On this day in 1969 members of Charles Manson's cult killed five people in director Roman Polanski's house. Polanski wasn't home at the time, and the victims, including his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, were not the target of the attacks. Manson sent his "family" members to the house because a record producer who rejected him used to live there.
On this day in 1988 Wayne "The great one" Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky is arguably the best player in National Hockey League history, and had led the Oilers to 4 Stanley Cup titles. In his time in Edmonton Gretzky was league MVP 8 times and had accumulated 43 scoring records. He never won the cup again after being traded, but hockey became more popular south of the border, of Canada that is.
On this day in 1945 the second and last atomic bomb to be dropped on a civilian population occurred at Nagasaki, Japan. The United States was trying to get Japan to surrender without a lengthy invasion of Honshu, the main island of Japan. The Japanese didn't know that at the time the United States didn't have any more atomic bombs. But they knew that Russia had declared war the previous week and didn't want to be occupied by a communist state. Japan soon surrendered.
On this day in 1995 the long, strange trip that was Jerry Garcia's life came to an end. He was the lead singer of the Greatful Dead, which created a huge cult following for nearly 3 decades. Despite missing the middle finger on his right hand, he was an extremely accomplished guitar player. He and the Dead would go on to play at both the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969.