2010: Actress Dixie Carter, best known for her role as Julia Sugarbaker in the sitcom "Designing Women," dies of endometrial cancer at the age of 70 in Houston, Texas. Carter was also known for her TV roles on the legal drama "Family Law," the soap opera "The Edge of Night" and the drama series "Desperate Housewives." She's seen here with her husband, fellow actor Hal Holbrook, at the 2008 Academy Awards.
2010: A Polish Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft crashes near Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, former president Ryszard Kaczorowski, senior Polish military officials, government officials and 15 members of the Polish parliament. Attempting to land in thick fog, the aircraft was too low as it approached the runway. It struck some trees, rolled upside down and broke apart when it hit the ground, eventually coming to rest 660 feet short of the runway in a wooded area.
2000: At the age of 30 years and 141 days, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. becomes the youngest player in baseball history to reach 400 home runs.
1998: Negotiators in Northern Ireland reach a landmark settlement calling for Protestants and Catholics to share power.
1996: The strongest surface wind gust in the world at 253 mph, is measured on Barrow Island in Western Australia during Tropical Cyclone Olivia. The wind broke the previous record recorded in April 1934 at 231 mph on the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
1992: Comedian Sam Kinison dies at the age of 38 when a pickup truck slams into his car on a desert road outside Needles, Calif., between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. At the time of the collision, Kinison was traveling to Laughlin, Nev., to perform at a sold-out show. A former Pentecostal preacher, Kinison was known for stand-up routines characterized by an intense style punctuated by his trademark scream.
1992: Financier Charles Keating Jr. is sentenced to nine years in prison for swindling investors when his Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed. He would serve four and a half years in prison before those convictions were overturned in 1996. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to a more limited set of wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud counts, and was sentenced to the time he had already served.
1992: The first strike in the 75-year history of the NHL ends after 10 days. The settlement gave players a large increase in their playoff bonuses, increased control over the licensing of their likenesses and created changes to the free agency system.
1988: Actor Haley Joel Osment, best known for roles in movies like "The Sixth Sense," "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," "Pay it Forward" and "Secondhand Lions," is born in Los Angeles, Calif. He's seen here in 2008.
1984: Singer-songwriter and actress Mandy Moore, best known for the hit songs "Candy" and "I Wanna Be with You" and for movie roles in "A Walk to Remember," "How to Deal," "Chasing Liberty" and "Saved!", is born in Nashua, N.H.
1980: Actor Charlie Hunnam, best known for playing Jackson "Jax" Teller on the TV series "Sons of Anarchy," is born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England. Hunnam also appeared in the British series "Queer as Folk" and the short-lived comedy series "Undeclared" and starred in the 2013 movie "Pacific Rim."
1979: A tornado touches down in Wichita Falls, Texas, killing 42 people. The storm was part of a bigger two-day outbreak of at least 59 tornadoes near the Red River Valley that killed an additional 16 people and became known as the Red River Valley tornado outbreak.
1972: Isaac Hayes wins an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the "Theme from Shaft."
1971: In an attempt to thaw relations with the United States, the People's Republic of China hosts the U.S. table tennis team for a weeklong visit. The event paved the way to a 1972 visit to Beijing by President Richard Nixon.
1970: Amid rising tensions and a week before his self-titled debut solo album, Paul McCartney quits The Beatles. His announcement effectively dissolves the band even though the official end wouldn't come for several years. All four Beatles were working on solo projects at the time McCartney quit and John Lennon had more or less left the group in September 1969, agreeing not to inform the media while the band renegotiated their recording contract.
1970: Elton John's self-titled album is released, becoming his first album to be released in the United States. He had previously released his debut album, "Empty Sky," in the United Kingdom the previous year, but it would not be released in America until 1975. "Elton John" included his breakthrough single "Your Song" and would earn a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year in 1971. It also featured the singles "Border Song" and "Take Me to the Pilot."
1963: The U.S. Navy submarine USS Thresher sinks in the North Atlantic during deep-diving tests approximately 220 miles east of Boston, Mass., killing all 129 on board. The Thresher was the first nuclear submarine lost at sea and remains today the world's worst submarine disaster.
1962: Film director Michael Curtiz, who won an Oscar for directing 1942's "Casablanca," dies of cancer at the age of 75 in Hollywood, Calif. The Hungarian-born director also directed many other classic movies, including "The Adventures of Robin Hood," "Captain Blood," "Angels with Dirty Faces," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "Mildred Pierce" and "White Christmas."
1962: Scottish musician Stuart Sutcliffe, the original bassist for The Beatles, dies of brain aneurysm at the age of 21 in Hamburg, Germany. Sutcliffe left the band in July 1961 to pursue his career as an artist.
1959: Akihito, the future emperor of Japan, weds Michiko, who becomes the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family.
1959: Singer-songwriter and guitarist Brian Setzer, who found fame in the 1980s with the 1950s-style rockabilly revival group Stray Cats, is born in Massapequa, N.Y. Setzer also revitalized his career in the late 1990s with his swing revival band, The Brian Setzer Orchestra.
1958: Singer-songwriter and music producer Babyface is born Kenneth Brian Edmonds in Indianapolis, Ind. Babyface, who helped start the careers of TLC, Usher and Toni Braxton, co-wrote and produced Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and also wrote and produced Boyz II Men's "End of the Road" and "I'll Make Love to You," both of which established records for the longest stay at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
1957: Ricky Nelson, 16, performs his recently-recorded version of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'," on his family's TV sitcom, "The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet." The record would sell 500,000 copies in the next week alone and launch the teen idol's singing career.
1957: The drama "12 Angry Men," starring Henry Fonda and directed by Sidney Lumet, premieres in Los Angeles, Calif. The movie, which was Lumet's first feature film, was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing of Adapted Screenplay, losing all three to "The Bridge on the River Kwai."
1954: French filmmaker Auguste Lumière (left), who, along with his brother Louis (right), was one of the earliest filmmakers in history, dies at the age of 91 in Lyon, France. The Lumière brothers patented a number of significant filmmaking processes leading up to their film camera, the cinématographe, and presented the first motion picture screenings in 1895.
1952: Actor and martial artist Steven Seagal, best known for movies like "Above the Law," "Under Siege" and "On Deadly Ground," is born in Lansing, Mich.
1944: Rudolf Vrba (left) and Alfred Wetzler (right) escape from the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland during the World War II. Upon reaching Slovakia two weeks later, they provided Jewish officials with 40 pages of information detailing the mass murder that was taking place at the hands of the Nazis.
1938: Football player and broadcaster Don Meredith, an original member of the "Monday Night Football" broadcast team, is born in Mount Vernon, Texas. Meredith, who starred as a quarterback at Southern Methodist University and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, also played nine seasons in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys. He also had an acting career, appearing in multiple movies and television shows, including a recurring starring role as Detective Bert Jameson on "Police Story." He died at age 72 on Dec. 5, 2010, after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
1936: Football coach and broadcaster John Madden, who led the Oakland Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI in 1977 and went on to a long career as a color commentator for NFL telecasts, is born in Austin, Minn. Madden, who spent 2002 to 2006 on Monday Night Football, is also known for the long-running "Madden NFL" video game series.
1932: Actor Omar Sharif, best known for movies such as "Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago" and "Funny Girl," is born Michel Demitri Shalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt. Sharif earned an Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe for his role in "Lawrence of Arabia," which was his first English language film.
1929: Actor Max von Sydow, best known for movies such as "The Seventh Seal," "The Greatest Story Ever Told," "The Exorcist" and "Dune," is born Carl Adolf von Sydow in Lund, Skåne, Sweden. Von Sydown earned Academy Award nominations for his roles in "Pelle the Conqueror" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
1925: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald is first published in New York City.
1921: Actor Chuck Connors, best known for his role in the TV Western "The Rifleman" (seen here at right with co-star Johnny Crawford) and in movies like "Old Yeller" and "The Big Country," is born Kevin Joseph Connors in Brooklyn, N.Y. Connors was also a professional athlete, playing in both the MLB and the NBA. He died of pneumonia stemming from lung cancer at age 71 on Nov. 10, 1992.
1919: Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata is ambushed and shot dead by government forces in Chinameca, Morelos, Mexico.
1916: The Professional Golfers' Association of America is formed in New York City.
1915: Actor Harry Morgan, best known for his roles as Officer Bill Gannon on "Dragnet" and Col. Sherman T. Potter on "M*A*S*H," is born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit, Mich. He died of pneumonia at age 96 on Dec. 7, 2011.
1912: The Titanic leaves port in Southampton, England, for her first and only voyage. Five days later it would sink in the North Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg, killing 1,502 people.
1880: Frances Perkins, who would become the first female member of the United States cabinet when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her as secretary of labor in 1933, is born in Boston, Mass. She can be seen here behind Roosevelt as he signs the National Labor Relations Act in July 1935.
1872: The first Arbor Day is celebrated in Nebraska City, Neb.
1866: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is founded in New York City by Henry Bergh.
1865: A day after his surrender to Union forces, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee addresses his troops for the last time.
1858: After the original Big Ben, a 16-ton bell for the Palace of Westminster, had cracked during testing, it is recast into the current 13.5-ton bell by Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
1849: American mechanic Walter Hunt patents the safety pin. Needing $15 to pay back a friend, he sold the patent to W. R. Grace and Company for $400. The company went on to make millions from Hunt's invention.
1847: Joseph Pulitzer, the journalist and publisher best known for the prizes named in his honor, is born Pulitzer József in Makó, Kingdom of Hungary. The publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World newspapers, his "yellow journalism" war between his World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal revolutionized the newspaper industry.
1829: William Booth, the preacher who founded The Salvation Army in 1865, is born in Sneinton, Nottingham, England.
1827: Lew Wallace, a Union general in the Civil War and author best known for his historical novel "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ," is born in Brookville, Ind. "Ben-Hur" became an instant bestseller and has been adapted four times for films, including the most famous version in 1959 starring Charlton Heston.
1815: The Mount Tambora volcano in Indonesia begins a three-month-long eruption, lasting until July 15. The eruption ultimately killed 71,000 people and affected Earth's climate for the next two years.
1796: Jim Bowie, the pioneer and soldier who became a legendary figure and folk hero in American culture, is born in Logan County, Ky. Stories of him as a fighter and frontiersman, both real and fictitious, contributed to his fame. He also played a prominent role in the Texas Revolution, culminating in his death at the Battle of the Alamo.
1794: Matthew C. Perry, a commodore of the U.S. Navy who served in several wars, most notably in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812 and played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West, is born in Newport, R.I.
1606: The Charter of the Virginia Company of London is established by royal charter by James I of England with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America. The London Company made landfall on April 26, 1607, at the southern edge of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, which they named Cape Henry, in present day Virginia Beach. They moved their encampment about a month later, establishing the Jamestown Settlement on the James River about 40 miles upstream from Chesapeake Bay.
1585: Pope Gregory XIII dies at the age of 83 in Rome, Italy. Born Ugo Boncompagni, he is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally accepted civil calendar to this date.
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