1. 1933: The first Major League Baseball All-Star game takes place
More than 49,000 people flocked to Chicago’s Comiskey Park on this day in 1933 to attend the first Major League Baseball All-Star game. Originally dubbed as a one-time “Game of the Century” featuring the best players from both the National and American leagues, the All-Star game has become one of the most watched games in baseball. The intentions behind the game were to increase attendance during the Great Depression. The American League would go on to win the game 4-2 after just 2 hours and five minutes. Because the game was so popular, thanks to the star-studded roster and non-stop action, it was determined that another would be held the following year. That tradition has continued almost every year since.
2. 1957: First African American to win at Wimbledon, Althea Gibson
On this date in 1957, Althea Gibson became the first African American to win on the grass courts of Wimbledon. Wimbledon is known for being the ultimate prize in tennis since its origin in 1877. Gibson has a list of accomplishments a mile long in a sport that was mostly segregated at that time making them even more significant. Thanks to forward thinking of Alice Marble who had petitioned that Gibson should be able to compete, Althea made her U.S. open debut in 1950. In 1956 she would become the first African American to with the French Open, but 1957 was really her year. Not only did she win at Wimbledon, but also picked up a win at the U.S. Open and was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year 1957. Almost 18 years later on July 5th, 1975, Arthur Ashe became the first African American male to win at Wimbledon.
3. 1988: Piper Alpha offshore oil rig explosion
Located roughly 120 miles off the northeast coast of Scotland sat one of the largest offshore oil rigs in the North Sea known as the Piper Alpha. On this date in 1988, a gas leak led to a major explosion setting fire to most of the rig. It was reported that flames reached upwards of 350 feet high, which proved to be a massive problem for the 225 workers on board at the time. The platform sat almost 100 feet above the sea, but to avoid the toxic fumes and immense heat, many of the workers attempted to jump, while others slid down the pipes to the icy water below. The exact cause of the explosion was never released to the public. After a civil action in 1997, it was determined that two of the deceased workers had been negligent. However, to this day many don’t agree with this being the sole cause. According to reports, there were a total of 167 fatalities, making it one of the worst off-shore oil rig disasters in history.