America formally declares its independence, the U.S. Census is born, a president dies, JFK becomes a hero and a young Robert Zimmerman changes his name, all on this day.
1610: Henry Hudson sails into what is now known as Hudson Bay thinking he had made it through the Northwest Passage and reached the Pacific Ocean.
1776: The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence takes place.
1790: The first U.S. Census is conducted, with a total population of 3,929,214 recorded.
1834: French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty, is born in Colmar, France.
1870: Tower Subway, the world's first underground tube railway, opens in London. Originally featuring a 12-person cable car that went under the River Thames, the railway service lasted only three months. The tunnel was then transformed into a pedestrian tunnel.
1873: The Clay Street Hill Railroad begins operating the first cable car in San Francisco's famous cable car system.
1876: Frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok is shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota).
1922: Alexander Graham Bell, the Canadian inventor and engineer who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone, dies of complications arising from diabetes at his private estate in Nova Scotia, Canada, at age 75.
1923: President Warren G. Harding (left), who had been suffering from a respiratory illness believed to be pneumonia, shudders and drops dead in the middle of a conversation with his wife at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Physicians attending to him point to congestive heart failure as the cause of death. Vice President Calvin Coolidge (right) is sworn in as the 30th U.S. president.
1924: Actor Carroll O'Connor ("All in the Family," "In the Heat of the Night") is born in Manhattan, N.Y.
1932: Irish actor Peter O'Toole ("Lawrence of Arabia") is born in either Connemara, Ireland, or Leeds, England.
1934: Adolf Hitler becomes Germany's head of state with the title of Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor of the Reich).
1937: The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is passed in America. Although the act didn't officially criminalize marijuana use, its effect was render marijuana and all of its byproducts illegal. In 1969 in Leary v. United States, part of the Act was ruled to be unconstitutional as a violation of the Fifth Amendment, since a person seeking the tax stamp would have to incriminate him/herself.
1939: Albert Einstein and fellow emigre physicist Leó Szilárd write a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to begin the Manhattan project to develop a nuclear weapon.
1939: Film director Wes Craven ("A Nightmare on Elm Street," the "Scream" movies) is born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1943: Prisoners in the Nazi death camp of Treblinka rebel, seizing small arms, spraying kerosene on all the buildings and setting them on fire. Although a number of guards were killed, many more prisoners died in the uprising. Of 1,500 prisoners, about 600 managed to escape, but only 40 are known to have survived until the end of World War II.
1943: The Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 is rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri and sinks. Lt. John F. Kennedy (far right), future U.S. President, saves all but two of his crew.
1962: Robert Zimmerman legally changes his name to Bob Dylan, a name he had been using professionally since October 1959.
1964: In what will come to be known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, North Vietnamese gunboats allegedly fire on the U.S. destroyer USS Maddox in international waters. The incident led to the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression." The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.
1964: Actress Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds") is born in Fort Jackson, S.C.
1968: An earthquake hits Casiguran, Aurora, Philippines killing more than 270 people and wounding 261.
1969: Bob Dylan makes surprise appearance at his 10-year high school reunion in Hibbing, Minn.
1973: A flash fire at the Summerland indoor amusement on England's Isle of Man kills about 50 and leaves 80 seriously injured.
1976: Actor Sam Worthington ("Avatar," "Man on a Ledge") is born in Godalming, Surrey, England.
1976: Austrian film director Fritz Lang ("Metropolis," "M") dies in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 85.
1985: Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, crashes during a thunderstorm while on approach to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, killing 137.
1990: Iraq invades Kuwait. Within two days of intense combat, most of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces are either overrun by the Iraqi Republican Guard or have escaped to neighboring Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The invasion would eventually lead to the Gulf War.
1997: Writer William S. Burroughs ("Naked Lunch") dies in Lawrence, Kan., at age 83.
2010: Actress Lindsay Lohan is released from a Los Angeles jail after serving 14 days of a 90-day sentence for violating her probation in a 2007 drug case.
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