*1212 – The most severe of several early fires of London burns most of the city to the ground.
*1499 – The Portuguese explorer Nicolau Coelho returns to Lisbon after discovering the sea route to India as a companion of Vasco da Gama.
*1553 – Lady Jane Grey takes the throne of England.
*1850 – President Millard Fillmore is sworn in, a day after becoming President upon Zachary Taylor’s death.
*1913 – The temperature in Death Valley, California, hits 134 °F (57 °C), the highest temperature ever to be recorded on Earth.
*1925 – Scopes Trial: In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” begins of John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.
*1938 – Howard Hughes begins a 91-hour airplane flight around the world that will set a new record.
*1940 – World War II: The Vichy government is established in France.
*1962 – Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched into orbit. Telstar is the name of various communications satellites. The first two Telstar satellites were experimental and nearly identical. Telstar 1 launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962. It successfully relayed through space the first television pictures, telephone calls, and telegraph images, and provided the first live transatlantic television feed. Telstar 2 launched May 7, 1963. Telstar 1 and 2-though no longer functional-still orbit the Earth. (Wiki)
*1985 – The Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland harbour by French DGSE agents, killing Fernando Pereira.
*1991 – Boris Yeltsin takes office as the first elected President of Russia.
*1992 – In Miami, former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug and racketeering violations.
*1997 – In London, scientists report the findings of the DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton which supports the “out of Africa theory” of human evolution, placing an “African Eve” at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
*1998 – Catholic Church sexual abuse cases: The Diocese of Dallas agrees to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys who claimed they were sexually abused by Rudolph Kos, a former priest.
*1792 – George M. Dallas, 11th VP of the United States (d. 1864)
*1834 – James Abbott McNeill Whistler, American-English painter and illustrator (d. 1903)
*1856 – Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American physicist and engineer (d. 1943)
*1871 – Marcel Proust, French novelist, critic, and essayist (d. 1922)
*1927 – David Dinkins, 106th Mayor of New York City
*1943 – Arthur Ashe, American tennis player and journalist (d. 1993)
*1947 – Arlo Guthrie, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor
*138 – Hadrian, Roman emperor (b. 76)
*1851 – Louis Daguerre, French photographer and physicist, invented the daguerreotype (b. 1787)
*1978 – John D. Rockefeller III, American businessman and philanthropist, founded the Asia Society (b. 1906)
*1979 – Arthur Fiedler, American conductor (b. 1894)
*1989 – Mel Blanc, American voice actor (b. 1908)