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1962The Beach Boys start making waves with their first Southern California hit Surfin. Their new musical style (Surf Music) sweeps America like a tidal wave, when they hit nationally with Surfin Safari later in August. With musical genius, Brian Wilson, at the helm, the band would rival The Beatles in popularity and continue performing into the 21st century.
364Roman Emperor, Flavius Jovianus Augustus, dies in Dadastana (in Anatolia), at age 32.
624Chinese Empress, Wu Zetian, is born in Lizhou, Sichuan Province, Tang Dynasty. She was the only female Emperor in the history of China.
339Otto, Duke of Austria, dies at Neuberg Abbey, Styria, at age 37.
1411Following the successful campaigns during the Ottoman Interregnum, Musa Çelebi becomes Sultan with the support of Mircea I of Wallachia.
1490Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, is born in Montpensier, France.
1500Duke Friedrich and Duke Johann attempt to subdue the peasantry of Dithmarschen, Denmark, in the Battle of Hemmingstedt.
1519Francis, Duke of Guise, is born Francis de Lorraine II in Bar-le-Duc, Lorraine, France.
1600Philosopher, Giordano Bruno, is burned alive for heresy at Campo de' Fiori in Rome, Italy.
1609Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, dies in Florence, Italy, at age 59.
1621Myles Standish is appointed as first Commander of the English Plymouth Colony in North America.
1673Playwright and actor, Moliere, dies after collapsing on stage during a performance of his play Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid) in Paris, France, at age 51. The Church at first denies him burial on holy ground and although the funeral takes place at night to avoid scandal, thousands of admirers attend in a dramatic torchlight procession.
1753In Sweden, February 17th is followed by March 1st, as the country moves from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
1801The U.S. House of Representatives elects Thomas Jefferson as President of the United States, to break the electoral vote tie between Jefferson and Aaron Burr, who becomes Vice President.
1819The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Missouri Compromise.
1844Businessman, Aaron Montgomery Ward, is born in Chatham, New Jersey. In August 1872, with two fellow employees and a total capital of $1,600, he founded Montgomery Ward & Company. The Montgomery Ward Tower, on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Madison Street in Chicago, Illinois, was a major tourist attraction in the early 1900s.
1854The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Orange Free State.
1857Irish-American editor and publisher, S.S. McClure, is born in County Antrim, Ireland. He organized the first syndicated newspaper in the United States, the McClure Syndicate, and later founded McClure's magazine, the most controversial muckraking journal of its time.
1859The French Navy captures the Citadel of Saigon (a fortress that was manned by 1,000 Nguyen Dynasty soldiers) en route to conquering Saigon and other regions of southern Viet Nam.
1863A group of citizens in Geneva, Switzerland, found an International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, which later becomes known as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
1864The H.L. Hunley becomes the first submarine to engage and sink a warship, the USS Housatonic.
1864Australian journalist and poet, Andrew Barton Paterson, is born. He was a World War I correspondent and the author of several books of light verse, including The Animals Noah Forgot. He is best known for the song, Waltzing Matilda, adapted from a traditional verse, which became Australia's national song.
1865In the American Civil War, Columbia, South Carolina, is burned as Confederate forces flee from advancing Union forces.
1867The first ship passes through the Suez Canal. The cost of building the canal was $100 million.
1867Chocolate maker, William Adlington Cadbury, is born in Edgbaston, England. In 1905, he commissioned the first Cadbury logo. Then in 1921, the Cadbury script logo was introduced, based on William Cadbury's signature.
1871The victorious Prussian Army parades through Paris, France, after the end of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
1874Industrialist, Thomas John Watson, Sr., is born in Campbell, New York. He served as the Chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM), overseeing the company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956. He was one of the richest men of his time and was called the world's greatest salesman.
1876Canned sardines, packed in oil, go on sale in the U.S.
1890Christopher Sholes dies of tuberculosis in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at age 71. He invented the first practical typewriter and the QWERTY keyboard still in use today.
1897The National Congress of Mothers, later to become the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA), is founded in Washington, D.C.
1902Hoppy Jones, of The Ink Spots, is born Orville Jones in Chicago, Illinois. He played cello like it was a stand up bass. The Ink Spots were an pop vocal group who gained international fame in the 1930s and 1940s. Their unique musical style led to the rhythm & blues and rock n roll musical genres, by singing what is known as doo-wop.
1904The Giacomo Puccini opera, Madam Butterfly, premieres at the La Scala Theatre in Milan, Italy.
1907Henry Steel Olcott, American co-founder of the Theosophist Society, dies in Adyar, Chennai, India, at age 74. Olcott was the first well-known American of European ancestry to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. During his time in Sri Lanka, India, Olcott strove to revive Buddhism within the region, while compiling the tenets of Buddhism for the education of Westerners.
1909Geronimo, the last Apache leader to surrender to the U.S. government, dies of pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, at age 79. The name Geronimo means the one who yawns and it was given to him during a battle with Mexican soldiers.
1910Character actor, Arthur Hunnicutt, is born in Gravelly, Arkansas. While touring as the lead actor in a production of Tobacco Road, he developed the rural character he would play throughout his career. He appeared in the films Border Incident, Broken Arrow, The Red Badge of Courage, The Big Sky, The Lusty Men, The Tall T, Cat Ballou, The Million Dollar Duck, and Harry and Tonto.
1913The first minimum wage law in the U.S. takes effect in Oregon.
1913The now famous painting, Nude Descending a Staircase, by French artist, Marcel Duchamp, is displayed at the Armory Show in New York City. The work was Americas first look at modern art. Critics labeled the painting scandalous and meaningless. The work is now considered a modernist masterpiece.
1914Actor, (John) Arthur Kennedy, is born in Worcester, Massachusetts. He appeared in the films High Sierra, The Glass Menagerie, The Lusty Men, The Desperate Hours, Peyton Place, Some Came Running, A Summer Place, Elmer Gantry, Lawrence of Arabia, Cheyenne Autumn, Joy in the Morning, and Nevada Smith.
1919The Ukrainian People's Republic asks Entente and the U.S. for help fighting the Bolsheviks.
1919Actor and stuntman, Jock Mahoney, is born Jacques Joseph O'Mahoney in, Chicago, Illinois. He starred in two Western TV series, The Range Rider and Yancy Derringer. He appeared in the films Rim of the Canyon, The Nevadan, Cow Town, Hoedown, Santa Fe, Ive Lived Before, Away All Boats, Joe Dakota, Tarzan Goes to India, Bandolero!, and The End. He was the stepfather of actress, Sally Field. Later, Sally Field, Burt Reynolds, and Brian Keith starred in the 1978 film, Hooper, which was based on Jocks life.
1920Illustrator, Curt Swan, is born Douglas Curtis Swan in Sweden. He was the artist most associated with Superman during the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books. Swan produced hundreds of covers and stories from the 1950s through the 1980s.
1922Impresario, Enrico Banducci, is born Harry Charles Banducci in Bakersfield, California. He operated the hungry i nightclub in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood, where he launched the careers of Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Bill Cosby, Jonathan Winters, Bill Cosby, Phyllis Diller, The Smothers Brothers, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, and Dick Cavett. The hungry i featured the original brick wall in the stage background, a staple for stand up comedy presentations ever since. Banducci later opened the Clown Alley hamburger stand and Enrico's Sidewalk Cafe on Broadway, a restaurant and jazz club that has since gone out of business.
1925Harold Ross and Jane Grant begin publication of The New Yorker magazine.
1925Actor, Hal Holbrook, is born Harold Rowe Holbrook, Jr. in Cleveland, Ohio. He began performing a one-man show as Mark Twain in 1954. He appeared in the films The Group, Wild in the Streets, The Great White Hope, They Only Kill Their Masters, All the Presidents Men, Julia, Capricorn One, The Star Chamber, Wall Street, and The Firm. He was married to actress, Dixie Carter.
1933Newsweek magazine begins publication.
1933The Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States.
1934Actor, Alan (Arthur) Bates, is born in Allestree, Derbyshire, England. In 1960, he appeared in The Entertainer, opposite Laurence Olivier, which was his first film role. He also appeared in the films Whistle Down the Wind, A Kind of Loving, The Caretaker, Georgy Girl, King of Hearts, Far From the Madding Crowd, Women in Love, The Go-Between, Butley, Royal Flash, An Unmarried Woman, The Rose, and Gosford Park.
1934Comedian-actor, (John) Barry Humphries, is born in Kew, Melbourne, Australia. He is best known for writing and playing his on-stage and TV alter egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson. He appeared in the films Bedazzled, Shock Treatment, and SpiceWorld The Movie.
1934Albert I of Belgium dies in a mountaineering accident while climbing alone on the Roche du Vieux Bon Dieu at Marche-les-Dames, Namur, Belgium, at age 58.
1935Actress, Christina (Marie) Pickles, is born in Yorkshire, England. She is best known for the role of Nurse Helen Rosenthal in the TV drama St. Elsewhere. She appeared in the films Masters of the Universe, Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love, Legends of the Fall, Grace of My Heart, The Wedding Singer, and Atlas Shrugged: Part I.
1936Football player, Jim Brown, is born in St. Simons, Georgia. He is best known for his exceptional and record-setting nine-year career as a running back for the NFL Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965. Brown began an acting career in 1964, in the western action film Rio Conchos. He also appeared in the films The Dirty Dozen, Ice Station Zebra, The Running Man, Im Gonna Git You Sucka, and Mars Attacks!
1939British singer, John (Dudley) Leyton, is born in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, England. As a singer, he is best known for his hit song, Johnny Remember Me, which reached #1 in the U.K. Singles Chart in August 1961. He appeared in the films Its Trad, Dad!, The Great Escape, Von Ryans Express, The Idol, and Krakatoa, East of Java.
1939Actress, Mary Ann Mobley, who became Miss America in 1959, is born in Biloxi, Mississippi. She appeared in the films Get Yourself a College Girl, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum, Young Dillinger, Three on a Couch, and For Singles Only. She was married to actor, Gary Collins.
1941Singer, Gene Pitney, is born Gene Francis Alan Pitney in Hartford, Connecticut. His hits include Town Without Pity, (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance, Only Love Can Break a Heart, True Love Never Runs Smooth, Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa, It Hurts to Be in Love, and Looking Through the Eyes of Love.
1942Black Panther leader, Huey (Percy) Newton, is born in Monroe, Louisiana. After reading the works of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, Mao Zedong, and Che Guevara, while at Merritt College, Newton and Bobby Seale organized the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in October 1966. The Party achieved national and international renown through their deep involvement in the Black Power movement and in politics of the 1960s and 1970s.
1943New York Yankee, Joe DiMaggio, enlists in the U.S. Army.
1945Actress, Zina Bethune, is born in New York, New York. She was featured on the TV series The Nurses from 1962 to 1965. She appeared in a variety of television shows including Naked City, Route 66, Gunsmoke, Emergency!, Police Story, Santa Barbara, and Party of Five.
1945Actress, Brenda Fricker, is born in Dublin, Ireland. She appeared in the films My Left Foot, The Field, Benny and Joon, and A Time to Kill.
1945Actress, Patricia Morrow, is born in Los Angeles, California. She is best known for the role of Rita Jacks in the primetime soap opera, Peyton Place (1965-1969). She appeared in the films Artists and Models, The Bad Seed, The Wrong Man, and Surf Party.
1947The Voice of America begins radio broadcasts into the Soviet Union.
1949Chaim Weizmann is elected the first President of Israel.
1954Actress, Rene (Marie) Russo, is born in Burbank, California. She has appeared in the films Major League, Mr. Destiny, One Good Cop, Freejack, Lethal Weapon, In the Line of Fire, Get Shorty, Tin Cup, and Ransom.
1955In New Orleans, Louisiana, friend and fellow musician, Lloyd Price, convinces Little Richard to send a demo tape to Specialty Records in Los Angeles, California.
1956Actor, Richard Karn, is born Richard Karn Wilson in Seattle, Washington. He is best known for the role of Al Borland on the TV sitcom Home Improvement.
1958Pope Pius XII declares Saint Clare of Assisi (1193-1253) the Patron Saint of Television.
1959Vanguard 2, the first weather satellite, is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.
1960The Everly Brothers leave the small Cadence label to sign a 10-year million-dollar contract with Warner Brothers.
1960Elvis Presley receives his first gold album for Elvis.
1962A storm kills more than 300 people in Hamburg, West Germany.
1962The Beach Boys start making waves with their first Southern California hit Surfin. Their new musical style (Surf Music) sweeps America like a tidal wave, when they hit nationally with Surfin Safari later in August. The band would rival The Beatles in popularity and continue performing into the 21st century.
1962Actor, Lou Diamond Phillips, is born Lou Diamond Upchurch at Subic Bay Naval Station, Philippines. Phillips is his stepfathers surname. He has appeared in the films La Bamba, Stand and Deliver, Youngs Guns, Renegades, Sioux City, Courage Under Fire, and Brokedown Palace.
1963Sports superstar, Michael (Jeffrey) Jordan, is born in Brooklyn, New York. He played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards.
1963Comedian, Larry the Cable Guy, is born Daniel Lawrence Whitney in Pawnee City, Nebraska.
1964In Wesberry v. Sanders the U.S. Supreme Court rules that congressional districts must be approximately equal in population.
1964Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass play their first major headlining show in Los Angeles, California.
1964Luke Appling is elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1965The Ranger 8 probe launches on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. Mare Tranquillitatis or the "Sea of Tranquility" would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
1965The Beatles are awarded the Carl-Alan Award for Best Group of 1964.
1965Film director, Michael (Benjamin) Bay, is born in Los Angeles, California. His films include Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Transformers, and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
1968Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin, are signed by Columbia Records after a performance at the Anderson Theatre in New York City.
1968The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opens in Springfield, Massachusetts.
1969Golda Meir is sworn in as Israel's first female Prime Minister.
1969U.S. release of the James Taylor LP, James Taylor, on Apple. He is one of the first artists signed to The Beatles new label.
1970The Chicago Seven defendants are found innocent of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
1970Film composer, Alfred Newman, dies from complications of emphysema in Hollywood, California, at age 68. In a career which spanned over 40 years, Newman composed music for over 200 films. He was one of the most respected film score composers of his time, and is regarded as one of the greatest musicians ever to work in film.
1972President Richard M. Nixon departs on a historic trip to China.
1972British Parliament votes to join the European Common Market.
1972Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model T.
1972Musician, Billie Joe Armstrong, of Green Day, is born in Oakland, California.
1972(Oliver) Taylor Hawkins, of Foo Fighters, is born in Fort Worth, Texas.
1974Robert K. Preston, a disgruntled U.S. Army private, circles the White House in a stolen helicopter.
1974Actor, Jerry O'Connell, is born Jeremiah O'Connell in New York, New York. He starred in the TV series Sliders (1995-1999). He appeared in the films Stand By Me, Calendar Girl, Joes Apartment, Jerry Maguire, Mission to Mars, and Veronica Mars.
1975The John Lennon LP, Rock 'n' Roll, is released in the U.S. on Apple. This was Lennons final record before a self-imposed five-year exile from the music business.
1978The Provisional IRA detonates an incendiary bomb at the La Mon Restaurant, near Belfast, killing 12 people and seriously injuring 30 others.
1979The Sino-Vietnamese War begins.
1980First winter ascent of Mount Everest is made by Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy.
1980Television and film composer, Jerry Fielding, dies of a heart attack in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at age 57. He wrote the title themes for such classic TV shows as McHale's Navy, Bewitched, and Hogan's Heroes. His films include Straw Dogs, Junior Bonner, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Escape from Alcatraz.
1981The Chrysler Corporation reports the largest corporate losses in U.S. history.
1981American heiress and socialite, Paris (Whitney) Hilton, is born in New York, New York. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Her sister is Nicky Hilton, and Kyle and Kim Richards are her aunts. She has parlayed her media fame into perfumes and a fashion line with her endorsement. Her fragrances have reportedly earned $1.5 billion.
1982Jazz pianist, Thelonious Monk, dies of a stroke in Weehawken, New Jersey at age 64. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including Epistrophy, 'Round Midnight, Blue Monk, Straight, No Chaser and Well, You Needn't.
1982Acting coach, Lee Strasberg, dies of a heart attack in New York, New York, at age 80. In 1969, Strasberg founded the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City and Hollywood, California, to teach the work he pioneered.
1983The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1986Indian philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti, dies of pancreatic cancer in Ojai, California, at age 90.
1989A six-week study of the Arctic atmosphere shows there is no hole in the ozone.
1989The USSR conducts a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh.
1989Rocker, David Coverdale, of Whitesnake, marries actress, Tawny Kitaen.
1991Singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran, is born Edward Christopher Sheeran in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England. In 2012, he won two Brit Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act.
1992A court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sentences serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, to life in prison.
1994Journalist, Randy Shilts, dies of AIDS in Guerneville, California, at age 42. He wrote the book And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic.
1995The Cenepa War between Peru and Ecuador ends on a ceasefire brokered by the United Natons.
1995Colin Fergusson is found guilty of killing six people on the Long Island Railroad in New York.
1996World champion, Garry Kasparov, beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1996NASA's Discovery Program begins as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifts off on the first mission ever to orbit and land on an asteroid (433 Eros).
1996An 8.2 earthquake shakes the Papua Province of eastern Indonesia. A large tsunami follows, killing 166 people and injuring 423 others.
1997ABC-TV airs the rockumentary Hey, Hey, It's The Monkees, directed by Michael Nesmith.
1998Larry Wayne Harris and Bill Levitt are arrested for possession of anthrax.
2000John Lennon's Steinway piano, on which he composed Imagine, goes on display at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, England. The piano would be auctioned on the internet later in the year, expecting to fetch more than £1 million.
2000Windows 2000 Professional Edition is released. Windows 2000 is the next generation NT operating system that Microsoft said took four years and cost over $1 billion to develop.
2003The London Congestion Charge is introduced. It is a fee charged on most motor vehicles operating within the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) in central London, England, between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. It is not charged on weekends, public holidays, or between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The standard charge is £11.50 for each day, for each non-exempt vehicle that travels within the zone, with a penalty of between £65 and £195 levied for non-payment. It remains as one of the largest congestion charge zones in the world. It aims to reduce high traffic flow and raise investment funds for London's transport system.
2004José López Portillo, President of Mexico (1976-1982), dies of pneumonia in Mexico City, Mexico, at age 83.
2005Actor, Dan O'Herlihy, dies of natural causes in Malibu, California, at age 85. He appeared in the films Kidnapped, Soldiers Three, The Highwayman, The Blue Veil, Invasion U.S.A., Robinson Crusoe, Home Before Dark, Imitation of Life, The Young Land, Fail Safe, The Big Cube, The Carey Treatment, The Tamarind Seed, The Last Starfighter, and RoboCop.
2006A massive mudslide occurs in Southern Leyte, Philippines, killing 1,126 people.
2006Bill Cowsill, of The Cowsills, dies of emphysema, Cushing syndrome, and osteoporosis in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, at age 58. He was the lead singer and guitarist of family group, The Cowsills, who had three Top 10 singles in the late 1960s.
2008Kosovo declares independence from Serbia.
2010Actress, Kathryn Grayson, dies in her sleep at her home in Los Angeles, California, at age 88. She appeared in the films Anchors Aweigh, The Kissing Bandit, Show Boat, Lovely to Look At, and Kiss Me Kate.
2013Country singer, Mindy McCready, dies from suicide by gunshot in Heber Springs, Arkansas, at age 37.
2014Jimmy Fallon becomes the new host of The Tonight Show, which originates from the same studio (Studio 6B at NBC's New York studios) where the show originated until moving to the West Coast in May 1972. The premiere also includes a long line of surprise cameos, among them Joan Rivers (whose appearance marks her first time on the show since being blacklisted from the program in 1986, by then-host Johnny Carson, after she joined Fox's The Late Show).
2014Bob Casale, of Devo, dies of heart failure in Los Angeles, California, at age 61. The bands biggest hit was Whip It.
2015Eighteen people are killed and 78 are injured in a stampede at a Mardi Gras parade in Haiti.
2015Actress, June Fairchild, dies of liver cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 68. She appeared in the films Where Angels Go Trouble Follows!, Head, Pretty Maids All in a Row, Summertree, Your Three Minutes Are Up, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Student Body, Sextette, and Up in Smoke. Long-time girfriend of Danny Hutton, of Three Dog Night, she was the one who came up with the clever name for the band.
2016Experts confirm the discovery of a lost Spanish settlement in Florida from an expedition led by Tristan de Luna.
2016The South Dakota Legislature passes a bill requiring students, even those identifying as transgender, to use the school bathroom corresponding to their gender at birth.
2016Filipino Senate candidate and boxer, Manny Pacquiao, calls LGBT people "less than animals" when asked about his opposition to same-sex marriage, prompting condemnation from prominent Filipino LGBT figures such as Aiza Seguerra, John Lapus, and Vice Ganda. Pacquiao quickly apologizes.
PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Moliere; canned sardines in oil; Henry Steel Olcott; Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp; Jock Mahoney; the first New Yorker magazine; Alan Bates; Jim Brown; Gene Pitney; Patricia Morrow; Rene Russo; The Beach Boys; Herb Alpert; Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin; John Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll album; Paris Hilton; Krishnamurti; John Lennon's Steinway piano; Mindy McCready; and June Fairchild.
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