Krakatoa blows its top, The Guinness Book of World Records debuts, "Mary Poppins" premieres, The Beatles meet The King and a guitar great dies, all on this day.
1776: In what is now Brooklyn, N.Y., British forces under Gen. William Howe defeat Americans under Gen. George Washington in the Battle of Long Island. The battle is the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War following the United States Declaration of Independence and the first battle in which an army of the United States engaged, having declared itself a nation only the month before.
1783: Jacques Alexandre César Charles, a member of the French Academy of Science, launches the first balloon inflated with hydrogen gas. The unmanned flight ascends from the Place des Victories in Paris to a height of nearly 3,000 feet and comes down some 15 miles away where terrified peasants attack and destroy it.
1813: French Emperor Napoleon I defeats a larger force of Austrians, Russians and Prussians at the Battle of Dresden.
1859: Col. Edwin L. Drake strikes "rock oil" in Titusville, Pa., leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well. The resulting oil boom is the first in the United States.
1883: The island volcano Krakatoa erupts and the resulting tidal waves kill 36,417 on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra.
1896: The Anglo-Zanzibar War, the shortest war in world history, takes place from 9:02 to 9:30 a.m. between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar.
1908: Lyndon B. Johnson, who would go on to become the 36th president of the United States, is born in Stonewall, Texas.
1939: The turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, the world's first jet aircraft, makes its first flight.
1947: Actress Barbara Bach ("The Spy Who Loved Me," "Force 10 from Navarone") is born in Queens, N.Y.
1952: Actor Paul Reubens, better known as Pee-Wee Herman, is born in Peekskill, N.Y.
1955: "The Guinness Book of World Records" is published for the first time and reaches the top of the British bestseller lists by Christmas. The following year it's launched in the U.S. and sells 70,000 copies.
1962: The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA. It later becomes the first space probe to conduct a successful planetary encounter.
1963: Civil rights activist and scholar W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard and one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, dies at age 95 in Accra, Ghana.
1964: The Walt Disney movie "Mary Poppins," starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, premieres in Los Angeles. The movie would go on to become the No. 1 movie at the box office in 1965, earning a net profit of $28.5 million.
1965: The Beatles, who are in Los Angeles to do two nights at the Hollywood Bowl, pay an informal social visit to Elvis Presley at his home in Bel-Air, Calif.
1967: The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, is found dead in his London home from an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 32.
1969: Dog trainer Cesar Millan, known for his TV show "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan," is born in Santa Clarita, Calif.
1976: Actress Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs," "Roseanne") is born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
1979: Actor Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad") is born in Emmett, Idaho.
1984: "Good Sex! with Dr. Ruth Westheimer" premieres on the Lifetime cable channel with sex therapist Ruth Westheimer counseling actors appearing as her patients. Over the course of it's seven-year run, the show's format changes to include celebrity and physician interviews and call-ins.
1990: Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who helped ignite the blues revival of the 1980s with his band Double Trouble, is killed along with three others when the helicopter he's riding in crashes into a hill following a performance in East Troy, Wis.
1990: With the retractable roof at Toronto's SkyDome open on a beautiful night, a baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays is delayed for 35 minutes after clouds of gnats descend on the stadium in the fifth inning. Closing the roof stops the bugs and allows the game to continue.
2000: The 1,772-foot-tall Ostankino Tower in Moscow catches fire, killing three people.
2003: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles distant.
2003: The first six-party talks, involving South and North Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, convene to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
2008: Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is nominated for president by the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
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