On this day in 1962 actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home. She had been struggling with depression towards the end of her life and police ruled it a suicide from an overdose of sedatives. Monroe was rumored to have had affairs with both John and Robert Kennedy, and was married to both baseball star Joe Dimaggio, and playwright Arthur Miller.
On this day in 1976 the American Basketball Association merged with the National Basketball Association, making Basketball more popular around the country. The ABA was created as a more fan friendly, fast paced league that had teams in different markets than the rival NBA. It didn't even last 10 years and the NBA hand picked the four teams that it would absorb, the San Antonio Spurs, the Indiana Pacers, the New Jersey Nets, and the Denver Nuggets.
On this day in 1914 the first electric traffic signal was installed in Cleveland, Ohio. The world didn't know how to handle the automobile and the traffic that it created. Cities struggled to regulate the way traffic would flow and had to come up with laws of what would get the right of way.
On this day in 1981 Ronald Reagan fired over 11,000 striking air traffic controllers who refused to go back to work. Negotiations had come to a stand still 2 days earlier and the air traffic controllers went on strike. Reagan knew that the strike would stop all air traffic in the United States and felt it was his job to keep the country moving. The fired workers were also forbidden from ever being hired back.