A Blast from the Past

By United Press International   |   July 16, 2002 at 3:15 AM
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Today is July 22.

He was the first person to be dubbed the FBI's "Public Enemy No.1." And on this date in 1934, the notorious bank robber and cop killer John Dillinger died in a hail of bullets from federal agents outside Chicago's Biograph Theater, where he'd just seen "Manhattan Melodrama" starring Clark Gable and Myrna Loy. In a fiery bank-robbing career that lasted just over a year, Dillinger and his associates robbed 11 banks for more than $300,000, broke jail and narrowly escaped capture several times and killed seven police officers and three federal agents.


It was on this date in 1991 that Milwaukee police arrested a man as a suspect in the deaths of at least 15 people. Jeffrey Dahmer, a former chocolate factory worker, would later confess to a string of killings that involved necrophilia and cannibalism. Dahmer was beaten to death in prison in November,1994.

In 1994, on this date, O.J. Simpson declared himself "100-percent not guilty" at his arraignment in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend. After a high-profile and controversial trial he was acquitted.

And in 1995, Susan Smith, the Union, S.C., mother who had confessed to drowning her two young sons by allowing her car to roll into a lake with the boys locked inside, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

American aviator Wiley Post completed the first-ever solo flight around the world on this date in 1933. It took him seven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin struck on this date in 1376, according to German legend. As the story goes, a piper, angry at not having been paid for ridding the town of Hamelin of its rats, led the town's children away and into a hole in the side of a mountain, never to be seen again. Historians think the legend stems from an event in 1284, when many young men of Hamelin left on a colonizing adventure.

On this date in 1620, Dutch pilgrims left for America. Their ship -- called the "Speedhaven" -- set sail from Delfshaven, Holland.

And Chicago-based Vee Jay Records released "Introducing the Beatles" on this date in 1963. Hardly anyone noticed.

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Today is July 23.

As the sweltering summer of 1967 progressed, Detroit authorities feared the worst in the mostly African American inner city neighborhood of Virginia Park where 60,000 poor people were crammed, living in squalor in divided and sub-divided apartments. In the early morning hours, on this date, the situation exploded as one of the worst riots in U.S. history broke out. By the time it was quelled four days later by 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops, 43 people were dead, 342 injured, and nearly 1,400 buildings had been burned.

A three-month murder spree in the Midwest and along the East Coast ended on this date in 1997 with the discovery of the body of the suspected killer, Andrew Cunanan, on a houseboat in Miami. He'd apparently committed suicide. Cunanan was a suspect in the deaths of two men in Minnesota, and the killings of a Chicago businessman, a New Jersey caretaker, and fashion designer Gianni Versace, who'd been gunned down outside his Miami mansion just a week earlier.

On this date in 1982, actor Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed when a helicopter disabled by special effects explosives crashed on the set of "The Twilight Zone" movie.

The space shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on this date in 1999 with a woman at the helm. Air Force Col. Eileen Collins was the first woman to command a space shuttle flight. The mission lasted four days.

And what's believed to be the first typewriter was patented on this date in 1829 by one William Burt of Mount Vernon, Mich. He called it the "typographer."


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Today is July 24

At 12:51 EDT on this date in 1969, Apollo 11, the U.S. spacecraft that had taken the first astronauts to the surface of the moon, safely returned to Earth. The American effort to send astronauts to the moon had its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress eight years earlier: "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." The flight was a success but the astronauts were quarantined for a few days by NASA officials who feared "moon germs" might have also returned from the lunar surface.

On this date in 1847, after 17 months and many miles of travel, Brigham Young led 148 Mormon pioneers into Utah's remote Valley of the Great Salt Lake and began preparations for the thousands of Mormon migrants who would follow. Seeking religious and political freedom, the Mormons migrated from the east after the murder of Joseph Smith, the Christian sect's founder and first leader.

A gunman opened fire inside the crowded tourist entrance of the Capitol building in Washington on this date in 1998. Two police officers were killed and a tourist was wounded before officers shot the gunman. He survived and later was charged with murder.

It was on this date in 1679 that New Hampshire became a royal colony of the British crown. And on this date in 1701, French explorer Antione de la Mothe Cadillac landed in what's now Detroit.

And the same Scottish scientists who'd produced Dolly the cloned sheep announced on this date in 1997 that they had cloned a sheep with human genes.

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Today is July 25.

At 50 minutes to midnight, 45 miles south of Nantucket Island, the Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria and the Swedish ocean liner Stockholm collided in a heavy Atlantic fog. Fifty-one passengers and crew were killed in the collision, which ripped a great hole in the broad side of the Italian vessel. Miraculously, 1,660 persons aboard the Andrea Doria were rescued before it sank the next morning.

Mata Hari, archetype of the seductive female spy, was sentenced to death in France for spying on Germany's behalf on this date in 1917. She was executed the following October. As an entertainer, she packed dance halls from Russia to America with her near-nude exotic Indian dances. She was also a famous courtesan, and with the outbreak of World War I her catalog of lovers began to include high-ranking French officers. In February 1917, French authorities arrested her for espionage.

After asking from the cockpit "Where is England?", French pilot Louis Bleriot took off on this date in 1909 from Les Baraques, France, and flew across the English Channel, landing in a field near Dover, England, 36 minutes later. He was the first person to fly a "heavier-than-air machine" across the English Channel in what also was the world's first international airplane flight.


A New York court on this date in 1997 convicted Autumn Jackson, who claimed to be the out-of-wedlock daughter of Bill Cosby, of seeking to extort money from the entertainer by threatening to go to the tabloid newspapers with her story.

The world's first "test-tube" baby, an infant girl named Louise Brown, was born in Oldham, England, on this date in 1978. Actually, "test-tube" is a misnomer: she was actually conceived in a petrie dish.

And on this date in 1999, cyclist Lance Armstrong--having overcome testicular cancer that had spread to his brain--became the first American on an American team to win the Tour de France. 0-

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Today is July 26.

The FBI was born on this date in 1908 when U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte ordered a group of newly hired federal investigators to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch of the Department of Justice. One year later, the Office of the Chief Examiner was renamed the Bureau of Investigation, and in 1935 it became the Federal Bureau of Investigation. J. Edgar Hoover did not join the bureau until 1917. He became acting director in 1924.

Africa's first sovereign, black-ruled democratic nation was founded on this date in 1847, when Liberia became a republic. The country had been settled by repatriated slaves from the United States.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur was named commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines on this date in 1941. At the time, the United States had not yet entered World War II.

One of the conditions for ending the 1991 Gulf War called for Iraq to allow U.N. inspectors to check on whether the country had any weapons of mass destruction--nuclear, chemical or biological. Of course, Baghdad wasn't thrilled about the idea and often interfered, but on this date in 1992, the Iraqi government backed down and agreed to allow a U.N. inspection team to do its job.

And NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" became the first network television show to be broadcast in stereo on this date in 1984.

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Today is July 27

Muhmmad Reza Pahlavi, the former shah of Iran, died of cancer on this date in 1980 while in exile in Egypt. After hjis ouster in Iran, the shah traveled to several countries before entering the United States in October 1979 for medical treatment of his cancer. In Tehran, Islamic militants responded on Nov. 4 by storming the U.S. embassy and taking 52 Americans hostage, holding them for 444 days after the U.S. refused to return the shah for trial.

An armistice agreement ending the Korean War was signed on this date in 1953 at Panmunjom, Korea, by U.S. and North Korean delegates. Both sides claimed victory at the conclusion of the truce negotiations, which had lasted two years and 17 days.

On this date in 1921, at the University of Toronto, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolate insulin--a hormone they believe could prevent diabetes--for the first time. Within a year, the first human sufferers of diabetes were receiving insulin treatments, and countless lives were saved from what was previously regarded as a fatal disease

One person was killed and more than 100 were injured on this date in 1996 when a bomb exploded at Olympic Park in Atlanta, Ga., during the summer Olympic games.

Orville Wright--one-half of the Wright Brothers--set what was then a world record on this date in 1909 by staying aloft in a plane for one hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds.

And it was on this date in 1986 that Greg LeMond, a 25-year-old cyclist from Sacramento, Calif., became the first American to win biking's toughest contest, the 2500-mile Tour de France. He was a member of a French team.

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Today is July 28.

Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife were assassinated on June 28, 1914, at Sarajevo, Bosnia, by a Serb nationalist--sparking the conflict that would become World War I. Exactly one month later--on this date in 1914 -- Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, marking the formal start of the war. Within weeks, Germany would enter the war on the side of Austria-Hungary and Russia, France and Britain on the side of Serbia.

On the same date in 1945 that the U.S. Senate ratified the United Nations charter by a vote of 89-2, an Army B-25 bomber lost in the fog crashed into the side of the Empire State Building in New York City--killing 13 people.

One of the deadliest earthquakes ever, measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 on the Richter scale, flattened the Chinese industrial city of Tangshan on this date in 1976. An estimated 242.000 people in Tangshan and surrounding areas were killed.

President Reagan opened the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles on this date in 1984. A Soviet-led bloc of 15 nations, as well as Iran, Libya, Albania and Bolivia, boycotted the games.


nd it was on this date in 1998 that--in return for a grant of immunity--former White House intern Monica Lewinsky agreed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating a possible relationship between her and President Clinton.

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