History's greatest showman is born, a war begins, and two of man's greatest inventions are unveiled, all on this day.
2005: Vice Admiral James Stockdale, one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the United States Navy and Ross Perot's vice presidential running mate in 1992, dies of Alzheimer's disease at age 81 in Coronado, California. Stockdale, who was awarded 26 personal combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor and four Silver Stars, was the highest-ranking naval officer held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He is perhaps best remembered today for introducing himself to the country during the 1992 vice presidential debate by joking "Who am I? Why am I here?"
Warner Bros. Television
White House Historical Association
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