2010: Nearly 2,700 are killed in a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai, China.
2008: Northwest Airlines announces that it would be merging with Delta Air Lines to form the world's largest airline. The merger was approved on Oct. 29, 2008, with the combined airline using the Delta name and branding.
2007: Don Ho, the Hawaiian and traditional pop musician and singer famous for his song "Tiny Bubbles," dies of heart failure at age 76 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
2003: The Human Genome Project is completed with 99 percent of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99 percent.
1996: Actress Abigail Breslin, known for movies such as "Signs," "Little Miss Sunshine," "Zombieland" and "August: Osage County," is born in New York City. She earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for "Little Miss Sunshine" at age 10, making her one of the youngest actresses ever to be nominated for an Oscar.
1995: Actor and singer Burl Ives, best known for movies such as "East of Eden," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "The Big Country," and the 1964 stop-motion animated family special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," dies from complications of oral cancer at age 85 in Anacortes, Wash. Ives, who composed the title song to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," voiced Sam the Snowman, the banjo-playing narrator of the special. His "A Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Silver and Gold" became Christmas standards after being featured in the show. He also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "The Big Country."
1994: In a friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two United States Air Force F-15 fighter jets mistakenly shoot-down two U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, killing all 26 people on board, including military personnel and civilians from the U.S., United Kingdom, France,Turkey, and the Kurdish community. After an investigation, several Air Force officers received administrative discipline but only one, Jim Wang, an Air Force airborne warning and control system crew member, was tried by military court-martial, in which he was acquitted.
1989: The romantic comedy "Say Anything…," starring John Cusack and Ione Skye and directed by Cameron Crowe in his directorial debut, opens in theaters.
1988: Public Enemy's sophomore album, "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," is released. The album, featuring such hits as "Don't Believe the Hype" and "Bring the Noise," was hailed for its socially and politically charged lyricism and is often cited as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.
1986: Hailstones the size of grapefruit fall on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92 people. The hailstones weighed in at 2.2 pounds and are recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the heaviest ever recorded.
1981: The first operational space shuttle, Columbia, completes its first test flight, returning to Earth after 37 orbits during its 54.5-hour mission. It would go on to complete 27 missions before disintegrating during reentry on Feb. 1, 2003, near the end of its 28th mission, resulting in the deaths of all crew members aboard.
1977: Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, best known for the TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," is born in New York City. She's also known for originating the role of Kendall Hart on the soap opera "All My Children" and for starring in the movies "Cruel Intentions," "Scooby-Doo," "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "The Grudge."
1976: Motown Records announces a seven-year, $13 million contract renewal for Stevie Wonder. At the time, it was the largest recording contract ever negotiated. Later in the year he released his first album under the new contract, the double-LP "Songs in the Key of Life," which became among the best-selling and most critically acclaimed albums of his career.
1975: Actor Fredric March, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1932 for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and in 1947 for "The Best Years of Our Lives," dies of prostate cancer at age 77 in Los Angeles, Calif. March, the only actor to win both the Academy Award and the Tony Award twice, also received Oscar nominations for his roles in "The Royal Family of Broadway," "A Star is Born" and "Death of a Salesman."
1973: Actor Adrien Brody, who won Best Actor for his role in 2002's "The Pianist," is born in Woodhaven, Queens, N.Y. Brody is also known for his roles in movies such as "Summer of Sam," "The Jacket," "King Kong," "Hollywoodland," "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Cadillac Records."
1969: At the 41st Academy Awards, "Oliver!" dominates the awards, winning six of its 11 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. In doing so, it became the first -- and so far, the only -- G-rated film to win the top prize. The evening also saw the first -- and so far, the only -- tie for Best Actress, with Katharine Hepburn ("The Lion in Winter") and Barbra Streisand ("Funny Girl") both winning Oscars for their performances, and Stanley Kubrick receiving what would be the only Oscar of his career, winning Best Visual Effects as the special effects director and designer for his "2001: A Space Odyssey."
1968: Actor Anthony Michael Hall, best known for his roles in 1980s comedies like "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club" and "Weird Science," is born Michael Anthony Hall in West Roxbury, a neighborhood in Boston. Hall is also known for starring in the USA Network series "The Dead Zone" from 2002 to 2007.
1966: Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Greg Maddux, the first major league pitcher to win four consecutive Cy Young Awards, is born in San Angelo, Texas. Maddux pitched mostly for the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves in his 23-year career, but also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. He was an eight-time All-Star, won 18 Gold Gloves and earned a World Series ring in 1995 with the Braves.
1961: Actor Robert Carlyle, best known for movies such as "Trainspotting," "The Full Monty," "Angela's Ashes" and "28 Weeks Later," and the TV series "Once Upon a Time" and "Stargate Universe," is born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland.
1958: The Soviet satellite Sputnik 2, the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit, falls from orbit after a mission duration of 162 days and 2,570 orbits. It was also the first spacecraft to carry a living animal, a dog named Laika, but she died a few hours after the Nov. 3, 1957, launch from overheating and stress. Pictured is a Romanian postage stamp honoring Sputnik 2 and Laika.
1956: The electronics company Ampex demonstrates the first practical commercial black-and-white video recorder during the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters convention in Chicago. The Ampex VRX-1000 (later renamed the Mark IV) videotape recorder was the size of a freezer with five additional 6-foot racks of circuitry. It used 2-inch wide magnetic tape and had four heads on a disc rotating across the width of the tape. After the successful demonstration, and one later in the day at Ampex's headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., the company took $2 million in orders for the machine over four days. On Nov. 30, 1956, CBS became the first network to use the technology, playing a delayed broadcast of "Douglas Edwards and the News" from New York City to the Pacific Time Zone.
1944: The freighter SS Fort Stikine, carrying a cargo including 1,400 tons of explosives, catches fire and explodes in Bombay harbor in India. The blasts from the ship scattered debris, sunk surrounding ships and set fire to the area, killing at least 800 people and possibly up to 1,300, depending on the estimate.
1941: Baseball player and manager Pete Rose, the all-time major-league leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), and outs (10,328), is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rose won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances. He played most of his career with his hometown Cincinnati Reds, including the first 16 years of his career, but also played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos. He rejoined the Reds partway through the 1984 season, becoming the team's player-manager, but agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball five years later amid accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Reds, including claims that he bet on his own team.
1939: John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" is first published. The novel, set during the Great Depression, follows the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers who leave the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma to seek a better opportunity in California. The book won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and was cited prominently when Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in 1962.
1936: Frank Serpico, who became famous for blowing the whistle on police corruption in the New York Police Department in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Serpico, seen here in 2010, was shot in the face during a drug bust in Brooklyn in 1971, but survived to later testify before the Knapp Commission, which was investigating his reports of corruption. Because his fellow officers failed to follow him into the suspect's apartment and because they did not come to his aid after he'd been shot, many believe Serpico had actually been brought to the apartment by his colleagues to be murdered. Serpico became famous after his story was told in the 1973 movie "Serpico," in which he was played by Al Pacino.
1935: The worst dust storm of the Dust Bowl, which became known as the "Black Sunday Storm," hits Oklahoma and Texas. The storm is estimated to have displaced 300,000 tons of topsoil from the Prairie area of the country, causing immense economic and agricultural damage.
1932: Country music singer-songwriter and guitarist Loretta Lynn is born Loretta Webb in Butcher Hollow, Ky. Lynn's chart-topping, multiple-gold-album-selling career has spanned more than 50 years and includes such hit songs as "Don't Come Home A' Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)," "Coal Miner's Daughter," "You're Lookin' at Country," "One's on the Way" and "The Pill."
1927: The first Volvo, the Volvo ÖV 4 series, rolls out of the factory in Gothenburg, Sweden.
1925: Rod Steiger, the Academy Award-winning actor known for his performances in such films as "On the Waterfront," "Oklahoma!," "The Pawnbroker," "Doctor Zhivago" and "In the Heat of the Night" (pictured), is born in Westhampton, N.Y. Steiger dies at age 77 on July 9, 2002, of pneumonia and complications from surgery for a gall bladder tumor.
1917: Marvin Miller, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966 to 1982, is born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Under Miller's leadership, the MLBPA developed into one of the strongest unions in the United States. Miller died of liver cancer at age 95 on Nov. 27, 2012.
1912: The British passenger liner RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 11:40 p.m. ship's time on its maiden voyage. The "unsinkable" ship would sink the following day, killing more than 1,500 people.
1910: U.S. President William Howard Taft throws out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Senators' home opener against the Philadelphia Athletics, becoming the first sitting president to participate in opening day ceremonies.
1894: The first ever commercial motion picture house opens in New York City using 10 Kinetoscopes, a device allowing films to be viewed one person at a time through a peephole viewer window. Pictured is an 1894 illustration showing a cutaway view of a Kinetoscope.
1866: Anne Sullivan, the teacher best known for being the instructor and life-long companion of Helen Keller, is born in Feeding Hills, Agawam, Mass. The story of how Sullivan, who contracted an eye infection when she was 8 years old that left her blind, taught the blind and deaf Keller how to communicate despite a near complete lack of language has become widely known through the play and film "The Miracle Worker."
1865: John Wilkes Booth shoots U.S. President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. He died early the next morning at William Petersen's boarding house across the street, becoming the first U.S. president to be assassinated.
1860: The first Pony Express rider reaches Sacramento, Calif., after leaving St. Joseph, Mo., 10 days earlier.
1846: The Donner Party of pioneers departs Springfield, Ill., for California, on what would become a year-long journey of hardship, cannibalism, and survival.
1841: Edgar Allan Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is first published in Graham's Magazine.
1828: Noah Webster copyrights the first edition of his dictionary.
1759: George Frideric Handel, the German-born Baroque composer famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos, dies at age 74 in London, England. He is best known for works such as "Water Music," "Music for the Royal Fireworks" and "Messiah."