On July 16, 1999, John F.Kennedy Jr. was killed along with his wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette when the aircraft he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
He was flying a Piper Saratoga II HP from Essex County Airport in New Jersey to Martha's Vineyard. Kennedy and his wife were traveling together to the wedding of his cousin Rory in Hyannis, Massachusetts, while Lauren was to have been dropped off at Martha's Vineyard en route.
Today in History -
July 16, 1054 -
The 'Great Schism' between the Western and Eastern churches began over rival claims of universal pre-eminence. (In 1965, 911 years later, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I met to declare an end to the schism.)
Remember kids, there's no schism like a great schism.
Mary Baker Eddy was born on this date in 1821.
Ms. Eddy invented Christian Science, and was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1995 for having been the only American woman to found a worldwide religion without exposing her breasts.
July 16, 1860 -
A decree from Emperor Norton I of San Francisco, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, dissolves the United States of America.
(More on the good Emperor next month.)
July 16, 1945 -
"...If the radiance of a thousand suns
were to burst into the sky,
that would be like
the splendor of the Mighty One—
I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds...."
First Atomic Bomb is exploded at Trinity, Alamagordo New Mexico. The explosion yields the equivalent 18,000 tons of TNT.
July 16, 1951 -
58 years ago today, The Catcher in the Rye was published. The book contained secret code words by means of which its author, J.D. Salinger, was able to communicate diabolical commands to his evil minions. (Exactly fourteen years later, the tunnel connecting France and Italy through Mont Blanc was opened to the public. Draw your own conclusions.)
Salinger was a one-hit wonder. (He did write several other books, but these are of interest only to insomniacs and those with wobbly furniture.) The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, and Salinger subsequently hid himself away in the hills of Vermont, emerging from this self-imposed cloister only once, briefly, to serve as Prime Minister of Canada. For nearly half a century, The Catcher in the Rye has captured the imagination of the American teenager like no other book without pictures.
Holden Caulfield, the hero and narrator of Salinger's slim classic, may be the finest portrait of twentieth-century American teenage angst bequeathed to posterity. Either him or Archie, it's hard to say.
July 16, 1969 -
The Apollo 11 mission was launched on this date.
It carried Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr.
July 16, 1973 -
In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (the Ervin Committee on Watergate), former presidential assistant Alexander Butterfield disclosed that President Richard Nixon had tape recorded all of his conversations in the White House and Executive Office Building.
Bad, Nixon, bad.
July 16, 1999 -
Stanley Kubrick final film, Eyes Wide Shut, is released on this date.
The film was a difficult shoot, taking over 400 days (The Guinness Book of World Records notes it as "The Longest Constant Movie Shoot".) The movie spent almost a year in post-production.Though often referred to as Stanley Kubrick's "unfinished masterpiece", the final edit of the film was actually presented to Warner Bros. (by Kubrick) a full four days before his death.
And so it goes.