In 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.
In 1883, 12 people were trampled to death in a stampede sparked by a rumor that the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge was in danger of collapsing.
In 1911, the first Indy 500 took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; the winner was Ray Harroun, who drove a Marmon Wasp for more than 6 1/2 hours at an average speed of 74.6 mph and collected a prize of $10,000.
In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in a ceremony attended by President Warren G. Harding, Chief Justice William Howard Taft and Robert Todd Lincoln.
In 1937, ten people were killed when police fired on steelworkers demonstrating near the Republic Steel plant in South Chicago.
In 1943, during World War II, American troops secured the Aleutian island of Attu from Japanese forces.
In 1958, unidentified American service members killed in World War II and the Korean War were interred in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1962, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem had its world premiere at the new Coventry Cathedral in England.
In 1971, the American space probe Mariner 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a journey to Mars.
In 1989, student protesters in Beijing erected a “Goddess of Democracy” statue in Tiananmen Square (the statue was destroyed in the Chinese government’s crackdown).
In 1994, Mormon Church president Ezra Taft Benson died in Salt Lake City at age 94.
In 1996, Britain’s Prince Andrew and the former Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested decree ending their 10-year marriage.
Ten years ago: Saudi commandos drove al-Qaida militants from a housing complex in the kingdom’s oil hub, ending a shooting and hostage-taking rampage that had left 22 dead, most of them foreigners. Gunmen in Pakistan killed a senior pro-Taliban Sunni cleric (Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai), sparking riots. Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide left Jamaica for South Africa, saying it would be his “temporary home” until he could return to Haiti (which he did in 2011). Buddy Rice won the rain-shortened Indianapolis 500.
Five years ago: Prince Harry followed in the footsteps of his late mother, Princess Diana, as he raised money for an AIDS charity by playing in a polo match on Governors Island in New York Harbor. Internet sensation Susan Boyle placed second on “Britain’s Got Talent,” with dance troupe Diversity taking the top prize.
One year ago: Syria’s President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Lebanese television that he was “confident of victory” in his country’s civil war, and he warned Damascus would retaliate for any future Israeli airstrike on his territory. Arvind Mahankali (AHR’-vihnd mah’-hahn-KAHL’-ee), a 13-year-old from Bayside Hills, N.Y., won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling “knaidel,” a small mass of leavened dough, to win the 86th version of the competition.
Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Johnny Gimble is 88. Actor Clint Walker is 87. Actor Keir Dullea is 78. Actress Ruta Lee is 78. Actor Michael J. Pollard is 75. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers is 71. Rock musician Lenny Davidson (The Dave Clark Five) is 70. Actor Stephen Tobolowsky is 63. Actor Colm Meaney is 61. Actor Ted McGinley is 56. Actor Ralph Carter is 53. Actress Tonya Pinkins is 52. Country singer Wynonna Judd is 50. Rock musician Tom Morello (Audioslave; Rage Against The Machine) is 50. Movie director Antoine Fuqua is 49. Rock musician Patrick Dahlheimer (Live) is 43. Actress Idina Menzel (Film: “Frozen”) is 43. Actor Trey Parker is 42. Rapper Cee Lo Green is 39. Rapper Remy Ma is 34. Actor Blake Bashoff is 33. Christian rock musician James Smith (Underoath) is 32. Actor Jake Short is 17. Actor Sean Giambrone (TV: “The Goldbergs”) is 15. Actor Jared Gilmore is 14.