323 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king, kaput. Fancy education, via Aristotle, succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne in 336 BC after the King was assassinated and died thirteen years later at the age of 32. He partied and went to bed, never to rise again. Unlike the south.
1752 - Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects a charge in a Leyden jar when the kite is struck by lightning, enabling him to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning.
1829 – The first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place. I care deeply about this.
1838 – Myall Creek Massacre in Australia. A group of men, consisting of eleven convict settlers and one free man, gathered up twenty-eight Aboriginal Australians, mostly women and children, and murdered them.
1922 – Singer-actress Judy Garland was born Frances Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minn.
1953 – John Edwards, American politician and lawyer, was born.
Campaign aide Andrew Young claimed to have set up private meetings between Edwards and Hunter. He wrote that Edwards once calmed Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band. Still cracks me up.
1959 – Happy Birthday, Eliot Spitzer!
"I cannot allow for my private failings to disrupt the people's work," Spitzer said at a news conference in New York City. "Over the course of my public life, I have insisted– I believe correctly– that people take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor."
1977 - James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., escaped from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee with six others; he was recaptured three days later.
2002 - John Gotti, Boss of the Gambino crime family, died in a prison hospital at age 61.