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1962A birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe's infamous rendition of Happy Birthday. The gown she wore had over 2,500 rhinestones and was designed by Jean Louis. In 1999, the gown sold at auction in New York for $1.26 million.
639Ashina Jiesheshuai and his tribesmen assault Emperor Daizong at Jiucheng Palace in China.
715Pope St. Gregory II begins his reign.
1051Henry I of France marries Anne of Kiev.
1218Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, dies in Harzburg, Lower Saxony, Germany, at age 43.
1296Pope Celestine V dies in Ferentino, Papal States, at age 81.
1445John II of Castile defeats the Infantes of Aragon at the First Battle of Olmedo.
1499Catherine of Aragon is married by proxy to Arthur, Prince of Wales. Catherine is 13 years old and Arthur is 12.
1526Emperor Go-Kashiwabara of Japan dies and is found dead in his archives, at age 62.
1535French explorer, Jacques Cartier, sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).
1536Anne Boleyn, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.
1542The Prome Kingdom falls to the Taungoo Dynasty in present-day Burma.
1568Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots.
1611Pope Innocent XI, (1676-1689), is born Benedetto Odescalchi in Italy.
1649England passes a Commonwealth Act by the Long Parliament, making it a republic for the next 11 years.
1655The Invasion of Jamaica begins during the Anglo-Spanish War.
1743Jean-Pierre Christin develops the centigrade temperature scale.
1749King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.
1780About midday, a combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover causes complete darkness to fall on eastern Canada and the New England area of the U.S. At noon it is nearly as dark as night. Chickens go to roost, and many people are fearful of Divine wrath. The phenomena is caused by forest fires to the west of New England.
1795Philanthropist, Johns Hopkins, is born in White's Hall, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He was the founder of Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
1797Maria Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Spain, is born Maria Isabel Francisca at the Palace of Queluz in Portugal. She was the second wife of Ferdinand VII of Spain.
1802Napoleon Bonaparte founds the Legion of Honour.
1828President John Quincy Adams signs the Tariff of 1828 into law, protecting wool manufacturers in the United States.
1845Captain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition depart from Greenhithe, England.
1848Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican-American War and ceding California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of four other present-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million.
1857William Francis Channing and Moses G. Farmer patent an electric fire alarm.
1862The Homestead Act becomes law in America, providing cheap land for the settlement of the West.
1864Author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, dies in Plymouth, New Hampshire, at age 59. His works include The House of the Seven Gables, Twice-Told Tales, and The Scarlet Letter.
1882Mohammed Mosaddeq, Prime Minister of Iran, is born.
1884The Ringling Brothers Circus premieres.
1890Ho Chi Minh is born Nguyen Sinh Cung in Nghe An Province, French Indochina. He was a Vietnamese communist revolutionary and President of North Vietnam (1946-1969).
1892Charles Brady King invents the pneumatic hammer.
1897Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol, a prison in Reading, Berkshire, England, after serving a two-year sentence on a morals charge. After his incarceration, Wilde went into self-imposed exile in France and traveled the Continent. His Ballad of Reading Gaol and De Profundis were his only post-prison publications.
1911Parks Canada, the world's first national park service, is established as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior.
1913Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, sixth President of India, is born in Illur, Madras Presidency, British India (present-day Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, India).
1917The Norwegian football club Rosenborg BK is founded.
1918Swimmer, Florence Chadwick, is born in San Diego, California. She was the first to swim the English Channel (both ways).
1919Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lands at Samsun, on the Anatolian Black Sea coast, initiating what is later termed the Turkish War of Independence.
1921The U.S. Congress sharply curbs immigration, setting a national quota system.
1922The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union is established.
1923The 49th Kentucky Derby: Earl Sande, riding Zev, wins in 2:05.
1925African American civil rights leader, Malcolm X, is born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the founder of the Black Muslims. For over a decade he was the public face of the controversial group the Nation of Islam, and in keeping with its teachings he espoused black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans, and scoffed at the civil rights movement's emphasis on integration. On March 8, 1964, Malcolm X publicly announced his break from the Nation of Islam. He said he was still a Muslim, but felt that the Nation had "gone as far as it can" because of its rigid teachings. At this time, several Sunni Muslims encouraged Malcolm X to learn about their faith, and soon he became a convert to Sunni Islam.
1926Spiritual leader, Kriyananda, is born James Donald Walters in Teleajen, Romania. He was a direct disciple of the yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, and in 1968, was the founder of Ananda Village as a World Brotherhood Colony on 40 acres of land near Nevada City, California. Yogananda made Walters a minister for his organization, the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), and authorized him to teach Kriya Yoga.
1928Cambodian dictator, Pol Pot, is born Saloth Sar in Prek Sbauv, Kampong Thom, French Indochina. He was a Cambodian revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 until 1997. From 1963 to 1981, he served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. As such, he became the leader of Cambodia on April 17, 1975, when his forces captured Phnom Penh. He presided over a totalitarian dictatorship in which his government made urban dwellers move to the countryside to work in collective farms and on forced labor projects. The combined effects of executions, strenuous working conditions, malnutrition, and poor medical care caused the deaths of approximately 25% of the Cambodian population. In all, an estimated one to three million people (out of a population of slightly over eight million) died due to the policies of his four-year premiership.
1930Playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, is born in Chicago, Illinois. She's the author of the play A Raisin in the Sun.
1932Singer, Alma Cogan, is born Alma Angela Cohen in Whitechapel, East London, England. Cogan lived with her widowed mother in Kensington High Street in a lavishly decorated ground-floor flat, which became a legendary party venue. Regular visitors included Princess Margaret, Noel Coward, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Michael Caine, Frankie Vaughan, Roger Moore, The Beatles, and a host of other celebrities. She became a close friend of John Lennon, who was eight years younger, and later they carried on a secret romance.
1934Zveno and the Bulgarian Army engineer a coup d'état and install Kimon Georgiev as the new Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
1934News anchor, James Charles Lehrer, of The McNeil-Lehrer Report, is born in Wichita, Kansas.
1935TV personality, David (Downs) Hartman, is born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He hosted Good Morning, America.
1939British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, signs the British-Russian anti-Nazi pact.
1939Actress, Nancy Kwan, is born in Hong Kong, China. She appeared in the films Flower Drum Song, The World of Suzie Wong, and Love is a Many Splendored Thing.
1941Novelist and screenwriter, Nora Ephron, is born in New York, New York. Her films include Silkwood, Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally, My Blue Heaven, This Is My Life, Sleepless in Seattle, Mixed Nuts, Michael, Youve Got Mail, Hanging Up, Lucky Numbers, Bewitched, and Julie & Julia. She was married to writer, Dan Greenberg, and journalist, Carl Bernstein.
1942In the aftermath of the Battle of the Coral Sea, Task Force 16 heads to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
1943In an address to the U.S. Congress, Winston Churchill pledges his country's full support in the war against Japan.
1945Rocker, Pete Townshend, is born in Chiswick, England. As guitarist and vocalist with The Who, he enjoyed success with hits such as My Generation, I Can See For Miles, Pinball Wizard, Won't Get Fooled Again, and Who Are You. He wrote the rock opera album, Tommy, which became a London stage production and a classic rock movie. Unfortunately, his years in the music business have taken their toll and he now suffers from significant hearing loss.
1946Professional wrestler, André the Giant, is born André René Roussimof in Grenoble, France. His size was a result of gigantism caused by acromegaly, and led to him being called The Eighth Wonder of the World. As a child, he displayed symptoms of his gigantism very early, reaching a height of 6'3" and a weight of 240 pounds by the age of 12. In the World Wrestling Federation, Roussimoff was a one-time WWF Champion and a one-time WWF World Tag Team Champion. As an actor, he is best known for the role of Fezzik in the film The Princess Bride.
1946Writer, Booth Tarkington, dies in Indianapolis, Indiana, at age 76. Tarkington never earned a college degree, yet he was accorded many awards recognizing and honoring his skills and accomplishments as an author. He won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction twice, in 1919 and 1922, for his novels The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams.
1948Singer, Grace (Beverly) Jones, is born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica. Her hits include I Need a Man, Love is the Drug, and Demolition Man. She appeared in the films Conan the Barbarian, A View to a Kill, Vamp, and Siesta.
1948Saxophonist, Tom Scott, is born Thomas Wright Scott in Los Angeles, California. His father was film and television composer, Nathan Scott.
1948Publisher and journalist, Paul S. Williams, is born in Boston, Massachusetts. He created the first national U.S. magazine of rock music criticism, Crawdaddy!
1949Dusty Hill, of ZZ Top, is born Joseph Michael Hill in Dallas, Texas.
1950A barge containing munitions destined for Pakistan, explodes in the harbor at South Amboy, New Jersey, devastating the city.
1950Egypt announces that the Suez Canal is closed to Israeli ships and commerce.
1951Joey Ramone, of The Ramones, is born Jeffrey Ross Hyman in Queens, New York.
1953A nuclear explosion in Nevada causes radioactive fall-out in St. George, Utah.
1954Modern American composer, Charles Ives, dies. He wrote most of his music before 1920. Two of his symphonies were performed in his lifetime by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, but he did not attend the concert, choosing instead to listen to the performances over the radio.
1955The 28th National Spelling Bee: Sandra Sloss wins, spelling crustaceology.
1956English skiffle singer, Lonnie Donnegan, appears on The Perry Como Show.
1956Actor, Steven (Meigs) Ford, is born in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the son of President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford. He is best known as a featured player on the soap opera The Young & the Restless.
1958The U.S.. and Canada establish the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).
1958Actor, Ronald Colman, dies of emphysema in Santa Barbara, California, at age 67. He became a major star and romantic idol of the silent cinema, then made a successful transition to sound in 1929, with his first talking feature Bulldog Drummond.
1959The North Vietnamese Army establishes Group 559, whose responsibility is to determine how to maintain supply lines to South Vietnam. The resulting route is the Ho Chi Minh trail.
1959Nicole Brown Simpson, is born in Frankford, Germany. She was married to O.J. Simpson, and was brutally murdered during their marriage.
1961Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and did not send back any data).
1961At Silchar Railway Station, Assam, 11 Bengalis die when police open fire on protesters demanding state recognition of Bengali language in the Bengali Language Movement.
1961The Everly Brothers launch their own record label, Caliope, intending "to discover and develop new talent." Their own recordings will continue to be issued exclusively by Warner Brothers.
1962The U.S. conducts an atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island.
1962A birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe's infamous rendition of Happy Birthday. The gown she wore had over 2,500 rhinestones and was designed by Jean Louis. In 1999, the gown sold at auction in New York for $1.26 million.
1963The New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail.
1963The Beatles, on tour with Roy Orbison, perform at the Gaumont Cinema in Hanley, England. In an indication of the mania to come, three girls are arrested after trying to use a ladder to gain entry to The Beatles' dressing room. The trio are released after The Beatles give them autographs.
1966The Grateful Dead play their first show at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, California.
1966Actress, Polly (Alexandra) Walker, is born in Warrington, Cheshire, England. She appeared in the films Enchanted April, Patriot Games, Sliver, Restoration, Emma, Curtain Call, and Savage Messiah.
1967American planes bomb the center of Hanoi for the first time.
1967The USSR ratifies a treaty with England and the U.S. banning nuclear weapons in space.
1967A press reception party is given at Brian Epsteins home to publicize the release of the new Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. One of the photographers is Linda Eastman, who two years later would become Mrs. Paul McCartney.
1968The 20th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards announces its winners. Best Dramatic Series: Mission Impossible; Best Comedy Series: Get Smart; Best Musical or Variety Series: Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In; Best Actor: Bill Cosby; Best Actress: Barbara Bain; Best Comedy Actor: Don Adams; Best Comedy Actress: Lucille Ball. The ceremonies are held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California. The hosts are Frank Sinatra and Dick Van Dyke.
1969The Beatles receive the Ivor Novello award for Britain's top-selling single of 1968, Hey Jude.
1969John Lennon and Paul McCartney lose control over their publishing company, Northern Songs.
1969Jazz saxophonist, Coleman Hawkins, dies of liver disease in New York, New York, at age 64. While Hawkins is strongly associated with the swing music and big band era, he had a role in the development of bebop in the 1940s.
1971Mars 2 is launched by the Soviet Union.
1971Poet, Ogden Nash, dies of complications from Crohn's disease aggravated by a lactobacillus infection transmitted by improperly prepared coleslaw in Baltimore, Maryland, at age 68. He well known for his light verse, of which he wrote over 500 pieces. With his unconventional rhyming schemes, he was declared the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry.
1972The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1974The Stanley Cup: The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Boston Bruins, 4 games to 2.
1975The 27th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards announces its winners. Best Dramatic Series: Upstairs, Downstairs; Best Comedy Series: The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Best Musical or Variety Series: The Carol Burnett Show; Best Actor: Robert Blake; Best Actress: Jean Marsh; Best Comedy Actor: Tony Randall; Best Comedy Actress: Valerie Harper. The ceremonies are held at the Hollywood Palladium, in Hollywood, California. There is no host.
1976The USSR conducts a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh.
1984Michael Larson, a contestant on the TV game show, Press Your Luck, exploits a bug in the prize board and wins over $110,000.
1984The Stanley Cup: The Edmonton Oilers beat the New York Islanders, 4 games to 1.
1986The Firearm Owners Protection Act is signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
1988Carlos Lehder Rivas, of Colombia's Medellin drug cartel, is convicted in Florida of smuggling more than three tons of cocaine into the U.S.
1990Thunderstorms deluge Hot Springs, Arkansas, with 13 inches of rain in nine hours, resulting in a devastating flood. Two waves of water, four to six feet deep, sweeps down Central Avenue, flooding stores and the famous bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. The 500-foot Carpenter Dam Bridge across Lake Catherine is completely washed away, as are cabins and mobile homes near the lake, many of which flow right over the top of Remmel Dam.
1991Croatians vote for independence in a referendum.
1994Former first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, dies of cancer in New York, New York, at age 64.
1997The Sierra Gorda biosphere, the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, is established as a result of grassroots efforts.
1997Actor, Matthew Broderick, marries actress, Sarah Jessica Parker, in New York.
1998Rhino Home Video in America releases a five-video box set comprising John Lennon and Yoko Onos five-show appearance as co-hosts on The Mike Douglas Show. The shows were originally aired between Monday, February 14 and Friday, February 18, 1972. Accompanying the set is a hardbound 48-page, specially-numbered book, featuring a visual record of the five shows, captured by resident photographer, Michael Leshnov. John and Yoko were on the right track, they were just way ahead of their time, comments Mike Douglas at the time of the video release.
1998Sonny & Cher are awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2006Freddie Garrity, of Freddie and the Dreamers, dies after being taken ill while on holiday in Bangor, North Wales, at age 69. The group had hits with Im Telling You Now and Do the Freddie.
2007President of Romania Traian Basescu survives an impeachment referendum and returns to office from suspension.
2010The Royal Thai Armed Forces concludes its crackdown on protests by forcing the surrender of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders.
2012Three gas cylinder bombs explode in front of a vocational school in Brindisi, Italy, killing one person and injuring five others.
2012A car bomb explodes near a military complex in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, killing nine people.
2012Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, marries Priscilla Chan, in a small ceremony in Palo Alto, California.
2015The Refugio oil spill deposits 142,800 gallons (3,400 barrels) of crude oil onto an area in California considered one of the most biologically diverse coastlines of the West Coast.
2015Sawyer Fredericks, a 16-year-old farm boy from Fultonville, New York, is declared the Season 8 winner of the TV singing competition show The Voice. The outcome gives Pharrell Williams his first win as a coach.
2015Happy Rockefeller, philanthropist, socialite, and 31st Second Lady of the United States, dies after a short illness in Pocantico Hills, New York, at age 88. She was a breast cancer survivor, having undergone a double mastectomy in 1974. She was married to Nelson Rockefeller, was appointed Vice President of the United States by President Gerald Ford, after Richard Nixon resigned.
2016A new species of horned dinosaur, Machairoceratops cronusi, thought to have lived about 77 million years ago, is discovered in southern Utah.
2016The Oppenheimer Blue, a large (14.6-karat) and rare blue diamond, is sold for $57.6 million, the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction.
2016Google receives a U.S. patent for an adhesive for its self-driving cars, so-called human flypaper. It is designed to minimize injuries in a pedestrian accident by holding the person to the car rather than being thrown after impact.
2016A unanimous opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court finds that the constitutional guarantee of a speedy trial does not guarantee a speedy sentencing hearing.
2016At least three civilians are killed and 10 others are wounded in a bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq.
2016EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes into the Mediterranean Sea en route from Paris, France, to Cairo, Egypt. There are no survivors among the 66 people on board.
2016Newsman, Morley Safer, dies of pneumonia in Manhattan, New York, at age 84. He was a Canadian-American broadcast journalist, reporter, and correspondent for CBS News. He was best known for his long tenure on the news magazine 60 Minutes, which he joined in December 1970, during the third season of the series.
2016Actor, Alan Young, dies of natural causes at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, at age 96. He starred in the TV shows The Alan Young Show and Mister Ed. He appeared in the films Margie, Tom Thumb, The Time Machine, and The Cat from Outer Space.
2017The Federal Communications Commission votes to overturn a 2015 ruling requiring net neutrality.
2017Swedish prosecutors drop a seven-year sexual assault investigation into Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.
2017Fox News fires liberal commentator, Bob Beckel, for making an insensitive off-air remark to an African-American employee of the news channel. This is the second time Beckel has been fired from he network.
2017Nacho cheese sauce sold at a small mom-and-pop gas station in Walnut Grove, California, is the likely source of a current botulism outbreak in the small town.
2017Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to sexting with a 15-year-old girl.
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