1647 The first recorded American execution of an accused witch took place in Massachusetts.
1703 Czar Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg as the new capital of Russia.
1894 Author Dashiell Hammett (The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon) is born. He dies in 1961.
1911 Actor Vincent Price (The House Of The Seven Gables, The Three Musketeers, House Of Wax, The Ten Commandments, The Fly, House Of Usher, Pit And The Pendulum, The Masque Of The Red Death, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Edward Scissorhands) is born. He dies in 1993.
1919 The pop-up toaster is patented by Charles Strite of Minneapolis.
1933 Walt Disney‘s Academy Award-winning animated short The Three Little Pigs was first released.
1937 San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opened.
1941 The British Navy sunk the German battleship “Bismarck” off France, with a loss of 2300 lives.
1949 Hollywood actress and pin-up girl Rita Hayworth married playboy Muslim Prince Ali Khan.
1964 The James Bond film From Russia With Love, starring Sean Connery and Robert Shaw, opens.
1964 Eleven boys are suspended at a school in Coventry, England for having hair styles like Mick Jagger.
1972 “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens peaks at Number Six on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.
1972 “Tumbling Dice” by the Rolling Stones peaks at Number Seven on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.
1977 New York City fined “human fly” George H. Willig $1.10 — one penny for each of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center he’d scaled the day before.
1977 Declan McManus debuts as Elvis Costello at a London nightclub. He has previously been using the name D.P. Costello.
1978 “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” by Billy Joel peaks at Number 17 on the pop chart.
1989 Sonic Temple by the Cult peaks at Number 10 on the album chart, where it stays for six weeks.
1993 Five people were killed in a bombing at the Uffizi Museum of Art in Florence, Italy. About three dozen paintings were ruined or damaged in the attack.
1994 Late-night talk show The Arsenio Hall Show aired for the last time.
1994 The Eagles kick off their Hell Freezes Over reunion tour at Irvine Meadows in Irvine, California.
1995 Superman actor Christopher Reeve was thrown from his horse during a jumping event in Virginia, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
1997 The Supreme Court ruled that Paula Jones could pursue her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton while he was still in office.
1998 Michael Fortier, the government’s star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after he apologized for not warning anyone about the plot.
1999 A U.N. tribunal indicted Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for crimes against humanity, alleging he was personally responsible for the horrors in Kosovo and the purge of its ethnic Albanians.
1999 The latest restoration of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, an effort that took 22 years, went on display in Milan, Italy.
2001 Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler sings “The Star Spangled Banner” before the start of the Indianapolis 500 race. Tyler angers some military veterans when he changes the last line of the song from “the home of the brave” to “the home of the Indianapolis 500.” He later apologizes.
2001 John Mellencamp‘s wife Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp becomes the first woman to drive the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 race.