On this Day August 1
1971 – “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” premieres on CBS. The variety show, hosted by husband and wife pop duo Sonny & Cher, runs for three seasons. It returns in 1976 as “The Sonny & Cher Show” following the couple’s divorce.
1981 – MTV (Music Television) launches with five VJs, or video jockeys, hosting: J.J. Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter. The channel introduces the world to the music video. The first music video played is “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.
1941 – The first Jeep is manufactured for the U.S. Army to use in World War II. Known as the Willys MA, the rugged vehicle features a gearshift on the steering column, low side body cutouts, two circular instrument clusters on the dashboard and a hand-brake on the left side.
1966 – Carnage on the University of Texas campus in Austin, as ex-Marine Charles Whitman opens fire on passersby from the observation deck of the UT tower. Seventeen people, including Whitman, are killed, and 31 others are injured. The attack introduces a stunned nation to the term “mass shooting.”
1996 – American sprinter Michael Johnson breaks the world record in the 200 meters to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. This came three days after winning the 400 meters, making him the first man in history to win both events at the Olympics.