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1973–Singer-actor, Bobby Darin, dies while undergoing six hours of open-heart surgery in Los Angeles, California, at age 37. His hits include Splish Splash, Queen of the Hop, Dream Lover, Mack the Knife, Beyond the Sea, Things, You’re the Reason I’m Living, 18 Yellow Roses, and If I Were a Carpenter. He appeared in the films Pepe, Come September, Too Late Blues, State Fair, Hell Is for Heroes, Is a Man Answers, Pressure Point, Captain Newman, M.D., That Funny Feeling, Stranger in the House, and The Happy Ending.

69–Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor.

217–Callixtus I is elected as the 16th pope, although Hippolytus of Rome is soon thereafter elected as a rival pope.

1192–Richard I of England is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third Crusade.

1334–Pope Benedict XII is elected.

1522–Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta.

1552–Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther (German leader of the Protestant Reformation), dies in Torgau, Electorate of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire, at age 53. Beyond what is found in the writings of Luther and some of his contemporaries, little is known about her. Despite this, Katharina is often considered one of the most important participants of the Reformation because of her role in helping to define Protestant family life and setting the tone for clergy marriages.

1606–The Virginia Company loads three ships with settlers and sets sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

1722–Kangxi, Emperor of China, dies in Beijing, China, at age 68. Kangxi's reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning Emperor in Chinese history. By the end of his reign, the Qing Empire controlled all of China proper, Taiwan, Manchuria, part of the Russian Far East (Outer Manchuria), both Inner and Outer Mongolia, and Tibet proper.

1803–The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.

1808–The Siege of Zaragoza begins in the Peninsular War.

1832–The HMS Clio, under the command of Captain Onslow, arrives at Port Egmont under orders to take possession of the Falkland Islands

1833–Dr. Samuel A. Mudd is convicted of giving medical aid to John Wilkes Booth (the man who killed Abraham Lincoln). This is the origin of the phrase “his name is mud.”

1860–South Carolina becomes the first state to attempt to secede from the United States.

1879–Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrates incandescent light in Menlo Park, California.

1880–New York's Broadway is first lit by electricity, becoming known as the "Great White Way."

1898–Actress, Irene (Marie) Dunne, is born in Louisville, Kentucky. She appeared in the films Show Boat, The Awful Truth, Love Affair, My Favorite Wife, A Guy Named Joe, The White Cliffs of Dover, Anna and the King of Siam, Life with Father, I Remember Mama, and Never a Dull Moment.

1915–In World War I, the last Australian troops are evacuated from Gallipoli.

1917–Cheka, the first Soviet secret police force, is founded.

1921–Film director, George Roy Hill, is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His films include Period of Adjustment, Toys in the Attic, The World of Henry Orient, Hawaii, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Sting, The Great Waldo Pepper, Slap Shot, A Little Romance, The World According to Garp, and The Little Drummer Girl.

1924–Adolf Hitler is released from Landsberg Prison in Bavaria.

1927–Politician, Kim Young-sam, is born in Geoje Island, South Gyeongsang, Japanese Korea. He was the seventh President of South Korea.

1934–Businessman, Leon Gorman, is born in Nashua, New Hampshire. He was President and Chairman of the Board for the clothing company L.L. Bean. Gorman helped pioneer the company's mail order business and saw an average annual 20% growth rate for the company. He transformed L.L. Bean from a catalog company with a single retail store and 100 employees into a multi-channel retailer with more than 5,000 employees and sales topping $1.5 billion.

1941–First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers" takes place in Kunming, China.

1942–Japanese air forces bomb Calcutta, India.

1946–The popular Christmas film, It's a Wonderful Life, is released in New York City.

1946–Fork-bending psychic, Uri Geller, is born in Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine (present-day Israel). He is known internationally as a magician, illusionist, and television personality. Skeptic, James Randi, has accused Geller repeatedly of trying to pass off magic tricks as paranormal displays. By the mid 1980s, Geller was described as "a millionaire several times over," and claimed to be performing mineral dowsing services for mining groups at a standard fee of £1 million.

1946–Punk rocker, Patti Smith, is born Patricia Lee Smith in Chicago, Illinois. Smith's most widely known song is Because the Night, which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen.

1949–A chart topper: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry.

1951–The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho, becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity: it powers four light bulbs.

1952–A U.S. Air Force C-124 crashes and burns in Moses Lake, Washington, killing 87 people.

1955–Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales in the United Kingdom.

1957–The initial production version of the Boeing 707 makes its first flight.

1957–Elvis Presley receives his draft notice from the U.S. Army.

1957–A chart topper: Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms.

1963–The Berlin Wall is opened for the first time. It is only for the holiday season. It closed again on January 6, 1964.

1963–The New Musical Express "12th International Popularity Poll" lists The Beatles as the number one group, and She Loves You is voted record of the year.

1967–A Pennsylvania Railroad Budd Metroliner exceeds 155 mph on th New York Division (present-day Amtrak's Northeast Corridor).

1967–There are now 474,300 U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.

1967–The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, premieres. Simon and Garfunkel provide songs for the movie soundtrack.

1968–The Zodiac Killer murders Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.

1968–Writer, John Steinbeck, dies in New York at age 66. He was the author of The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Cannery Row. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1940 and 1962.

1971–The international aid organization, Doctors Without Borders, is founded by Bernard Kouchner and a group of journalists in Paris, France.

1971–The George Harrison triple LP, The Concert for Bangla Desh, is released. It was recorded live on August 1, 1971.

1971–Roy O. Disney, a co-founder of the Walt Disney Productions, dies of a seizure in Burbank, California, at age 78. He was the older brother of Walt Disney. Walt was the creative man, while Roy was the one who made sure the company was financially stable. Roy and Walt both founded Disney Studios as brothers, but Walt would buy out most of Roy's share in 1929. Roy became the company's first CEO in 1929, although the official title was not given until 1968. He also shared the role of Chairman of the Board with Walt from 1945. After Walt Disney's death in 1966, Roy postponed his retirement to oversee construction of what was then known as Disney World. He later renamed it Walt Disney World as a tribute to his brother. Roy became the president of Walt Disney Productions on December 15, 1966, and remained so until 1968. After Walt Disney World opened in October 1971, Roy Disney finally retired.

1973–The Prime Minister of Spain, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, is assassinated by a car bomb attack in Madrid.

1973–Singer-actor, Bobby Darin, dies while undergoing six hours of open-heart surgery in Los Angeles, California, at age 37. His hits include Splish Splash, Queen of the Hop, Dream Lover, Mack the Knife, Beyond the Sea, Things, You’re the Reason I’m Living, 18 Yellow Roses, and If I Were a Carpenter. He appeared in the films Pepe, Come September, Too Late Blues, State Fair, Hell Is for Heroes, Is a Man Answers, Pressure Point, Captain Newman, M.D., That Funny Feeling, Stranger in the House, and The Happy Ending.

1975–Joe Walsh replaces guitarist Bernie Leadon in The Eagles.

1976–Politician, Richard J. Daley, dies at age 74. He was Major of Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention.

1977–Djibouti and Vietnam join the United Nations.

1981–Dreamgirls opens at the Imperial Theater in New York City. The musical is based on the lives of the 1960s Motown girl group, The Supremes.

1982–Pianist and composer, Arthur Rubinstein, dies in his sleep at his home in Geneva, Switzerland, at age 95. He received international acclaim for his performances of the music written by a variety of composers and many regard him as the greatest Chopin interpreter of his time.

1984–The Summit Tunnel fire becomes the largest underground fire in history, as a freight train carrying over one million liters of gasoline derails near the town of Todmorden, England, in the Pennines.

1985–Pope John Paul II announces the institution of World Youth Day.

1987–In the worst peacetime sea disaster, the passenger ferry, Doña Paz, sinks after colliding with the oil tanker, Vector, in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines: an estimated 4,000 people are killed.

1988–The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is signed in Vienna, Austria.

1989–The United States sends troops into Panama to overthrow the government of Manuel Noriega.

1991–A Missouri court sentences the Palestinian militant, Zein Isa, and his wife, Maria, to death for the honor killing of their daughter, Palestina.

1994–Lawyer and politician, Dean Rusk, dies in Athens, Georgia, at age 85. He was the 54th U.S. Secretary of State, serving under both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

1995–NATO begins peacekeeping in Bosnia.

1995–American Airlines Flight 965, a Boeing 757, crashes into a mountain north of Cali, Colombia, killing 159 people.

1996–Carl Sagan, astronomer, author, and professor, dies of myelodysplasia in Seattle, Washington, at age 62. He is known for his popular science books The Dragons of Eden, Broca's Brain, and Pale Blue Dot; and for the award-winning 1980 TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote.

1997–Film executive, Dawn Steel, dies of brain cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 51. She was one of the first women to run a major Hollywood film studio, rising through the ranks of merchandising and production to head Columbia Pictures. Steel was responsible for the making of Flashdance, her first hit film. She then greenlit Fatal Attraction, Footloose, Beverly Hills Cop, and Top Gun, among others.

1999–Portugal surrenders Macau to China.

1999–Actress, Madge Sinclair, dies of leukemia in Los Angeles, California, at age 57. She appeared in the films Conrack, Cornbread, Earl and Me, I Will, I Will... for Now, Ledbelly, Roots, Convoy, and Coming to America.

1999–Country singer, Hank Snow, dies of heart failure in Madison, Tennessee, at age 85. In a career that spanned nearly 50 years, he recorded 140 albums and charted more than 85 singles on the Billboard Country Chart from 1950 until 1980.

2000–Poet and painter, Adrian Henri, President of The Liverpool Academy of Arts, dies after a long illness in Liverpool, England, at age 68.

2001–Comedian, Foster Brooks, dies of heart failure in Encino, California, at age 89. He was most famous for his portrayal of the “Lovable Lush” drunken man character in nightclub performances and television programs.

2004–A gang of thieves steal £26.5 million worth of currency from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in one of the largest bank robberies in British history.

2007–Elizabeth II becomes the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months, and 29 days.

2007–The Portrait of Suzanne Bloch, by the Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, and O Lavrador de Café, by Brazilian modernist painter, Cândido Portinari, are stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art in São Paulo, Brazil.

2010–Actor, Steve Landesberg, dies of colon cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 74. He is best known for the role of police detective Arthur P. Dietrich on the sitcom Barney Miller. He appeared in the films Wild Hogs and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

2013–China successfully launches the Bolivian Túpac Katari 1 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, 40 miles northwest of Xichang, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, China.

2015–Three Katyusha-type rockets are fired from south Lebanon into northern Israel.

2015–Twenty-two buildings collapse after a landslide hits an industrial park in Shenzhen, China, leaving at least 59 people missing.

2015–An avalanche in Svalbard, a Norwegian Arctic archipelago, kills one person and injures nine others, as the snow smashes into 10 houses in Longyearbyen. Dozens of homes at the foot of the mountain were evacuated.

2015–A woman intentionally plows into pedestrians walking along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing one person and injuring 36 others. She drove onto a sidewalk two or three separate times between the Paris Hotel and Casino and Planet Hollywood.

2016–The People's Republic of China returns a United States unmanned underwater drone that it had seized in the South China Sea.

2016–President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, jointly ban offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic coast.

2016–An explosion at a fireworks market in the city of Tultepec near Mexico City, Mexico, kills at least 29 people and injures at least 70 others.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Vespasian; New York's Broadway circa 1880; Leon Gorman; Patti Smith; John Steinbeck; Bobby Darin; Arthur Rubinstein; Dean Rusk; Madge Sinclair; and Queen Elizabeth II.

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