On this Day July 15

History Highlights

1903 – The newly formed Ford Motor Company receives its first automobile order. The customer is Chicago dentist Ernst Pfenning, who buys an $850 two-cylinder Model A with a tonneau, or backseat. The vehicle is delivered a week later.

1968 – Agnes Nixon’s daytime soap opera “One Life to Live” premieres on ABC and goes on to launch many successful acting careers. 

1971 – During a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stuns Americans by announcing that he will visit the People’s Republic of China the following year. 

1979 – President Jimmy Carter delivers his famous “Crisis of Confidence” speech, later referred to as the “malaise speech,” in which he challenged Americans to overcome consumersism and materialism to solve the energy crisis and other challenges.

1988 – A new action-thriller movie franchise is born as “Die Hard” opens in U.S. theaters, starring Bruce Willis as detective John McClane, who single-handedly battles a terrorist group led by Alan Rickman that is holding hostages inside a Los Angeles skyscraper.

1997 – World-renowned Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace is shot to death outside his Miami mansion by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who was already wanted in connection with four other murders across the U.S.

2006 – Podcasting company Odeo launches the social media platform Twitter as twttr, touting it as “a new mobile service that helps groups of friends bounce random thoughts around with SMS.” Twitter’s popularity explodes, with the service boasting more than 300 million users by 2016.

Own a Piece of This Day

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Honky Château

Elton John

American Recordings

Johnny Cash

China Calls

Anne Collins Walker

Die Hard

Starring Bruce WillisBonnie Bedelia, and directed by John McTiernan

Heart Like a Wheel

Linda Ronstadt

The Last King of Scotland

Starring Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy, and directed by Kevin Macdonald