Tahj Mowry – Nickelodeon actor. You’d recognize him if you saw him – 32
Trent Reznor – Nine Inch Nails frontman – 54
Jordan Knight – former New Kids on the Block singer – 49
Craig Ferguson – comedian and former late-night host – 57
Enya Brennan – the singer Enya – 58
Bob Saget – actor – 63
Sugar Ray Leonard – Olympic boxer – 63
Gary Paulsen – author, “Hatchet” series – 80
BORN ON THIS DATE
Bill Paxton – Actor, “Apollo 13” – 1955
Dennis Hopper – actor – 1936
Ayatollah Khomeini – of Iran – 1902
1673 – French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliette set out to explore the Mississippi River. They departed from what is present-day Ashland, WI.
Marquette learned about the route from Illinois Indians who had ventured north. In the Huron language, Mississippi means “big river.”
The expedition crossed from Lake Michigan through the Fox River. Five were along for the adventure in two canoes.
After reaching the Mississippi they headed south. Their expedition ended 435 miles short of the Gulf of Mexico. Marquette feared an encounter with Spanish settlers after seeing natives with European goods. After heading south for mile after mile, Marquette also figured the route wouldn’t take him to the Pacific Ocean.
1792 – Twenty-four stock brokers gathered under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street in New York City to sign the Buttonwood Agreement. This document forced the men to only trade with each other and pay a point-two-five percent (.25%) commission on the sales.
This was the first meeting of the New York Stock & Exchange Board, which would later become, simply, the New York Stock Exchange.
1849 – The paddlewheel steamboat The White Cloud starts on fire. Before the fire department could put it out, The White Cloud’s moorings burned through, and the boat was set adrift down the river.
On its way, the vessel started another 23 boats and barges on fire.
The fire on the boats jumped to buildings on shore. In an attempt to impede the blaze, firefighters tried blowing up six businesses with black powder, hoping to create a firebreaker, which eventually did work.
In all, the fire consumed 418 buildings, 23 boats, and 15 city blocks. Three died.
1939 – The Columbia Lions and Princeton Tigers baseball teams square off at Columbia’s Baker Field in the first televised sporting event broadcast in America.
Experimental station W2XBS aired the game in New York City. That station would become WNBC-TV.
Princeton won 2-to-1.
It wouldn’t be until August of the same year that the first MLB game was broadcast, a matchup between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinatti Reds.
1954 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that racially segregated schools are unconstitutional. The unanimous nine-to-zero decision overturned the separate-but-equal doctrine, noting that separate educational facilities would inherently be unequal, and violate the equal protection clause.
This landmark decision was one of the first major steps in the civil rights movement’s victory.
1973 – The U.S. Senate begins its televised hearings of the Watergate investigation. These of course impelled President Richard Nixon’s resignation from office.
Demi Lovato has permanently inked a strong figure in her life on her forearm. The singer shared a photo of her new tattoo—of her late great-grandmother—which was brought to life from an old photograph and captioned it, “you at 26 on my arm, while I’m 26, and forever. I love you more.”
Demi likes to get ink to mark special occasions in her life. Her last tattoo was of a rose to mark 6 months sober.
Sarah Jessica Parker ripped apart the National Enquirer via Instagram on Wednesday. The actress received an email from the publication asking for her comment on an alleged fight she had with her husband Matthew Broderick, which prompted the rant.
Sarah shared the email and captioned it with her harsh words, saying the outlet repeatedly tries to “fabricate and undermine” her decades long marriage.
Ric Flair was hospitalized Thursday morning after suffering a medical emergency. The WWE legend was in Atlanta when something went wrong and he was rushed to the emergency room. No details, other than the situation being described as “very serious” have been shared.
Ric had a previous scare in 2017, when he was placed in a medically induced coma for 11 days after his intestine ruptured.
Heather Locklear has returned to rehab, just six months after being placed on a psychiatric hold. According to People, the actress has been at an in-patient facility for about two weeks and is focusing on her issue with alcohol, pills and her overall mental health.
A source close to the family told the outlet that they are “hopeful that this time will be different.”
Lisa Vanderpump may leave the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” but one thing is holding her back: she doesn’t want to give her castmates the satisfaction of seeing her go.
Sources close to Lisa told TMZ that she does not want to return to the show if it is renewed, but she feels like the other “housewives” have ganged up on her to push her out.
Another source added that Lisa has grown sick of the negativity and is uncertain if she will attend the upcoming reunion show.
New York City’s socialist mayor, Bill de Blasio, is expected to declare his candidacy for president on Thursday. The cat was let out of the bag in a post on the Woodbury County, Iowa’s Democratic Party Facebook page announcing de Blasio would appear at an event there as an official candidate. De Blasio plans to highlight his accomplishments as new York City Mayor, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a drop in crime, and providing universal pre-kindergarten.
President Trump has granted a fall pardon to former media mogul Conrad Black. Black had served 42 months for a prior conviction on counts of fraud and obstruction of justice. Meanwhile, the company Black oversaw was dismantled in a tidal wave of lawsuits. But in a statement, the White House said Black is an entrepreneur and scholar” who has served his time and deserves a break. Black went to prison, essentially, for removing boxes of paperwork from his office and taking nearly $300,000 in an unsigned non-compete agreement. Sounds awful.
Joe Biden has expanded his lead among Democrats in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. The former vice president is supported by 29% of Democrats and independents in the poll, which is up from 24% shortly before he announced his campaign. He leads all demographic groups except for millennials, who still support Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders.
Only about 13% of Americans are aware of how bad the situation is at the border, according to a new Harvard/Harris poll. About 76% of Americans believe illegal immigration levels are far lower than what they really are. While the number of border crossers apprehended has been between 300,000 and 500,000 per year since 2010, there have been nearly 100,000 border apprehensions in April of this year alone. In the poll, more than 3/4 of Americans believe there are between zero and 250,000 border apprehensions every year.
Representatives from Venezuela’s impaneled president and its opposition leader are reportedly in talks in Oslo Norway. According to anonymous sources in the country’s assembly, which is regarded as the legitimate government, the talks are aimed at resolving the crisis which has led to turmoil in recent years. The Venezuelan assembly leader, Juan Guaido, is recognized by most of the worlds non-dictatorship countries as the nation’s real president.
Alabama late on Tuesday passed the nation’s toughest anti-abortion bill. The new law would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion at any point during the pregnancy, punishable by 99 years in jail. One exception would be when the woman’s health is in serious jeopardy. Because of the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, the law will likely become a lawsuit in short order if signed into law by Republican governor Kay Ivey.
More saber rattling by Iran. The country’s minister of defense, Amir Hatami, said on Wednesday that Iran will defeat the American and Israeli alliance. He called it “the American-Zionist front.” The comments come amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, illustrated by the arrival of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group in the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov defended Iran, saying their actions are in line with the US decision to withdraw from the Obama-era nuclear deal.
After suffering an ankle injury last week, Daniel Craig is expected to be back on set of Bond 25 in Jamaica “within the week.” Initial reports were concerned over the severity of the injury, but it’s well enough to allow him to film — with caution.
The as-yet-untitled spy flick is set for an April 2020 release.
Wendy Williams is shutting down “The Hunter Foundation,” a charity that helps addicts. It was named for ex-husband Kevin Hunter. She made the announcement on her talk show, but did emphasize she’ll still pursue charitable efforts, just to other organizations.
Miles Heizer – actor, “13 Reasons Why,” “Parenthood” – 25
Thomas Brodie-Sangster – “Jojen Reed” on “Game of Thrones” – 29
Behati Prinsloo – model; married to Adam Levine – 30
Megan Fox – actress – 33
Joseph Morgan – TV actor, “The Vampire Diaries” & “The Originals” – 38
Tori Spelling – TV actress, “Beverly Hills 90210” – 46
Janet Jackson – pop star – 53
Krist Novoselic – Nirvana bassist – 54
Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan – actor – 66
1770 – Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste are married. He was 15, she was 14.
The marriage was politically motivated. Louis and Marie were cousins, and their union consolidated the royal family’s power.
Before the wedding, Marie Antoinette had a dentist try to straighten out her teeth using an archaic form of braces. The apparatus included a metal ring with holes for thin wires, used as leverage to physically pull teeth into place.
But she still wasn’t attractive enough for Louis. Even after their marriage, they did not consummate the arrangement. It took another 7 years for them to do the Deed.
1868 – Andrew Johnson is acquitted in his impeachment trial by a margin of one vote. It was the first impeachment trial of a sitting U.S. president.
House Republicans cited eleven high crimes and misdemeanors against Johnson. He was accused of dismissing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton without the Senate’s Approval. Under the Tenure of Office Act, the Senate should have dismissed a cabinet secretary.
Thirty-five senators voted to convict the president, but nineteen dissented, bringing the Republicans short one vote.
In 1887 the Tenure of Office Act was repealed, and later Supreme Court rulings vindicated Johnson’s actions: a 1926 case supported the president’s ability to remove his appointments without consulting congress.
1918 – Congress passes the Sedition Act, which forbade “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the government or its army.
It was passed as an amendment to the Espionage Act, approved in 1917.
It was designed to marginalize peacenik protesters as the United States engaged in World War One. The legislation gave the government tremendous power to squash any dissent. Those found guilty faced $10,000 in fines and up to twenty years in prison.
After the war, congress repealed the act in December 1920.
1929 – At a quiet gathering at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in front of 270 people, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences director Douglas Fairbanks presented the first Academy Awards. He handed out fifteen awards in fifteen minutes. Winners had even learned of their wins three months earlier. The ceremony was not even broadcast on radio.
There was no Best Picture Award, but rather one called Most Outstanding Production and its cousin, Most Artistic Quality of Production.
Other categories: Best Director, Comedy Picture
Best Director, Dramatic Picture
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Best Writing, Adapted Story
Best Art Direction
Best Engineering Effects
Best Writing, Title Writing
An honorary award went to Charlie Chaplin “for versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing, and producing his film The Circus.”
1965 – The Franco-American company unveils SpaghettiOs for the first time. Jimmy Rodgers’ iconic jingle, “The neat round spaghetti you eat with a spoon / Uh Oh, SpaghettiOs” immortalized the canned snack.
Today, Campbell’s sells more than 150 million cans of SpaghettiOs a year.
1975 – The first woman summits Mount Everest.
Her name is Junko Tabei, a Japanese mountaineer. The first American woman would accomplish the feat in 1988.
The first climbers to summit K2 were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
1991 – Queen Elizabeth II addresses a joint session of congress. She is the first British monarch to do so, though other royalty from other countries have made similar speeches.
Her Highness praised the United States for its swift action in the Persian Gulf war and re-established the countries’ longstanding partnership.
2005 – Sony announced its newest gaming platform, the PlayStation 3. It did not hit shelves for another year, however.
It was popular until the release of the XBOX, which was later surpassed by the Wii.