Year
2000

Hollywood golden couple weds

On this day in 2000, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, one of Hollywood’s highest-profile couples, marry at the Malibu, California, estate of the producer Marcy Carsey (The Cosby Show). The two actors reportedly met on a blind date in 1998 and quickly became favorites of the tabloid media once they went public with their romance. Their wedding cost an estimated $1 million and featured tight security to keep out the paparazzi.

Pitt, who was born in 1963 in Oklahoma, rose to fame in the early 1990s with roles in such films as Thelma & Louise (1991), A River Runs Through It (1992) and Kalifornia (1993). He went on to build a long list of starring movie credits, including Fight Club (1999), Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and Babel (2006). Aniston, who was born in 1969 in California, became famous for her role as Rachel Green on the hit TV sitcom Friends, which aired from 1994 to 2004. The actress has also made a number of movies, including The Good Girl (2002), Bruce Almighty (2003) and Rumor Has It (2005).

Despite their reputation as one of Hollywood’s golden couples, rumors eventually began to circulate that Aniston and Pitt were having problems. In 2004, speculation swirled that Pitt had become romantically involved with Angelina Jolie, his co-star in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). Over the New Year, Pitt and Aniston were photographed walking hand-in-hand on the beach in Anguilla, yet just days later, while they were still on vacation, a joint statement was issued announcing their separation. Though it seemed to be an amicable breakup, the press speculated that Pitt had wanted to have a family and Aniston–who had recently wrapped up a 10-year-run with Friends and had begun appearing in more films–was reluctant to take a break in her career for motherhood. Pitt was also depicted as being increasingly involved in global charity work, including the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Analysis of the breakup only intensified that spring, after Pitt was photographed with Jolie, a UNICEF representative, and her adopted son at a beach resort in Africa. Soon, they emerged as a full-blown couple, posing as a 1960s-era husband and wife (with a brood of blond children) for a 60-page photo spread titled “Domestic Bliss” in the July 2005 issue of W magazine. Outraged Aniston fans and friends denounced Pitt (who had in fact come up with the concept for the photo spread himself) as insensitive, and Jolie as a glamorous homewrecker. Novelty T-shirts at the time advertised their wearers as belonging to “Team Aniston” or “Team Jolie”; according to Vanity Fair, Aniston T-shirts outsold Jolies 25 to one.

Aniston and Pitt’s divorce was finalized in October 2005. In January 2006, Jolie announced she was pregnant with Pitt’s child; soon after, the news broke that Pitt had successfully adopted Jolie’s children Maddox and Zahara, whose surnames were legally changed to Jolie-Pitt. Jolie gave birth to a baby girl, Shiloh, in May 2006. In March of the following year, Jolie and Pitt adopted another son, Pax Thien, from Vietnam. In July 2008, Jolie and Pitt had twins, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Tipperary Revolt ends in failure

At the height of the Potato Famine in Ireland, an abortive nationalist revolt against English rule is crushed by a government police detachment in Tipperary. In a brief skirmish in a cabbage patch, Irish nationalists under William Smith O’Brien were overcome and arrested. The ...read more

Spanish Armada defeated

Off the coast of Gravelines, France, Spain’s so-called “Invincible Armada” is defeated by an English naval force under the command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake. After eight hours of furious fighting, a change in wind direction prompted the Spanish to break off ...read more

Prince Charles marries Lady Diana

Nearly one billion television viewers in 74 countries tune in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English schoolteacher. Married in a grand ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in the presence of 2,650 guests, the ...read more

General Motors buys Cadillac

On July 29, 1909, the newly formed General Motors Corporation (GM) acquires the country’s leading luxury automaker, the Cadillac Automobile Company, for $4.5 million. Cadillac was founded out of the ruins of automotive pioneer Henry Ford’s second failed company (his third effort, ...read more

NASA created

On this day in 1958, the U.S. Congress passes legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America’s activities in space. NASA has since sponsored space expeditions, both human and mechanical, ...read more

Fire ravages U.S. carrier off Vietnam

Fire sweeps the U.S. aircraft carrier Forrestal off the coast of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was the worst U.S. naval disaster in a combat zone since World War II. The accident took the lives of 134 crewmen and injured 62 more. Of the carrier’s 80 planes, 21 were ...read more

Escalante and Dominguez begin expedition

Silvestre de Escalante and Francisco Dominguez, two Spanish Franciscan priests, leave Santa Fe for an epic journey through the Southwest.Escalante and Dominguez hoped to blaze a trail from New Mexico to Monterey, California, but their main goal was to visit with the native ...read more

Chang-Rae Lee’s birthday

Award-winning writer Chang-Rae Lee is born on this day in Seoul, South Korea.Lee’s father, a doctor, moved to the United States to finish his training and brought his family over when Chang-Rae was three. The family lived first in Pittsburgh, then in suburban New York. Lee’s ...read more

Rocket causes deadly fire on aircraft carrier

A fire on a United States Navy carrier stationed off the coast of Vietnam kills 134 service members on this day in 1967. The deadly fire on the USS Forrestal began with the accidental launch of a rocket. During the Vietnam War, the USS Forrestal was often stationed off the coast ...read more

Son of Sam terrorizes New York

The so-called “Son of Sam” pulls a gun from a paper bag and fires five shots at Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti of the Bronx while they are sitting in a car, talking. Lauria died and Valenti was seriously wounded in the first in a series of shootings by the serial killer, who ...read more