In 1861, during the Civil War, Confederate forces invaded the border state of Kentucky, which had declared its neutrality in the conflict.
In 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland; in a radio address, Britain’s King George VI said, “With God’s help, we shall prevail.”
In 1943, Allied forces invaded Italy during World War II, the same day Italian officials signed a secret armistice with the Allies.
In 1970, legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, 57, died in Washington, D.C.
In 1976, America’s Viking 2 lander touched down on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the red planet’s surface.
In 1999, a French judge closed a two-year inquiry into the car crash that killed Princess Diana, dismissing all charges against nine photographers and a press motorcyclist, and concluding the accident was caused by an inebriated driver.
In 2003, Paul Hill, a former minister who said he murdered an abortion doctor and his escort to save the lives of unborn babies, was executed in Florida by injection, becoming the first person put to death in the United States for anti-abortion violence.
In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered more than 7,000 active duty forces to the Gulf Coast as his administration intensified efforts to rescue Katrina survivors and send aid to the hurricane-ravaged region in the face of criticism it did not act quickly enough.
In 2009, a private funeral was held in Glendale, California, for pop superstar Michael Jackson, whose body was entombed in a mausoleum more than two months after his death.
In 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates toured U.S. bases and war zones in Afghanistan, saying he saw and heard evidence that the American counterinsurgency strategy was taking hold in critical Kandahar province.
In 2012, Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, died in Gapeyeong, South Korea at age 92.
In 2013, Ariel Castro, who’d held three women captive in his Cleveland home for nearly a decade before one escaped and alerted authorities, was found hanged in his prison cell, a suicide.
In 2019, Walmart said it would stop selling ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifles, and the store chain requested that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores; the announcement followed a shooting at a Walmart store in Texas that left 22 people dead.
In 2022, thousands of mourners lined up to pay tribute to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who launched drastic reforms that brought on the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Pauline Collins is 83. Rock singer-musician Al Jardine is 81. Actor Valerie Perrine is 80. Rock musician Donald Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) is 75. Rock guitarist Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) is 68. Actor Steve Schirripa is 66. Actor Holt McCallany is 59. Actor Costas Mandylor is 58. Actor Charlie Sheen is 58. Singer Jennifer Paige is 50. Dance-rock musician Redfoo is 48. Actor Ashley Jones is 47. Actor Nichole Hiltz is 45. Actor Joel Johnstone is 45. Actor Nick Wechsler is 45. Rock musician Tomo Milicevic (30 Seconds to Mars) is 44. Bluegrass musician Darren Nicholson (Balsam Range) is 40. Actor Christine Woods is 40. Actor Garrett Hedlund is 39. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White is 37. Hip-hop singer August Alsina is 31.