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1956Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash hold an impromptu recording session at Sun Studios, Memphis, Tennessee. Someone keeps a tape recorder running as the foursome mess around on some gospel standards, and the session is later released under the title The Million Dollar Quartet.
771Austrasian King Carloman I dies of natural causes (or a severe nosebleed) at the Villa of Samoussy, France. His brother, Charlemagne, becomes King of the now complete Frankish Kingdom.
1110The Kingdom of Jerusalem captures Sidon.
1131Omar Khayyám, poet, astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher, dies in Khorasan, Iran, at age 83. He is best known for the English translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
1214Scottish King, William the Lion, dies in Stirling, Scotland, at age 71.
1259Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agree to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounces his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.
1270Theobald II of Navarre dies at Trapani in Sicily, at age 29.
1334Pope John XXII dies in Avignon, Comtat Venaissin, County of Provence, at age 90.
1259Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agree to the Treaty of Paris: Henry renounces his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.
1563The final session of the Council of Trent is held in Trento (Trent) and Bologna, northern Italy.
1585Minister and theologian, John Cotton, is born in Derby, Derbyshire, England. He was a clergyman in England and the American colonies and, by most accounts, the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1619Thirty-eight colonists arrive at Berkeley Hundred, Virginia. The group's charter proclaims that the day "be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."
1674Father Jacques Marquette founds a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan to minister to the Illiniwek. (The mission would later grow into the city of Chicago.)
1676A Danish army, under the command of King Christian V, engages the Swedish army, commanded by Field Marshal Simon Grundel-Helmfelt, in the Battle of Lund.
1696Empress Meisho of Japan dies in Japan, at age 74. In the history of Japan, Meisho was the seventh of eight women to become empress regnant.
1711Barbara of Portugal is born Maria Madalena Josefa Teresa Barbara in Lisbon, Portugal. She was an Infanta of Portugal, and later Queen of Spain as wife of Ferdinand VI of Spain.
1745Charles Edward Stuart's army reaches Derby, England, its furthest point during the Second Jacobite Rising.
1783At Fraunces Tavern in New York City, U.S. General George Washington bids farewell to his officers.
1786Mission Santa Barbara is dedicated on the feast day of Saint Barbara.
1791The Observer, the oldest Sunday newspaper in the world begins publication in Great Britain.
1816James Monroe is elected the 5th President of the United States.
1828Politician, Robert Jenkinson, dies in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England, at age 58. He was both the youngest and longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1812-1827) since 1806.
1829In the face of fierce local opposition, British Governor-General Lord William Bentinck issues a regulation declaring that anyone who abets suttee in Bengal, in India (the practice of a widow burning herself to death on her husbands funeral pyre), is guilty of culpable homicide.
1835Writer, Samuel Butler, is born in Nottinghamshire, England. He was the author of two major satires, the first published anonymously in 1872 as Erehwon, which is "nowhere" spelled backwards. It was about a fictional nation called Erehwon, where many of the features of Victorian society were skewered and reversed. The book was an immediate success, whereupon Butler claimed the credit and the fame. In 1903, The Way of All Flesh was published posthumously. Considered Butler's greatest work, it is part autobiography and part brilliant criticism of the attitudes and institutions of Victorian England.
1848Politician, Robert Jenkinson, dies of a severe cerebral hemorrhage in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England, at age 58. He was both the youngest and longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1812-1827) since 1806.
1850Physicist, William Sturgeon, dies in Prestwich, Lancashire, England, at age 67. He invented the electromagnet and electric motor.
1860George A. Hormel, founder of the meat packing company George A. Hormel & Company, is born in Buffalo, New York. His ownership stake in the company made him one of the wealthiest Americans during his lifetime.
1860Actress-singer, Lillian Russell, is born Helen Louise Leonard in Clinton, Iowa. She became one of the most famous actresses and singers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence.
1861The 109 Electors of the Confederate States of America unanimously elect Jefferson Davis as President and Alexander H. Stephens as Vice President.
1861Poet and Politician, Hannes Hafstein, is born on the farm Mooruvellir in Horgardalur Valley, Iceland. He was the first Prime Minister of Iceland.
1864In the American Civil War, at Waynesboro, Georgia, forces under Union General Judson Kilpatrick prevent troops led by Confederate General Joseph Wheeler from interfering with Union General William T. Sherman's campaign, destroying a wide swath of the South on his march to the Atlantic Ocean from Atlanta, Georgia.
1867Former Minnesota farmer, Oliver Hudson Kelley, founds the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (better known today as The Grange).
1872The crewless American ship, Mary Celeste, is found by the British brig, Dei Gratia. The ship had been abandoned for nine days but was only slightly damaged.
1875Notorious New York City politician, Boss Tweed, escapes from prison. He will later be recaptured in Spain. Tweed was convicted for stealing an amount estimated by an aldermen's committee at between $25 million and $45 million from New York City taxpayers through political corruption, although later estimates of his theft ranged as high as $200 million.
1878Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia is born Michael Alexandrovich Romanov at Anichkov Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire. He was the youngest son of Emperor Alexander III of Russia.
1881The first edition of The Los Angeles Times is published.
1892Politician, Francisco Franco (Bahamonde), is born in Ferrol, Spain. He was dictator of Spain (which he declared a totalitarian state) during World War II.
1893In the First Matabele War, a patrol of 34 British South Africa Company soldiers is ambushed and annihilated by more than 3,000 Matabele warriors on the Shangani River in Matabeleland.
1893Poet, critic and essayist, Herbert Edward Read, is born in Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire, England. The son of a farmer, and orphaned at the age of 10, Read made his writing debut in 1915, with a book of poetry called Songs of Chaos. His fledgling career was cut short by World War I, during which he co-founded the journal Arts and Letters, which attacked conservative views and attracted writers like T.S. Eliot. After the war, he became a literary critic and, in 1926, published Reason and Romanticism. He was a frequent champion of new artistic movements, and earned a reputation as a defender of modern art.
1902Journalist and publisher, Charles Dow, dies in Brooklyn, New York, at age 51. He co-founded the Dow Jones & Company. Dow also founded The Wall Street Journal. He invented the Dow Jones Industrial Average as part of his research into market movements.
1906Alpha Phi Alpha, the first black intercollegiate Greek lettered fraternity, is founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
1909In Canadian football, the First Grey Cup game is played. The University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeat the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club, 26-6.
1909The Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club, the oldest surviving professional hockey franchise in the world, is founded as a charter member of the National Hockey Association.
1909Princess Marie of Orléans dies in Copenhagen, Denmark, at age 44.
1910Politician, R. Venkataraman, is born Ramaswamy Venkataraman in Rajamadam, Madras Presidency, British India (present-day Tamil Nadu, India). He was the sixth President of India.
1912Colonel and pilot, Pappy Boyington, is born Gregory Boyington in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He was a highly decorated American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II: he received both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. The television series Baa Baa Black Sheep was inspired by Boyington and his men in the "Black Sheep" squadron.
1918President Woodrow Wilson sails for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, France, becoming the first U.S. President to travel to Europe while in office.
1921The first Virginia Rappe manslaughter trial against Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle ends in a hung jury.
1921Child actress, Deanna Durbin, is born Edna Mae Durbin in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She appeared in musical films in the 1930s and 1940s, and with the vocal range of a legitimate lyric soprano, she performed everything from popular standards to operatic arias. Durbin retired from acting and singing in 1949, and withdrew from public life.
1927Duke Ellington starts a four year engagement as the "house band" at the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York.
1930Actor, Ronnie Corbett, is born Ronald Balfour Corbett in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is best known for his long association with Ronnie Barker in the BBC TV comedy sketch show The Two Ronnies. He appeared in the films You're Only Young Twice, Casino Royale, No Sex Please We're British, and Fierce Creatures.
1934Actor, Victor (Edwin) French, is born in Santa Barbara, California. He is best known for his roles on the TV shows Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven. He also was seen on many other TV shows, including Hazel, The Virginian, Bonanza, Wagon Train, Get Smart, Batman, Gunsmoke, Mannix, and Kung Fu. He appeared in the films The Quick and the Dead, Charro!, Rio Lobo, Chatos Land, and An Officer and a Gentleman.
1934Disc jockey and game show host, Wink Martindale, is born Winston Conrad Martindale in Jackson, Tennessee. He started his career as a disc jockey at age 17 at WPLI in Jackson, earning $25 a week. In 1959, he became morning man at KHJ in Los Angeles, California, moving a year later to the morning show at KRLA, and finally to KFWB in 1962. He also had lengthy stays at KGIL, KKGO/KJQI, and Gene Autry's KMPC. He is best known as the host of the game show Tic-Tac-Dough.
1935Physiologist and occultist, Charles Richet, dies in Paris, France, at age 85. He was a physiologist at the Collège de France, known for his pioneering work in immunology. In 1913, he won the Nobel Prize "in recognition of his work on anaphylaxis." Richet devoted many years to the study of paranormal and spiritualist phenomena, coining the term "ectoplasm." He hypothesized a sixth sense: an ability to perceive hypothetical vibrations, which he discussed in his book Our Sixth Sense.
1937The first issue of the children's comic The Dandy is published.
1937Actor, Max Baer, Jr., is born Maximilian Adalbert Baer, Jr. in Oakland, California. He is best known for the role of Jethro Bodine on the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies.
1939In World War II, the HMS Nelson is struck by a mine (laid by U-31) off the Scottish coast and is laid up for repairs until August 1940.
1940Singer, Freddy Boom Boom Cannon, is born Frederick Anthony Picariello, Jr. in Revere, Massachusetts. His hits include Tallahassee Lassie, Way Down Yonder in New Orleans, Palisades Park, Abigail Beecher, and Action (the theme for the teen music show Where the Action Is).
1940Convicted murderer, Gary Gilmore, is born Faye Robert Coffman in McCamey, Texas. He was an American criminal who gained international notoriety for demanding the execution of his death sentence for two murders he committed in Utah. Gilmore was executed by firing squad in 1977.
1942Bob Mosley, of Moby Grape, is born James Robert Mosley in Paradise Valley, California.
1943In Yugoslavia, resistance leader, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.
1943President Franklin D. Roosevelt closes down the Works Progress Administration, because of the high levels of wartime employment in the United States.
1944Chris Hillman, of The Byrds, is born Christopher Hillman in San Diego, California. With frequent collaborator, Gram Parsons, Hillman was a key figure in the development of country rock, defining the genre through his work with The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, and the country-rock group Desert Rose Band.
1944Singer-songwriter, Anna McGarrigle, is born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She wrote and performed as a duo with her sister, Kate McGarrigle, until Kate's death in 2010. Singer, Rufus Wainwright is her nephew.
1944Dennis (Carl) Wilson, of The Beach Boys, is born in Inglewood, California. Dennis served mainly on drums and backing vocals for The Beach Boys from its formation until his death in 1983. Noted as the only true surfer in the group, his personal life exemplified the "California Myth" that the group's early songs often celebrated. His brothers are Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson.
1945By a vote of 65 to 7, the U.S. Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations. (The UN had been established on October 24, 1945.)
1945By a vote of 65-7, the U.S. Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations. (The UN had been established on October 24, 1945.)
1947Terry Woods, of The Pogues and Steeleye Span, is born in Dublin, Ireland. He is a folk musician, noted for playing the mandolin and cittern, but he also plays acoustic and electric guitar, mandola, five-string banjo, and concertina.
1948Southside Johnny, of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, is born John Lyon in Neptune, New Jersey.
1949Actor, Jeff Bridges, is born Jeffrey Leon Bridges in Los Angeles, California. He appeared in the films Halls of Anger, The Last Picture Show, Fat City, Bad Company, The Last America Hero, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Rancho Deluxe, Hearts of the West, Stay Hungry, King Kong, Heavens Gate, Cutters Way, Against All Odds, Starman, Jagged Edge, The Morning After, Nadine, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Fisher King, American Heart, The Vanishing, Fearless, Wild Bill, The Big Lebowski, The Contender, Iron Man, Crazy Heart, The Men Who Stare at Goats, True Grit, and The Giver. His parents were actor, Lloyd Bridges, and Dorothy Bridges. His brother is actor, Beau Bridges, and his nephew is actor, Jordan Bridges.
1951Gary (Robert) Rossington, of Lynyrd Skynyrd, is born in Jacksonville, Florida.
1951Actress, Patricia Wettig, is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is best known for the role of Nancy Krieger Weston in the TV drama series thirtysomething. She appeared in the films Guilty by Suspicion, City Slickers, City Slickers II, Bongwater, and Dancer, Texas Pop. 81. She is married to actor, Ken Olin.
1952Killer fogs begin in London, England, and smog becomes a word.
1954The first Burger King fast food restaurant is opened in Miami, Florida.
1956Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins hold an impromptu recording session at Sun Studios, Memphis, Tennessee. Someone keeps a tape recorder running as the foursome mess around on some gospel standards, and the session is later released under the title The Million Dollar Quartet.
1957A chart topper: Raunchy by Bill Justis.
1961Representatives of Deutsche Grammophones London office visit Liverpool, England, to meet Brian Epstein in regard to his request for My Bonnie by The Beat Brothers to be released as single in the U.K.
1963Pope Paul VI promulgates the first two documents approved by the Second Vatican Council: the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and the Decree on the Media of Social Communications.
1964The Beatles LP, Beatles For Sale, is released in the U.K. It is The Beatles fourth album.
1964The Beatles Fan Club in Britain announces it has 65,000 members.
1964Actress, Marisa Tomei, is born in Brooklyn, New York. She has appeared in the films The Flamingo Kid, My Cousin Vinny, Chaplin, Untamed Heart, Unhook the Stars, The Watcher, What Women Want, In the Bedroom, Anger Management, and Wild Hogs.
1965The Grateful Dead performs their first concert under their new name.
1966Andy Hess, of The Black Crowes, is born in Washington, D.C.
1967U.S. and South Vietnamese forces engage Viet Cong troops in the Mekong Delta.
1967Actor, Bert Lahr, dies of cancer in New York, New York, at age 72. He is best known for the role of the Cowardly Lion and Kansas farmworker Zeke in the classic film The Wizard of Oz.
1968George Harrison sends a memo to the Apple personnel announcing the arrival of the Hells Angels. He requests that everyone be cordial to the questionable visitors. The whole thing, not surprisingly, ends up being a fiasco.
1969Black Panther Party members, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, are shot and killed in their sleep during a raid by 14 police officers in Chicago, Illinois.
1969President Richard Nixon, Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew, and forty U.S. Governors embark on a fact-finding mission to discover the causes of the generation gap. They view films of "simulated acid trips" and listen to hours of "anti-establishment rock music."
1969Rapper, Jay-Z, is born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2014, Forbes estimated Jay Z's net worth at nearly $520 million. He is co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records. He is married to singer, Beyonce.
1971The United Nations Security Council calls an emergency session to consider the deteriorating situation between India and Pakistan.
1971Boxer, Shannon Briggs, is born in Brooklyn, New York. He is a former lineal and WBO World Heavyweight Champion, and has defeated three other World Heavyweight Champions during his career: George Foreman, Ray Mercer, and Siarhei Liakhovich.
1972Trumpeter, Melvin Lastie, dies in New Orleans, Louisiana, at age 42. He played extensively on soul and jazz recordings by artists such as Sam Cooke, Hank Crawford, Lou Donaldson, Dr. John, Aretha Franklin, Barbara George, Eddie Harris, Little Sonny Jones, Herbie Mann, David "Fathead" Newman, Dave Pike, and The Rascals.
1973Model, Tyra (Lynne) Banks, is born in Inglewood, California. She began her career as a model at age 15, and rose to fame, becoming the first African American woman on the cover of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In 2003, she created the reality TV show America's Next Top Model.
1975Suriname joins the United Nations.
1976Guitarist, Tommy Bolin, dies of a drug overdose in a hotel room in Miami, Florida, at age 25. He played with T-Rex, Deep Purple, and The James Gang.
1977Jean-Bédel Bokassa, President of the Central African Republic, crowns himself Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire.
1977Malaysian Airline System Flight 653 is hijacked and crashes in Tanjong Kupang, Johor, killing 100 people.
1978Following the murder of Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein becomes the first female Mayor of San Francisco, California. (She will serve until January 8, 1988.)
1979The Hastie fire in Hull, Yorkshire, England, kills three schoolboys and eventually leads police to arrest Bruce George Peter Lee.
1980Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones make public their decision not to re-form Led Zeppelin in the wake of the death of drummer, John Bonham.
1981South Africa grants independence to the Ciskei "homeland" (not recognized by any government outside South Africa).
1981A chart topper: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police.
1982The People's Republic of China adopts its current constitution.
1984Hezbollah militants hijack a Kuwait Airlines plane, killing four passengers.
1988Roy Orbison performs his final concert in Akron, Ohio.
1988Actor, Gary Busey, is critically injured in a motorcycle crash.
1989A chart topper: We Didnt Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
1990Due to the Persian Gulf crisis, gas hits $1.60 per gallon in New York City.
1991Pan American World Airways ceases operations.
1991Journalist, Terry A. Anderson, is released after seven years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut. He is the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon.
1991Captain Mark Pyle pilots Clipper Goodwill, a Pan American World Airways Boeing 727-221ADV, to Miami International Airport, ending 64 years of Pan Am operations.
1992President George H.W. Bush orders 28,000 U.S. troops to Somalia in Northeast Africa.
1993A truce is concluded between the government of Angola and UNITA rebels.
1993Psychedelic rocker, Frank Zappa, dies of prostate cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 52. On Monday, December 6th, his family publicly announced that "Composer Frank Zappa left for his final tour just before 6:00 p.m. on Saturday." He was a musician, bandleader, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, jazz, orchestral, and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. His 1966 debut album with The Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages.
1995The Beatles single, Free As a Bird, is released in the U.S. and the U.K.
1998The Unity Module, the second module of the International Space Station, is launched.
2005Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protest for democracy and call on the government to allow universal and equal suffrage.
2006Six black youths assault a white teenager in Jena, Louisiana.
2012Super-centenarian, Besse Cooper, dies in Monroe, Georgia, at age 116 (and 100 days).
2013Xavier Bettel becomes Luxembourg's first openly gay Prime Minister.
2014Islamic insurgents kill three state police officers at a traffic circle before taking an empty school and a "press house" in Grozny. Ten state forces are killed and 28 others are injured in gun battles ending with the killing of ten insurgents.
2015At least 16 people are killed after a firebomb is thrown into a restaurant in Cairo, Egypt.
2015Shi Taifeng is named acting Governor of Jiangsu province in China, replacing Li Xueyong, who retired due to age.
2015Actor, Robert Loggia, dies from complications of Alzheimer's disease in Los Angeles, California, at age 85. He was seen in dozens of TV shows, including The Untouchables, Combat!, Columbo, High Chaparral, Gunsmoke, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West, Rawhide, Little House on the Prairie, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, The Rockford Files, Magnum, P.I., Kojak, Hawaii Five-O, The Bionic Woman, Falcon Crest, Frasier, and The Sopranos. He appeared in the films Somebody Up There Likes Me, The Garment Jungles, The Greatest Story Ever Told, First Love, Raid on Entebbe, S.O.B., An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, Prizzis Honor, Jagged Edge, Big, Gladiator, and Independence Day.
2016The body of former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, is laid to rest besides independence leader, Jose Marti.
2016The Russian Federal Security Service claims to have killed Rustam Asildarov, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's Caucasus Province, along with four other militants in the Dagestan region.
2016Three women, the Imatra Town Council chairwoman and two local reporters, are shot dead outside a restaurant in Imatra, Finland, a town east of the capital Helsinki.
2017President Donald Trump signs executive orders shrinking the Bears Ears National Monument area by 85% and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by half. Both are in the state of Utah.
2017South Korea and the United States launch their largest-ever annual joint military aerial drill.
2017Houthi forces kill former president of North Yemen (the Yemen Arab Republic), Ali Abdullah Saleh, in a roadside attack outside Sana'a, after having blown up his house.
2017The sixth, and final, season of the the Netflix series, House of Cards, plans to begin filming the last eight episodes on December 8th without its former star, Kevin Spacey.
2017Model and showgirl, Christine Keeler, dies of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Locksbottom, Greater London, England, at age 75. She is known for her part in the Profumo Affair, which was a British political scandal that originated with a brief sexual relationship in 1961 between John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan's government, and Keeler, then 19 years old. In March 1963, Profumo denied any impropriety in a personal statement to the House of Commons, but was forced to admit the truth a few weeks later.
PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Scottish King, William the Lion; John Cotton; the first issue of The Observer; George A. Hormel; Boss Tweed; Charles Dow; Pappy Boyington; Victor French; Freddy Cannon; Anna McGarrigle; Jeff Bridges; The Million Dollar Quartet: Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash; Bert Lahr; Shannon Briggs; Jean-Bédel Bokassa; Roy Orbison; the Pan Am World Airways logo; Frank Zappa; and Robert Loggia.
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