1. 1881 Billy the Kid gets gunned down.
It was on this day in 1881 that the legendary outlaw Billy the Kid was gunned down by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Henry McCarty, more commonly known as Billy the Kid, was wanted for the death of Sheriff William Brady and his deputy in Lincoln, New Mexico. The Sheriff and his deputy were part of the gang that had killed Billy’s previous employer, ranch owner John Tunstall, and Billy vowed that he would seek revenge for the murder of his boss. Soon after, Billy became the most wanted man in the west and after evading posses that had been sent to wrangle him for quite some time, he was able to strike a deal with the Governor of New Mexico. The deal was that Billy would testify against the ongoing “Ranch Wars” and in exchange he would be set free. However, when he started to get the feeling the state would not honor its part of the deal he took matters into his own hands and escaped. Sheriff Pat Garret tracked Billy to the Maxwell Ranch where he was able to sneak into the room where Billy was hiding and proceeded to gun down the famous outlaw.
2. 1995: New audio format gets renamed, MP3
On this day in 1995, the brand new format that allowed CD quality music files small enough to be stored on your home computer received its official name. The format was called MP3 and it was completely revolutionary to the music business. When consumers started buying home computers in the early ’90s, it was not uncommon for them to have hard drives roughly 500MB in size. At the time, that was a significant amount of storage, but in comparison a CD quality three minute song will use approximately 32MB. So, storing any music on your computer was out of the question. But when the MP3, formerly known as “MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3” came into play suddenly you could have hundreds if not thousands of songs right at your fingertips. This of course led to digital audio players like the iPod and many others. By the late ’90s, the highly efficient data compression algorithm was able to compress a single song into just 2-3MB allowing even bigger music libraries that could fit in your pocket. Between 2000 and 2006 the sales of music CD’s took a very big, hit declining almost 30%.
3. 1913: Gerald R. Ford is born
Near Omaha, Nebraska on this date in 1913, future President Gerald Ford was born under the name Leslie Lynch King Jr. He was named after his biological father that had ran out on the family when Ford was just three years old. His mother did remarry, and her new husband, Gerald Ford, adopted the boy and changed his name. The family would move to Grand Rapids, Michigan where the young Ford would go on to play football at the University of Michigan. While pursing his law degree, he worked as an assistant coach for Yale University’s football team. In 1941 he graduated and not long after that joined the Navy; he would end up serving in WWII from 1942-1945. Ford would go on to be the 38th President of the United States of America and would be come the first to do so after a previous president resigned from office. He took office August 9th, 1974 after Nixon resigned to avoid being impeached due to the Watergate scandal.