1908 Henry Ford introduced the first mass-produced automobile — the Model T — at a price of $825. Over 15 million of the black cars were eventually sold.
1910 Bank robber Bonnie Parker (Bonnie & Clyde) is born. She dies in 1934.
1920 Actor Walter Matthau (The Fortune Cookie, The Odd Couple, The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three, Earthquake, The Sunshine Boys, The Bad News Bears, JFK, Grumpy Old Men, I’m Not Rappaport) is born. He dies in 2000.
1928 Actor George Peppard (Breakfast At Tiffany’s, The A-Team) is born. He dies in 1994.
1930 Actor-singer Richard Harris (The Guns Of Navarone, Camelot, A Man Called Horse, Orca, Patriot Games, Unforgiven, Gladiator, the Harry Potter movies; “MacArthur Park”) is born. He dies in 2002.
1932 According to legend, Babe Ruth called a home run against the Chicago Cubs’ Charlie Root in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the World Series.
1949 Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung raised the first
1945 R&B singer Donny Hathaway (“The Ghetto,” “Where Is The Love,” “To Be Young, Gifted And Black”) is born. He dies in 1979.
1948 Singer-guitarist Cub Koda (Brownsville Station) is born. He dies in 2000.
flag of the People’s Republic of China, marking the founding of the new Communist government.
1955 The TV series The Honeymooners, starring Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, and Joyce Randolph, premieres.
1961 Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit his 61st home run, breaking Babe Ruth‘s single season record. Maris’ record was marked with an asterisk for years, because he accomplished his feat in a longer season than Ruth did. Maris’ own record was broken in 1998 by Mark McGwire, and then McGwire’s record was broken in 2001 by Barry Bonds, who hit 73.
1962 The Merv Griffin Show premiered on NBC.
1962 Barbra Streisand signs with Columbia Records.
1962 Johnny Carson takes over from Jack Paar as host of The Tonight Show.
1962 The TV series The Lucille Ball Show, starring Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, and Gale Gordon, premieres.
1966 Blonde On Blonde by Bob Dylan peaks at Number Nine on the album chart.
1968 The movie Night Of The Living Dead opens.
1969 Abbey Road by the Beatles is released.
1971 Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida.
1975 Heavyweight Muhammad Ali beat Joe Frazier in a fight billed as “The Thrilla in Manila,” because it took place in the Philippines.
1977 Brazilian soccer great Pele retired with an amazing 1,284 goals in 1,363 games.
1980 Paul Simon‘s semi-autobiographical film One Trick Pony opens.
1981 The Pretenders are forced to cancel the remaining dates on their U.S. tour after drummer Martin Chambers puts his hand through a window in Philadelphia, causing major injury to arteries and tendons.
1982 EPCOT Center opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.
1983 “(She’s) Sexy And 17″ by the Stray Cats peaks at Number Five on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.
1985 Author E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little) dies at age 86.
1988 ”I Hate Myself For Loving You” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts peaks at Number Eight on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.
1988 Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union.
1989 Denmark: World’s first legal modern same-sex civil union called “registered partnership”
1992 H. Ross Perot announced his re-entry into the presidential race, reversing his decision of two-and-a-half months before to drop out.
1993 Wilson Pickett is sentenced to one year in jail for hitting an 86 year-old man with his car while drinking.
1997 16-year-old Luke Woodham of Pearl, Mississippi, killed his mother, then opened fire with a rifle at school, killing his former girlfriend and another student and wounding six others.