Published On: Dec 10 2012 11:24:00 PM ESTUpdated On: Dec 11 2014 02:00:00 AM EST
2012: Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s and introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over a 10-decade career, dies at age 92 in San Diego, California. The musician's foundation issued a statement saying that he had suffered upper respiratory and heart problems and had recently undergone heart-valve replacement surgery. In the 1960s, Shankar took Eastern music mainstream in the West. He lent ethereal, spiritual sounds to the Beatles through his friendship with George Harrison, who recorded them on the "Sgt. Pepper's" album in the song "Within You Without You." Virtuoso performances at Monterey in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969 helped cement Shankar's place in Western musical history as an ambassador of Eastern wisdom to a generation looking for new values.
2009: In an announcement on his website, Tiger Woods admits to infidelity and says he is taking an indefinite leave from golf to try to save his marriage to Elin Nordegren. The couple would divorce in August 2010.
2008: American model Bettie Page, who became famous in the 1950s for her pin-up photos, dies at the age of 85 in Los Angeles a few days after suffering a heart attack.
2008: Bernard Madoff is arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. He would eventually plead guilty to 11 federal felonies and be sentenced to 150 years in prison.
2006: Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, the president of Mexico, launches a military-led offensive to put down the drug cartel violence in the state of Michoacán. This effort is often regarded as the first event in the Mexican Drug War.
2001: U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announces the first federal indictment directly related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Zacarias Moussaoui was charged with six conspiracy charges. Moussaoui had been in the country taking flight training and was arrested less than a month before the attacks took place.
2000: Lawyers for Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore argue the Florida presidential election recount before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Bush v. Gore.
1998: The Mars Climate Orbiter blasts off on a nine-month journey to the Red Planet. However, the probe would disappear in September 1999, apparently destroyed because scientists had failed to convert standard U.S. measurements to metric values.
1997: The Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, opens for signature.
1996: Actress Hailee Steinfeld, who earned an Academy Award nomination at age 14 for her role in 2010's "True Grit," is born in Los Angeles. She also starred in the 2013 movie adaptation of "Ender's Game."
1992: The courtroom drama "A Few Good Men," starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Pollak and Kevin Bacon, and directed by Rob Reiner, opens in theaters. The film, which revolves around the court martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine and the tribulations of their lawyer, would earn four Academy Award nominations and capture the No. 1 spot at the box office its first three weeks on its way to making more than $240 million worldwide.
1987: The drama "Wall Street," starring Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen and Daryl Hannah, and directed by Oliver Stone, premieres in theaters. The film, which tells the story of Bud Fox (Sheen), a young stockbroker desperate to succeed who becomes involved with his hero, Gordon Gekko (Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider, would earn Douglas an Academy Award for Best Actor.
1985: The single "Super Bowl Shuffle" by the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew is released just prior to the team's win in Super Bowl XX. The single would sell more than a half-million copies and reach No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100, making the Chicago Bears the only American professional team of any sport with a hit single. The song was also nominated for a Grammy Award for best rhythm and blues performance by a duo or group, eventually losing to "Kiss" by Prince and The Revolution.
1981: Muhammad Ali fights his 61st and last fight, losing a unanimous 10-round decision to 28-year-old Trevor Berbick in Nassau, Bahamas.
1980: U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as CERCLA or Superfund, into law. The law provided broad federal authority to clean up releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that could endanger public health or the environment.
1974: Professional wrestler Rey Mysterio, a three-time world champion in the WWE known for his high-flying Lucha Libre style, is born Oscar Gutierrez Rubio in Chula Vista, California.
1973: Rapper and actor Mos Def, whose best known acting roles include the movies "The Italian Job," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "16 Blocks," is born Dante Terrell Smith in Brooklyn, New York.
1972: Apollo 17 becomes the sixth and last Apollo mission to land on the moon.
1970: The Walt Disney animated movie "Aristocats" premieres in Los Angeles. The movie, which revolves around a family of aristocratic cats and the alley cat who helps them after they are kidnapped by a butler, was the last film project to be approved by Walt Disney himself, as he died in late 1966.
1967: The drama "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" premieres in New York City. The movie, starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, contains a then-rare positive representation of the controversial subject of interracial marriage, which historically had been illegal in most states of the United States. It would earn 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Tracy and Best Director for Stanley Kramer, winning Best Actress for Hepburn and Best Original Screenplay. The film is also notable for being the ninth and final on-screen pairing of Tracy and Hepburn, with filming ending just 17 days before Tracy's death.
1967: Actress and comedienne Mo'Nique, who won an Oscar for her performance in 2009's "Precious" and is also known for the TV sitcom "The Parkers" and hosting her own TV talk show, "The Mo'Nique Show," is born Monique Angela Imes in Baltimore, Maryland.
1964: R&B and soul singer Sam Cooke, whose hits included "Cupid," "You Send Me" and "Twistin' the Night Away," is fatally shot by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles. He was 33 years old. Motel manager Bertha Franklin told police that she shot Cooke in self-defense after he broke into her office residence and attacked her. A coroner's inquest would later return a verdict of justifiable homicide.
1964: Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation. During his impassioned address, Guevara criticized the United Nations' inability to confront apartheid in South Africa, denounced the treatment of blacks in the United States, and predicted that a "wave of anger" would "sweep the lands of Latin America."
1961: Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii" album goes to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and stays at that spot for 20 weeks.
1957: Singer Jerry Lee Lewis, then 22, secretly marries Myra Gale Brown, his 13-year-old first cousin once removed. It was his third marriage and would last until December 1970. When word of the marriage leaked out the following year, the resulting scandal nearly ended Lewis' career.
1954: Singer Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson's older brother and one of the members of The Jackson 5, is born in Gary, Indiana.
1951: Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees announces his retirement from major league baseball. DiMaggio, who only played for the Yankees during his 13-year career and would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, is best known for his 56-game hitting streak during the 1941 season.
1946: The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is established to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II. It would become a permanent part of the United Nations System in 1954.
1944: Actress Teri Garr, best known for her roles in movies such as "Young Frankenstein," "Tootsie" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," is born in Lakewood, Ohio.
1944: Singer Brenda Lee, best known for her 1958 Christmas song "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and her 1960 hit "I'm Sorry," is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
1943: John Kerry, who served in the U.S. Senate representing Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, when he succeeded Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, is born in Aurora, Colorado. Kerry also ran for president in 2004 as the Democratic candidate, losing to incumbent President George W. Bush.
1941: During World War II, Germany and Italy declare war on the United States, following the Americans' declaration of war on Japan in the wake of the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States, in turn, declared war on Germany and Italy.
1931: Actress Rita Moreno, one of the few performers to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, is born Rosita Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico. She is best known for her Oscar-winning role in the musical "West Side Story" and for her TV role on "The Electric Company."
1911: Marie Curie becomes the first person to be awarded a second Nobel Prize, accepting the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in Stockholm, Sweden, for isolating radium by electrolyzing molten radium chloride. Her first prize came in 1903 and was a collaborative effort with her husband, Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel in Physics for her contributions in the discovery of radium and polonium.
1894: The world's first motor show, Exposition Internationale de Velocipedie et de Locomotion Automobile, opens in Paris on Champs Elysees with nine exhibitors.
1816: Indiana becomes the 19th U.S. state.
1792: During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI of France is put on trial for treason by the National Convention. He would eventually be found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on Jan. 21, 1793.