On this day in 1859 Big Ben rang for the first time in London atop St. Stephen's tower. The London icon is accurate to 1 second every day and rings every 15 minutes a different chime so even if you can't see the clock face you will know what time it is.
On this day in 1889 the Johnstown flood occured in western Pennsylvania killing 2,200 people when the South Fork dam collapsed. A 60-foot high wall of water obliterated the town. The dam had fell into neglect after the canals in the area became obsolete because of the railroad industry. It was one of the largest earthen dams in the country before it failed.
On this day in 1916 the battle of Jutland occurred 60 miles off the coast of Denmark. Fought between the British and German navies, this was the largest naval battle of WWI involving 100,000 men, 250 ships and lasted 72 hours. The Germans lost 11 ships and 3,058 men and the British lost 14 ships and 6,784 men. Despite the Germans losing less in this battle it is viewed as a draw because their navy never again posed a threat to the allied nations.
On this day in 1977 the BBC bans "God Save the Queen" by the Sex Pistols. The song marked a huge step in the fight against censorship tackling the taboo of criticizing the monarchy. The ban only help popularize the song, the band, and the punk rock movement.