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1986–Actor and orchestra leader, Desi Arnaz, dies of lung cancer in Del Mar, California, at age 69. He is best known for the role of Ricky Ricardo on the TV sitcom I Love Lucy. Through his production company, Desilu, he produced The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Lucy Show, and Star Trek. He appeared in the films Too Many Girls, Father Takes a Wife, Four Jacks and a Jill, The Navy Comes Through, Bataan, The Long Long Trailer, and Forever, Darling.



1348–Emperor Hanazono of Japan dies at age 51.

1409–The University of Leipzig opens in the Free State of Saxony, Germany.

1547–Explorer, Hernán Cortés, dies of of pleurisy in Castilleja de la Cuesta, Castile, Spain, at age 62. He was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortés was part of the generation of Spanish colonizers who began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

1697–St. Paul's Cathedral is consecrated in London, England.

1723–Philippe II, Duke of Orléans dies at the Château de Saint Cloud in Hauts-de-Seine, France, at age 49.

1754–Judge and politician, William Cooper, is born in a log house in Smithfield (present-day Somerton), Pennsylvania. He founded Cooperstown, New York. He was the father of James Fenimore Cooper, who became a noted writer of historical novels related to the New York frontier.

1763–Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, takes place. It is the first synagogue in what will become the United States.

1775–The USS Alfred becomes the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes): the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones.

1804–At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French, the first French Emperor in 1,000 years.

1805–During the War of the Third Coalition, French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte decisively defeat a joint Russo-Austrian force.

1814–The Marquis de Sade dies in Charenton, the mental asylum outside Paris, France, at age 74. In his will he asks to be kept in an open casket for 48 hours, until it can be proven that he is definitely dead.

1823–In a State of the Union message, President James Monroe proclaims American neutrality in future European conflicts, and warns European powers not to interfere in the Americas.

1825–Dom Pedro II of Brazil is born Pedro de Alcântara João Carlos Leopoldo Salvador Bibiano Francisco Xavier de Paula Leocádio Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga at the Palace of São Cristóvão in Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil. He was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years.

1827–Victorian era architect, William Burges, is born in England. He was part of a wealthy family, which allowed him to study and practice architecture without concern for earning a living. His fortune also allowed for extensive travel, which greatly influenced his design techniques. Burges worked on the Medieval Court for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Other examples of his style can be seen in Cardiff Castle, Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Tower House in London.

1845–In a State of the Union message, President James K. Polk proposes that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.

1848–Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria.

1851–French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrows the Second Republic.

1852–Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte becomes Emperor of the French as Napoleon III.

1859–Militant abolitionist leader, John Brown, is executed by hanging in Charles Town, Virginia (present-day West Virginia), at age 59. His attempt to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia, the murder of five men, and inciting a slave insurrection. He was found guilty on all counts.

1859–Post-Impressionist painter, Georges-Pierre Seurat, is born in Paris, France. Seurat is well known for his development of the painting style known as pointillism. In addition, his work, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, changed the course of modern art by introducing Neo-impressionism.

1863–Businessman, Charles Edward Ringling, is born Charles Edward Rüngeling in McGregor, Iowa. He co-founded the Ringling Brothers Circus.

1863–Jane Pierce, wife of President Franklin Pierce, dies of tuberculosis in Andover, Massachusetts, at age 57. She was the 15th First Lady of the United States.

1867–Charles Dickens gives the first public reading of his works in America, in New York City. Dickens stayed for five months and gave 76 performances, most of which were sold out and one (a reading from David Copperfield) that was attended by Mark Twain.

1870–Archduchess Louise of Austria is born Luise Antoinette Maria Theresia Josepha Johanna Leopoldine Caroline Ferdinande Alice Ernestine in Salzburg, Auztria. She was a great-great-granddaughter of Charles X of France.

1885–Writer, Nikos Kazantzakis, is born on the island of Crete. His works include Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ.

1899–In the Philippine-American War, the Battle of Tirad Pass, termed "The Filipino Thermopylae," is fought.

1905–Radio technician, Moses Asch, is born in Warsaw, Poland. He founded Folkways Records.

1908–Puyi becomes Emperor of China at the age of two.

1908–Newspaper columnist, Hy Gardner, is born in New York, New York. He was an entertainment reporter and syndicated columnist for The New York Herald Tribune, host of Hy Gardner Calling, The Hy Gardner Show, and Celebrity Party.

1914–Playwright and composer, Adolph Green, is born in the Bronx, New York. With long-time collaborator, Betty Comden, he penned the screenplays and songs for some of the most beloved movie musicals, particularly at Metro Goldwyn Mayer, during the genre's heyday. His work includes Good News, On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Bells Are Ringing, Peter Pan, and What a Way to Go! He was married to actress, Phyllis Newman.

1915–Roebuck Staples, of The Staple Singers, is born in Winoma, Mississippi. He was the patriarch of the singing family.

1915–Takahito, Prince Mikasa of Japan, is born at Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo, City, Japan.

1917–Singer, Sylvia Syms, is born Sylvia Blagman in Brooklyn, New York. As a teenager, she went to jazz-oriented nightclubs on New York's 52nd Street, and received informal training from Billie Holiday. In 1941, she made her debut at Kelly's Stable. She was signed to a recording contract by Decca Records, having her major success with a recording of I Could Have Danced All Night in 1956, which sold over one million copies.

1923–Opera singer, Maria Callas, is born in New York, New York. She was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century.

1924–Cartoonist and publisher, Jack Davis, is born John Burton Davis, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia. He was known for his advertising art, magazine covers, film posters, record album art, and numerous comic book stories. Davis was one of the founding cartoonists for Mad magazine in 1952.

1924–Politician, Alexander Haig, is born Alexander Meigs Haig Jr. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the 59th U.S. Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan. He was White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

1924–Actor, Jonathan Frid, is born John Herbert Frid in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He is best known for the role of vampire Barnabas Collins on the gothic TV soap opera Dark Shadows.

1925–Actress, Julie Harris, is born Julia Ann Harris in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She appeared in the films The Member of the Wedding, East of Eden, I Am a Camera, The Truth About Women, Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Haunting, Hamlet, Harper, You’re a Big Boy Now, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The People Next Door, Voyage of the Damned, The Bell Jar, Gorillas in the Mist, The Golden Boys, and The Lightkeepers.

1927–After 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile.

1930–In a State of the Union message, U.S. President Herbert Hoover proposes a $150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.

1936–Businessman, John Ringling, dies in New York, New York, at age 70. Once one of the world's wealthiest men, he died with only $311 in the bank. With five of his brothers, he co-founded Ringling Brothers Circus. After his death, the circus was operated by his nephew, John Ringling North, who sold the circus to the Feld family in 1967.

1939–New York City's LaGuardia Airport opens.

1939–British Imperial Airways and British Airways merge to form BOAC.

1939–Politician, Harry (Mason) Reid, is born in Searchlight, Nevada. He is a senior U.S. Senator from Nevada and was the Senate Majority Leader from 2007 to 2015.

1941–Tom McGuinness, of Manfred Mann, is born Thomas John Patrick McGuinness in Wimbledon, London, England. McGuinness' National Steel guitar became an important part of the group's sound and was featured on hits such as Pretty Flamingo.

1942–During the Manhattan Project, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago.

1942–Ted Bluechel, drummer for The Association, is born in San Pedro, California.

1944–Actress, Cathy Lee Crosby, is born in Kansas City, Missouri. She appeared in the films The Laughing Policeman, Trackdown, Coach, and Ablaze.

1944–Journalist and politician, Ibrahim Rugova, is born in Crnce, DF Yugoslavia. He was the first President of Kosovo. Owing to his role in Kosovo's history, Rugova has been dubbed "Father of the Nation" and "Gandhi of the Balkans." He was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and posthumously declared a Hero of Kosovo.

1945–Film director and screenwriter, Penelope Spheeris, is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her films include Real Life, The Decline of Western Civilization, Suburbia, Dudes, Thunder and Mud, Banned in the U.S.A., Wayne’s World, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Little Rascals.

1946–Fashion designer, Gianni (Maria) Versace, is born in Reggio Calabria, Italy. He founded Versace, an international fashion house. In addition to his clothing lines, he designed fragrances, home furnishings and cosmetics, as well as costumes for theater and films. As a friend of Eric Clapton, Madonna, Elton John, Cher, Sting, and many other celebrities, he was the first designer to link fashion to the music world. His sister is fashion designer, Donatella Versace.

1947–Riots break out in Jerusalem in response to the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

1954–The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Taiwan, is signed in Washington, D.C.

1954–Wisconsin Senator, Joseph McCarthy, is censured by a vote of 67-33 for his abuse of his investigatory powers. According to the resolution, he engaged in “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.”

1954–Journalist, Stone (Stockton) Phillips, is born in Texas City, Texas. He is best known as the former co-anchor of Dateline NBC, a newsmagazine TV show. Prior to his tenure at NBC, he was an ABC News correspondent for 20/20 and World News Tonight.

1956–The Granma reaches the shores of Cuba's Oriente Province. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution.

1957–The United Nations Security Council Resolution 126, relating to the Indian-Pakistan Question, is adopted.

1960–Rick Savage, bass player for Def Leppard, is born Richard Savage in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

1961–In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.

1961–Old West outlaw, Laura Bullion, dies of heart disease at the Shelby County Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 85. Early in her life, she had been a member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang, ultimately convicted of robbery for her participation in the Great Northern train robbery. In 1918, Bullion moved to Memphis, Tennessee, posing as a war widow and living under assumed identities. She supported herself as a seamstress and dressmaker until sometime in the 1940s, when her fortunes changed, and she found herself without a profession. It is not known how she lived afterwards, though an arrest report from 1901 states her occupation as “prostitute.”

1962–After a trip to Vietnam, at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Mike Mansfield, becomes the first American official to comment adversely on the war's progress.

1964–At the height of worldwide Beatlemania, Ringo Starr has his tonsils removed at University College Hospital in London, England.

1968–Actress, Lucy (Alexis) Liu, is born in Queens, New York. She is best known for the role of Ling Woo in the TV series Ally McBeal. She appeared in the films Bang, Jerry Maguire, City of Industry, Payback, Play It to the Bone, Shanghai Noon, Charlie’s Angels, Chicago, and Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2.

1968–Nate Mendel, bass player for Foo Fighters, is born Nathan Gregor Mendel in Richland, Washington.

1969–Having watched them play with Eric Clapton the night before in London, England, George Harrison joins Delaney & Bonnie and Friends for a performance at Colston Hall in Bristol, England. He tours the U.K. with their ensemble, marking the first series of live performances by a Beatle since 1966.

1970–The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) begins operation.

1971–Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm al-Quwain, form the United Arab Emirates.

1973–Tennis player, Monica Seles, is born in Novi Sad, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia. In 1990, Seles became the youngest-ever French Open champion at the age of 16. She went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles before her 20th birthday, and was the year-end World No. 1 player in 1991 and 1992.

1975–The Pathet Lao seizes the Laotian capital of Vientiane, forces the abdication of King Sisavang Vatthana, and proclaims the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

1976–Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba, replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado.

1978–Singer, Nelly (Kim) Furtado, is born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She has sold 20 million albums worldwide and more than 20 million singles, bringing her total sales to over 40 million records around the world.

1980–During the Salvadoran Civil War, four American missionaries are raped and murdered by a death squad.

1980–Politician, Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, dies in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, at age 75. He was the fourth Prime Minister of Pakistan.

1981–Pop singer, Britney (Jean) Spears, is born in McComb, Mississippi. Spears was established as a pop icon and credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s. She became the best-selling teenage artist of all time and her hits ...Baby One More Time and Oops!... I Did It Again broke international sales records.

1982–At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

1982–Comic-actor, Marty Feldman, dies of a heart attack in Mexico City, Mexico, at age 48. He was on location for the film Yellowbeard. He appeared in the films The Bed-Sitting Room, Young Frankenstein, The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, Silent Movie, The Last Remake of Beau Geste, and Slapstick of Another Kind.

1985–The TV movie, John and Yoko: A Love Story, debuts on NBC-TV.

1986–Jerry Lee Lewis checks into the Betty Ford Clinic to overcome a painkiller addition.

1986–Actor and orchestra leader, Desi Arnaz, dies of lung cancer in Del Mar, California, at age 69. He is best known for the role of Ricky Ricardo on the TV sitcom I Love Lucy. Through his production company, Desilu, he produced The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Lucy Show, and Star Trek. He appeared in the films Too Many Girls, Father Takes a Wife, Four Jacks and a Jill, The Navy Comes Through, Bataan, The Long Long Trailer, and Forever, Darling.

1988–Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state.

1990–Composer, Aaron Copland, dies in Westchester, New York, at age 90. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, in his later years he was often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers" and is best known to the public for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style often referred to as "populist": examples of this are Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Rodeo.

1990–Actor, Robert Cummings, dies of kidney failure and complications from pneumonia at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, at age 80. Cummings starred in two TV sitcoms: The Bob Cummings Show (known as Love That Bob in reruns), and My Living Doll, which co-starred Julie Newmar as Rhoda the robot. He appeared in the films The Devil and Miss Jones, Saboteur, Lucky Me, Dial M For Murder, How to Be Very, Very Popular, My Geisha, Beach Party, The Carpetbaggers, and What a Way to Go!

1991–Canada and Poland become the first nations to recognize the independence of the Ukraine from the Soviet Union.

1993–NASA launches the Space Shuttle Endeavor on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

1993–Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, dies from gunshot wounds fired by Colombian National Police in Medellín, Colombia, at age 44. Known as "The King of Cocaine," he is regarded as the wealthiest criminal in history, with an estimated net worth of $30 billion by the early 1990s.

1995–Novelist, playwright, journalist, and professor, Robertson Davies, dies of heart failure in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, at age 82. His close friend, author John Irving, gave one of the scripture readings at his funeral, which was held at Trinity College Chapel in Toronto. Davies' best known works are The Deptford Trilogy, The Cornish Trilogy, and The Salterton Trilogy.

1995–Actress, Roxie Roker, dies of breast cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 66. She is best known for the role of Helen Willis on the sitcom The Jeffersons, half of the first interracial couple to be shown on regular prime time television. She was cast on the TV shows Kojak, Fantasy Island, Cagney & Lacey, The Love Boat, 227, and A Different World. She appeared in the film Claudine, and the mini-series Roots.

1997–Third Street Jazz and Rock Holding Corporation, a record store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, files a class-action lawsuit against the six major U.S. record distributors. The suit claims that EMI, Sony, WEA, Universal, Bertelsmann Music Group, and Polygram conspired “to raise, fix, and maintain at artificially high and non-competitive levels, the wholesale prices of CDs.”

1999–The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive, following the Good Friday Agreement.

2001–Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

2004–Ballerina and choreographer, Alicia Markova, dies in Bath, Somerset, England, at age 94. She was the first British dancer to become the principal dancer of a ballet company, and along with Dame Margot Fonteyn, is one of only two English dancers to be recognized as a prima ballerina assoluta. Markova was a founding dancer of the Rambert Dance Company, The Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre, and was co-founder and director of the English National Ballet.

2006–Mariska Veres, of Shocking Blue, dies of cancer in The Hague, Netherlands, at age 59. The group’s big hit was Venus.

2008–Folksinger, Odetta, dies of heart disease in New York, New York, at age 77. She was a songwriter and civil and human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement." Her musical repertoire consisted largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was influential to many of the folksingers of that time.

2009–Eric Woolfson, of The Alan Parsons Project, dies of kidney cancer in London, England, at age 64. Following the 10 successful albums he made with Alan Parsons, Woolfson pursued a career in musical theatre.

2014–Saxophonist, Bobby Keys, dies of of cirrhosis of the liver in Franklin, Tennessee, at age 80. He appeared on albums by The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Leon Russell, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, and many other prominent musicians.

2015–The Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, Germany, announces a publication of a two-volume set of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The new edition, which contains 3,500 scholarly annotations, is the first printing of the book in Germany since the end of World War II.

2015–Fourteen people are killed and at least 17 are wounded, when multiple gunmen open fire at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

2015–The Parliament of the United Kingdom votes 397-223 to authorize Royal Air Force air strikes on ISIL in Syria.

2015–Days of heavy rain in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu causes floods with many areas in the city of Chennai under water.

2016–Mercosur suspends Venezuela from the South American trading bloc for failing to meet membership requirements on trade and human rights.

2016–Gambian President Yahya Jammeh concedes defeat to Adama Barrow, bringing an end to his 22-year-rule in the West African nation.

2016––President-elect Donald Trump holds a telephone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the first known contact between a U.S. president or president-elect with a Taiwanese leader since the United States recognized People's Republic of China in 1979.

2016–The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announces official names for the recently discovered superheavy elements Nihonium (113), Moscovium (115), Tennessine (117), and Oganesson (118).

2016–Child actor, Billy Chapin, dies following a long illness at age 72. He appeared in the films Affair with a Stranger, The Kid from Left Field, Naked Alibi, There’s No Business Like Show Business, Violent Saturday, The Night of the Hunter, and Tension at Table Rock.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Hernán Cortés; Marquis de Sade; Franz Josef I; Charles Dickens; Adolph Green; Julie Harris; a poster for BOAC; Cathy Lee Crosby; Joseph McCarthy; Laura Bullion; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) logo; Britney Spears; Desi Arnaz; Robert Cummings; Roxie Roker; Odetta; and Cilly Chapin.

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