1854 Henry David Thoreau published Walden, in which he described his experiences while living in a small cabin near Walden Pond in Massachusetts.
1920 Actor Allen “Farina” Hoskins (The Little Rascals) is born. He dies in 1980.
1927 Actor Robert Shaw (From Russia With Love, The Sting, Jaws, The Deep, Force 10 From Navarone) is born. He dies in 1978.
1936 At the Berlin Olympics, African-American track star Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal of the games in the 4-by-100-meter relay. His relay team set a new world record of 39.8 seconds, which held for 20 years.
1944 Smokey Bear (not Smokey The Bear), an advertising character by the U.S. Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council, made his debut as spokesbear for forest fire prevention. Only you can prevent forest fires.
1945 At 11:02 a.m. local time, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb, the “Fat Man”, on Japan, destroying part of the city of Nagasaki. An estimated 74,000 people died from the blast or its after-effects.
1969 Actress Sharon Tate and four other people were found brutally murdered in Tate’s Los Angeles home. Cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his disciples were later convicted of the crime.
1974 At noon ET, President Richard M. Nixon formally resigned as President of the United States, becoming the first person in the history of the country to resign the top political office in the land. Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the nation’s 38th chief executive.
1976 Cal Hubbard, with his induction as an umpire into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, became the first professional athlete to be elected to two Halls Of Fame. In 1963, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
1978 The Carol Burnett Show last aired on CBS after 11 years.
1985 Pee Wee’s Big Adventure starring Paul Reubens opened in theaters.
1995 Rock musician Jerry Garcia, founder of the Grateful Dead, died of a heart attack. He was 53.
1995 Northern Exposure last aired on CBS.
1999 For the first time in major league history, five grand slams were hit in a single day. Fernando Tatis of the Cardinals, Jose Vidro of the Expos, Mike Lowell of the Marlins, Bernie Williams of the Yankees, and Jay Buhner of the Mariners all connected to set the record.
2001 President George W. Bush approved federal funding for research only on existing lines of embryonic stem cells.
2002 Oscar-winning actor and National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston reveals that he has symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease.
2003 Actor-singer-dancer Gregory Hines (History Of The World Part I, White Nights, Running Scared, Waiting To Exhale, Will & Grace) dies at age 57.