238 – The Praetorian Guard storm the palace and capture Pupienus and Balbinus. They are dragged through the streets of Rome and executed. On the same day, Gordian III, age 13, is proclaimed emperor, the sixth emperor of the year.
1148 – The Siege of Damascus ends in a decisive crusader defeat and leads to the disintegration of the Second Crusade.
1818 – French physicist Augustin Fresnel submits his prizewinning “Memoir on the Diffraction of Light”, precisely accounting for the limited extent to which light spreads into shadows, and thereby demolishing the oldest objection to the wave theory of light.
1836 – Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.
1871 – The Connecticut Valley Railroad opens between Old Saybrook and Hartford, Connecticut
1914 – The Cape Cod Canal opens.
1932 – Great Depression: In Washington, D.C., troops disperse the last of the “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans.
1948 – Olympic Games: The Games of the XIV Olympiad: After a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the first Summer Olympics to be held since the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, open in London.
1957 – The Tonight Show – Tonight Starring Jack Paar premieres on NBC with Jack Paar beginning the modern day talk show.
1976 – In New York City, David Berkowitz (a.k.a. the “Son of Sam”) kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks.
From the DAILY NEWS archive:
“What made the difference in the end was Berkowitz’s compulsion to harass his neighbors with anonymous notes, one of whom claimed his dog had been shot with the same kind of gun used by the serial killer. When another neighbor returned home to find a fire near his apartment, he alerted the police, who realized that this was a pattern in Berkowitz’s behavior. They figured out his car make and license number, and began to look at him as a potential suspect in the case:
[The] tip that broke the case … came from Cacilia Davis, 49, a terrified woman who told a belated story to New York police. Davis, who lives near the Gravesend Bay site where Stacy Moskowitz was killed, said she was walking her dog Snowball near her apartment at 2:30 a.m. on the night of the murder. A young man “who walked strange, like a cat” approached her on the sidewalk, looked directly into her face, then passed. She said he held his right arm down stiffly, as though he were carrying something partly up his sleeve. Five minutes later she heard shots and the wail of a car horn. Next day, learning of the double shooting, she was certain the passing stranger had been the killer. When detectives questioned her, she recalled another vital detail: she had seen a cop tagging a cream-colored car parked illegally near a fire hydrant one block from the murder site.
Incredibly, Berkowitz, who had so cleverly eluded police for so long, had used his own properly registered 1970 Ford Galaxie sedan as his getaway car for each attack, not bothering even to acquire stolen license plates. When New York police checked parking tickets for the murder night in the Gravesend neighborhood, they found one issued to Berkowitz; it led to his Yonkers address. They wondered: What was a Yonkers resident doing 25 miles away in Brooklyn at 2:30 a.m.?”
1981 – A worldwide television audience of over 700 million people watch the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
2005 – Astronomers announce their discovery of the dwarf planet Eris.