The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed after dropping off key components of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. (1945) A Japanese submarine, the I-58 sank the USS Indianapolis in 12 minutes, putting almost 1,200 US soldiers in shark-infested water. By the time help arrived four days later, all but 316 soldiers had died from drowning, dehydration or shark attacks.
A fighter jet collided with a passenger airplane over Japan, killing 162 people. (1971) Two Japanese F-86 Sabre fighter jets, one flown by Captain Kuma and the second by his flight student Sergeant Ichikawa, encountered the Boeing 727. Ichikawa was inexperienced, having only had a few hours of flight training, and neither of the jets had radar. Ichikawa's jet hit the plane, sending both crashing into a mountain. Ichikawa was able to parachute to safety; all of the airplane's passengers perished.
A boiler on the Staten Island Ferry Westfield exploded, killing as many as 100 people. (1871) The explosion injured hundreds of others as well. The ferry was owned by the president of the Staten Island Railway, Jacob Vanderbilt. He was arrested for murder, but was not convicted.
Bruce Jenner won the decathlon, setting a world record with 8,617 points. (1976) Jenner beat Nikolai Avilov, the previous world record holder, by almost 300 points at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. The victory was Jenner's last decathlon. He held the record until 1980 when Daley Thompson broke it.
The words "In God We Trust" became the official motto of the United States. (1956) US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the law passed by the US Congress. The previous year, the US Congress had made it a requirement that the words appear on all US currency.
Jimmy Hoffa disappeared and was never heard from or seen again. (1975) Hoffa, a union leader imprisoned for bribery and fraud, was pardoned by President Nixon. Hoffa was last seen in a parking lot at Machus Red Fox restaurant outside Detroit, Michigan at 2:30 p.m. Seven years later to the day he was legally declared dead, but no one ever figured out what happened to him.
The horror film Blair Witch Project was released. (1999) The film was first shot on a budget of only $20,000 US Dollars; after editing the film for the Sundance Film Festival and before selling the rights to Artisan Entertainment, the estimated budget was still just $500,000 to $750,000 US Dollars. The movie was a surprise cult flick and grossed almost $250 million US Dollars in theaters worldwide. It is the only movie in history to be shot with camcorders.
Lisa Leslie became the first woman to dunk a basketball in a professional game. (2002) The famous dunk occurred while she was playing for the Los Angeles Sparks against the Miami Sol.
The world's longest running music show aired for the last time. (2006)Top of the Pops, which was broadcast on BBC Two, had aired for a record 42 years. Though the regular show was canceled, the Christmas edition continues to air.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born. (1947) Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-American, first became famous as a bodybuilder, achieving the Mr. Universe title at age 22. His fame continued to grow on US movie screens. His notable movies include Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator and True Lies. He became the 38th Governor of California in 2003.