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1987–Pianist-entertainer, Liberace, dies of AIDS related illnesses at his home in Palm Springs, California, at age 67. Liberace's career spanned four decades of concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements. At the height of his fame from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest paid entertainer in the world.



211–Roman Emperor, Septimius Severus, dies in Eboracum (present-day York, England), at age 65. He leaves the empire in the control of his two quarrelling sons.

634–Rashidun forces, under Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan, defeat an outnumbered Byzantine force near Gaza in Palestine.

708–Pope Sisinnius dies in Rome, Byzantine Empire.

960–The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song takes place, initiating the Song Dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries.

1169–A strong earthquake strikes the Ionian coast of Sicily, causing tens of thousands of injuries and deaths, especially in Catania.

1461–Owen Tudor, Welsh founder of the Tudor dynasty of England, dies from being beheaded at age 60. Tudor was an early casualty of the Wars of the Roses (1455–1487) between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. He had a relationship with, and a secret marriage to, Catherine of France, widow of King Henry V of England.

1505–Joan of France, Duchess of Berry, dies in Bourges, Duchy of Berry, France, at age 41. She was briefly Queen of France as wife of King Louis XII, in between the death of her brother, King Charles VIII, and the annulment of her marriage. After that, she retired to her domain, where she soon founded the monastic Order of the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary. She was canonized on May 28, 1950, and is known in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Joan of Valois, O.Ann.M.

1555–John Rogers, clergyman and Bible translator, dies by being burned at the stake in Smithfield, London, England, at age 50. He was the first English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.

1575–Cardinal and theologian, Pierre de Bérulle, is born in the Château of Cérilly near Troyes in Champagne, France. He was one of the most important mystics in France in the 17th century. He was the founder of the French school of spirituality, who could count among his friends and disciples Vincent de Paul and Francis de Sales.

1752–Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans, dies at Abbaye de Sainte Geneviève, Paris, France, at age 48. He was a member of the royal family of France, the House of Bourbon, and as such was a prince du sang.

1758–Macapá, Brazil, is founded.

1783–England officially proclaims an end to hostilities in North America, where its 13 colonies had successfully fought to become independent in the American Revolution.

1783–The worst earthquake in eight years kills 50,000 people in Calabria, Italy.

1789–George Washington is unanimously elected the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College. James Adams is the first Vice President.

1794–The French National Convention abolishes slavery throughout all territories of the French First Republic.

1797–An earthquake in Quito, Ecuador, kills 40,000 people.

1799–Architect, Étienne-Louis Boullée, dies. He was one of the most prominent figures of French Neoclassical architecture. Considered a visionary, Boullée's work is still influential today.

1801–John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.

1810–Chef, Alexis Benoit Soyer, is born at Meaux-en-Brie in France. Soyer became second chef to the French Prime Minister before fleeing France for Britain during the revolution of 1830. There he worked in the households of numerous British nobles, including Prince Adolphus, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sutherland, and the Marquess of Waterford. He opened kitchens in Ireland during the famine to sell food at half price and was an advisor on food to the British Army during the Crimean War. He also invented several stoves and kitchen utensils. Soyer became the most celebrated chef in Victorian England.

1824–J.W. Goodrich introduces rubber galoshes.

1825–The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.

1846–Mormons leave Nauvoo, Missouri, for a settlement further west in Salt Lake Valley.

1847–The first U.S. telegraph company is established in Maryland.

1854–Alvan Bovay proposes the name “Republican Party.”

1855–Soldiers shoot Jewish families in Coro, Venezuela.

1859–The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered in Egypt. The codex is an Alexandrian text-type manuscript written in the 4th century in uncial letters on parchment. Current scholarship considers the Codex Sinaiticus to be one of the best Greek texts of the New Testament, along with that of the Codex Vaticanus.

1861–The Confederate Constitutional Convention meets for the first time, in Montgomery, Alabama. Representatives from Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina elect Jefferson Davis President of Confederacy.

1865–Robert E. Lee is named Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate Army.

1871–Friedrich Ebert, the first President of Germany, is born in Heidelberg, Germany.

1894–Antoine-Joseph Sax, maker of the first saxophone, dies in Paris, France, at age 79.

1895–Actor, Nigel Bruce, is born William Nigel Ernle Bruce in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. He is best known for the role of Dr. Watson in a series of films and in the radio series The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes). He appeared in the films The Charge of the Light Brigade, Kidnapped, Rebecca, Susan and God, Suspicion, and Lassie Come Home.

1899–The Philippine-American War begins with the Battle of Manila.

1902–Aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh, is born Charles Augustus Lindbergh in Detroit, Michigan. Known as “Lucky Lindy,” he was an author, inventor, explorer, and social activist. As a 25-year-old U.S. Air Mail pilot, Lindbergh emerged from obscurity to instantaneous world fame on May 20, 1927, as the result of his solo nonstop flight from Roosevelt Field in Garden City, Long Island, New York, to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France. Lindberg flew the nearly 3,600 miles in the single-seat, single-engine, Ryan monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis.

1906–German theologist, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is born in Breslau, Silesia Province, Prussia, German Empire. He was a Lutheran pastor, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. Although not large, the Confessing Church represented a major source of Christian opposition to the Nazi government. “The Barmen Declaration,” drafted by Karl Barth and adopted by the Confessing Church, insisted that Christ, not the Führer (Hitler), was the head of the church. Bonhoeffer became known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler's euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews.

1906–Astronomer, Clyde W. Tombaugh, is born on a farm near Streator, Illinois. He discovered the planet Pluto in 1930. Being of an industrious nature, his first telescope was made of old farm equipment parts.

1913–Civil rights activist, Rosa Parks, is born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. Her birthday, February 4, and the day she was arrested, December 1, have both become Rosa Parks Day, commemorated in California and Ohio.

1918–Actress and director, Ida Lupino, is born in Herne Hill, London, England. In her 48-year career, she appeared in 59 films and directed seven others. She also co-wrote and co-produced some of her own films. Her films include Artists and Models, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, They Drive by Night, High Sierra, Moontide, The Hard Way, Hollywood Canteen, Road House, Outrage, Beware, My Lovely, The Bigamist, The Big Knife, and While the City Sleeps. She was married to actor, Howard Duff.

1921–Writer and feminist, Betty Friedan, is born Bettye Naomi Goldstein in Peoria, Illinois. A leading figure in the women's movement in the U.S., her book, The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963, is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century. Her other books include The Second Stage, It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement, Beyond Gender, and The Fountain of Age.

1923–Actor, Conrad (Stafford) Bain, is born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. He co-starred in the TV shows Maude and Diff’rent Strokes. He appeared in the films I Never Sang for My Father, Bananas, The Anderson Tapes, Up the Sandbox, C.H.O.M.P.S, and Postcards from the Edge.

1924–Mahatma Gandhi, a pacifist who led the struggle for Indian independence from Britain, is released after spending two years in jail in Bombay, India.

1924–The first Winter Olympic Games close at Chamonix, France.

1930–Frank C. Mars, a candy maker in Minnesota, introduces the Snickers bar.

1931–Politician, Isabel Martínez de Perón, is born María Estela Martínez Cartas in La Rioja, Argentina. She was the 41st President of Argentina. She was the third wife of the former President, Juan Perón. During her husband's third term as president from 1973 to 1974, Isabel served as both Vice President and First Lady. Following her husband's death (in office) in 1974, she served as President of Argentina from July 1974 to March 1976.

1932–The III Winter Olympic Games open at Lake Placid, New York.

1936–Radium becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.

1936–Comedian, David (Norris) Brenner, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His first paid comedy gig was at The Improv in June 1969, and following that he frequently performed at clubs in Greenwich Village. After making his national television debut on The Tonight Show in 1971, he became the show's most frequent guest, with 158 appearances. Brenner was considered a pioneer in the genre of observational comedy.

1936–Actor, Gary Conway, is born Gareth Monello Carmody in Boston, Massachusetts. He co-starred in the TV shows Burke’s Law and Land of the Giants. He appeared in the films I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, How to Make a Monster, and Once Is Not Enough. Conway was featured in Playgirl magazine's August 1973 issue.

1936–Swiss businessman, Claude Nobs, is born in Territet, Montreux, Switzerland. He founded the Montreux Jazz Festival. At the age of 31, while he was director of the Tourism Office of Montreux, he organized the first jazz festival featuring artists such as Charles Lloyd, Keith Jarrett, Ron McLure, and Jack DeJohnette. This new festival was an immediate success, and gained a reputation far beyond Switzerland. Nobs quickly transformed his festival into an international gathering place for lovers of jazz. During the 1990s, Nobs shared the directorship of the festival with Quincy Jones, and made Miles Davis an honorary host.

1937–Director and screenwriter, David Newman, is born in New York, New York. His writing credits include Bonnie and Clyde, What’s Up, Doc?, Oh! Calcutta!, Bad Company, Superman (I, II, and III), and Still of the Night.

1939–Singer, Frank Sinatra, marries his first wife, Nancy Barbato.

1939–Oil magnate, Henri W.A. Deterding, dies in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was one of the first executives of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and for 36 years (1900-1936) its Chairman and the Chairman of the combined Royal Dutch/Shell Oil Company.

1940–Director, George A. Romero, is born in New York, New York. He best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead in 1968. His other films include Season of the Witch, Dawn of the Dead, Knightriders, Creepshow, and Day of the Dead.

1940–Actor, John Schuck, is born Conrad John Schuck, Jr. in Boston, Massachusetts. He co-starred in the 1970s TV crime drama, McMillan & Wife. He appeared in the films The Moonshine War, M*A*S*H, The Hunter, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Outrageous Fortune, and Dick Tracy.

1941–The United Service Organizations (USO) is established to entertain American troops.

1941–Roy J. Plunkett files a patent for Teflon. He discovered it by accident in 1938.

1941–John Steel, drummer for The Animals, is born in Gateshead, England.

1944–Florence LaRue, of The 5th Dimension, is born in Plainfield, New Jersey.

1945–The Yalta Conference between the "Big Three" (Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin) opens at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea.

1945–The Santo Tomas Internment Camp is liberated from Japanese authority.

1947–Dan Quayle, is born James Danforth Quayle in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was the 44th Vice President of the United States (1989-1993).

1948–Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) becomes independent within the British Commonwealth.

1948–Goth rocker, Alice Cooper, is born Vincent Damon Furnier in Detroit, Michigan. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit, I'm Eighteen, which was followed by the even bigger single, School's Out, in 1972. The band reached their commercial peak in 1973, with the album Billion Dollar Babies. The Rolling Stone Album Guide has called Alice Cooper the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer." He is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, permanently transforming the genre. Furnier has made it public knowledge that he is a born-again Christian.

1952–Actress, Lisa Eichhorn, is born in Glens Falls, New York. She has appeared in the films Yanks, Cutter’s Way, Swamp Thing, The Vanishing, and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

1957–The first electric portable typewriter is put on sale in Syracuse, New York.

1962–Country singer, Clint (Patrick) Black, is born in Long Branch, New Jersey. He has had more than 30 singles on the U.S. Billboard country charts, 22 of then reaching #1, in addition to having released nine studio albums. He is married to actress, Lisa Hartman.

1964–The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) begins a six-month test of reactions to sonic booms over Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

1964–The 24th Amendment to the United State Constitution is ratified, abolishing the Poll Tax.

1965–Paul McCartney and his girlfriend, Jane Asher, depart for a holiday in North Africa.

1966–All Nippon Airways Flight 60 plunges into Tokyo Bay, killing 133 people.

1967–Lunar Orbiter 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.

1968–Beat poet, Neal Cassady, dies after collapsing along a railroad track in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, at age 42. Cassady and his friendship with Jack Kerouac were portrayed in John Byrum's film, Heart Beat, starring Nick Nolte as Cassady and John Heard as Kerouac. The film was based on Carolyn Cassady's memoir of the same name.

1969–Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1969–Columbia Records signs Johnny Winter to a recording contract, advancing him $300,000.

1970–Actress, Gabrielle Anwar, is born in Laleham, Middlesex, England. She is known for the role of Fiona Glenanne on the TV series Burn Notice. She appeared in the films If Looks Could Kill, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, Scent of a Woman, and Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead.

1971–Rolling Stone magazine publishes part two of a lengthy interview with John Lennon entitled "Life With the Lions." The entire interview will be published in book form under the title Lennon Remembers. A reissued unedited version of the book was published in the fall of 2000.

1971–British carmaker, Rolls-Royce, declares itself bankrupt.

1972–U.S. Senator, Strom Thurmond, sends a secret memo to U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, urging that John Lennon be deported from the United States as an undesirable alien (due to his political views and activism).

1973–Boxer, Oscar De La Hoya, is born in Los Angeles, California.

1974–Patricia Hearst, daughter of publisher, Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in Berkeley, California.

1974–The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) explodes a bomb on a bus carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel in Yorkshire, England. Nine soldiers and three civilians are killed.

1974–John Lennon and Yoko Ono mutually agree to a trial separation, which kicks off John's notorious 18-month "lost weekend." During this time, Lennon would consume plenty of drugs and alcohol, carouse with friends Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, and Ringo Starr, and at Yoko's insistence, begin a relationship with the Lennon’s employee, May Pang.

1975–A 7.3 earthquake hits Haicheng, Liaoning, China.

1975–Jazz musician, Louis Jordan, dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, at age 62. He was a pioneering musician, songwriter, and bandleader, who enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s.

1976–The XII Winter Olympic Games open in Innsbruck, Austria.

1976–A 7.5 earthquake kills 22,778 in Guatemala and Honduras.

1977–A Chicago Transit Authority elevated train rear-ends another and derails, killing 11 people and injuring 180. It is the worst accident in the company's history.

1977–American Bandstand celebrates its 25th anniversary with an ABC-TV special hosted by Dick Clark. An incredible "all-star band" is made up of Chuck Berry, Seals & Crofts, Gregg Allman, Junior Walker, Johnny Rivers, The Pointer Sisters, Charlie Daniels, Doc Severenson, Les McCann, Donald Byrd, Chuck Mangione, and three quarters of Booker T and the M.G.s. They jam together for a rendition of Roll Over Beethoven.

1977–The album, Rumours, by Fleetwood Mac is released.

1980–Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini names Abolhassan Banisadr President of Iran.

1983–Karen Carpenter, singer-drummer of The Carpenters, dies of anorexia in Downey, California, at age 32. The duo had hits with Close to You, We’ve Only Just Begun, For All We Know, Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar, Hurting Each Other, Yesterday Once More, and Top of the World.

1987–Pianist-entertainer, Liberace, dies of AIDS related illnesses at his home in Palm Springs, California, at age 67. Liberace's career spanned four decades of concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements. At the height of his fame from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest paid entertainer in the world.

1989–A winter storm continues in the southwestern U.S. Up to 84 inches of snow buries the ski resorts of northern New Mexico within three days.

1991–The Baseball Hall of Fame vote 12-0 to ban Pete Rose.

1992–A coup d'état is led by Hugo Chávez against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.

1992–Character actor, John Dehner, dies of emphysema and diabetes in Santa Barbara, California, at age 76. He appeared in the films Carousel, The Left Handed Gun, Critic’s Choice, Youngblood Hawke, Slaughterhouse Five, The Boys from Brazil, and Jagged Edge.

1997–A civil jury finds O.J. Simpson liable for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her companion, Ronald Goldman. The jury awards $8.5 million in damages to Goldman’s parents. The jury later added $25 million to the settlement.

1997–En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel, killing 73 people.

1998–A 6.1 earthquake in northeast Afghanistan kills more than 5,000 people.

1998–While in Brussels, Belgium, Bill Gates is hit in the face with a cream pie. The person who threw it was Noel Godin, whose hobby is throwing cream pies at celebrities.

2000–Doris Coley, of The Shirelles, dies of breast cancer in Sacramento, California, at age 58.

2002–Actor, George Nader, dies of pneumonia in Woodland Hills, California, at age 80. His first starring role was in 1953’s Robot Monster, a feature film in 3-D. He appeared in the films Prowler, Phone Call from a Stranger, Carnival Story, Away All Boats, and The Human Duplicators.

2003–The Bengali Hindus declare the independence of the Republic of Bangabhumi from Bangladesh.

2003–The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution.

2004–Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

2005–Actor, Ossie Davis, dies of heart trouble in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 87. He appeared in the films The Joe Louis Story, Shock Treatment, A Man Called Adam, Harry & Son, Do the Right Thing, Gladiator, Malcolm X, Grumpy Old Men, and The Client.

2006–A stampede occurs in the PhilSports Arena near Manila, Philippines, killing 71 people.

2006–Writer and feminist, Betty Friedan, dies of congestive heart failure in Washington, D.C., at age 85. A leading figure in the women's movement in the U.S., her book, The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963, is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century.

2007–Super Bowl XLI: The Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17.

2007–Singer-actress, Barbara McNair, dies of throat cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 72. She was seen on many TV shows in the 1950s and 1960s, had hit records, and appeared in movies. Her films include Spencer’s Mountain, Change of Habit, They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!, and The Organization.

2011–Politician, Martial Célestin, dies in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at age 97. He was the first Prime Minister of Haiti.

2012–Florence Green, the last surviving veteran of World War I, dies at age 110.

2013–Reg Presley, of The Troggs, dies of lung cancer in Andover, Hampshire, England, at age 71. The group’s hits included Wild Thing, With a Girl Like You, and Love Is All Around.

2015–A TransAsia Airways aircraft en route from the Taiwanese capital Taipei to Kinmen, crashes into the Keelung River just after take-off, killing at least 31 of the 58 people on board.

2016–Sri Lanka lifts an unofficial ban on the Tamil national anthem on Independence Day.

2016–Astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, dies while in hospice care in Lake Worth, Florida, at age 85. He was an American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, and aeronautical engineer. As the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 14, he spent nine hours working on the lunar surface in the Fra Mauro Highlands region, making him the sixth person to walk on the Moon.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Owen Tudor; President George Washington; Alexis Benoit Soyer; Robert E. Lee; Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Ida Lupino; Snickers candy bars; Gary Conway; George A. Romero; Alice Cooper; Jane Asher and Paul McCartney; Neal Cassady; Oscar De La Hoya; Louis Jordan; Karen Carpenter; John Dehner; and Barbara McNair.

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