On this Day July 9
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1938 – Tony and Golden Globe-winning actor Brian Dennehy (“Silverado,” “Cocoon,” “F/X,” “Presumed Innocent,” “Death of a Salesman”) (d. 2020)
1942 – Actor Richard Roundtree, best known for his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the 1971 movie “Shaft” and its two sequels
1947 – NFL Hall of Famer and actor O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 in a high-profile trial on charges that he murdered his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman
1951 – Oscar-winning actor Chris Cooper (“Lone Star,” “American Beauty,” “The Bourne Identity,” “Syriana,” “Adaptation”)
1952 – Former “Entertainment Tonight” host-turned-musician John Tesh
1955 – Actor Jimmy Smits (“LA Law,” “NYPD Blue”)
1956 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor-producer Tom Hanks (“Big,” “Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump,” “Apollo 13,” “Cast Away,” “Toy Story” animated film series)
1957 – Actress Kelly McGillis (“Witness,” “Top Gun”)
1964 – Rock musician-actress Courtney Love, born Courtney Michelle Harrison, widow of grunge legend Kurt Cobain
1976 – Actor-director Fred Savage, best known for his role as Kevin Arnold in the ABC series “The Wonder Years”
1777 – New York elects its first governor, Brigadier General George Clinton, who becomes not only the longest serving New York governor, but longest serving governor in the U.S. In 1805, he is elected vice president, serving under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, until his death in 1812.
1877 – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then a suburb of London. Twenty-one amateurs show up to compete in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament — the only event at that time.
1941 – British cryptologists break the secret Enigma code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on Europe’s Eastern front.
1948 – Leroy “Satchel” Paige is 42 years old when he pitches two innings for the Cleveland Indians in his debut with the newly–and barely–integrated American League. The game comes 21 years after the great pitcher’s first Negro League appearance.
1968 – Sports history is made in Houston as the first All-Star game played indoors and on artificial turf gets underway in the Astrodome. The National League wins and Willie Mays is declared MVP.
1971 – President Richard Nixon’s National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, makes a secret trip to the People’s Republic of China to negotiate a detente between the U.S. and China.
1974 – Former U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren, who headed the commission that investigated the JFK assassination, dies in Washington, D.C. at the age of 83.
1999 – The teen sex comedy “American Pie,” starring Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan, opens and becomes a box office sensation, spawning an empire of sequels and direct-to-DVD spin-offs.
2000 – Venus Williams wins at Wimbledon for the first time, becoming the first female African American Wimbledon champion since Althea Gibson won back-to-back titles in 1957 and 1958.
1955 – “Rock Around the Clock,” by Bill Haley & His Comets, becomes the first rock ‘n’ roll record to reach No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart, known then as Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart. The single spends eight weeks on top.
1958 – Johnny Cash signs with Columbia Records, where he remains for the next 30 years, releasing more than 60 albums.
1962 – Bob Dylan records the legendary protest song, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” for his second album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” Hundreds of artists have recorded the song over the years, with Peter, Paul & Mary achieving the most commercially successful version. In 1994, the track is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
1977 – Songwriter-turned-singer Alan O’Day has the hottest single with “Undercover Angel.”
1983 – The Police have a No. 1 hit for eight weeks with “Every Breath You Take,” the first single released from “Synchronicity” — the band’s most successful and last studio album.
1988 – Cheap Trick’s “The Flame” burns bright for two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.
1994 – “I Swear,” by All-4-One, is in the midst of 11 weeks as a Billboard chart-topper. Earlier that same year, the original recording of that song was a No. 1 country hit for John Michael Montgomery.
2005 – Mariah Carey returns to the top of the pop chart with “We Belong Together,” which spent four weeks at No. 1 until Carrie Underwood bumped it for a week with “Inside Your Heaven.” Carey’s hit reigns for 10 more weeks.