History What Happened Today
Joan of Arc entered Orleans with supplies seven months into the siege of the city in the Hundred Years War; the siege was lifted a week later.
J.F. Hummel of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania patented rubber.
In Cleveland, Ohio, electric arc lights were used for the first time.
The improved version of the zipper was patented by Swedish engineer Gideon Sundback as a "separable fastener."
Construction of the "Spirit of St. Louis" was completed. Flown by Charles Lindbergh in the first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight, the plane was completed in two months at a cost of $10,580. It was named in honor of Lindbergh's financial supporters in St. Louis, Missouri.
The 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, part of the most honored regiment in United States military history (the 442nd regimental combat team), had another first when they freed the remaining prisoners of the Nazi death camp, Dachau. The 522nd consisted entirely of second generation Japanese-Americans (Nisei).
On NBC-TV, Ernest Borgnine made his network television debut in "Night Visitor" on "Ford Theatre". The film star would go on to become a sitcom star in CBS's "McHale’s Navy" with comedian Tim Conway and, later, as a helicopter owner in "Airwolf".
Dick Clark told a House of Representatives investigating committee checking into the payola scandal that he, host of "American Bandstand", never took payola it feature certain records on his daily television show. Clark did give up the rights to music publishing he owned, however. Thirty years later, Clark said those rights amounted to about $80 million.
The Broadway musical "Hair" left Greenwich Village for Broadway. The show opened eyes, as it marked the first time actors appeared naked in a Broadway musical. On and off-Broadway, "Hair" ran for 1,844 shows, and was even more successful in its later London run. Popular songs from the show: "Hair" (The Cowsills) and "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" (The 5th Dimension).
Sir Duke, Duke Ellington, turned 70 today. He was presented with the Medal of Freedom, the United States government’s highest civilian honor.
The master of horror/suspense films, director Alfred Hitchcock died at 80 of kidney slow-down, liver failure and a worn-out enlarged heart. Considered by many to be a genius, Hitchcock developed his own macabre film style, which was always precise in detail to elicit the fear or horror he wanted his audiences to experience. Despite his talent, or because of it, Hitchcock was a severely repressed, troubled man who used his own neurosis to shape his films, his television series, and several actresses who appeared in his films. He dominated and remade actress Tippi Hedren into his new "cool blonde." She suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of a vicious bird attack sequence in The Birds. Rebecca was his only film to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, and it won the Oscar. Hitchcock never received an Oscar for Best Director, although he was nominated several times - a sensitive issue with him. His estate at the time of his death was worth more than $20 million.
In England, Peter Sutcliffe admitted he was the Yorkshire Ripper, murderer of 13 women.
14 Liverpool football supporters were sentenced to jail terms for their part in the 1985 Heysel stadium tragedy in Belgium.
A jury acquitted four Los Angeles, California police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King. The verdict sparked rioting and looting
Galerius Valerius Maximianus issued an edict under which Christians were legally recognized in the Roman Empire.
A supernova is believed to have been observed in Europe, China, Japan, and Egypt. The explosion of Supernova 1006 occurred in the constellation Lupus. Supernovae are exploding stars that may give off a luminosity 100 million times that of the sun. A supernova may be visible for several months or even years after its explosion.
George Washington was inaugurated as America's first president.
The first national holiday in the United States was celebrated. The citizens of the U.S. Observed the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration. Today these national holidays include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day.
The first railroad car equipped with fluorescent lights was put into service. The train car was known as the "General Pershing Zephyr".
The New York Giants (of baseball) whipped the Brooklyn Dodgers 26-8. They also set a major-league record for runs driven in by a team in a single game.
The University of Iowa Hawkeyes needed to release a little pent-up energy to celebrate the Hawkeyes 72-70 basketball win over the Golden Gophers of the University of Minnesota. The men students conducted panty raids at women’s dorms, making this the in thing to do at colleges everywhere. Now that colleges have coed dorms, panty raids have become a part of collegiate history along with the swallowing of goldfish.
President Richard Nixon accepted responsibility for the bugging that took place in 1972 at the Watergate apartment complex.
President Richard Nixon handed over partial transcripts of tape recordings to the impeachment inquiry.
Three more compact discs of music by The Beatles went on sale for the first time. The discs were "Help!", "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver". All became hits again for the Fab Four.
Kevin Jalbert, age 40, of West Haven, Connecticut, filed a lawsuit of $15,000 against talk show host Phil Donahue and wife Marlo Thomas. Jalbert said they were negligent because their golden retriever was running loose when it was hit by a car on the highway. Jalbert turned his head to look at the injured dog and rammed into a fire truck. The suit was to cover Jalbert's medical bills and to repair his truck. The dog apparently slipped through an electric fence in the couple's yard.