• On Aug. 17, 1877, though only a teenager, Billy the Kid kills his first victim, an Arizona blacksmith. Just how many men the outlaw killed is uncertain. Billy himself reportedly once claimed he had killed 21 men.
• On Aug. 13, 1902, German engineer Felix Wankel, inventor of a rotary engine, is born in Germany. Wankel reportedly came up with the idea for a new type of internal combustion gasoline engine when he was 17 years old.
• On Aug. 16, 1920, Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman is struck in the temple by a ball pitched by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. He died 12 hours later. It was the only death as the result of a pitched ball in major league history.
• On Aug. 14, 1945, an official announcement of Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies is made public to the Japanese people. Even though Japan’s War Council had submitted a formal declaration of surrender on Aug. 10, fighting continued. In fact, two days later, a Japanese submarine sank two American ships.
• On Aug. 12, 1964, British author and journalist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, the world’s most famous fictional spy, dies in England. His novels about the debonair Agent 007 were based in part on Fleming’s real-life experiences. The first Bond book, “Casino Royale,” was published in 1953.
• On Aug. 18, 1992, celebrated Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird retires. Bird entered the NBA in 1979 and was named Rookie of the Year after leading the Celtics to a 61-21 record.
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