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1957KEX disc jockey, Al Priddy, is fired from the Portland, Oregon, radio station. He played Elvis Presley's rendition of White Christmas on air, and the station had banned Presley's interpretations of Christmas carols, believing that such a sexually-charged performer had no business recording religious music.
627A Byzantine army, under Emperor Heraclius, defeats Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh.
884Frankish King, Carloman II, dies during a hunting accident at age 18. He is succeeded by his cousin, Emperor Charles the Fat, who for the last time reunites the Frankish Empire.
1098In the First Crusade, crusaders breach the town's walls and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they reportedly resort to cannibalism.
1388Mary of Enghien sells the lordship of Argos and Nauplia to the Republic of Venice.
1408The Order of the Dragon, a monarchical chivalric order, is created by Sigismund of Luxembourg, King of Hungary.
1574Anne of Denmark is born at Skanderborg Castle, Skanderborg, Denmark. She was Queen consort of Scotland, England, and Ireland, as the wife of King James VI and I.
1787Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, five days after Delaware became the first.
1792Twenty-two-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven receives one of his first lessons in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn in Vienna, Austria.
1800Washington, D.C. is established as the capital of the United States.
1821Novelist, Gustave Flaubert, is born in Rouen, France. His father was a highly respected surgeon, but he chose instead to study law. At 22, a diagnosis of epilepsy made him give up his legal studies and devote himself to literature. His most famous book was Madame Bovary, about the infidelity of a respectable country doctor's wife. He spent five years working on the novel. When it was published, he was brought to trial and narrowly escaped conviction on charges of immorality. His other novels include Salammbô, The Sentimental Education, and The Temptation of Saint Anthony.
1822Mexico is officially recognized as an independent nation by the U.S.
1833Matthias Hohner, manufacturer of the harmonica, is born in Germany.
1851Novelist, Gustave Flaubert, is born in Rouen, Upper Normandy, France. His most famous novel is Madame Bovary.
1862During the American Civil War, USS Cairo sinks on the Yazoo River, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by a controlled mine.
1866A mining explosion in at the Oaks Colliery, near Stairfoot, Barnsley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, kills 383 miners and rescuers.
1870Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina becomes the second black U.S. congressman.
1881Film executive, Harry (Moris) Warner, is born Hirsch Moses Wonsal in Krasnosielc, Congress Poland, Russian Empire. He co-founded Warner Bros. with his three brothers (Albert, Sam, and Jack) and was a major contributor to the development of the film industry.
1889Poet, Robert Browning, dies in Venice, Italy, at age 77. Because the little cemetery in Venice where his wife Elizabeth has lain for 28 years is closed to further burials, he is buried in Westminster Abbey in London, England.
1897The first planned city in Brazil, Belo Horizonte, is founded.
1900Charles M. Schwab forms the United States Steel Corporation, bringing together John Pierpont Morgan and Andrew Carnegie to create one of the richest and most powerful companies in the world.
1901Guglielmo Marconi sends out and receives the first ever radio signal, (the letter "S" [***] in Morse Code), at Signal Hill in St John's, Newfoundland.
1911Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India.
1911King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck are enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India.
1913Authorities in Florence, Italy, announce that the Mona Lisa, stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, in 1911, has been recovered. French Surrealist poet, Appolinaire, had been suspected of involvement in the crime, and had been imprisoned briefly, until his innocence was proven.
1915President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai, announces his intention to reinstate the monarchy and proclaim himself Emperor of China.
1915Singer and actor, Frank Sinatra, is born Francis Albert Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey. Beginning his musical career in the Swing Era as a boy singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra found success as a solo artist from the early to mid-1940s after being signed by Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the teenage "bobby soxers," he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. His many hit songs include All or Nothing At All, Night and Day, Ive Got the World on a String, Young at Heart, Love and Marriage, All the Way, Witchcraft, High Hopes, My Kind of Town, It Was a Very Good Year, Strangers in the Night, Summer Wind, Thats Life, and My Way. Sinatra turned to acting, first in Hollywood musicals, and later in dramatic roles. He appeared in the films Anchors Aweigh, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, On the Town, Meet Danny Wilson, From Here to Eternity, Young at Heart, Suddenly, The Man with the Golden Arm, Guys and Dolls, The Tender Trap, High Society, Pal Joey, Some Came Running, A Hole on the Head, Oceans Eleven, The Manchurian Candidate, Robin and the 7 Hoods, and Tony Rome. He was married to actresses, Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow. His children are Frank Sinatra, Jr., Nancy Sinatra, and Tina Sinatra.
1917In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founds Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys.
1918The Flag of Estonia is raised atop the Pikk Hermann, a tower of the Toompea Castle in Tallinn, for the first time.
1920Music publisher, Dick James, is born Leon Isaac Vapnick in London, England. With Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, he co-founded Northern Songs, the publishing company for The Beatles and the Lennon-McCartney penned songs. When James sold Northern Songs in 1969, without offering the band an opportunity to buy control of the publishing company, he profited handsomely, but The Beatles never again had the rights to their own songs.
1925The Majlis of Iran votes to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Iran, starting the Pahlavi dynasty.
1925Arthur Heinman coins the term motel, when he opens Motel Inn in San Luis Obispo, California.
1935Lebensborn Project, a Nazi reproduction program with the goal of raising the birth rate of "Aryan" children via extramarital relations of persons classified as "racially pure and healthy" based on Nazi racial hygiene and health ideology, is founded by Heinrich Himmler.
1936The Generalissimo of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek, is kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang.
1937In the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese aircraft bomb and sink U.S. gunboat, USS Panay, on the Yangtze River in China.
1938Singer, Connie Francis, is born Concetta Rosa Marie Franconero in Newark, New Jersey. She was a top-charting female vocalist of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Her hits include Whos Sorry Now, Stupid Cupid, My Happiness, Lipstick on Your Collar, Among My Souvenirs, My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own, Where the Boys Are, V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, and Follow the Boys. She appeared in the films Rock Rock Rock, Jamboree, The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw, Where the Boys Are, Follow the Boys, Looking for Love, and When the Boys Meet the Girls.
1939Finnish forces defeat those of the Soviet Union in their first major victory of the Winter War.
1939The HMS Duchess sinks after a collision with HMS Barham off the coast of Scotland, killing 124 men.
1940Approximately 70 people are killed in the Marples Hotel, Fitzalan Square, Sheffield, England, as a result of a German air raid.
1940Singer, Dionne Warwick, is born Marie Dionne Warrick in East Orange, New Jersey. Having been in a partnership with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the entire rock era, based on the Billboard "Hot 100" Pop singles charts. Her hits include Dont Make Me Over, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Walk On By, A House Is Not a Home, Message to Michael, I Just Dont Know What to Do with Myself, Alfie, Do You Know the Way to San Jose?, Ill Never Fall in Love Again, I'll Never Love This Way Again, and Déjà Vu. Her sister is singer Dee Dee Warwick; singer, Cissie Houston is her aunt; and singer, Whitney Houston, was her cousin.
1941Fifty-four Japanese A6M Zero fighters raid Batangas Field, Philippines. Jesús Villamor and four Filipino fighter pilots fend them off, but César Basa is killed.
1941The United Kingdom declares war on Bulgaria; Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States; and India declares war on Japan.
1941Adolf Hitler declares the imminent extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.
1941Tim Hauser, of The Manhattan Transfer, is born Timothy DuPron Hauser in Troy, New York.
1942German troops begin Operation Winter Storm, an attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad.
1943Dickey Betts, of The Allman Brothers, is born Forrest Richard Betts in West Palm Beach, Florida.
1943Saxophonist, Grover Washington, Jr., is born in Buffalo, New York. He is considered by many to be one of the founders of the Smooth Jazz genre.
1946A fire at an ice plant in Hudson Heights, Manhattan, New York, spreads to an adjacent tenement, killing 37 people.
1948Fourteen members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaya, allegedly massacre 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.
1950Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, leads the congregation in her first services.
1955Musician, Cow Cow Davenport, dies of hardening of the arteries in Chicago, Illinois, at age 61. He was a boogie-woogie and blues piano and organ player, as well as a vaudeville entertainer. His best-known tune was Cow Cow Blues.
1956The Irish Republican Army's "Border Campaign" begins.
1957KEX DeeJay, Al Priddy, is fired from the Portland, Oregon, radio station. He played Elvis Presley's rendition of White Christmas on air, and the station had banned Presley's interpretations of Christmas carols, believing that such a sexually-charged performer had no business recording religious music.
1958Guinea joins the United Nations.
1961Former big-band singer, Mike Douglas, begins a TV variety show based in Cleveland, Ohio. The show became most successful when KYW-TV moved from Cleveland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1963Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
1964Prime Minister, Jomo Kenyatta, becomes the first President of the Republic of Kenya.
1965The Beatles, on their last tour of Britain, perform two final shows at the Capitol Cinema in Cardiff, England. These performances mark the passing of an era. The Beatles touring days arent over, but they would never again tour in the U.K.
1967Rolling Stone, Brian Jones, is let off the hook by an appeals court in London, England. He faced nine months in prison after being found guilty of possessing cannabis. However, three psychiatrists testify that his nerves would be unable to handle such a lengthy incarceration, and the court agrees to commute his sentence.
1968The Rolling Stones gather in a film studio in London, England, with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, The Who, Jethro Tull, Mitch Mitchell, Marianne Faithful, Mia Farrow, and a bunch of circus performers, to film their Rolling Stones Rock & Roll Circus, which is never given a public showing until finally being released on video in late 1996.
1968Actress, Tallulah Bankhead, dies of pneumonia and emphysema in New York, New York, at age 66. She appeared in the films Tarnished Lady, Make Me a Star, Devil and the Deep, Stage Door Canteen, Lifeboat, and Die! Die! My Darling.
1969The offices of Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura in Piazza Fontana, Milan, are bombed.
1976Actor, Jack Cassidy, dies in a fire at his apartment in Los Angeles, California, at age 49. Cassidy achieved success as a musical performer on Broadway, appearing in Alive and Kicking, Wish You Were Here, Shangri-La, Maggie Flynn, Fade Out-Fade In, It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman, and She Loves Me. He was seen in the TV shows Gunsmoke, Maverick, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 77 Sunset Strip, He & She, I Spy, That Girl, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Mod Squad.
1977Clementine Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill, dies of a heart attack in Knightsbridge, London, England, at age 92. She was the wife of Sir Winston Churchill.
1979In a coup d'état, South Korean Army Major General, Chun Doo-hwan, orders the arrest of Army Chief of Staff General, Jeong Seung-hwa, without authorization from President Choi Kyu-ha, alleging involvement in the assassination of ex-President, Park Chung-hee.
1979President of Pakistan, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, confers Nishan-e-Imtiaz on Nobel laureate, Dr. Abdus Salam.
1979The unrecognised state of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia returns to British control and resumes using the name Southern Rhodesia.
1979An 8.2 earthquake shakes Colombia and Ecuador, killing 300 to 600 people, later generating a large tsunami.
1980The U.S. Congress amends the Copyright Act to explicitly recognize that computer programs are protected as literary works.
1983The Australian Labor government, led by Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Treasurer Paul Keating, floats the Australian dollar.
1984Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya becomes the third president of Mauritania after a coup d'état against Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla while he is is attending a summit.
1984The group known as Band Aid (38 of Britains top rock musicians) record Do They Know Its Christmas? for Ethiopian famine victims. Despite the best of intentions, much of the food raised never got to the starving Ethiopians: in fact, much of it was found rotting on docks, not fit for human consumption.
1985Arrow Air Flight 1285, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8, crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland, killing all 256 people on board, including 236 members of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division.
1985Actress, Anne Baxter, dies of a brain aneurysm in New York, New York, at age 62. She was struck down while hailing a taxi on Madison Avenue. Baxter is best known for the title role in the film All About Eve. She also appeared in the films The Magnificent Ambersons, Angel on My Shoulder, The Razors Edge, The Luck of the Irish, Yellow Sky, The Outcasts of Poker Flat, I Confess, The Blue Gardenia, The Ten Commandments, Cimarron, and Walk on the Wild Side.
1987Musician, Clifton Chenier, dies of diabetes-related kidney disease in Lafayette, Louisiana, at age 62. He was an eminent accordian player and recording artist of Zydeco, which arose from Cajun and Creole music, with R&B, jazz, and blues influences.
1988The Clapham Junction rail crash, in Great Britain, kills 35 people and injures hundreds of others in two collisions of three commuter trains.
1991The Russian Federation gains independence from the USSR.
1995By only three votes, the U.S. Senate kills a Constitutional Amendment giving Congress authority to outlaw flag burning and other forms of desecration against the American flag.
1999Writer, Joseph Heller, dies in East Hampton, New York, at age 76. His darkly comic first novel, Catch-22, defined the paradox of the no-win dilemma and added a phrase to the American language.
2000The U.S. Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore (the outcome of the Presidential election, which Bush wins).
2000Actor, George Montgomery, dies in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 84. He appeared in the films Riders of the Purple Sage, Orchestra Wives, Coney Island, Three Little Girls in Blue, The Texas Rangers, Watusi, and Battle of the Bulge.
2001Prime Minister of Vietnam, Phan Van Khai, announces the decision on upgrading Phong Nha-Ke Bang to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, providing information on projects for the conservation and development of the park and revised maps.
2006Actor, Peter Boyle, dies of multiple myeloma and heart disease in New York, New York, at age 71. He is best known for his role on the TV series Everybody Loves Raymond. He appeared in the films Joe, Diary of a Mad Housewife, The Candidate, Slither, Kid Blue, Young Frankenstein, Crazy Joe, Taxi Driver, Hardcore, Where the Buffalo Roam, Yellowbeard, Johnny Dangerously, Turk 182!, Malcolm X, and While You Were Sleeping.
2007R&B singer, Ike Turner, dies of hypertensive cardiovascular disease and pulmonary emphysema in San Marcos, California, at age 76. An early pioneer of 1950s rock and roll, he is most popularly known for his work in the 1960s and 1970s with his then-wife, Tina Turner, in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Their hits include Its Gonna Work Out Fine, River Deep Mountain High, Ive Been Loving You Too Long, and Proud Mary.
2008Actor, Van Johnson, dies of natural causes at the assisted living facility Tappan Zee Manor in Nyack, New York, at age 92. He appeared in the films Too Many Girls, Madame Curie, A Guy Named Joe, The White Cliffs of Dover, Till the Clouds Roll By, In the Good Old Summertime, Three Guys Named Mike, The Caine Mutiny, Brigadoon, The Last Time I Saw Paris, The End of the Affair, Yours, Mine and Ours, and The Purple Rose of Cairo.
2012North Korea successfully launches its first satellite, using an Unha-3 carrier rocket.
2012The Concert for Sandy Relief takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City and is broadcast on 20 international television networks. It is to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
2012Numerically, this day is 12-12-12.
2013Actor, Tom Laughlin, dies of cancer in Thousand Oaks, California, at age 82. He is best known for writing, directing, producing, and starring in the four Billy Jack films. The character of Billy Jack first appeared in 1967s The Born Losers.
2013Biologist and cancer researcher, Leo Sachs, dies in at age 89. Focusing on blood stem cells (a small group of bone marrow cells that produce some 200 billion new blood cells every day), in 1963, Sachs designed the first cell culture system able to grow, clone, and induce the development of different types of normal blood cells. He also demonstrated, for the first time, that malignancy can be reversed.
2015A suicide bomber attacks an Iraqi Army post in Al Anbar Governorate on the border with Saudi Arabia, killing at least six guards.
2015Japan and India sign an agreement on high-speed rail, defence technology, and a memorandum of understanding on civil nuclear cooperation.
2015President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia declares the country an Islamic republic.
2015Voters in Saudi Arabia go to the polls for municipal elections, with women both voting and standing for election for the first time.
2015At COP21, parties to the UNFCCC adopt an agreement aimed at limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2° C (3.6° F) above pre-industrial levels.
2016Cuba and the European Union sign an accord in Brussels, Belgium, to normalize relations, formally ending the Common Position which was adopted by the Council of the European Union in 1996.
2016Venezuela swaps its bolivar notes with coins, in order to curb hyper-inflation.
PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Anne of Denmark; a Hohner harmonica; Frank Sinatra; Connie Francis; Dionne Warwick; Cow Cow Davenport; Jomo Kenyatta; Jack Cassidy; Anne Baxter; Joseph Heller; Van Johnson; and Tom Laughlin.
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