On July 11, 1972, the World Chess Championship opened as grandmasters Bobby Fischer of the United States and defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union began play in Reykjavik, Iceland. Fischer won after 21 games.
In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehawken, N.J.; Hamilton died the next day.
In 1937, American composer and pianist George Gershwin died at a Los Angeles hospital of a brain tumor; he was 38.
In 1960, the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee was first published by J.B. Lippincott and Co.
In 1979, the U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean and Australia.