• On Aug. 2, 1876, “Wild Bill” Hickok, one of the greatest gunfighters of the American West, is murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota. Hickok was playing cards with his back to the saloon door when a young gunslinger named Jack McCall shot him in the back of the head.
• On July 31, 1916, future racing legend Louise Smith, the first woman inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, is born in Barnesville, Georgia. In her first race, unaware that a checkered flag meant the finish line, Smith kept going until someone threw out a red flag.
• On July 28, 1945, an American B-25 Mitchell bomber crashes into the Empire State Building, killing 14 people. The freak accident was caused by heavy fog. When the plane swerved to avoid the Chrysler Building, it flew straight into the north side of the Empire State Building, near the 79th floor.
• On July 29, 1958, the U.S. Congress passes legislation establishing NASA, a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America’s activities in space.
• On Aug. 1, 1961, Six Flags Over Texas opens. The park was the first to feature log flume, 360-degree looping roller coaster and modern parachute drop. The park also pioneered the concept of an all-inclusive admission price.
• On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommends that President Richard Nixon be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a break-in at the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate apartment-hotel complex in Washington, D.C.
• On July 30, 1999, “The Blair Witch Project,” a low-budget, independent horror film that will become a cult hit, is released in theaters. Shot with shaky, handheld cameras, the documentary-style movie told the story of three student filmmakers who disappeared into the woods and were never heard from again. The story was entirely fake.
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