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1903–The first automobile to be driven across the United States leaves San Francisco, California, as the result of a $50 bet made by Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson. He was in the car with his mechanic, Sewall K. Crocker, in a 1903 20-horsepower Winton. They had three major breakdowns before they managed to get over the Rocky Mountains and across the plains to Omaha; it had taken them 51 days to get there from San Francisco. Beyond Omaha the roads were much better: They made it to New York in 12 more days, completing the crossing in 63 days, 19 of them spent waiting for parts. Through much of their journey, the Winton was the first car that many of the people along the way had ever seen.



635–Mayan King, K'inich Kan B'alam II, is born.

779–Chinese Emperor Daizong dies at age 52. Li Kuo succeeds him as Emperor Dezong.

844–The Apostle Saint James the Greater miraculously appears to a force of outnumbered Asturians, aiding them against the forces of the Emir of Cordoba.

1052–King Philip I of France is born.

1059–Henri I crowns his son, King Philip I of France.

1100–Emperor Qinzong of China is born Zhao Huan into the Song Dynasty.

1423–Pope Benedict XIII, (1394-1423), dies.

1430–Joan of Arc is captured at Compiegne and sold to the English.

1498–Girolamo Savonarola, dictator of Florence, Italy (1494-1498), is burned at the stake in Florence, Italy, at age 45.

1524–Ismail I, Shah of Persia, dies at age 37.

1533–The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.

1555–Giampietro Caraffa is elected Pope Paul IV.

1568–Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, defeat Jean de Ligne, Duke of Arenberg, and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, beginning the Eighty Years' War.

1609–Official ratification of the Second Virginia Charter takes place.

1618–The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitates the Thirty Years' War.

1701–Captain William Kidd is hung in London, England, after being convicted of piracy and murder.

1734–Physician-hypnotist, Friedrich Anton Mesmer, is born in Iznang, Bishopric of Constance (present-day Moos, Baden-Württemberg, Germany). He theorized that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects, which he called “animal magnetism,” sometimes later referred to as “mesmerism.” In 1843, the Scottish physician, James Braid, proposed the term “hypnosis” for a technique derived from animal magnetism, and today this is the usual meaning of mesmerism.

1785–Benjamin Franklin announces that he has invented bifocals.

1788–South Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution as the eighth American state.

1795–Architect, Sir Charles Barry, is born in London, England. Known for his contribution to the redesign and rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster, he would also become renowned for his development of the Italian Renaissance style for the gardens of country houses, and the use of the Palazzo as the basis for building design.

1829–A patent is granted to Cyrill Demian in Vienna, Austrian Empire, for the accordion.

1844–A merchant of Shiraz announces that he is a Prophet and founds a religious movement that would later be brutally crushed by the Persian government. He is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá'í Faith, and Bahá'ís celebrate the day as a holy day.

1846–President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declares war on the United States.

1863–The Seventh-Day Adventist Church is organized in Battle Creek, Michigan.

1867–The Jesse James Gang rob a bank in Richmond, Missouri. Two people are killed and $4,000 is taken.

1868–Frontiersman, Kit Carson, dies of an aortic aneurysm at his family home in Taos, New Mexico, at age 59. He was a mountain man, fur trapper, scout, Indian agent, and American Army officer. Carson was married three times and had 10 children. To this day he is honored in the town of Taos with many places of interest to tourists.

1873–The Canadian Parliament establishes the North-West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1883–The 9th Kentucky Derby: William Donohue, riding Leonatus, wins in 2:43.

1883–Actor, Douglas Fairbanks, is born in Denver, Colorado.

1900–The Associated Press News Service is founded in New York.

1903–The first automobile to be driven across the United States leaves San Francisco, California, as the result of a $50 bet made by Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson. He was in the car with his mechanic, Sewall K. Crocker, in a 1903 20-horsepower Winton. They had three major breakdowns before they managed to get over the Rocky Mountains and across the plains to Omaha; it had taken them 51 days to get there from San Francisco. Beyond Omaha the roads were much better: They made it to New York in 12 more days, completing the crossing in 63 days, 19 of them spent waiting for parts. Through much of their journey, the Winton was the first car that many of the people along the way had ever seen.

1906–Playwright, Henrik Johan Ibsen, dies at age 78.

1910–Entertainer, Scatman Crothers, is born Benjamin Sherman Crothers in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is best known for his role in the film The Shining. Crothers started his musical career as a 15-year-old drummer in a speakeasy band in his home town. He played a variety of instruments on jazz club band circuits in his early days as an entertainer. He appeared in the films Meet Me at the Fair, Walking My Baby Back Home, The Sins of Rachel Cade, Lady in a Cage, The Patsy, Three on a Couch, Hello Dolly!, The Great White Hope, Lady Sings the Blues, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Bronco Billy, and Twilight Zone: The Movie.

1910–Jazz bandleader and clarinetist, Artie Shaw, is born Arthur Arshawsky in New York, New York. He was a studio musician before forming his own band and having a big hit in 1938, with Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine. Judy Garland fell in love with him and he was married to eight different women, including actresses, Lana Turner and Ava Gardner.

1911–A dedication ceremony is held for the New York Public Library.

1912–Actor, John (Howard) Payne, is born in Roanoke, Virginia. He appeared in the films Tin Pan Alley, Week-End in Havana, To the Shores of Tripoli, Footlight Serenade, Springtime in the Rockies, The Dolly Sisters, The Razor’s Edge, Miracle on 34th Street, Kansas City Confidential, and Hold Back the Night. He was married to actress, Gloria DeHaven.

1915–During World War I, Italy joins the Allies, fulfilling its part of the Treaty of London.

1919–Actress, Betty Garrett, is born in St. Joseph, Missouri. She is best known for the roles of Irene in the TV sitcom All in the Family, and Mrs. Bavish in Laverne & Shirley. She appeared in the films Words and Music, Neptune’s Daughter, Summer Stock, On the Town, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and My Sister Eileen. She was married to actor, Larry Parks and they were both blacklisted during the Communist scare of the 1950s.

1920–Character actor, Sid Melton, is born in Brooklyn, New York. He appeared on the TV sitcoms Make Room for Daddy and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

1920–Singer, Helen O'Connell, is born in Lima, Ohio.

1922–Walt Disney incorporates his first film company, called Laugh-O-Gram Films.

1922–Thomas Edison patents a method for making metal foils.

1928–The 4th National Spelling Bee: Betty Robinson wins, spelling knack.

1928–Singer, Rosemary Clooney, is born in Maysville, Kentucky. She and her younger sister, Betty, were staying with their grandfather when they heard that Cincinnati radio station WLW was holding auditions for new talent. They auditioned, and won a job singing every night, for two years, for $20 a week. When Rosemary appeared on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts TV show, she won first prize. Her hits include Come On-a My House, Half As Much, Hey There, and Mambo Italiano. She appeared in the films The Stars Are Signing, Here Come the Girls, Red Garters, White Christmas, Deep in My Heart, and Radioland Murders. Her nephew is actor, George Clooney.

1931–Actress, Barbara Barrie, is born in Chicago, Illinois. She was a regular in the TV show Barney Miller and appeared in the film Breaking Away.

1932–In Brazil, four students are shot and killed during a protest against the Brazilian dictator, Getúlio Vargas, which resulta in the outbreak of the Constitutionalist Revolution several weeks later.

1933–Actress, Joan (Henrietta) Collins, is born in London, England. She starred in the TV drama Dynasty. She appeared in the movies The Opposite Sex, Rally ‘Round the Flag Boys, and Alfie Darling.

1933–Seabiscuit, legendary American racehorse, is born.

1934–Bank robbers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are ambushed by police, and killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

1934–The Auto-Lite strike culminates in the "Battle of Toledo," a five-day melée between 1,300 troops of the Ohio National Guard and 6,000 picketers.

1934–Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog Synthesizer, is born.

1937–Industrialist and philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller, dies in Ormond Beach, Florida, at age 97.

1939–The U.S. Navy submarine, USS Squalus, sinks off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, killing 24 sailors and two civilian technicians.

1941–Joe Louis defeats Buddy Baer in Round 7 for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship.

1941–Lord Herbert Austin, motorcar manufacturer, dies.

1942–Actor-director, Zalman King, is born Zalman King Lefkowitz in Trenton, New Jersey. King directed the films Two Moon Junction, Wild Orchid, and Red Shoe Diaries, which became a long-running television series for the Showtime network. He produced the films Roadie, Endangered Species, and Siesta.

1945–During World War II, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Schutzstaffel, commits suicide while in Allied custody.

1945–Winston Churchill resigns as British Prime Minister.

1945–Child actress, Lauren Chapin, is born. She is best known for the role of Kathy in the popular 1950s TV series Father Knows Best.

1945–Nazi official, Heinrich Himmler, commits suicide while imprisoned in Luneburgm, Germany.

1948–Thomas C. Wasson, the U.S. Consul-General, is assassinated in Jerusalem, Israel.

1949–The Federal Republic of Germany is established and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany is proclaimed.

1949–Following the signing of its constitution, West Germany formally comes into existence and establishes headquarters at Bonn.

1951–Tibetans sign the “Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet” with China.

1952–Boxer, Marvin Hagler, Middleweight Boxing Champion, is born in New Jersey.

1953–Eunice Kennedy marries activist and attorney, Sargent Shriver, at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

1958–Mao Tse Tung starts the "Great Leap Forward" movement in China.

1958–The Explorer 1 satellite ceases transmission.

1958–Comedian-actor, Drew (Allison) Carey, is born in Cleveland, Ohio. He starred in his the sitcom The Drew Carey Show.

1958–Country singer, Shelly West, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.

1960–French engineer, Georges Claude, dies. He invented the neon light.

1962–Astronaut, Scott Carpenter, orbits the Earth three times in U.S. Aurora 7.

1963–Paul Revere and the Raiders sign their first major label contract with Columbia. They would go on to have numerous hits, including Just Like Me, Kicks, and Hungry.

1965–Sculptor and painter, David Smith, dies in an auto accident in near Bennington, Vermont, at age 59. He was best known for his large steel abstract geometric sculptures.

1966–The Doors begin their engagement at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California.

1968–A 7.1 earthquake strikes South Island, New Zealand, resulting in three deaths, 14 injuries, and damage estimated at $3 million.

1968–A chart topper: Yummy, Yummy, Yummy by The Ohio Express.

1968–Oasis guitarist and songwriter, Noel Gallagher, is born.

1969–The BBC orders 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus. The zany comedy series was popular on both sides of the Atlantic.

1970–The USSR conducts an underground nuclear test.

1970–Robert Stephenson's pioneering Britannia Tubular Bridge, over the Menai Strait, is catastrophically damaged by fire after standing for 120 years.

1970–The Beatles' Let It Be album sets an advance record order, with over four million copies ordered before it is released.

1970–Paul McCartney's solo album, McCartney, reaches #1 in the U.S. charts.

1971–Rock group, Iron Butterfly, disbands.

1974–Great Britain conducts a nuclear test.

1974–George Harrison forms Dark Horse Records, Ltd.

1974–Ken Jennings, 74-time winner on the game show Jeopardy, is born.

1974–Singer-songwriter, Jewel, is born Jewel Kilcher in Payson, Utah.

1975–Comedienne, Jackie "Moms" Mabley, dies of heart failure in White Plains, New York, at age 81. A veteran of the “Chitlin' Circuit” of African-American vaudeville, she later appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

1979–Rocker, Tom Petty, files Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

1980–John Lennon travels alone to Cape Town, South Africa.

1981–Canada's Wonderland opens in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. The 300+ acre site was selected for its proximity to the city of Toronto. The park has four themed areas: International Festival, Medieval Faire, Grande World Exposition of 1890, and Hanna-Barbera Land. The park's rides included: Wild Beast (a wooden coaster, modeled after the Wildcat (Coney Island) design); Antique Carousel (this carousel was originally located at Happyland Hastings Park in British Columbia from 1928 until 1934); and Dragon Fyre (an arrow looping steel roller coaster).

1981–Entertainer, George Jessel, dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, at age 83. He was famous in his lifetime as a multi-talented comedic Vaudeville entertainer, achieving a level of recognition that surpassed his limited roles in movies. He was widely known by his nickname, "Toastmaster General of the United States," for his frequent role as the master of ceremonies at political and entertainment gatherings.

1982–The Central London chapter of the British Musicians Union moves a resolution to band synthesizers and rhythm machines from all recording sessions and live engagements. The resolution will be defeated.

1982–Colin Wilson rides a surfboard 294 miles.

1986–Actor, Sterling Hayden, dies of prostate cancer in Sausalito, California, at age 70. He appeared in the films The Asphalt Jungle, Journey Into Light, The Star, So Big, Prince Valiant, Johnny Guitar, Suddenly, The Killing, Terror in a Texas Town, Dr. Strangelove, Loving, The Godfather, The Long Goodbye, 1900, King of the Gypsies, Winter Kills, The Outsider, and Nine to Five.

1989–An estimated one million people in Beijing (and tens of thousands in other Chinese cities) march to demand the resignation of Premier Li Peng.

1992–Italy's most prominent anti-mafia judge, Giovanni Falcone, is killed by the Corleonesi clan with a half-ton bomb near Capaci, Sicily. His wife and three body guards are also killed.

1994–Funeral services are held at Arlington National Cemetary for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

1994–Roman Herzog is elected President of Germany.

1995–The first version of the Java programming language is released.

1997–Mel Karmazin replaces Peter Lund as CEO of CBS-TV.

1998–The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting for its approval. It was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s.

2001–Reuters reports that the original manuscript of Jack Kerouac's On The Road has set a new record, going for $2.4 million at Christie's auction house.

\2002–The "55 parties" clause of the Kyoto Protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

2002–Golf champion, Sam Snead, dies at age 90.

2004–Part of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal 2E collapses, killing four people and injuring three others.

2006–Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupts.

2006–Politician, Lloyd Bentsen, dies at age 85.

2008–The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia, and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.

2009–Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun commits suicide at age 63, jumping from a 45-meter cliff in Bongha, Gimhae, South Korea. About 4 million people visited Roh's hometown, Bongha Village, in the week following his death. He was the 16th President of the Republic of Korea.

2010–Jamaican police begin a manhunt for drug lord, Christopher Coke, after the United States requests his extradition. This leads to three days of violence during which at least 73 gunmen, policemen, and bystanders are killed.

2010–A work-from-home company claims more mothers are choosing to be phone sex operators, earning $10 to $30 an hour.

2013–The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River collapses in Mount Vernon, Washington.

2013–Super-centenarian, James Sisnett, dies in Christ Church, Barbados, at age 113 (and 90 days). He was the verified oldest man in the Western Hemisphere, the second-oldest man in the world, the 12th oldest person overall, and one of the last men born in the 19th century.

2014–Seven people, including the perpetrator, are killed and another 13 are injured in a killing spree near the campus of University of California in Santa Barbara, California.

2015–At least 46 people are killed as a result of floods caused by a tornado in Texas and Oklahoma.

2015–Comedienne, Anne Meara, dies of natural causes in Manhattan, New York, at age 85. She and her husband, Jerry Stiller, were a prominent 1960s comedy team, appearing as Stiller and Meara. She appeared in the films The Out-of-Towners, Lovers and Other Strangers, The Boys from Brazil, Fame, Awakenings, Reality Bites, Zoolander, Night at the Museum, and Sex and the City: The Movie.

2016–The Iraqi government begins Operation Breaking Terrorism, aimed at retaking the city of Fallujah, which has been under the control of ISIL since early 2014.

2016–Nearly 150 people are killed and at least 200 others are wounded in a series of car bomb and suicide attacks in the Syrian cities of Jableh and Tartus, in government-controlled territory that hosts Russian military bases. ISIS claims responsibility.


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