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1964The Beatles arrive in America for the first time, being welcomed with extreme media coverage and already rampant Beatlemania. The demands on their time never let up from the moment they set down at John F. Kennedy International Airport, greeted by 5,000 screaming fans, until their return home on February 21st. Reporters, photographers, radio stations, and TV news crews follow their every move. Over the next few days, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and their manager, Brian Epstein, give extensive interviews to disc jockey, Murray the K, and Ed Rudy. Seltaeb, The Beatles' U.S. merchandising company, is inundated with requests for licenses to market Beatles merchandise. The Beatles entourage includes record producer, Phil Spector, a hearty contingent of press, and for the first time in public, Johns wife, Cynthia Lennon. They are wisked through immigration into a chaotic press conference where their off-the-cuff wit wows the hard-nosed American media, and the world was never the same.
457Leo I the Thracian becomes Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
572Prince Shotoku of Japan is born.
812Chinese Prince, Li Ning, dies in China, just before the Chinese New Year, at age 19.
999Boleslaus II the Pious, Duke of Bohemia, dies at age 67.
1102Empress Matilda is born. She was the daughter of King Henry I of England, and wife of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
1045Emperor Go-Suzaku of Japan dies in Higashi-sanjo Tei Heian Kyo (Kyoto), at age 37.
1301Edward of Caernarvon becomes the first English Prince of Wales.
1478Politician, Thomas More, is born in London, England. He was a lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was also a councillor to Henry VIII, and Lord High Chancellor of England from October 1529 to May 1532. More opposed the Protestant Reformation, in particular the theology of Martin Luther and William Tyndale. He also wrote Utopia, published in 1516, about the political system of an imaginary ideal island nation. After refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, he was convicted of treason and beheaded. In 1935, Pope Pius XI canonised More as a martyr. In 2000, Pope John Paul II declared him the "heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians."
1497The bonfire of the vanities occurs in which supporters of Girolamo Savonarola burn thousands of objects like cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy.
1626William V, Duke of Bavaria, dies at Schleissheim Palace in Munich, Germany, at age 78. He abdicated on October 15, 1597, in favor of his son, Maximilian I, and retired into a monastery where he spent the remainder of his life in contemplation and prayer.
1693Anna of Russia is born Anna Ivanovna Romanova in Moscow, Russia.
1795The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, affirming the power of the states.
1799Qianlong, Emperor of China, dies at age 87.
1804American blacksmith, John Deere, is born in Rutland, Vermont. He was the manufacturer of agricultural equipment who founded John Deere & Company.
1812The strongest in a series of earthquakes strikes New Madrid, Missouri.
1812Author, Charles Dickens, is born in Portsea, England. His father landed in Marshalsea debtors' prison, and young Charles was sent to work pasting labels on bottles in a warehouse, forced to support himself on six shillings a week. The traumatic experience found its way in to his seventh novel, David Copperfield, which he referred to as his "favorite child" because it came so close to an autobiography. After his father was released from prison, Dickens resumed school, and ended up working as a journalist. In 1836, he gathered together some of his magazine pieces in a book called Sketches by Boz, which launched his career as a successful author. His first novel was The Pickwick Papers, which he followed up with a string of classic novels that earned him a place as one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century.
1814Anesthetist-inventor, Gardner Quincy Colton, is born in Georgia, Vermont. He pioneered the use of nitrous oxide in dentistry.
1823Author, Ann Radcliffe, dies of an asthma attack in at age 58. Despite the acclaim for her writing, she did not maintain a public profile and very little is known about her life. It was rumored that she had gone insane.
1837Philologist and lexicographer, James Murray, is born James Augustus Henry Murray in Roxburghshire, Scotland. On April 26, 1878, Murray was invited to Oxford to meet the Delegates of the Oxford University Press, to see about taking on the job of editor of a new dictionary of the English language. He started the job on March 1, 1879. It was expected to take 10 years to complete, being 7,000 pages long, in four volumes. When the final results were published in 1928, it was 12 volumes, with 414,825 words defined, and 1,827,306 citations illustrating their meanings. By the time of his death in 1915, half of the Oxford English Dictionary was prepared by Murray himself.
1837Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden dies from a stroke while in exile in St. Gallen, Swiss Confederacy, at age 58.
1862Francisco de Paula Martínez de la Rosa y Berdejo, Prime Minister of Spain, dies in Madrid, Spain.
1863The HMS Orpheus sinks off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, killing 189 people.
1867Writer, Laura Ingalls Wilder, is born Laura Elizabeth Ingalls in Pepin County, Wisconsin. She wrote the Little House series of childrens books. The series included Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, and Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings. Her daughter, Rose, encouraged Laura to write and helped her to edit and publish the novels. The long running TV series, Little House on the Prairie, starred Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls and Melissa Gilbert as Laura.
1871Piano manufacturer, Heinrich Engelhard Steinway, of Steinway & Sons, dies in New York, New York, at age 73.
1873Shipbuilder, Thomas Andrews, Jr., is born in Comber, County Down, Ireland. He was the naval architect in charge of the plans for the ocean liner RMS Titanic. He was traveling on board the Titanic during her maiden voyage, when the ship hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912, and he died in the disaster.
1878Pope Pius IX dies of epilepsy, in Apostolic Palace, Rome, Italy, at age 85.
1882The last bare-knuckle heavyweight boxing championship fight takes place in Mississippi City, Mississippi. From then on, padded boxing gloves will be worn during matches.
1885Novelist, (Harry) Sinclair Lewis, is born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He became the first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." He also was the only writer to decline the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, Arrowsmith. He also wrote the novel, Elmer Gantry.
1887Ragtime composer and jazz pianist, Eubie Blake, is born James Hubert Blake in Baltimore, Maryland. Blake's compositions included such hits as, Bandana Days, Charleston Rag, Love Will Find a Way, Memories of You, and I'm Just Wild About Harry.
1894The Cripple Creek miner's strike, led by the Western Federation of Miners, begins in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
1894Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone and saxotromba, dies in Paris, France, at age 79.
1898Émile Zola is brought to trial for libel for publishing J'accuse.
1904In 30 hours, a fire in Baltimore, Maryland, destroys over 1,500 buildings.
1906Chinese Emperor, Puyi, is born in Beijing, China. He was the last Emperor of China and the 12th and final ruler of the Qing dynasty.
1907The Mud March is the first large procession organized by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).
1908Swimmer-actor, Buster Crabbe, is born Clarence Linden Crabbe II in Oakland, California. He won the 1932 Olympic gold medal for freestyle swimming. Due to his remarkable good looks, he then played the title role in the serials Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. He also appeared in the films Tarzan the Fearless, The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi, Wildcat, and The Comeback Trail.
1915Actor, Eddie Bracken, is born Edward Vincent Bracken in Astoria, Queens, New York. He appeared in the films Too Many Girls, Sweater Girl, The Miracle of Morgans Creek, Summer Stock, Oscar, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Rookie of the Year, and Babys Day Out.
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 Showdown at Abilene, Joe Dakota, The Last of the Fast Guns, Tarzan the Magnificent, Tarzan Goes to India, The Glory Stompers, Bandolero!, and The End. His stepdaughter is actress, Sally Field.
1920Computer manufacturer, An Wang, is born in Shanghai, China. He founded Wang Laboratories.
1927Singer and actress, Juliette Gréco, is born in Montpellier, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. Gréco became a devotee of the bohemian fashion of some intellectuals of post-war France. She appeared in the films Orpheus, The Sun Also Rises, Bonjour Tristesse, and Crack in the Mirror.
1927Dancer and choreographer, Patsy Swayze, is born Yvonne Helen Karnes in Houston, Texas. Her credits include Urban Cowboy, Liars Moon, and Hope Floats. She was the mother of actors, Patrick Swayze and Don Swayze.
1932Author, Gay Talese, is born in Ocean City, New Jersey. As a writer for The New York Times and Esquire magazine in the 1960s, he helped to define literary journalism. His books include Fame and Obscurity, Honor Thy Father, Thy Neighbors Wife, and A Writers Life.
1934A deep freeze makes it possible to drive from Bay Shore to Fire Island, New York.
1934Saxophonist, King Curtis, is born Curtis Ousley in Forth Worth, Texas. He was known for playing R&B, rock and roll, soul, blues, funk, and soul jazz. His most famous playing can be heard on Yakety Yak by The Coasters. He worked as a session musician on the recordings of dozens of artists during his highly successful career. Curtis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 6, 2000.
1935The classic board game, Monopoly, is invented.
1938Tire manufacturer, Harvey Firestone, dies in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 69. He was the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, one of the first global makers of automobile tires.
1940The second full-length animated Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, premieres.
1943Shoe rationing begins in the U.S.
1946, Actor, Pete Postlethwaite, is born Peter William Postlethwaite in Warrington, Cheshire, England. He appeared in the films A Private Function, Hamlet, The Last of the Mohicans, In the Name of the Father, The Usual Suspects, Dragonheart, Rat, Cowboy Up, and The Constant Gardner.
1947The main group of the Dead Sea Scrolls is discovered in a cave on the west bank of the Jordan at Qumran.
1948General Dwight D. Eisenhower resigns as Army Chief of Staff, and is succeeded by General Omar Bradley.
1948Jimmy Greenspoon, keyboardist for the vocal-rock group Three Dog Night, is born in Beverly Hills, California. A child of show biz, Jimmys mother, Mary O'Brian, was a silent screen star who had film roles with stars such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. His godfather was Jack Benny. Greenspoon was the first musician hired for Three Dog Night, playing Hammond organ and Wurlitzer electric piano. Throughout his career, he has played on numerous hit records as a highly regarded session musician.
1949Drummer, Joe English, is born in Syracuse, New York. He played on the Wings albums Venus and Mars, Wings at the Speed of Sound, Wings Over America, and London Town.
1950Senator Joe McCarthy reports finding communists in the U.S. State Department.
1951In the Korean War, 705 suspected communist sympathizers are butchered by South Korean forces.
1954Actor, Miguel Ferrer, is born Miguel José Ferrer in Santa Monica, California. He appeared in the films RoboCop, Revenge, The Guardian, Point of No Return, Hots Shots! Part Deux, Another Stakeout, and The Manchurian Candidate. He is the son of actor, José Ferrer, and singer, Rosemary Clooney.
1959Buddy Holly's funeral is held at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas, drawing over 1,000 mourners. Holly's widow did not attend. On the same day, Ritchie Valens is buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.
1959R&B guitarist-singer, Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones, dies of pneumonia in New York, New York, at age 32. His use of distortion and flamboyant stage manner (Slim would dye his hair to match his outfits) influenced guitarists like Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix.
1960Actor, James (Todd) Spader, is born in Boston, Massachusetts. His most famous television roles are those of Alan Shore in The Practice (and its spin-off, Boston Legal) and Raymond "Red" Reddington in The Blacklist. He appeared in the films Endless Love, A Killer in the Family, Family Secrets, Pretty in Pink, Baby Boom, Less Than Zero, Wall Street, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Bad Influence, White Palace, Storyville, Dream Lover, Stargate, 2 Days in the Valley, and Secretary.
1962President John F. Kennedy begins the blockade of Cuba, which will culminate in the Cuban Missile Crisis in October.
1962Country singer, (Troyal) Garth Brooks, is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His first album was released in 1989. Brooks' integration of rock elements into his recordings and live performances earned him immense popularity; he broke records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the 1990s. His albums include Garth Brooks, No Fences, and Ropin the Wind. Brooks was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 21, 2012.
1962Actor-comedian, Eddie Izzard, is born Edward John Izzard in the Colony of Aden (present-day Aden, Yemen). He is an English stand-up comedian whose comedy style takes the form of a rambling, whimsical monologue. Izzard speaks French fluently and has performed stand up in French during his shows. He appeared in the films Velvet Goldmine, Mystery Men, Oceans Twelve, and Across the Universe.
1964The Beatles arrive in America for the first time, being welcomed with extreme media coverage and already rampant Beatlemania. The demands on their time never let up from the moment they set down at John F. Kennedy International Airport, greeted by 5,000 screaming fans, until their return home on February 21st. Reporters, photographers, radio stations, and TV news crews follow their every move. Added to this was the film crew accompanying The Beatles to shoot a documentary of their first American visit. The results of the documentary filming was a British broadcast on February 12th titled, "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Beatles in New York" and a U.S. broadcast on February 13th called, "The Beatles in America." Over the next few days, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and their manager, Brian Epstein, give extensive interviews to disc jockey, Murray the K, and Ed Rudy. The Beatles' U.S. merchandising company, Seltaeb, is inundated with requests for licenses to market Beatles merchandise. Baskin-Robbins even introduces a "Beatle-Nut" ice cream in honor of the Fab Four. The Beatles entourage includes record producer, Phil Spector, a hearty contingent of press, and for the first time in public, Johns wife, Cynthia Lennon. They are wisked through immigration into a chaotic press conference where their off-the-cuff wit wows the hard-nosed American media, and the world was never the same.
1965The U.S. begins regular bombing of North Vietnam.
1966Crawdaddy! is the first magazine dedicated to rock and roll music. It begins publication by Paul Williams in New York.
1966Comedian, Chris Rock, is born Christopher Julius Rock III in Andrews, South Carolina. He is best known for being a cast member of Saturday Night Live starting in 1990, and his popular comedy specials. He appeared in the films Krush Groove, Beverly Hills Cop II, Im Gonna Git You Sucka, New Jack City, and Dr. Dolittle.
1968Actor, Nick Adams, dies of a drug overdose in Beverly Hills, California, at age 36. He had the starring role in the Western TV series The Rebel. He appeared in the films Rebel Without a Cause, Picnic, Giant, Sweet Smell of Success, Sing, Boy, Sing, Teachers Pet, No Time for Sergeants, Pillow Talk, and The Interns.
1969Beatle, George Harrison, is admitted into London's University College Hospital, where his tonsils are to be removed the following day. He will return home on February 15th. The tonsils are destroyed so that they can't be sold to fans.
1969Beatle, Ringo Starr, attends the premiere of Candy, the film adaptation of Terry Southern's satirical novel, in which he stars, along with Ewa Aulin, Richard Burton, and Marlon Brando. The Monthly Film Bulletin sneers, "Hippy psychedelics are laid on with the self-destroying effect of an overdose of garlic."
1969This Is Tom Jones debuts on ABC-TV. The network pays over $20 million for the rights to the British series.
1971Women in Switzerland win the right to vote.
1972Film director, Walter Lang, dies of kidney failure in Palm Springs, California, at age 75. His films include State Fair, Cheaper by the Dozen, Call Me Madam, Theres No Business Like Show Business, The King and I, Desk Set, and Can-Can.
1974Grenada gains independence from the United Kingdom.
1978The worst winter storm on record stikes coastal New England. The storm produces 27.5 inches of snow at Boston, and nearly 50 inches in northeastern Rhode Island. A hurricane size surf caused 75 deaths and $500 million in damage.
1978Actor, (Christopher) Ashton Kutcher, is born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He starred in the TV series, That '70s Show, from 1998 to 2006. He appeared in the films the Butterfly Effect, A Lot Like Love, Bobby, The Guardian, What Happens in Vegas, and Jobs. He was married to actress, Demi Moore.
1979Pluto moves inside Neptune's orbit for the first time since either planet was discovered.
1979Rocker, Stephen Stills, is the first to record a major-label album using all-digital equipment, but it is never released.
1979Josef Mengele, concentration camp "doctor," dies of drowning in Bertioga, São Paulo, Brazil, at age 67. At Auschwitz, during World War II, he performed goulish medical experiments on the prisoners, and chose which prisoners would go to the gas chamber.
1981A U.K. chart topper: Woman by John Lennon.
1984U.S. space shuttle astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert Stewart perform the first untethered space walk.
1985Singer, Matt Monro, dies of liver cancer in London, England, at age 54. He was extremely popular in the U.K. and the European continent in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of Monro's recordings were produced or overseen by producer, George Martin, and his hits include Portrait of My Love, Softly As I Leave You, and From Russia with Love.
1986Twenty-eight years of one-family rule ends in Haiti, when President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees the Caribbean nation.
1986Architect, Minoru Yamasaki, dies of stomach cancer in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, at age 73. Yamasaki was one of the most prominent architects of the 20th century. He designed the original World Trade Center: it began construction in 1966, and the towers were completed six years later, in 1972.
1987Brownsville, Texas, is deluged with seven inches of rain in just two hours, and flooding in some parts of the city was worse than that caused by Hurricane Beulah in 1967.
1988Heavyweight boxing champ, Mike Tyson, marries actress, Robin Givens.
1989The Georgia State Legislature sponsors a bill to make Little Richard's Tutti-Frutti the official state song. It doesn't pass.
1990The dissolution of the Soviet Union begins, as the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party agrees to give up its monopoly on power.
1990Publisher, Nat Wartels, dies of pneumonia in Manhattan, New York, at age 88. He built the Crown Publishers empire and sold it to Random House in 1988. He was widely believed to be the richest person in book publishing, by buying other publishers' surplus books for a few cents each, and then selling them to bookstores for their bargain bins or remainder tables.
1991The Provisional IRA launches a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street in London, England, the headquarters of the British government.
1991Haiti's first democratically-elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is sworn in.
1991Bob Knight, Larry O'Brien, Tiny Archibald, Dave Cowens, Harry Gallatin, and Larry Fleisher are elected to NBA Hall of Fame.
1992The Maastricht Treaty is signed, leading to the creation of the European Union.
1995Terrorist, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan.
1997NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.
1998The XVIII Winter Olympic Games open at Nagano, Japan.
1999King Hussein of Jordan dies of complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Amman, Jordan, at age 63. At the time of his death, he was one of the longest-serving leaders in international politics, having been the King of Jordan for over 46 years. His rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict. He recognized Israel in 1994, becoming the second Arab head of state to do so (after Anwar Sadat).
1999Parapsychologist, José Silva, dies. He was the developer of Silva Mind Control. It is a program claiming to be able to raise people's IQs and to give them paranormal abilities by teaching them to think with their right brain hemisphere.
1999Musician, Bobby Troup, dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, at age 80. He is best known for writing the popular standard (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66, and for the role of Dr. Joe Early (opposite his real-life wife Julie London's character) in the TV series Emergency!
2000Canadian magician, Doug Henning, dies of liver cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 52. Henning starred in The Magic Show on Broadway for four and a half years.
2001Actress-singer, Dale Evans, dies of congestive heart failure in Apple Valley, California, at age 88. Wife of cowboy star, Roy Rogers, the two starred in the TV series The Roy Rogers Show, ending each episode singing the song, Happy Trails, which was co-written by Evans.
2001Author and aviator, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, dies from a stroke in Passumpsic, Vermont, at age 94. Lindbergh's popular, inspirational book, Gift from the Sea, reflected on the lives of American women. She married fellow aviator, Charles Lindbergh.
2009Brushfires in Victoria, Australia, kill 173 people in the worst natural disaster in the country's history.
2009Singer-actress, Molly Bee, dies of complications related to a stroke in Oceanside, California, at age 69. She had a hit with I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. She appeared in the films Going Steady, Summer Love, and The Young Swingers.
2009Jazz singer, Blossom Dearie, dies after a long illness in Greenwich Village, New York, at age 84. She was known for her light and girlish voice. Her albums include Blossom Dearie, Give Him the Ooh-La-La, and Once Upon a Summertime.
2010Super Bowl XLIV: The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17.
2011AOL Inc. announces the $315 million purchase of The Huffington Post website.
2013At least 51 people are killed in a collision involving a bus and truck in Zambia.
2014Anti-government unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina results in the injury of over 350 people.
2014The XXII Winter Olympic Games open in Sochi, Russia.
2015Roughly seven inches of rain falls east of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, causing the flooding of the Duckabush and Dosewallips Rivers in Washington.
2015Musician, Joe B. Mauldin, dies of cancer in Nashvile, Tennesse, at age 75. He is best known as the double-bassist of The Crickets, the backing group for Buddy Holly. Later he became a recording engineer at Gold Star Studios, the Los Angeles studio that saw many hits from Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, and other major 1960s rock performers.
2016North Korea launches a long-range rocket that critics claim is a test of banned technology for a long-range missile that could hit the United States. The rocket passed over the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. The Japanese government says no rocket debris fell on Japanese territory and there are no reports of damage. The rocket reportedly fell into waters southwest of Jeju Island. The United Nations Security Council condemns the missile launch, which is a violation of numerous U.N. resolutions.
2016The Parliament of Algeria considers a new constitution imposing term limits for the President and recognising Amazigh as an official language.
2016A man is killed and three others are injured, following a suspected meteorite strike in a garden outside the Bharathidasan Engineering College in Tamil Nadu, India. Witnesses say they did not know what happened, but saw a mysterious object fall from the sky.
2016Super Bowl L (50): The Denver Broncos beat the South Carolina Panthers, 24-10. The NFL dropped Roman numerals for the 50th event. Roman numerals will be back in 2017 for Super Bowl LI.
PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Edward of Caernarvon; John Deere; Sir James Murray; Laura Ingalls Wilder; Buster Crabbe; Juliette Gréco; King Curtis; Jimmy Greenspoon; James Spader; The Beatles arrive in America 1964; Crawdaddy! magazine; Tom Jones; picture sleeve for John Lennon's single Woman; Mike Tyson and Robin Givens on their wedding day; King Hussein of Jordan; Dale Evans; Blossom Dearie; and The Crickets.
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