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1953–Manufacturer, James Lewis Kraft, dies. He was the founder of Kraft Company, a wholesale cheese distributor and producer. In 1916, he patented pasteurized process cheese, a low cost cheese that would not spoil. The U.S. Army purchased over 6 million tins of it during World War I. And during the depression, it was popular due its low cost.



481–Vandal King Huneric organises a conference between Catholic and Arian bishops at Carthage.

772–Pope Stephen III dies in Rome, Papal States.

1327–Teenage Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover Roger Mortimer.

1328–Charles IV of France dies in Vincennes, France, at age 33.

1329–King John of Bohemia captures Medvegalis, an important fortress of the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and baptizes 6,000 of its defenders

1402–Eleanor of Aragon, Queen of Portugal, is born in Medina del Campo, province of Valladolid, Castile and León.

1411–The First Peace of Thorn is signed in Thorn, Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights (Prussia).

1501–Queen Munjeong of Korea is born in the Korean kingdom of Joseon.

1563–Menas of Ethiopia dies fleeing from a battlefield at Kolo, Ethiopia. His reign was from 1559 to 1563.

1662–General Koxinga of China seizes the island of Taiwan, after a nine-month siege.

1669–French King Louis XIV limits freedom of religion.

1691–Pope Alexander VIII dies in Rome, Papal States, at age 80.

1713–The Kalabalik or Tumult in Bendery results from the Ottoman sultan's order that his unwelcome guest, King Charles XII of Sweden, be seized.

1733–Polish King, Augustus II the Strong, dies in Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland, at age 62.

1787–Botanical magazine is first published in London, England.

1788–Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patent the steamboat.

1790–The U.S. Supreme Court convenes for the first time in New York.

1793–France declares war on the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

1796–The capital of Upper Canada is moved from Newark to York.

1801–Romantic landscape painter, Thomas Cole, is born in Bolton, Lancashire, England. He is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century.

1814–Mayon Volcano in the Philippines erupts, killing about 1,200 people.

1814–Lord Byron's, “The Corsair,” a poem in heroic couplets, sells 10,000 copies on the day of publication.

1835–Slavery is abolished in Mauritius.

1840–The first U.S. College of Dentistry is chartered in Baltimore, Maryland.

1851–Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, dies from a a brain tumor in Chester Square, London, England, at age 53. She was a novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, and biographer. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

1861–The state of Texas votes to secede from the Union.

1862–Julia Ward Howe's Battle Hymn of the Republic is published for the first time in the Atlantic Monthly.

1865–President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.

1884–The first installment of the Oxford English Dictionary (A-Ant) is published. Sir James Murray, the editor, thought it would take 11 years to finish the project, but it ended up taking 43.

1887–Harvey Wilcox (of Kansas) subdivides 120 acres he owns in Southern California and starts selling it off as a real estate development, which he names “Hollywood,” after a Southern plantation his wife had been told about on their railroad trip to California.

1893–Thomas A. Edison completes the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, New Jersey, nicknamed "Black Maria."

1894–Film director, John Ford, is born John Martin Feeney in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Ford directed more than 140 films and he is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers of his generation. His films include Up the River, Stagecoach, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, 3 Godfathers, Pinky, Rio Grande, The Searchers, and How the West Was Won.

1895–Fountains Valley, Pretoria, the oldest nature reserve in Africa, is proclaimed by President Paul Kruger.

1896–La bohème premieres at the Teatro Regio in Turin, conducted by Arturo Toscanini.

1897–Shinhan Bank opens in Seoul, South Korea.

1898–Travelers Insurance Company issues the first auto insurance policy in the U.S.

1901–Actor, (William) Clark Gable, is born in Cadiz, Ohio. Regarded as “The King of Hollywood,” he was a leading man in more than 60 motion pictures in a career that spanned three decades. He is best known for the role of Rhett Bulter in Gone with the Wind, for which he received an Oscar nomination. He appeared in the films It Happened One Night, The Call of the Wild, Mutiny on the Bounty, San Francisco, Mogambo, Betrayed, The Tall Men, Teacher’s Pet, and The Misfits. He was married to actress, Carole Lombard.

1902–China's Empress, Tzu-hsi, forbids the binding of women's feet.

1902–Poet and novelist, Langston Hughes, is born James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri. He was one of the earliest innovators of the literary art form of jazz poetry. He stressed the theme of "black is beautiful" as he explored the black human condition in a variety of ways. He wrote novels, short stories, plays, poetry, operas, essays, and works for children. Hughes left school in 1922, began traveling, and settled in Harlem in 1924, during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance. His residence at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem has been given landmark status by the New York City Preservation Commission and the street was renamed "Langston Hughes Place."

1906–The first federal penitentiary building is completed in Leavenworth, Kansas.

1908–King Carlos I of Portugal and his son, Prince Luis Filipe, are killed in Terreiro do Paço, Lisbon.

1908–Film producer, George Pal, is born György Pál Marczincsak in Cegléd, Austria-Hungary. He produced the sci-fi classics When Worlds Collide and War of the Worlds. His other films include The Great Rupert, Destination Moon, Houdini, Conquest of Space, Tom Thumb, The Time Machine, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, and The Power.

1913–New York's Grand Central Station opens as the world's largest train station.

1914–The New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox play an exhibition baseball game in Egypt.

1918–Russia adopts the Gregorian calendar.

1920–The Royal Canadian Mounted Police begins operation.

1920–The first commercial armored car is introduced in St. Paul, Minnesota.

1923–Businessman, Ben Weider, is born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He co-founded (with his brother, Joe Weider) the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness.

1924–The United Kingdom recognizes the USSR.

1928–Actor, Stuart Whitman, is born in San Francisco, California. He appeared in the films The Comancheros, The Mark, Shock Treatment, and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.

1931–Boris Yeltsin, President of Russia, is born in Butka, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.

1937–Don Everly, of The Everly Brothers, is born in Brownie, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. The duo had hits that included Wake Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love, Cathy’s Clown, and All I Have To Do Is Dream.

1937–Comedian, Garrett Morris, of Saturday Night Live, is born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1938–Actor, Sherman Hemsley, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is best known for the role of George Jefferson in the TV shows All in the Family and The Jeffersons.

1939–Joe Sample, a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders, is born Joseph Leslie Sample in Houston, Texas. He worked with Miles Davis, George Benson, Jimmy Witherspoon, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, and The Supremes.

1941–Downbeat magazine reports that Glenn Miller has inked a new three-year contract with RCA Victor Records. The pact guarantees Miller $750 a side, the most lucrative record contract signed up to that time.

1942–Josef Terboven, Reichskommissar of German-occupied Norway, appoints Vidkun Quisling the Minister President of the National Government.

1942–The U.S. Navy conducts Marshalls-Gilberts raids, the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater.

1942–Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the U.S. government, begins broadcasting programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers.

1942–Actress, Bibi Besch, is born Bibiana Köchert in Vienna, Austria. She worked primarily on television and appeared in the TV shows The Secret Storm, The Edge of Night, Police Story, Trapper John, M.D., Dynasty, and Falcon Crest. Her daughter is actress, Samantha Mathis.

1944–Abstract painter, Piet Mondrian, dies of pneumonia in Manhattan, New York, at age 71. He had made his home there after fleeing Europe during World War II. His memorial was attended by nearly 200 people, including fellow artists Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Motherwell, and Alexander Calder.

1946–Trygve Lie, of Norway, is chosen as the first United Nations Secretary-General.

1946–The Parliament of Hungary abolishes the monarchy after nine centuries, and proclaims the Hungarian Republic.

1947–Composer, Dmitri Shostakovitch, is named Professor at the Conservatory of Leningrad.

1947–Newscaster, Jessica (Beth) Savitch, is born in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. In 1977, Savitch joined NBC News, becoming the network’s first woman to anchor a weekend national newscast. She was also the first woman to anchor the flagship NBC Nightly News, periodically filling in for John Chancellor and David Brinkley.

1948–The Palestine Post building in Jerusalem is bombed.

1948–Funk musician, Rick James, is born James Ambrose Johnson, Jr., in Buffalo, New York. He was known as the “King of Punk Funk” for his mix of funky soul and underground-inspired rock. His hits include Mary Jane and Super Freak.

1949–RCA releases the first single record on 45-rpm. They also introduce a machine to play the new records. The vinyl “single” would eventually kill off the old 78-rpm record.

1950–The USSR demands condemnation of Emperor Hirohito for war crimes.

1951–The greatest ice storm of record in the U.S. produces ice up to four inches thick from Texas to Pennsylvania, causing 25 deaths, 500 serious injuries, and $100 million in damage. Communications and utilities are interrupted for a week to ten days.

1951–Musician, Sonny Landreth, is born in Canton, Mississippi. He is a blues slide guitar player from southwest Louisiana. Landreth is known as "the King of Slydeco," and plays with a strong zydeco influence. He's also known for his right-hand technique, which involves tapping, slapping, and picking strings, using all of the fingers on his right hand. He has played with with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Buffet.

1952–The United Arab Republic of Egypt and Syria is formed.

1953–Flooding in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom kills 1,835 people.

1953–You Are There, with Walter Cronkite, debuts on CBS-TV.

1953–Manufacturer, James Lewis Kraft, dies. He was the founder of Kraft Company, a wholesale cheese distributor and producer. In 1916, he patented pasteurized process cheese, a low cost cheese that would not spoil. The U.S. Army purchased over 6 million tins of it during World War I. And during the depression, it was popular due its low cost.

1954–The first of TV’s daytime dramas, The Secret Storm, debuts. Because American housewives watched these shows during the day, they became known as “soap operas.”

1954–Child actor, Billy Mumy, is born Charles William Mumy, Jr. in San Gabriel, California. He came to prominence in the 1960s for the role of Will Robinson in the sci-fi television series Lost in Space. He appeared in the films A Child is Waiting, Palm Springs Weekend, Dear Brigitte, and Wild in the Streets.

1955–H.C. Hansen is appointed Premier of Denmark.

1957–Felix Wankel's first working prototype (DKM 54) of the Wankel engine runs at the NSU research and development department Versuchsabteilung TX in Germany.

1959–Texas Instruments requests a patent for IC (the Integrated Circuit).

1959–Zack Wheat is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1959–Actor, Anthony LaPaglia, is born in Adelaide, South Australia. He appeared in the films Slaves of New York, One Good Cop, 29th Street, The Client, Empire Records, and Sweet and Lowdown.

1960–The first sit-ins are held at the lunch counters at the F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro, North Carolina, as part of the Civil Rights Movement.

1963–The Beatles prepare for their first British tour. Three concert promoters (Arthur Howes, Paul Cave, and Harold Fielding) contact the group’s manager, Brian Epstein, vying for the chance to present The Beatles shows at seaside resorts in the summer.

1963–Singer, Neil Young, performs his first professional performance at a country club in Winnipeg, Canada, at age 17.

1964–The Beatles and Brian Epstein have a celebration dinner at the George V Hotel in Paris, upon hearing that I Want To Hold Your Hand has reached #1 in the U.S. It will hold the top position for seven weeks.

1964–The governor of Indiana asks the Indiana Broadcasters Association to ban the record Louie Louie, claiming The Kingsmen's song is pornographic and makes his ears tingle. DJs claim that it's impossible to decipher the true lyrics in the allegedly-smutty hit.

1964–Actor, Linus Roache, is born in Manchester, Lancashire, England. He is best known for the roles of Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter in the TV series Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He has appeared in the films No Surrender, The Wings of the Dove, Pandaemonium, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Batman Begins.

1965–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and 2,600 freedom marchers are arrested in Selma, Alabama, in one of the largest demonstrations in American history.

1965–The Hamilton River in Labrador, Canada, is renamed the Churchill River in honour of Winston Churchill.

1965–Peter Jennings becomes the anchorman of the ABC Nightly News at age 26.

1965–Actress, Sherilyn Fenn, is born Sheryl Ann Fenn in Detroit, Michigan. She has appeared in the films Just One of the Guys, Two Moon Junction, Wild at Heart, Three of Hearts, and Boxing Helena.

1965–Actor, Brandon (Bruce) Lee, is born in Oakland, California. His father was martial arts master and actor, Bruce Lee.

1965–Princess Stephanie of Monaco is born Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth in Monaco. She is 10th in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne. Her parents were Prince Rainier III and actress, Grace Kelly.

1966–Gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper, dies of double pneumonia in Hollywood, California, at age 80. She wielded quite a lot of power in Hollywood, starting with her gossip column, “Hedda Hopper's Hollywood,” which debuted in The Los Angeles Times in 1938. Her trademark was wearing large, outlandish hats. She was the mother of actor, William Hopper.

1966–Comic-actor, Buster Keaton, dies of lung cancer in Woodland Hills, California, at age 70. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy.

1967–The Beatles begin recording sessions for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

1968–A reporter takes the now famous brutal photo of Saigon police chief, Nguyen Ngoc Loan, executing a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head.

1968–Canada's three military services, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, are unified into the Canadian Forces.

1968–The New York Central Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad are merged to form Penn Central Transportation.

1968–The Doors announce that Universal Studios has offered them a $500,000 movie contract.

1968–Vince Lombardi resigns as coach of the Green Bay Packers.

1968–Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, is born in Memphis, Tennessee. She would be the only child of “The King.” As sole heir to her father's estate, Lisa Marie is the owner of Graceland, the Memphis mansion where her father lived, that is now a major tourist attraction.

1968–Comedian, Pauly Shore, is born Paul Montgomery Shore in Hollywood, California. He has appeared in the films Encino Man, Jury Duty, and Pauly Shore Is Dead. He is the son of comedian, Sammy Shore, and Comedy Store owner, Mitzi Shore.

1969–Andrew (James) Breitbart, conservative blogger and publisher, is born in Los Angeles, California. He was an American conservative publisher, commentator for The Washington Times, and author, and occasional guest commentator on radio and television. He owned Breitbart.com, a news organization website.

1972–The hand-held calculator is introduced, with the price of $395.

1972–Kuala Lumpur becomes a city by a royal charter granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

1972–Wings release Give Ireland Back to the Irish in the U.K.

1973–Monte Irvin is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1974–A fire in the 25-story Joelma Building in Sao Paulo, Brazil, kills 189 people and injures 293 others.

1976–Sonny and Cher resume their TV show, The Sonny and Cher Show, despite their real-life divorce.

1976–The mini series, Rich Man, Poor Man, debuts on ABC-TV.

1978–Harriet Tubman is the first black woman to be pictured on a U.S. postage stamp.

1978–Film director, Roman Polanski, jumps bail and flees to France, after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.

1979–The Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran after 15 years in exile.

1979–Convicted bank robber, Patty Hearst, is released from prison after her sentence is commuted by President Jimmy Carter.

1980–Jack Bailey, TV host of Queen for a Day, dies in Santa Monica, California, at age 72.

1981–Industrialist and engineer, Donald Wills Douglas, Sr., dies in Palm Springs, California, at age 88. He founded the Douglas Aircraft Company.

1982–Celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck and his wife, Barbara Lazaroff, open their restaurant, Spago, in Los Angeles, California. It became an instant hit with the Hollywood crowd, and for many years invitation-only parties were held there on “Oscars” night.

1982–Senegal and the Gambia form a loose confederation known as Senegambia.

1982–Late Night with David Letterman debuts on NBC-TV.

1983–The USSR conducts an underground nuclear test.

1984–Actor, Lee Thompson Young, is born in Columbia, South Carolina. He appeared in the TV shows The Guardian, South Beach, Scrubs, FlashForward, and Rizzoli & Isles.

1985–Snow, sleet, and ice grip southern Tennessee and northern sections of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The winter storm produces up to 11 inches of sleet and ice.

1986–Dick James, The Beatles' music publisher (1962-1970), dies of a heart attack in London, England, at age 65. Dick James Music was acquired by PolyGram which was, in turn, bought by Universal Music Group. 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.

1988–Child actress, Heather O'Rourke, dies of an intestinal ailment in San Diego, California, at age 12. She is best known for the role of the little blond girl in the Poltergeist film trilogy.

1989–The Western Australian towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder amalgamate to form the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

1989–Artist and academic, Elaine de Kooning, dies of lung cancer in Southampton, New York, at age 70. She was an Abstract Expressionist and Figurative Expressionist painter in the post-World War II era.

1990–The Humanitas publishing house is founded in Bucharest, by philosopher, Gabriel Liiceanu, shortly after the Romanian Revolution.

1991–Thirty-five people are killed and 30 others are injured, when a USAir jetliner crashes atop a commuter plane on the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

1992–U.S. President, George Bush, and Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, sign an agreement of general principles that concludes decades of East-West rivalry and encourages a future relationship of cooperation. The signing, which takes place in Washington, D.C., marks the official end of the “Cold War.”

1992–Musician, Todd Rundgren, and his wife, singer Michele Gray, welcome a son in San Francisco, California. They name the child Rebop.

1994–In Portland, Oregon, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, pleads guilty in the attack on figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan.

1994–Harry (Edward) Styles, of One Direction, is born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England.

1996–The Communications Decency Act is passed by the U.S. Congress.

1997–Herb Caen, columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, dies of lung cancer at age 80.

1998–Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne becomes the first female African American to be promoted to that post.

2000–Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico say they have traced the origin of the AIDS virus to about 1930.

2002–Daniel Pearl, American journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, is beheaded and mutilated by his captors. He had been kidnapped on January 23, 2002.

2003–The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard. The astronauts are Michael P. Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, Rick D. Husband, Willie McCool, and Ilan Ramon.

2003–Mongo Santamaria, Cuban percussionist and bandleader, dies in Miami, Florida, at age 81. Many consider him to have been the greatest conga player of the 20th century.

2004–In a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, 251 people are trampled to death and 244 others are injured.

2004–Super Bowl XXXVIII: The New England Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers, 32-29. Janet Jackson's breast is exposed during the half-time show, forcing U.S. broadcasters to adopt a stronger adherence to FCC censorship guidelines.

2005–Canada passes the Civil Marriage Act, making it the fourth country to sanction same-sex marriage.

2005–King Gyanendra of Nepal carries out a coup d'état to capture the democracy, becoming Chairman of the Councils of Ministers.

2009–The first cabinet of Jóhanna Siguroardottir was formed in Iceland, making her the country's first female prime minister, and the world's first openly LGBT head of government.

2009–Super Bowl XLIII: The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-2.

2010–A suicide bombing takes place in Baghdad, Iraq.

2012–At least 72 people are killed and over 500 others are injured as a result of clashes between fans of Egyptian football teams Al-Masry and Al-Ahly in Port Said, Egypt.

2012–Don Cornelius, host of the TV show, Soul Train, dies from suicide by gunshot wound to the head in Los Angeles, California, at age 75. It was thought that he had been suffering from the early onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease and his health had been in decline since 1993.

2013–The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union, is opened to the public.

2013–Ed Koch, U.S. Congressman and New York Mayor, dies of heart failure in Manhattan, New York, at age 88.

2014–Actor, Maximillian Schell, dies of a sudden serious illness in Innsbruck, Austria, at age 83. He had been receiving treatment for pneumonia. He appeared in the films The Young Lions, Hamlet, Judgment at Nuremberg, Five Finger Exercise, Topkapi, Return from the Ashes, The Desperate Ones, The Odessa File, Julia, The Black Hole, and The Chosen.

2015–In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a toddler rummages through his mother’s purse, finds a handgun, and shoot a single bullet at his mother and father. The bullet fired by the three-year-old boy goes through the his father’s buttocks, out his hip, and then embeds itself in the shoulder of his mother, who is eight months pregnant.

2015–Downtown San Francisco, California, records no measurable rain in January for the first time in 165 years.

2015–Super Bowl XLIX: The New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24.

2015–Ann Mara, matriarch of the New York Giants, dies of complications from a head injury in Rye, New York, at age 85.

2016–Chinese authorities arrest 21 people involved in the Ezubao online finance fraud, who are accused of allegedly defrauding 900,000 people out of 50bn yuan ($7.6 billion) in a Ponzi scheme.

2017–The U.S. Senate, in a 56-43 vote, confirms Rex Tillerson's nomination as U.S. Secretary of State.

2017–Iranian Minister of Defence, Hossein Dehghan, confirms Iran tested a new missile, claiming that the test did not violate the 2015 nuclear deal or UN resolution 2231.

2017–Israeli security forces begin evicting people from the illegal Amona, Mateh Binyamin outpost in the central West Bank.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: King Edward III of England; an image from Botanical magazine; Mary Shelley; John Ford; Clark Gable; a Royal Canadian Mounty; Bibi Besch; Dmitri Shostakovitch; first RCA record player for 45s; Kraft cheese ad; Billy Mumy on TV Guide; The Beatles and Brian Epstein; Hedda Hopper; Elvis Presley with his daughter, Lisa Marie; Andrew Breitbart; Rich Man, Poor Man poster; Lee Thompson Young; Nancy Kerrigan on Newsweek magazine; Mongo Santamaria; and Maximillian Schell.

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