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1953–With an investment of $7,600, Hugh Hefner publishes the first issue of Playboy magazine. There is no date printed on the first issue, which is now a collector’s item. The reason, according to Hef, is that he doubted anyone would expect a second issue to be printed. Included in the issue: a classic, nude, calendar photo of actress Marilyn Monroe.

1041–The son of Empress Zoë of Byzantium succeeds to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V.

1317–King Birger of Sweden treacherously seizes his two brothers, Valdemar, Duke of Finland, and Eric, Duke of Södermanland, who were subsequently starved to death in the dungeon of Nyköping Castle.

1508–The League of Cambrai is formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian I Holy Roman Emperor, and Ferdinand II of Aragon, as an alliance against Venice.

1510–Portuguese naval forces, under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque and local mercenaries working for privateer Timoji, seize Goa from the Bijapur Sultanate, resulting in 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule.

1520–Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate.

1541–Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham are executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII.

1652–Defeat at the Battle of Dungeness causes the Commonwealth of England to reform its navy.

1665–The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps is founded by Michiel de Ruyter.

1684–Isaac Newton's derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper, De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmond Halley.

1799–France adopts the metre as its official unit of length.

1817–Mississippi becomes the 20th state of the United States of America.

1830–Poet, Emily Dickinson, is born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her father was a lawyer and long-time treasurer of Amherst College. After spending a year at Mount Holyoke Female Academy when she was 16, she returned to her home in Amherst, where she lived as a virtual recluse for the rest of her life. She began to create small volumes of her own poetry, written out on sheets of folded stationery and hand-stitched at the spine. She received her greatest encouragement from the critic, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, though she wouldn't allow him to publish any of her poems, which went unpublished until after her death in 1886.

1851–Librarian and educator, Melvil Dewey, is born Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey in Adams Center, New York. He created the Dewey Decimal Classification system for categorizing books in libraries. This system has proved to be enormously influential, and although many American libraries have since adopted the classification scheme of the Library of Congress, Dewey's system remains in widespread use.

1861–The Confederate States of America accept a rival state government's pronouncement that declares Kentucky to be the 13th state of the Confederacy.

1861–Forces led by Nguyen Trung Trurc, an anti-colonial guerrilla leader in southern Vietnam, sink the French lorcha L'Esperance.

1864–In Sherman's March to the Sea, Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's Union Army troops reach the outer Confederate defenses of Savannah, Georgia.

1868–The first traffic lights are installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London, England.

1869–The Kappa Sigma Fraternity is founded at the University of Virginia.

1877–During the Russo-Turkish War, the Russian Army captures Plevna, after a five-month siege and the garrison of 25,000 surviving Turks surrenders.

1884–Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published.

1896–Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi premieres in Paris, France. A riot breaks out at the end of the performance.

1898–In the Spanish-American War, the Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the conflict.

1899–Delta Sigma Phi fraternity is founded at the City College of New York.

1901–The first Nobel Prizes are awarded. The prizes are awarded annually in Stockholm, Sweden, except for the Peace Prize which is awarded in Oslo, Norway. The Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in the fields of literature, medicine, physics, chemistry, peace, and economics. Each recipient, or laureate, receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money, which is decided by the Nobel Foundation. As of 2012, each prize was worth 8 million SEK ($1.2 million, ¤0.93 million, £0.6 million).

1902–The reservoir of the Aswan Dam is opened in Egypt.

1906–President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the mediation of the Russo-Japanese War, becoming the first American to win a Nobel Prize.

1907–The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, England, takes place when 1,000 medical students clash with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals that have been vivisected.

1909–Selma Lagerlöf becomes the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination, and spiritual perception that characterize her writings."

1914–Actress, Dorothy Lamour, is born Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is best known for her role in the “Road to...” movies, a series of successful comedies starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. She also appeared in the films The Jungle Princess, The Hurricane, Tropic Holiday, St. Louis Blues, Johnny Apollo, My Favorite Brunette, The Greatest Show on Earth, and Donovan’s Reef.

1922–Television director and writer, Agnes Nixon, is born Agnes Eckhardt in Chicago, Illinois. She is best known as the creator of the soap operas One Life to Live, All My Children, and Loving. She was often referred to as the "Queen" of the modern soap opera.

1923–Actor, Harold Gould, is born Harold Vernon Goldstein in Schenectady, New York. He is best known for the role of Martin Morgenstern in the TV sitcom Rhoda. He appeared in the films The Sting, The Front Page, Love and Death, Silent Movie, Seems Like Old Times, Patch Adams, and Stuart Little.

1926–Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald sail for America after their first stay in France, which lasted two years.

1927–The Grand Ole Opry airs its first radio broadcast in Nashville, Tennessee.

1927–Businessman, Bob Farrell, is born Robert E. Farrell, in Brooklyn, New York. He founded Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour.

1928–Actor, Dan Blocker, is born Bobby Dan Davis Blocker in DeKalb, Texas. He is best known for the role of Hoss Cartwright on the Western TV series Bonanza. He appeared in the films The Girl in Black Stockings, The Young Captives, Come Blow Your Horn, Lady in Cement, and Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County. His son is actor, Dirk Blocker.

1928–Actress, Barbara Nichols, is born Barbara Marie Nickerauer in Queens, New York. She appeared in the films Miracle in the Rain, The Wild Party, Sweet Smell of Success, The Pajama Games, Pal Joey, Ten North Frederick, That Kind of Woman, Who Was That Lady?, Where the Boys Are, Looking for Love, Dear Heart, The Disorderly Orderly, The Human Duplicators, The Loved One, and The Swinger.

1930–Duke Ellington and his orchestra record the haunting Mood Indigo on Victor Records. It will become one of the Duke’s most famous standards.

1932–Thailand becomes a constitutional monarchy.

1936–Edward VIII signs the Instrument of Abdication renouncing the throne.

1941–The Royal Navy capital ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy torpedo bombers near British Malaya.

1941–Imperial Japanese forces, under the command of General Masaharu Homma, land on Luzon.

1941–Child and teen actor, Tommy Kirk, is born Thomas Lee Kirk in Louisville, Kentucky. He was seen in many Disney films, among them Old Yeller and The Shaggy Dog. He also appeared in the films Swiss Family Robinson, The Absent Minded Professor, Babes in Toyland, Son of Flubber, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, Pajama Party, and The Monkey’s Uncle.

1941–Child actor, Tommy Rettig, is born Thomas Noel Rettig in Jackson Heights, New York. He is best known for the role of the original Jeff on the TV series Lassie. He appeared in the fims Panic in the Streets, The Jackpot, For Heaven’s Sake, The Strip, Weekend with Father, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, So Big, River of No Return, The Cobweb, and The Last Wagon.

1943–Chad Stuart, of Chad & Jeremy, is born David Stuart Chadwick in Windermere, Cumbria, England. The duo were part of the British Invasion, a large influx of British rock and pop musicians that came onto the American music scene after the popularity of The Beatles in 1964. Their hits include Yesterday’s Gone, A Summer Song, and Willow Weep for Me.

1946–Author and playwright, Damon Runyon, dies of throat cancer in New York, New York, at age 66. He spun humorous and sentimental tales of gamblers, hustlers, actors, and gangsters, few of whom go by "square" names, preferring instead colorful monikers such as "Nathan Detroit," "Benny Southstreet," "Big Jule," "Harry the Horse," "Good Time Charley," and "Dave the Dude." His distinctive vernacular style is known as "Runyonese": a mixture of formal speech and colorful slang, almost always in present tense, and always devoid of contractions. Runyon is best known to the general public through the musical Guys and Dolls.

1948–The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1949–The People's Liberation Army begins its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.

1949–Fats Domino makes his first recordings for Imperial Records, including The Fat Man. It is believed that this un-documented million seller is what earned him his nickname.

1952–Actress, Susan (Hallock) Dey, is born in Pekin, Illinois. She is best known for the role of Laurie on the TV series The Partridge Family. She appeared in the films Skyjacked, Terror on the Beach, First Love, The Comeback Kid, Looker, and Echo Park.

1953–British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, receives the Nobel Prize in Literature.

1953–With an investment of $7,600, Hugh Hefner publishes the first issue of Playboy magazine. There is no date printed on the first issue, which is now a collector’s item. The reason, according to Hef, is that he doubted anyone would expect a second issue to be printed. Included in the issue: a classic, nude, calendar photo of actress Marilyn Monroe.

1955–Mighty Mouse Playhouse premieres on American television.

1960–Having dodged the West German police for over a week, John Lennon leaves Hamburg, Germany, and returns to England. He straps his amplifier to his back to prevent it from being stolen. The other Beatles had already been deported. Stuart Sutcliffe remains in Germany until late February.

1960–Actor-director, Kenneth (Charles) Branagh, is born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Branagh achieved some early measure of success in his native Northern Ireland for his role as Billy, the title character in the BBC's Play for Today trilogy known as the Billy Plays (1982-1984), written by Graham Reid and set in Belfast. He appeared in the films A Month in the Country, High Season, Henry V, Dead Again, Peter’s Friends, Much Ado About Nothing, Swing Kids, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Othello, Hamlet, Celebrity, and My Week with Marilyn. He was married to actress, Emma Thompson.

1961–At another meeting with Brian Epstein, The Beatles agree to a contract with him as their manager, upon the condition that he obtain a recording contract for them. Epstein instructs the boys to be more punctual and physically appealing, and he establishes that the group will play a planned program instead of choosing songs at random. They are to stop shouting at people in the audience, and refrain from eating, drinking, and fighting on stage.

1963–Zanzibar gains independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy, under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah.

1965–The Warlocks change their name to The Grateful Dead and play their first concert. The show takes place at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, California.

1966–The Electric Prunes single, I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night, is released.

1967–Soul singer, Otis Redding, dies in plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin, at age 26. Four members of The Bar-Kays (Otis’ backup group) were also killed in the crash.

1968–Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery," is carried out in Tokyo.

1971–John Lennon and Yoko Ono perform at a benefit concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for John Sinclair, a radical activist who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of two marijuana cigarettes. Three days later, Sinclair will be freed on bail. The performance is filmed, but the movie Ten for Two will not be released until over 17 years later, on April 1, 1989.

1971–Musician, Frank Zappa, is pushed from a stage in London, England, by the jealous boyfriend of a Zappa fan. Zappa spent months in a wheelchair recovering from a broken leg, broken ankle, and fractured skull.

1976–The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

1976– Wings triple LP, Wings Over America, is released in the U.S. and the U.K. It was recorded live during Wings’ 1976 tour of North America (although it has been reported that some tracks were recorded in the studio).

1978–Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, and President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1978–Film director, Edward D. Wood, Jr., dies of heart failure at age 54. He was the eccentric filmmaker who made what some have called “the worst movie ever made, Plan 9 From Outer Space.

1979–Taiwanese pro-democracy demonstrations are suppressed by the KMT dictatorship and organizers are arrested.

1980–John Lennon’s body is cremated. The procedure is monitored by one of Yoko Ono’s assistants for security reasons.

1983–Democracy is restored in Argentina with the inauguration of President Raúl Alfonsín.

1984–The United Nations General Assembly recognizes the Convention Against Torture.

1989–At the country's first open pro-democracy public demonstration, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announces the establishment of the Mongolian Democratic Union.

1991–Architect, I.M. Pei, receives $5 million for his design of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame building in Cleveland, Ohio.

1993–The last shift leaves Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland, England. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marks the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.

1994–Maurice Baril, military advisor to the U.N. Secretary-General and head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, recommends that UNAMIR stand down.

1995–The Israeli army withdraws from Nablus, pursuant to the terms of Oslo Accord.

1996–The new Constitution of South Africa is promulgated by Nelson Mandela.

1998–A sound recording of a 1963 Beatles concert is sold at auction at Christies in London, England, for £25,300 ($41,500). The high-quality tape of The Beatles’ 10-song concert was recorded by the chief technician at the Gaumont Theatre in Bournemouth, England, during one of six consecutive nights that The Beatles played there in 1963. The tape reportedly “captures The Beatles’ jokey repartee with the audience.” Also sold at auction was a set of autographs of five Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best, and Stuart Sutcliffe. The autographs had been obtained by a fan in Liverpool, England, in 1961, and they went for £5,195 ($8,500).

1999–Rick Danko, of The Band, dies in his sleep of heart failure at his home in Woodstock, New York, at age 56.

1999–Comedienne and actress, Shirley (Ann) Hemphill, dies in West Covina, California, at age 52. She is best known for the role of waitress Shirley Wilson on the TV sitcom What's Happening!!

2005–Politician, Eugene McCarthy, dies of complications from Parkinson's disease in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., at age 89. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959, and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.

2005–Comedian and actor, Richard Pryor, dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, at age 65. His widow, Jennifer, was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face." Pryor is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time. He appeared in the films Wild in the Streets, Dynamite Chicken, Lady Sings the Blues, Uptown Saturday Night, Car Wash, Silver Streak, Greased Lightening, The Wiz, California Suite, Stir Crazy, Some Kind of Hero, and Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling.

2006–Lebanese opposition organizes a sit-in against the government in downtown Beirut, which is the largest in the history of Lebanon. Official agencies estimate the number of demonstrators to be more than a million.

2014–Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès, and Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco, are born at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre in Monaco.

2015–Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea, announces that the country is now in possession of a hydrogen bomb. However, experts from South Korea are skeptical about his claim.

2016–Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

2016–Two bombs (one detonated by a suicide bomber) near the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul, Turkey, kill at least 29 people and injure more than 150 others. Ten people are arrested in relation to the bombings.

2016–A suicide bomber kills at least 50 soldiers and injures 70 others at a military barracks in Aden, Yemen.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine; Emily Dickenson; the Nobel Prize; Harold Gould; sheet music for Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington; Chad & Jeremy; Susan Dey; Kenneth Branagh; I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night by The Electric Prunes; art work for the Wings Over America LP gatefold; the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; and Rick Danko.

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