1. 2011: Hollywood Legend Elizabeth Taylor Dies at age 79
On this day in a Los Angeles hospital, the infamous Hollywood Actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away due to heart failure at 79 years old. Taylor spent almost her entire life in the spotlight. Although she was born in London in 1932, her family moved to Southern California in 1932 where she immediately got involved in acting. She landed her first role in the film “There’s One Born Every Minute” in 1942, and remained in the spotlight for the rest of her life. Her last film was a cameo appearance in the 1994 rendition of the The Flintsones. She was known for her lavish lifestyle and was actually married 8 different times throughout her 79 years on this earth. She was buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, which happens to be the same place her very dear friend Michael Jackson is buried.
2. 1994: “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky scores his 802nd Goal
Wayne Gretzky earned his title of “the Great One” by being the most dominant hockey player in the history of the game. He started skating when he was just 2 years old, and by the time he was 6 he was playing hockey on a pee-wee league team of 10 year olds. Even at that age he was so good that the games he played were always sold out and were sometimes televised, as Gretzky went on to score as many as 378 goals in one season of pee-wee hockey. Later, at the young age of 18, he started playing professionally for the Edmonton Oilers and helped them win the Stanley cup in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. The following year, in a very controversial trade, Gretzky went to play for the L.A. Kings where he took them to Stanley cup final in 1993. By the time he retired in 1999 Gretsky had broken 61 hockey records in his career, and on this day in 1994 he scored his 802nd goal which broke his childhood hero Gordie Howe’s Record for most goals scored in a career.
3. 1918: The Germans use a massive artillery cannon to destroy Paris
On this day in 1918, the Germans use their Pariskanone, which later became known as the Paris Gun. The Pariskanone was a massive artillery cannon that had a 118 foot long barrel that shot 210mm 4ft tall projectiles an incredible distance of 25 miles, or 130,000 feet, in the air. These thing were as big as trains, but they could destroy a target from so far away that being mobile didn’t really matter. When the artillery fire started, many of the French thought they were being bombed, but when there was no planes or anything in the sky they were somewhat baffled as to how it was happening. In this time period, being able to fight from that distance was completely unheard off where as today that is fairly standard. Over the next six months, the Pariskanone would claim as many as 260 lives.