Today's History Trivia for September 30
1955 James Dean Killed in Car Crash The 24-year-old actor is killed when his speeding Porsche crashes head-on into another speeding vehicle. He had recently filmed a public service announcement on the dangers of speeding stating, "The life you might save might be mine."
1888 Jack the Ripper The famous serial killer claims his third and fourth known victims. It is believed that he was interrupted during the first murder of the night, as her body was not mutilated, and he went on to murder and mutilate another victim an hour later. For three months he murdered and mutilated prostitutes in London's East End. He was never caught.
1630 First Criminal Executed in the Plymouth Colony John Billington is hanged for murdering his neighbor. Billington was a Mayflower passenger and a signer of the Mayflower Compact. The Billington family was noted as trouble makers in the colony, including his wife, who was sentenced to sit in the stocks and be whipped for slandering John Doane.
1993 Earthquake strikes India The worst earthquake since the 1930s strikes central India, killing more than 20,000 people.
1992 Largest U.S. naval base in Asia closes Subic Bay in the Philippines.
1982 Cheers debuts on NBC.
1981 U.S. national debt reaches $1 trillion Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1970 The New American Bible is published in its entirety. It was the first Bible translated directly into English from the original text under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Church.
1960 The 2,343rd and final episode of Howdy Doody, so that's Clarabell's big surprise.
1960 The Flintstones The stone-age cartoon debuts - "Yaba, Daba, Dooo!"
1958 The Rifleman debuts on ABC, with Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain.
1951 The Red Skelton Show debuts on NBC.
1947 First Televised World Series Game Game 1 is played at Yankee Stadium. The New York Yankees would win the series over the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1936 First around-the-world airplane passenger race Three reporters depart from Lakehurst, New Jersey. Using only commercial flying routes, Herbert Roslyn Ekins was the first to return on October 19th.
1935 Hoover Dam Pres. F.D. Roosevelt dedicates the dam.
1911 First Movie Stuntman Lt. H.H. Arnold is hired as a stand-in for The Military Scout.
1906 New York Central Railroad starts using electric trains.
1882 First U.S. hydroelectric power plant A single dynamo, powering 180 ten-candle-power lights, opens on the Fox River near Appleton, Wisconsin.
1846 First successful tooth extraction using anesthesia Performed by Dr. William Morton using ether.
Today's Birthdays for September 30
1961 Crystal Bernard American actress. TV: Happy Days (1982-83, K.C. Cunningham), It's a Living (1985-89, Amy), and Wings (1990-97, Helen).
1957 Fran Drescher American Emmy-winning actress, comedian. TV: The Nanny (1993-99, title role).
1954 Barry Williams (Barry William Blenkhorn), American actor. TV: Brady Bunch (Greg Brady). His book, Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg was a New York Times bestseller.
1950 Victoria Tennant English actress. Film: All of Me (1984) and L.A. Story (1991). TV: The Winds of War (Pamela Tudsbury).
1947 Marc Bolan d. 1977 (Mark Feld), English musician, lead singer for T-Rex. Music: Bang a Gong (1971, #1 Britain) and Jeepster (1971, #2 Britain). He died in a car accident.
1935 Johnny Mathis American singer, and world-class high jumper. His hits span across 30 years with more than 60 gold and platinum record. Music: Too Much, Too Little, Too Late (1978, #1).
1931 Angie Dickinson (Angeline Brown), American actress. TV: Police Woman.
1924 Truman Capote d. 1984 American author. Writings: In Cold Blood (1965). He also won an Emmy for A Christmas Memory (1966).
1921 Deborah Kerr d. 2007 (Deborah Kerr-Trimmer), Scottish actress. Film: From Here to Eternity (1953) and The King and I (1956, Anna).
1918 Lewis Nixon III d. 1995 American WWII paratrooper. Known for his love of blended whiskey, he was portrayed by Ron Livingston in the HBO series Band of Brothers.
1917 Buddy Rich d. 1987 (Bernard Rich), American jazz drummer. He was the second-highest-paid child performer of the 1930s and although he never had a formal lesson and claims to never practice, he is considered the greatest drummer that ever lived.
1882 Hans Geiger d. 1945 German physicist, inventor of the Geiger counter (1908). He also helped to prove that the atom is composed of a dense nucleus surrounded by electrons (1913).
1861 William Wrigley Jr d. 1932 American businessman. He founded the Wrigley Co. (1891), which first sold soap and baking powder and then of course chewing gum (1892).
1849 Louis Rueckheim d. 1927 German-born American candy maker. He and his brother created Cracker Jack candy (1893). Louis developed a way to prevent the candy-coated pieced from sticking together.
1227 Nicholas IV d. 1292 (Girolamo Masci), religious leader, 191st Pope (1288-92). He was the first Franciscan to be elected pope.
Deaths for September 30
1955 James Dean b. 1931 American actor. He starred in only three films, of which only East of Eden (1955) was released before his death. His other films were Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956). His first job in TV (1952) was testing stunts for Beat the Clock. He died at age 24 in a car crash.
1990 Rob Moroso b. 1968 American race car driver, NASCAR 1990 Rookie of the Year (awarded posthumously). He died in a car crash near his home in North Carolina. He was doing 75 mph (121 km/h) in a 35 mph (56 km/h) curve with a blood alcohol level of 0.22. The accident killed himself and the driver of the oncoming vehicle.
1985 Charles Francis Richter b. 1900 American seismologist. He invented the Richter Scale (1935) for measuring earthquakes.
1978 Edgar Bergen b. 1903 (Edgar John Bergren), American ventriloquist with Mortimer Snerd and Charlie McCarthy.
1976 Paul Dehn b. 1912 British Oscar-winning playwright, screenwriter. He wrote four Planet of the Apes sequels and co-scripted Goldfinger (1964).
1888 Elizabeth "Long Liz" Stride b. 1843 English crime victim. She is the third known victim of Jack the Ripper. She was not mutilated like the other victims. It is believed the Ripper was interrupted during this crime, as he went on to murder and mutilate another woman an hour later.
1888 Catherine Eddowes b. 1842 English crime victim. She is the fourth known victim of Jack the Ripper.
1870 William Allen Miller b. 1817 English scientist. He performed the first trustworthy chemical analysis of stars.