On this day in 1871 one of the largest urban fires in United States history starts in Chicago. Legend has it that one Mrs. O'Leary had a cow that kicked over a lantern that ignited their barn. It soon spread throughout the city leaving over 100,000 people homeless and killed over 200 people. Much of the infrastructure of the city was untouched, which allowed the city to be rebuilt into the great city that it is today.
On this day in 1918 Corporal Alvin York single handedly killed 20 German soldiers and captures another 130 in the Argonne Forest of France during WWI. York and his men were ordered to take a heavily fortified German position during the final push on the Western front. He was able to systematically shoot the machine gunners as they propped their heads over a trench in order to see their targets. When the German commander saw that his men were being fired upon he mistakenly guessed it was by a large detachment of American troops, and surrendered his entire garrison to 17 men. York was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
On this day in 1956 Don Larson pitched a perfect game in the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. A perfect game is when a pitcher faces the minimum 27 batters in an entire game and allows none of them to reach base. There have been only 20 perfect games in the 135 year history of baseball, and Larson is the only one to ever do it in a World Series. Before and after this game Larson had a relatively uneventful career, more famous for his hard drinking.
On this day in 1957 Jerry Lee Lewis recorded "Great Balls of Fire". A bible school dropout (better than a beauty school dropout I suppose), Lewis struggled internally with his Christian faith and the demons of rock and/or roll. History will remember that the demons won on this day.