What happened on this day in history: The 'Unsinkable' Molly Brown is born, Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf, and more.
64 C.E.: The Great Fire Of Rome Ignites
A fire burns through the city of Rome. The blaze, which started in the slums near Palatine Hill, destroyed three of Rome’s 14 districts and killed hundreds. Despite the common refrain, however, then-emperor Nero didn’t “fiddle” during the fire — he wasn’t even in the city.
1867: The “Unsinkable” Molly Brown Is Born
Margaret “Molly” Brown (née Tobin) is born in Hannibal, Missouri. A socialite, philanthropist, and prospective Senate candidate, Brown is best known for her bravery during the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Then, she helped others escape the vessel and — once in a lifeboat — ferociously tried to convince a crewmember to return to the ship to rescue other passengers.
1899: The Newsboys Strike Begins
The newsboy strike begins in New York City. Then, so-called “newsies” — some as young as seven — went head to head with newspaper moguls like William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer over the price of a newspaper bundle. Though the young strikers were initially dismissed, they caused enough havoc to convince Heart and Pulitzer to change their policies.
1925: Adolf Hitler Publishes Mein Kampf
The first of two volumes of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler is published. The book — which Hitler wrote while imprisoned for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch — discussed the problems he believed faced Germany, including the loss of “racial purity.” Sales were modest until 1933, when Hitler became Germany’s chancellor and put the country on the path toward World War II.
1969: The ‘Chappaquiddick Incident’ Takes Places
Ted Kennedy drives off a bridge in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, killing his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne. In the aftermath of the incident, Kennedy fled the scene and hesitated before calling the police, leaving Kopechne trapped in the car. His actions trailed him all his life, as some have argued that Kopechne could have survived if he hadn’t waited.
1989: Rebecca Schaeffer Is Murdered
Rebecca Schaeffer is shot and killed by her stalker Robert John Bardo in Los Angeles. The 21-year-old actress had risen to fame through her character on My Sister Sam and had hoped to expand into film roles. In the aftermath of her murder, Schaeffer’s death helped inspire anti-stalking legislation.