1. 1997 Gianni Versace is a victim of shooting spree
It was on this date in 1997 that world-renowned Italian fashion designer, Gianni Versace, is gunned down on the front steps of his Miami mansion. His death sparked a nationwide FBI manhunt for Andrew Cunanan, who was also wanted for the death of multiple victims stretching from Minneapolis to San Diego. Cunanan had never been considered a violent man; he had no police record prior to 1997. Just over a week after Versace’s death, Cunanan was tracked down by agents to a a two-story houseboat not more than a couple miles from the scene of the crime. He had self-inflicted gun wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.
2. 1903: Chicago Dentist places first order from Ford Motor Company
Just one month after signing the papers to become an official business, Ford Motor Company received their first order on this day in 1903. Ernst Pfenning was a Chicago dentist, so therefore he could afford the $850 it would cost to purchase the new two seat Model A that had a two-cylinder engine with an estimated eight horsepower. It was marketed as the most powerful engine to be placed in a passenger car, and had a top speed of 30mph thanks to two forward gears that you controlled with you feet. In just two months, Ford took more than 215 orders for the Model A and by the end of the year they had made over 1,000. Of course, this was a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of Model T’s sold from 1908 until 1927.
3. 1986: Johnny Cash gets dropped by Columbia Records after 26 years
On this day in 1986, Columbia Records ended their relationship with Johnny Cash after more than 26 years and millions of albums sold. Cash signed with Columbia in the early ’60s, and it didn’t take long for him to start making them money. His first single went to #5 on the charts and his second not only went all the way to #1, but also crossed over into the pop top 40 chart as well. Over the next eight years, Cash would string out eight straight #1 albums. The ’80s brought a different kind of country music to popularity and Cash’s raw, old-school style no longer had the impact it once had. He stopped making records ,which therefore wasn’t making Columbia any money, ultimately leading to him being released. Cash didn’t let that stop him, however, as he soon linked up with American Recordings ran by Rick Rubin, who was the Beastie Boys producer as well as co-founder of Def Jam records. There, Cash would continue making music for the remainder of his 50 year career. His second album under Rubin’s guidance, Unchained, won a Grammy for Best Country Album in 1998.