1399 – Henry IV is proclaimed King of England.
1791 – The first performance of The Magic Flute, the last opera by Mozart, took place at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna.
1882 – Thomas Edison’s first commercial hydroelectric power plant begins operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.
1888 – Jack the Ripper kills his third and fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.
1927 – Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 60 home runs in a season.
1938 – The League of Nations unanimously outlaws “intentional bombings of civilian populations”.
1943 – The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, New York was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1949 – The Berlin Airlift that began in 1948 ends. At the end of the Second World War, U.S., British, and Soviet military forces divided and occupied Germany. Also divided into occupation zones, Berlin was located far inside Soviet-controlled eastern Germany.
1954 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Nautilus is commissioned as the world’s first nuclear reactor powered vessel.
1955 – Film star James Dean dies in a road accident aged 24.
A few months after actor James Dean died in the highway accident, Batmobile creator George Barris, known as the “King of the Kustomizers,” acquired the remains of his wrecked Porsche 550 Spyder.
Attorney Lee Raskin, author of “James Dean: On the Road to Salinas” and an outspoken critic of Barris’ stewardship of “Little Bastard,” says the car was originally registered in California by its engine number, rather than the chassis number. After the Porsche was written off by Dean’s insurance company, it was sold for $1,092 to Dr. William F. Eschrich, who removed the engine and other drivetrain components before Barris took possession of the rest of the car. Since no official record of that transfer has been discovered – and since Eschrich’s family still has the original pink slip for the car, along with the engine – Raskin believes the entire vehicle belongs to the Eschriches.
As for the parties directly involved in the ongoing discussion, Barris’ death slowed the process, which means an attempt to find out if James Dean’s Porsche is hidden behind a wall somewhere made take some time before being resolved.
1968 – The Boeing 747 is rolled out and shown to the public for the first time at the Boeing Everett Factory.
1982 – Cyanide-laced Tylenol kills six people in the Chicago area.
1986 – Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed details of Israel’s covert nuclear program to British media, is kidnapped in Rome by the Mossad.
Vanunu worked as a technician and took about 60 photos of the top-secret labs and the unique production processes involved. When some of these photos were published in an London Sunday Times’ exposé, they confirmed his eyewitness testimony about the extent of Israel’s nuclear weapons program and revealed Israel to be one of the world’s top nuclear powers.
1861 – William Wrigley, Jr., American businessman, founded Wrigley Company (d. 1932)
1915 – Lester Maddox, 75th Governor of Georgia (d. 2003)
1917 – Buddy Rich, American drummer, bandleader, and actor (d. 1987)
1924 – Truman Capote, American author, playwright, and screenwriter
1946 – Jochen Mass, German race car driver
954 – Louis IV of France (b. 920)
1978 – Edgar Bergen, American actor and ventriloquist (b. 1903)
1985 – Charles Francis Richter, American seismologist and physicist
1989 – Virgil Thomson, American composer and critic (b. 1896)
2011 – Anwar al-Awlaki, American-Yemeni terrorist (b. 1971)