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1934–The Dionne quintuplets (Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne) are born to Olivia and Elzire Dionne at the family farm near Callander, Ontario, Canada. They will be the first quintuplets to survive infancy.

BC 585–A solar eclipse occurs (as predicted by the Greek philosopher and scientist, Thales) while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of Halys, leading to a truce.

621–Li Shimin, the son of Chinese Emperor Gaozu, defeats the numerically superior forces of Dou Jiande near the Hulao Pass (Henan).

640–Pope Severinus begins his reign.

1357–Afonso IV of Portugal dies in Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal, at age 66.

1503–James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor are married by Pope Alexander VI, according to Papal Bull.

1503–The Treaty of Everlasting Peace is signed between Scotland and England. It actually lasted 10 years.

1524–Ottoman sultan, Selim II, is born Selim bin Suleiman in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (present-day Istanbul). Selim had been an unlikely candidate for the throne until his brother, Mehmed, died of smallpox; his half-brother; Mustafa, was strangled to death by the order of his father; and his brother, Bayezid, was killed in a coordinated effort between him and his father.

1533–The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declares the marriage of King Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn valid.

1588–The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, heading for the English Channel.

1660–George I, King of England and Ireland (1714-1727), is born in Hanover, Holy Roman Empire. During George's reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual power was held by Sir Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain's first de facto prime minister.

1664–The first Baptist Church is established in Boston, Massachusetts.

1738–Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, inventor of the guillotine, is born in Saintes, France.

1742–The first indoor swimming pool opens at Goodman's Fields in London, England.

1750–Emperor Sakuramachi of Japan dies at age 30.

1754–In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, Virginia militia, under the 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington, defeat a French reconnaissance party in the Battle of Jumonville Glen (present-day southwestern Pennsylvania).

1759–William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is born in Hayes, Kent, England. In 1983, he became the youngest Prime Minister at the age of 24. He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806.

1774–The first Continental Congress convenes in Virginia.

1779–Poet, Thomas Moore, is born in Dublin, Ireland. He was a singer, songwriter, and entertainer, best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer.

1802–In Guadeloupe, 400 rebellious slaves, led by Louis Delgrès, blow themselves up rather than submit to Napoleon's troops

1830–The U.S. Congress authorizes Indian relocation from all states to the western prairie.

1843–Lexicographer, Noah Webster, developer of Webster's Dictionary, dies in New Haven, Connecticut, at age 84. His great work, the American Dictionary of the English Language, was published in 1828, with 70,000 entries. After he died, his dictionary was put out by the Merriam Company, but his name went into the public domain and today Webster's is a synonym for “dictionary.”

1849–Novelist and poet, Anne Bronte, dies of pulmonary tuberculosis in Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, at age 29. Her first novel was Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess. Her second and last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels, appeared in 1848. Like her poems, both her novels were first published under the masculine penname of Acton Bell.

1871–The Paris Commune, a radical socialist and revolutionary government, falls, following the defeat of Emperor Napoleon III.

1878–Politician, John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, dies in Richmond Park, Surrey, England, at age 85. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1888–Athlete, Jim Thorpe, is born James Francis Thorpe in Prague, Oklahoma. He was an American athlete of Native American and European ancestry, considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports. He won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football (collegiate and professional), and also played professional baseball and basketball. In a poll of sports fans conducted by ABC Sports, Thorpe was voted the Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century out of 15 other athletes including Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nicklaus, and Michael Jordan.

1892–The Sierra Club is formed by John Muir for conservation of nature in San Francisco, California.

1900–The Gare d'Orsay railway station is inaugurated in Paris, France.

1905–In the Russo-Japanese War, the Battle of Tsushima ends with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by Admiral Togo Heihachiro and the Imperial Japanese Navy.

1907–The first Isle of Man TT race is held.

1907–Luna Park opens in Scranton, Pennsylvania. At the opening the rides and attraction included: Aerial Swing, Band Stand, Blarney Castle, Carousel, Circus Platform, Dance Hall, Miniature Railway, Photo Studio, Rifle Range, Scenic Railway (roller coaster), Scenic River, Shades and Shadows, Shoot-the-Chute, Shooting Gallery, and Temple of Mystery. A fire destroyed a portion of the park in 1906, and it closed for good in 1916.

1908–Ian (Lancaster) Fleming, author of the James Bond novel series, is born in London, England. Among those novels are Casino Royal, Live and Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever, Dr. No, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, and Thunderball.

1910–Blues guitarist, T-Bone Walker, is born Aaron Thibeaux Walker in Linden, Texas. T-Bone was one of the first to plug in his guitar and turn the blues electric.

1915–John B. Gruelle patents the Raggedy Ann doll.

1917–Fiddle player, Papa John Creech, is born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He played with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.

1918–The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the First Republic of Armenia declare their independence.

1923–The U.S. Attorney General says it is legal for women to wear trousers in public places.

1926–In a coup d'état, Ditadura Nacional is established in Portugal to suppress the unrest of the First Republic.

1926–Stock car driver, Marvin Panch, is born in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Winner of the 1961 Daytona 500, he won 17 NASCAR Grand National events during his 17-year career.

1928–Dodge Brothers, Inc. and the Chrysler Corporation merge.

1931–Actress, Carroll Baker, is born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Baker's range of roles from naive ingenues to brash and flamboyant women established her as both a serious dramatic actress and a pin-up. She appeared in the films Giant, Babydoll, The Big Country, Something Wild, How the West Was Won, The Carpetbaggers, Cheyenne Autumn, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Harlow, Andy Warhol's Bad, and Star 80.

1931–Cinematographer, Gordon Willis, is born Gordon Hugh Willis, Jr. in Astoria, New York. His films include The Landlord, Klute, The Godfather I, II & III, The Paper Chase, The Parallax View, All the President’s Men, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Pennies from Heaven, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Presumed Innocent, and Malice.

1932–In the Netherlands, construction of the Afsluitdijk is completed and the Zuiderzee bay is converted to the freshwater IJsselmeer.

1933–Actor, John Karlen, is born John Adam Karlewicz in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for the role of Harvey Lacey on the TV crime drama Cagney & Lacey. He appeared in the films A Small Town in Texas, Pennies from Heaven, Racing with the Moon, Impulse, and Native Son.

1934–The Dionne quintuplets (Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne) are born to Olivia and Elzire Dionne at the family farm near Callander, Ontario, Canada. They will be the first quintuplets to survive infancy.

1934–Educator and activist, Betty Shabazz, is born Betty Dean Sanders in Pinehurst, Georgia. She was married to Malcolm X.

1935–The 11th National Spelling Bee: Clara Mohler wins, spelling intelligible.

1936–Alan Turing submits On Computable Numbers for publication.

1936–Klaipeda Radio Station begins regular broadcasting in Lithuania.

1937–Neville Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister.

1937–The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., who pushes a button signaling the start of vehicle traffic over the span.

1937–The German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) is founded.

1940–During World War II, Belgium surrenders to Nazi Germany, ending the Battle of Belgium.

1940–Norwegian, French, Polish, and British forces recapture Narvik, Norway. This is the first allied infantry victory of World War II.

1940–The 16th National Spelling Bee: Laurel Kuykendall wins, spelling therapy.

1941–Actress, Beth Howland, is born Elizabeth Howland in Boston, Massachusetts. She is best known for the role of Vera on the TV sitcom Alice. She was married to character actor, Michael J. Pollard.

1942–During World War II, in retaliation for the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich, Nazis in Czechoslovakia kill over 1,800 people.

1944–Singer, Gladys (Maria) Knight, of Gladys Knight and the Pips, is born in Atlanta, Georgia. They had big hits with the songs If I Were Your Woman, Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye), Midnight Train to Georgia, and You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me. They also provided the soundtrack music for the film Claudine.

1944–Singer, Billy Vera, of Billy Vera & the Beaters, is born William Patrick McCord in Riverside, California. He had a huge hit with the song At This Moment. His father was radio and television announcer, Bill McCord. His mother was singer, Ann Ryan (a member of the Ray Charles Singers).

1945–Doctor, Hunter (Doherty) Adams, is born in Washington, D.C. He is a physician, comedian, social activist, clown, and author. He founded the Gesundheit! Institute (originally known to many as the Zanies), which ran as a free community hospital from 1971 to 1983. Each year he organizes a group of volunteers from around the world to travel to various countries where they dress as clowns in an effort to bring humor to orphans and patients. His story is told in the film, Patch Adams, starring Robin Williams in the title role.

1945–John (Cameron) Fogerty, of Creedence Clearwater Revival, is born in Berkeley, California. The band’s hits include Suzie Q, Proud Mary, Born on the Bayou, Bad Moon Rising, Fortunate Son, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Lookin’ Out My Back Door, and Have You Ever Seen the Rain. His brother was musician, Tom Fogerty.

1947–Actress, Sondra Locke, is born Sondra Louise Smith in Shelbyville, Tennessee. She appeared in the films The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Willard, The Second Coming of Suzanne, and Ratboy. She had a long alliance with actor, Clint Eastwood, and was featured in several of his films, including The Outlaw Josey Wales, Every Which Way But Loose, and Bronco Billy.

1948–Daniel François Malan is elected as Prime Minister of South Africa. He later goes on to implement Apartheid.

1948–The 21st National Spelling Bee: Jean Chappelear wins, spelling psychiatry.

1949–Punk rocker, Wendy O. Williams, of The Plasmatics, is born Wendy Orlean Williams in Webster, New York. Her famous stage theatrics included near-nudity, blowing up equipment, and chain-sawing guitars.

1951–The British radio comedy program, The Goon Show, is broadcast on the BBC for the first time.

1952–The women of Greece are granted the right to vote.

1952–Memphis Kiddie Park opens in Brooklyn, Ohio. It was designed and built by Stuart Wintner, of Cleveland. At the opening, there are nine mechanical rides: Train, Merry-Go-Round, Airplanes, Hand Cars, Boats, Ferris Wheel, Jeeps, Skyfighters, and the Little Dipper, now recognized as the oldest steel kiddie coaster in North America. There are also live ponies with a little corral, a concession stand, arcade, and miniature golf course.

1955–The Indianapolis 500: Bob Sweikert wins in 3:53:59.

1955–Rock violinist, Eddie Jobson, who played with Roxy Music and Frank Zappa, is born in Billingham, England.

1956–President Eisenhower signs the Farm Bill, which allows the government to store its agricultural surplus.

1957–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1957–The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is established.

1958–During the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement, heavily reinforced by Frank Pais Militia, overwhelm an army post in El Uvero.

1958–Buddy Holly gets his draft notice, but he's refused induction because of poor eyesight and an ulcer.

1959–Monkeys, Able and Baker, zoom 300 miles into space on the Jupiter missile, becoming the first animals to be retrieved from a space mission.

1961–Peter Benenson's article, “The Forgotten Prisoners,” is published in several internationally read newspapers. This will later be thought of as the founding of the human rights organization Amnesty International.

1962–Child actor, Brandon (Edwin) Cruz, is born in Bakersfield, California. He is best known for his role on the TV series The Courtship of Eddie's Father. As an adult, Cruz is a punk rock musician, and works in drug and alcohol rehabilitation as a recovery specialist. He appeared in the films 80 Steps to Jonah, Mixed Blood, The Bad News Bears, and The One and Only.

1963–A cyclone hits Chittagong, Bangladesh, killing 22,000 people and destroying one million houses.

1963–Jomo Kenyatta becomes the first Prime Minister of Kenya.

1964–The Palestine National Congress forms the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Jerusalem.

1964–A chart topper: You’re My World by Cilla Black.

1967–The USSR conducts a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh.

1970–The film, Performance, starring Mick Jagger, premieres in New York. It was edited to exclude some particularly violent scenes that had caused half the audience at the San Francisco premiere to walk out two months earlier.

1971–Actor, Audie Murphy, dies in a plane crash at Brush Mountain, near Catawba, Virginia at age 45. Murphy was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. He was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism. After the war, Murphy enjoyed a 21-year acting career. He played himself in the 1955 autobiographical To Hell and Back, based on his 1949 memoirs of the same name. He appeared in the films The Kid from Texas, Sierra, The Red Badge of Courage, The Cimarron Kid, Destry, Walk the Proud Land, Night Passage, The Quiet American, The Unforgiven, Hell Bent for Leather, Bullet for a Badman, Arizona Raiders, and A Time for Dying.

1972–King Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, dies of throat cancer at 4 Route du Champ d'Entraînement, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France, at age 77. Edward was the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary.

1973–The Indianapolis 500: Gordon Johncock wins in 2:05:25.

1974–Northern Ireland's power-sharing Sunningdale Agreement collapses following a general strike by loyalists.

1974–The 26th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards announces its winners. Best Dramatic Series: Upstairs, Downstairs; Best Comedy Series: M*A*S*H; Best Musical or Variety Series: The Carol Burnett Show; Best Actor: Telly Savalas; Best Actress: Michael Learned; Best Comedy Actor: Alan Alda; Best Comedy Actress: Mary Tyler Moore. The ceremonies are held at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. The host is Johnny Carson.

1975–Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States.

1977–In Southgate, Kentucky, the Beverly Hills Supper Club is engulfed in fire, killing 165 people.

1978–Singer-actor, David Cassidy, is the guest star on the "A Chance to Live" episode of NBC-TV's Police Story. This leads to his own show, Man Undercover.

1978–The Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins in 3:05:54.

1979–Konstantinos Karamanlis signs the full treaty of the accession of Greece with the European Economic Community.

1982–Movie critic, Leonard Maltin, makes his first appearance on the TV series Entertainment Tonight.

1984–Comedian, Eric Morecambe, of Morecambe & Wise, dies of a heart attack in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, at age 58.

1987–West German pilot, Mathias Rust (who is 18 years old), evades Soviet Union air defenses and lands a private plane on Red Square in Moscow, Russia.

1987–The 60th National Spelling Bee: Stephanie Petit wins, spelling staphylococci.

1989–The Indianapolis 500: Emerson Fittipaldi wins in 2:59:01.

1989–Actress, Delta Burke, marries actor, Gerald McRaney.

1991–The capital city of Addis Ababa falls to the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, ending both the Derg regime in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Civil War.

1992–65th National Spelling Bee: Amanda Goad wins, spelling lyceum.

1993–Eritrea and Monaco join the United Nations.

1995–A 7.6 earthquake strikes Neftegorsk, Russia, killing at least 2,000 people, which is half of the total population.

1995–The Indianapolis 500: Jacques Villeneuve wins in 3:15:17.

1995–Model, designer and dressmaker, Jean Muir, dies of breast cancer in London, England, at age 66. Muir used the best quality fabrics, working in silk, cashmere, jersey, and crepe, with a focus on form and fluidity. She made coats and jackets from soft leather and supple suede. Well-known Muir clients included Lauren Bacall, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Charlotte Rampling, Julie Walters, and Joan Plowright.

1996–President Bill Clinton's former business partners in the Whitewater land deal, James McDougal, Susan McDougal, and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, are convicted of fraud.

1997–Bob Dylan is hospitalized in England with histoplasmosis.

1998–Pakistan responds to a series of Indian nuclear tests with five of its own, prompting the United States, Japan, and other nations to impose economic sanctions.

1998–The 71st National Spelling Bee: Jody Anne Maxwell wins, spelling chiaroscurist.

1998–Comedian-actor, Phil Hartman, is shot to death by his wife while asleep in his bed, at age 49.

1999–After 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, “The Last Supper,” is put back on display in Milan, Italy.

2000–The Indianapolis 500: Juan Pablo Montoya wins in 2:58:59.

2002–The last steel girder is removed from the original World Trade Center disaster site. Cleanup duties officially end with closing ceremonies at Ground Zero in Manhattan, New York.

2002–NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance.

2002–The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars.

2003–Peter Hollingworth becomes the first Governor-General of Australia to resign his office as a result of criticism of his conduct.

2004–The Iraqi Governing Council chooses Ayad Allawi, a longtime anti-Saddam Hussein exile, to become Prime Minister of Iraq's interim government.

2006–The Indianapolis 500: Sam Hornish, Jr. wins in 3:10:58.

2008–The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty.

2009–Film producer, Mort Abrahams, dies in Sherman Oaks, California, at age 93. His work in television includes Tales of Tomorrow, The Third Man, Route 66, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. His films include Doctor Dolittle, Planet of the Apes, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Homecoming, and Luther.

2009–82nd National Spelling Bee: Kavya Shivashankar wins, spelling Laodicean.

2010–Foxconn, the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, plans to raise wages by about 20% for its Chinese workers, after a series of suicides take place at its main plant in southern China. Foxconn produces Apple products.

2010–Luna Park opens in Coney Island, New York. It is the first new amusement park to be built in Coney Island in over 40 years, complete with 19 brand new rides, six games, five food kiosks, and a retail location. During its first season, Luna Park delighted 450,000 visitors with over 1.7 million rides. In an effort to revitalize the historic Coney Island to its once glorious past, the City of New York, under the leadership of the Bloomberg administration, purchase 6.2 acres of land in November 2009 and quickly put out a request for proposals, welcoming bidders to submit their proposal for a state-of-the-art facility that would be complete by Spring of 2010.

2010–In West Bengal, India, a train derailment and subsequent collision kills 141 passengers.

2010–Actor, Gary Coleman, dies of a brain hemorrhage in Provo, Utah, at age 42. As a child, he starred in the TV sitcom Diff'rent Strokes.

2011–Malta votes on the introduction of divorce and the proposal is approved by 53% of voters. A law allowing divorce under certain conditions is enacted later in the year.

2011–Universal Studios Singapore opens in Sentosa Island, Singapore. There are a total of 24 attractions, of which 18 are original or specially adapted for the park. The park consists of seven themed zones, which surround a lagoon. Each zone is based on a blockbuster movie or a television show, featuring their own unique attractions, character appearances, dining, and shopping areas. The zones are: Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away, and Madagascar.

2012–Frank Chee Willeto, fourth Vice President of the Navajo Nation, dies at his home in Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico, at age 87. He was a politician and Navajo code talker during World War II. Willeto and other surviving Navajo code talkers were awarded the Congressional Silver Medal in 2001.

2013–Writer and screenwriter, Richard Matheson, dies in Los Angeles, California, at age 87. His books include I Am Legend, The Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Comedy of Terrors, Hell House, and What Dreams May Come. His films include The Incredible Shrinking Man, Beat Generation, Master of the World, Burn Witch Burn, Tales of Terror, The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, and Somewhere in Time.

2014–87th National Spelling Bee: It’s a tie, with Ansun Sujoe spelling feuilleton, and Sriram Hathwar spelling stichomythia.

2014–Writer and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, dies of respiratory failure at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at age 86. Her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1969 to critical acclaim. Angelou went on to write seven autobiographies, spoke more than six languages, and earned over 30 honorary degrees.

2015–88th National Spelling Bee: It’s a tie, with Vanya Shivashankar spelling scherenschnitte, and Gokul Venkatachalam spelling nunatak.

2016–Iran's newly elected parliament, officially called the Islamic Consultative Assembly, is opened and new members will be sworn-in during the first session.

2016–Anti-government protests erupt against Prime Minister Peter O'Neill in Papua, New Guinea, calling on him to resign due to fraud and corruption.

2017–The Russian Irkut MC-21 airliner makes its first flight.

2017–Ansar al-Sharia announces it is formally dissolving amid heavy losses that have wiped out its leadership and decimated its fighters. The group was responsible for the 2012 attack on American military in Benghazi.

2017–Eight people, including a Lincoln County Sheriff's Department deputy, are fatally shot at three locations in rural Mississippi.

2017–The Indianapolis 500: Takuma Sato wins in 3:13:03. Sato is the first Japanese driver to win the event.

2017–At least 126 people are dead, and 97 are missing, due to mudslides and floods caused by heavy rain in Sri Lanka. One hundred thousand people are displaced.


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