Published On: Dec 27 2013 06:07:37 AM ESTUpdated On: Jan 06 2015 02:00:00 AM EST
2006: Lou Rawls, the Grammy Award-winning singer best known for hits such as "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," "Lady Love" and "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," dies of cancer at age 72 in Los Angeles, California. Rawls' career included more than 70 albums, three Grammys, 13 Grammy nominations, one platinum album, five gold albums and a gold single.
2005: Former Ku Klux Klan organizer Edgar Ray Killen is arrested more than 40 years after three civil rights workers were slain in Mississippi, reopening one of the most notorious civil rights-era criminal cases. His arrest marked the first time that anyone had faced state prosecution for the murders of three volunteers, who were abducted and then slain on a remote road outside Philadelphia, Mississippi. The volunteers, all in their 20s, died while working to register black voters during the so-called Freedom Summer civil rights campaign in the once-segregated southern state. Their story was dramatized in the 1988 movie "Mississippi Burning." Killen was found guilty of three counts of manslaughter on June 21, 2005, the 41st anniversary of the crime, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
1994: Nancy Kerrigan is clubbed on the knee during a practice round on the eve of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Michigan. She was forced to drop out of the competition, which Tonya Harding won two days later. Harding would end up finishing eighth at the 1994 Winter Olympics, behind Kerrigan, who won silver. The U.S. Figure Skating Association would later strip Harding of the U.S. title after authorities found that she had failed to prevent the assault, which was planned by her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, and conducted by Shane Stant. Harding ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to hinder prosecution of the attackers, though she has always said she didn't know about the attack beforehand and never wanted to keep Kerrigan from skating. Gillooly, Eckhardt and Stant all served time in prison for the attack.
1993: Jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer Dizzy Gillespie, one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time and a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz, dies of pancreatic cancer at age 75 in Englewood, New Jersey.
1993: Russian dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, one of the most celebrated dancers of the 20th century, dies of AIDS at age 54 in Levallois-Perret, France.
1982: Actor Eddie Redmayne, best known for his roles in movies such as "My Weekend with Marilyn," "Les Miserables" and "The Theory of Everything," is born in London, England.
1977: EMI drops the English punk rock group Sex Pistols over their notorious public behavior. The firing came a day after reports that they had sworn at Heathrow Airport staff and spat at each other while waiting to board a plane for the Netherlands. The group had only served three months of their two-year contract and released only the single "Anarchy in the U.K." during that time.
1976: Peter Frampton releases the double live album "Frampton Comes Alive!" It would become Frampton's breakthrough album, hitting No. 1 for 10 weeks and becoming one of the best-selling live albums ever in the United States.
1976: Actor Danny Pintauro, best known for the sitcom "Who's the Boss?" and the movie "Cujo," is born in Milltown, New Jersey.
1975: "Wheel of Fortune" premieres as a daytime game show with host Chuck Woolery. The daily syndicated nighttime version of the show premiered on Sept. 19, 1983, and remains on the air today, while the daytime version was canceled permanently in 1991.
1974: In response to the 1973 oil crisis, daylight saving time starts nearly four months early in the United States. The year-round daylight saving time would last until Feb. 23, 1975.
1973: The first four segments of "Schoolhouse Rock!" premiere with "My Hero, Zero," "Elementary, My Dear," "Three Is a Magic Number" and "The Four-Legged Zoo."
1969: Actor Norman Reedus, best known for the TV series "The Walking Dead" and the movie "The Boondock Saints" and its sequel, is born in Hollywood, Florida.
1968: Film director John Singleton, best known for movies such as "Boyz n the Hood," "Poetic Justice," "Higher Learning," "Baby Boy," "2 Fast 2 Furious" and "Four Brothers," is born in Los Angeles. He earned Academy Award nominations for directing and writing "Boyz n the Hood."
1963: "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" with Marlin Perkins premieres. The show ran until 1988 and was revived again in 2002 on Animal Planet.
1960: Chef and author Nigella Lawson, known for her best-selling cookbooks and cooking shows, including Food Network's "Nigella Feasts," is born in London, England.
1960: Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, who played 13 seasons for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, is born in Charlestown, Massachusetts. The eight-time Pro Bowl selection recorded 91.5 sacks in his career and won a championship in Super Bowl XVIII. He also has starred in movies such as "Broken Arrow," "3000 Miles to Graceland" and "Firestorm" and has been a studio analyst for the Fox Network's NFL coverage since retiring following the 1993 season.
1955: Comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson, best known for the British sitcoms "Mr. Bean" and "Blackadder," is born in Consett, County Durham, England. He's also starred in the Mr. Bean movie adaptations "Bean" and "Mr. Bean's Holiday" and in the movie "Johnny English" and its sequel "Johnny English Reborn."
1949: American filmmaker Victor Fleming dies of a heart attack at age 59 in Cottonwood, Arizona. Fleming is best known for directing "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind," winning an Academy Award for Best Director for the latter. He also directed movie adaptations of "Treasure Island," "Captains Courageous" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
1946: Singer-songwriter and musician Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett, best known as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd, is born in Cambridge, England. Barrett was the band's original lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter, but left the group in April 1968 amid speculations of mental illness exacerbated by drug use. He died of pancreatic cancer at age 60 on July 7, 2006.
1945: Edith Frank, the mother of Anne Frank, dies of starvation in the Auschwitz concentration camp, 20 days before the Red Army liberated the camp and 10 days before her 45th birthday.
1945: The character Pepe LePew debuts in the Warner Bros. cartoon "Odor-able Kitty."
1944: Actress and singer Bonnie Franklin, best known for her leading role in the television series "One Day at a Time," is born in Santa Monica, California. She died of pancreatic cancer at age 69 on March 1, 2013.
1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his "Four Freedoms" speech in the State of the Union address. Roosevelt proposed four fundamental freedoms that people "everywhere in the world" ought to enjoy: Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
1928: Actress and model Capucine, best known for her comedic roles in 1963's "The Pink Panther" and 1965's "What's New Pussycat?," is born Germaine Hélène Irène Lefebvre in Saint-Raphaël, Var, France. Capucine, who also starred in movies such as "Song Without End," "North to Alaska" and "Walk on the Wild Side," committed suicide at age 62 by jumping from her eighth-floor apartment in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 17, 1990. She had reportedly been suffering from illness and depression in the years leading up to her death.
1924: Earl Scruggs, the bluegrass banjo player whose playing style influenced generations of musicians, is born near the town of Boiling Springs, North Carolina. Scruggs, along with his guitarist partner Lester Flatt, helped shape the sound of 20th-century country music. Flatt & Scruggs, as they were known, were best known for two signature songs: "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "The Ballad of Jed Clampett." Scruggs also helped shape the "high, lonesome sound" of Bill Monroe, often referred to as the father of bluegrass, after joining Monroe's band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1945. Scruggs died of natural causes at the age of 88 on March 28, 2012.
1921: William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, the patriarch of the Hatfield clan during the infamous Hatfield–McCoy feud, dies of pneumonia at age 81 in Stirrat, Logan County, West Virginia.
1920: Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Early Wynn, who pitched for the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox during a 25-year career, is born in Hartford, Alabama. One of the most intimidating pitchers of his era, he won the 1959 Cy Young Award and retired in 1963 with exactly 300 career wins. He died at age 79 on April 4, 1999.
1919: Theodore Roosevelt, who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909, dies in his sleep from a blood clot at age 60 in Cove Neck, New York. Roosevelt, who had previously served as the assistant secretary of the Navy, the governor of New York, and the 25th U.S. vice president, became president after the assassination of President William McKinley. He was also noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement.
1912: New Mexico is admitted as the 47th U.S. state.
1912: Singer, comedian and actor Danny Thomas, best known for starring in the television sitcom "Make Room for Daddy," is born Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz in Deerfield, Michigan. Thomas, who died of heart failure at the age of 79 on Feb. 6, 1991, is also known as the founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
1907: Maria Montessori opens her first school and daycare center for working class children in Rome, Italy.
1884: Gregor Johann Mendel dies from chronic nephritis at age 61 in Brno, Moravia, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic). Mendel gained posthumous fame as the founder of the new science of genetics, demonstrating that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance.
1880: Actor Tom Mix, the star of many early Western movies, is born in Mix Run, Pennsylvania. Mix appeared in 291 films between 1909 and 1935, most of them silent movies, and was Hollywood's first Western megastar. His performances were noted as having a defining influence on the genre for cowboy actors who came after him. He died in a car accident at age 60 on Oct. 12, 1940.
1878: Carl Sandburg, the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner best known for his poetry, is born in Galesburg, Illinois. Sandburg, who died at age 89 on July 22, 1967, was especially known for his poem "Chicago," his biography of President Abraham Lincoln, and his children's books "Rootabaga Stories" and "Rootabaga Pigeons."
1852: Louis Braille, the French educator who invented braille, dies of tuberculosis at age 43 in Paris, France.
1838: Samuel Morse and his partner, Alfred Vail, give the first public demonstration of their new invention, an electric telegraphic system, at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey. They sent the message "A patient waiter is no loser."
1745: Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, who invented a form of hot-air balloon with his brother and made the first manned ascent in 1783, is born in Annonay, Ardèche, France.
1540: King Henry VIII of England marries Anne of Cleves. Although Anne was the fourth of Henry's six wives, the marriage was declared never consummated and she was never crowned queen consort. Following an annulment, Anne was given a settlement by Henry and was thereafter referred to as "the King's Beloved Sister."