Today's History Trivia for June 9
1980 Richard Pryor Catches on Fire The award-winning comedian pours 151-proof rum all over himself and lights himself on fire. He then ran down the street ablaze until he was subdued by police. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for second and third degree burns covering more than half of his body.
1934 Donald Duck The cartoon character makes his film debut with the release of The Wise Little Hen. This is the date Disney uses as his birthday, however, his birthday was given in the cartoon Donald's Happy Birthday (1949) as March 13th.
1993 Pepsi Syringe Hoax A hypodermic needle is found in a Pepsi can in Tacoma, Washington prompting hundreds of reported similar incidents, all of which turned out to be hoaxes.
1992 Actor Ben Vereen is accidentally run over by record producer David Foster. They had recently worked together on an AIDS benefit.
1969 Rolling Stones Brian Jones announces that he is quitting the band he formed.
1959 First U.S. Ballistic-Missile Submarine The USS George Washington (SSBN-598) is launched. It made its first test strike a year later, hitting a target 1,100 nautical miles (1266 miles, 2037 kilometers) away.
1943 Income tax withholding law is signed by Pres. Roosevelt, requiring employers to collect taxes from their employees as they are paid.
1928 First Transpacific Flight Charles Kingsford Smith arrive in Australia. They had departed from Oakland, California on May 31.
1898 Hong Kong China leases the land to Great Britain for 99 years.
1856 Mormon Handcart Pioneers The first group departs from Iowa City, Iowa. They carried their possessions in wooden handcarts across their 1300-mile trek arriving in Salt Lake City, Utah in September.
1784 Organization of the Catholic Church in the U.S. begins when Father John Carroll is appointed superior of the American missions.
Today's Birthdays for June 9
Robert S. McNamara
American banker. U.S. Secretary of Defense (1961-68) and World Bank president (1968-81). He played a major role in escalating the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
1915 Les Paul d. 2009 (Lester William Polsfuss), American guitarist. Music: Tiger Rag and Vaya con Dios (#1). He invented the solid-body electric guitar (1941), first 8-track recorder, sound-on-sound recording, solid-body neck-worn harmonica holder, which allows hands-free playing of the harmonica.
1963 Johnny Depp American actor. TV: 21 Jump Street (Tom Hanson).
1961 Michael J. Fox Canadian-born Emmy-winning actor. Film: Back to the Future (1985). TV: Family Ties (Alex Keaton).
1931 Jackie Mason American comedian. TV: Chicken Soup.
1910 Bob Cummings d. 1990 American Emmy-winning actor. Film: Dial M for Murder (1954). TV: The Bob Cummings Show and 12 Angry Men (1954, Emmy).
1891 Cole Porter d. 1964 American composer, one of the greatest songwriters of the century. Music: I'm In Love Again (1924), Kiss Me Kate, I Love Paris, and Night and Day.
1812 Johann Gottfried Galle d. 1910 German astronomer. He discovered the planet Neptune (1846).
1781 George Stephenson d. 1848 English engineer, developer of the railroad steam locomotive.
Deaths for June 9
A.D. 68 Nero Claudius Caesar b. A.D. 37 Emperor of Rome (AD 54-68). He was the first emperor to persecute Christians on a large scale, and is said to be responsible for the deaths of Peter and Paul. According to legend, he played his lyre as Rome burned (64 A.D.). Believing that the Senate was going to execute him, he had his private secretary kill him.
2017 Adam West b. 1928 (William West Anderson), American actor. TV: Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Family Guy (voice of mayor Adam West). Film: Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964, Major Dan McCready).
1993 Alexis Smith b. 1921 Canadian-born Tony-winning actress. Stage: Follies (1971, Tony). TV: Dallas (Jessica Montford).
1981 Allen Ludden b. 1917 American game show host. TV: Password (1961-80).
1958 Robert Donat b. 1905 English Oscar-winning actor. Film: The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), The 39 Steps (1935, Richard Hannay), and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939, Oscar, title role).
1927 Victoria Claflin Woodhull b. 1838 American politician. She was the first woman nominated for U.S. President - by the Equal Rights Party in 1872 with Frederick Douglas as her running mate.
1911 Carry Nation b. 1846 American prohibitionist, known for attacking saloons with a hatchet.