On this day in 1968 US Olympic high jumper, and Oregonian, Dick Fosbury reinvents his sport and wins the gold medal. Utilizing what is now known as the "Fosbury Flop" he went backwards over the bar and set a world record. Before this method, athletes would belly roll, or scissor kick over the bar, but their legs would often graze the bar on the way over. No record holder since 1980 has utilized any other method in the sport.
On this day in 1977 a plane crash in the back woods of Mississippi killed 3 members of the southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, including lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, and siblings Steve and Cassie Gaines. The crew on the flight were blamed for the crash for not recognizing that the plane was not fit to fly. Earlier in the year Aerosmith chose to switch planes over concerns with the crew, saving themselves from the demise of the original incarnation of Lynyrd Skynrd.
On this day in 1974 the iconic Sydney Opera House opens in Sydney, Australia. It took 15 years to complete the $80,000,000 project designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. The structure hosts on average 3,000 events every year and seats a little over 1,500 people. Famous for its roof shells, the building is the most famous in the entire country of Australia, and probably in the entire southern hemisphere.
On this day in 1990 the members of the hip hop group 2 Live Crew are acquitted on charges of obscenity. The group headed by Luther Campbell became popular for their vulgar lyrics and misogynistic portrayal of women. Their album As Nasty as They Want to be was quickly pulled from stores all over the nation. But when the group performed in Florida the police were on hand with tape recorders. The group was charged with public indecency and was brought to trial. The jury just laughed when the prosecutors played back the tapes and tried to decipher what was said.