.

2012–Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, becomes President of Egypt.

2012–Lonesome George dies. He is the last known Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii (a subspecies of the Galápagos tortoise).

2013–Former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is found guilty of abusing his power and having sex with an underage prostitute. He is sentenced to seven years in prison.

2014–Actor, Eli Wallach, dies of natural causes in Manhattan, New York, at age 98. He appeared in the films Baby Doll, The Magnificent Seven, The Misfits, How the West Was Won, The Moon-Spinners, Kisses for My President, Lord Jim, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, How to Steal a Million, The People Next Door, Cinderella Liberty, The Deep, Winter Kills, The Hunters, Nuts, The Two Jakes, The Godfather Part III, Article 99, Mistress, Night and the City, and Mystic River.

2016–The United Kingdom votes, 52% to 48%, to leave the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the referendum three years ago, announces his resignation, indicating he will leave office by October.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: A coin depicting Julius Nepos; Dancing Mania (sometimes known as “St. John’s Dance”); Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines; a coffee plantation on the Kona Coast of Hawaii; Roy O. Disney; Chief Dan George; Jack Carter; Arthur Brown; Georg Stanford Brown; a UFO comic book; Nancy Allen; A Spaniard In the Works by John Lennon; Imogen Cunningham; Jackie Gleason; Brian Keith; and Paul Winchell with Jerry Mahoney.

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