On this Day August 16
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1958 – Golden Globe-winning actress Angela Bassett (“What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Waiting to Exhale,” “The Rosa Parks Story,” “The Jacksons: An American Dream,” “Malcolm X,” “American Horror Story”)
1812 – During the War of 1812, U.S. General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit and his army to the British without a fight. Hull, a 59-year-old veteran of the American Revolution, had lost hope of defending the settlement after seeing the large English and Indian force gathering outside Detroit’s walls.
1920 – Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman is struck in the temple by a ball pitched by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Chapman dies 12 hours later, becoming the first and only Major League Baseball player to die as the result of a pitched ball.
1948 – Cancer claims the life of baseball legend George Herman “Babe” Ruth. For two days following, his body lays in state at the main entrance to Yankee Stadium, and tens of thousands of people stand in line to pay their last respects.
1984 – John DeLorean, the celebrity millionaire caught on videotape discussing cocaine deals with government agents posing as drug dealers, is acquitted of all charges by a federal jury in a tumultuous and emotional climax to a five-month, $1 million trial.
1987 – A four-year-old girl is the lone survivor of the crash of a Northwest Airlines flight after takeoff from Detroit. 148 passengers and six crew members are killed in the accident which investigators blame on pilot error.
1986 – “Papa Don’t Preach” becomes Madonna’s fourth No. 1 single. It holds the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. The track is from her “True Blue” album, which begins its own five-week run atop the album chart this same day.
2018 – ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. The self-taught piano prodigy, vocalist and songwriter notched 77 Hot 100 chart entries and earned 18 Grammys during her career. In 1987, Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.