Published On: Mar 21 2013 12:33:30 PM EDTUpdated On: Mar 26 2015 02:00:00 AM EDT
2011: Former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, the first female major party nominee for the office, dies at age 75 in Boston, Massachusetts, where she was being treated for complications of blood cancer. Ferraro was a three-term congresswoman from Queens, New York, when presidential nominee Walter Mondale chose her in 1984 to join his ticket against incumbent President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush. Ferraro also ran campaigns for the U.S. Senate in 1992 and 1998, both times losing in the primary election, and served as a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1993 to 1996 in President Bill Clinton's administration.
2004: Rock musician William Jan Berry (left), best known as half of the duo Jan and Dean with Dean Torrence (right), dies after suffering a seizure at the age of 62. The duo was best known for such 1960s hit songs as "Surf City," "Drag City," "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and "Dead Man's Curve." Two years after the latter song became a hit, Berry crashed his Corvette into a parked truck on April 12, 1966, near a stretch of Beverly Hills road also known as Dead Man's Curve. Berry was in a coma for two months and suffered paralysis and extensive brain damage, requiring four years of rehabilitation to be able to talk and a full decade in order to perform live again.
1999: Dr. Jack Kevorkian is convicted of second-degree murder for giving a lethal injection to a terminally ill man whose September 1998 death was shown on "60 Minutes." Kevorkian would later be sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison, but would be paroled for good behavior on June 1, 2007, after serving eight years and two-and-a-half months in prison.
1999: The Melissa virus infects Microsoft word processing and email systems around the world. David L. Smith, the New Jersey man who released the virus, would later be sentenced to 10 years in prison, serving 20 months, and was fined $5,000.
1997: The bodies of 39 members of the doomsday cult Heaven's Gate are found in a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, California. The group had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Comet Hale–Bopp. The group's leader, Marshall Applewhite, seen here addressing followers in a videotape message, was among those found in the mansion.
1996: Politician Edmund Muskie, who served as secretary of state under President Jimmy Carter from 1980 to 1981 and was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 1968, dies of congestive heart failure at the age of 81 in Washington, D.C. Muskie, who also was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 1972, served as governor of Maine from 1955 to 1959 and as a U.S. senator from 1959 to 1980.
1995: Rapper Eazy-E, the rap pioneer who helped establish "gangsta rap" in the 1980s with the group N.W.A., dies due to complications from AIDS at the age of 31 in Los Angeles, California. Eazy, whose real name was Eric Lynn Wright, was admitted to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 1995, with what he believed to be asthma, but was instead diagnosed with AIDS.
1992: Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is sentenced to six years in prison for raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington, Miss Black Rhode Island, in an Indianapolis hotel room on July 19, 1991. He would be released in March 1995 after serving three years of his sentence.
1989: The first free elections take place in the Soviet Union, with Boris Yeltsin, future Russian president, being elected to the Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union.
1985: Actress Keira Knightley, best known for movies such as "Bend it Like Beckham," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Pride & Prejudice," "Love Actually" and "Atonement," is born in London, England. Knightley earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in 2006 for "Pride & Prejudice."
1980: Seven years after its release, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" surpasses Carole King's "Tapestry" to become the longest charting pop album. The album would stay on the Billboard Album chart for a total of 736 weeks, falling off for the first time in July 1988.
1979: In what was, at the time, the most-watched college basketball game ever, Earvin "Magic" Johnson leads Michigan State to a 75-64 victory over Indiana State and Larry Bird for the NCAA men's basketball championship. Johnson was voted Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
1979: Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C., with U.S. President Jimmy Carter witnessing the event. The agreement came following the 1978 Camp David Accords, negotiated over 13 days at the president's country retreat in Maryland.
1975: Rapper Juvenile, best known for his 1999 single "Back That Thang Up" and the No. 1 hit "Slow Motion," is born Terius Gray in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1973: "The Young and the Restless" debuts as a 30-minute drama set in the city of Genoa City, Wisconsin, revolving around the lives of the well-to-do Brooks family and the struggling Fosters. The soap opera remains on the air today after more than 10,000 episodes and four decades.
1973: English composer, playwright, actor and director Noël Coward, best known for plays such as "Hay Fever," "Private Lives," "Design for Living," "Present Laughter" and "Blithe Spirit," dies of heart failure at the age of 73 at his home, Firefly Estate, in Jamaica.
1973: UCLA, led by coach John Wooden and junior center Bill Walton, wins an unprecedented seventh straight NCAA men's basketball championship, beating Memphis State 87-66. After falling in the Final Four in 1974, the Bruins would win a championship again in 1975, to make it a total of 10 championships since their first title in 1964.
1971: The day after a Pakistan Army crackdown on civilians in East Pakistan, the provincial state declares its independence from Pakistan to form the People's Republic of Bangladesh, sparking the Bangladesh Liberation War. The war pitted the newly formed Bangladesh and India against West Pakistan, and lasted over a duration of nine months. Pictured is the separatist/nationalistic flag of East Bengal flown during the conflict.
1970: The music documentary "Woodstock," which captured the August 1969 Woodstock Festival with performances by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, premieres in theaters. The movie became a massive commercial and critical success, receiving the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, as well as Oscar nominations for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.
1968: Country singer-songwriter Kenny Chesney, whose best known songs include "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," "Don't Happen Twice," "The Good Stuff," "I Go Back" and "The Boys of Fall," is born in Knoxville, Tennessee.
1966: Actor Michael Imperioli, best known for playing Christopher Moltisanti on the HBO mob drama "The Sopranos," is born in Mount Vernon, New York. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as well as for five Emmy Awards for his work on "The Sopranos," winning an Emmy in 2004 for the show's fifth season.
1964: Barbra Streisand opens on Broadway in "Funny Girl." The show introduced two of her signature songs, "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade," and was an overnight success, making Streisand an even bigger star. She would go on to reprise the role in the 1968 movie adaptation, earning the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in her film debut.
1962: Basketball Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton, who set NBA records for most career assists and steals during his 19-year career with the Utah Jazz, is born in Spokane, Washington. A 10-time NBA All-Star, Stockton was also a member of the "Dream Team," winning a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He won another gold medal with Team USA at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He's seen here with his wife at the 2009 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
1960: Actress Jennifer Grey, best known for movies such as "Red Dawn," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (pictured) and "Dirty Dancing," is born in New York City. Grey, the daughter of Academy Award-winning actor Joel Grey, is also known for her 2010 victory in the 11th season of "Dancing with the Stars."
1960: Marcus Allen, who won the Heisman Trophy as a running back for the USC Trojans before going onto a Hall of Fame NFL career with the Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, is born in San Diego, California. Allen, who is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, ran for 12,243 yards and caught 587 passes for 5,412 yards during his NFL career from 1982 to 1997. He scored 145 touchdowns, including a then league record 123 rushing touchdowns, and was elected to six Pro Bowls over the course of his career.
1959: Author Raymond Chandler, best known for hard-boiled detective novels like "The Big Sleep" and "The Long Goodbye," dies of pneumonial peripheral vascular shock and prerenal uremia at age 70 in La Jolla, California.
1950: Film composer Alan Silvestri, best known for his frequent collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis, including composing for films such as the "Back to the Future" trilogy, "Forrest Gump" and "Cast Away," is born in New York City. Silvestri has received two Academy Award nominations, one for Best Original Score for "Forrest Gump" and one for Best Original Song for "Believe" on "The Polar Express" soundtrack. He's also composed scores for other movies such as "Predator," "The Mummy Returns," "Van Helsing," "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" and "Marvel's The Avengers."
1950: Comedian and actor Martin Short, who rose to fame on the TV shows "SCTV" and "Saturday Night Live" before starring in movies such as "The Three Amigos," "Innerspace" and "Father of the Bride," is born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
1950: R&B and soul singer-songwriter Teddy Pendergrass, best known for songs such as "Close the Door," "Love TKO" and "Turn Off the Lights," is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight days before his 32nd birthday in 1982, Pendergrass was severely injured in a car accident in Philadelphia resulting in him being paralyzed from the waist down. After his injury, he returned to performing and founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, a foundation that helps those with spinal cord injuries. He died of respiratory failure on Jan. 13, 2010, at age 59 while hospitalized at Bryn Mawr Hospital in suburban Philadelphia.
1949: Actress and singer Vicki Lawrence, best known for her television work on "The Carol Burnett Show" and the spinoff "Mama's Family," is born Victoria Ann Axelrad in Inglewood, California. As a singer she recorded "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," which reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1973.
1948: Singer-songwriter Steven Tyler, best known as the frontman for rock band Aerosmith, is born Steven Victor Tallarico in Yonkers, New York.
1945: The Battle of Iwo Jima comes to an end. The month-long battle, which included some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of World War II, left American forces in control of the entire island, including its three airfields, providing a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. The battle was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag on top of Mount Suribachi by five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman. The photograph records the second flag-raising on the mountain, both of which took place on the fifth day of the 35-day battle.
1944: Singer Diana Ross, who rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the Motown group The Supremes during the 1960s, is born in Detroit, Michigan. Ross, who recorded such hits as "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "You Can't Hurry Love," with The Supremes, went solo in the 1970s and released hits like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Touch Me in the Morning" and "Upside Down." She also appeared in movies such as "The Wiz" and "Lady Sings the Blues," for which she earned an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award for most promising female newcomer. In 1988, she was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of The Supremes alongside Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson.
1943: Journalist Bob Woodward, who with his fellow Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein did the majority of the most important news reporting on the Watergate scandal, is born in Geneva, Illinois.
1942: The Germans begin sending Jews to the Auschwitz II–Birkenau extermination camp in Poland. Through late 1944, 1.3 million prisoners died at the camp, most of them in its gas chambers. Those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions and medical experiments. On Jan. 27, 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops, a day commemorated around the world as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
1940: Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to hold the office of speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is born in Baltimore, Maryland. Pelosi, who has represented California in the House since 1987, was speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011. The Democrat has been minority leader in the House since 2011, a role she also held from 2003 to 2007.
1940: Actor James Caan, best known for his starring roles in "El Dorado," "The Godfather," "Rollerball," "Misery," "A Bridge Too Far," "Brian's Song" and "Elf," is born in The Bronx, New York. Caan, who was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in "The Godfather," is seen here in 2010 with his son, fellow actor Scott Caan.
1934: Actor Alan Arkin is born in Brooklyn, New York. Arkin is known for movies such as "Wait Until Dark," "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming," "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," "Catch-22," "Edward Scissorhands," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Argo." He's been nominated for four Academy Awards, winning his first Oscar in 2007 for Best Supporting Actor for "Little Miss Sunshine."
1931: Actor and director Leonard Nimoy, best known for playing Mr. Spock on the original "Star Trek" TV series and in seven movies, is born in Boston, Massachusetts. Nimoy, a U.S. Army veteran, also appeared in the TV shows "Mission: Impossible" and "Fringe" and wrote the autobiographies "I Am Not Spock" and "I Am Spock." Nimoy died from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at age 83 on Feb. 27, 2015.
1930: Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, is born in El Paso, Texas. She served as an associate justice from her appointment in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan until her retirement from the Supreme Court in 2006.
1919: Actor Strother Martin, best known as the chain gang prison captain in the 1967 film "Cool Hand Luke," is born in Kokomo, Indiana. Martin was also known for his roles in movies like "The Horse Soldiers," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "The Wild Bunch," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "True Grit" and "Slap Shot." He died of a heart attack at age 61 on Aug. 1, 1980.
1917: The Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association beat the National Hockey Association's Montreal Canadiens three games to one to become the first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup. The PCHA and NHA reached a gentlemen's agreement in 1915 that their respective champions would face each other for the Stanley Cup, originally rewarded to amateur champions in Canada. Since 1926, the cup has gone to National Hockey League's champion.
1916: Actor Sterling Hayden, best known for movies such as "Johnny Guitar," "The Asphalt Jungle," "The Killing," "Dr. Strangelove" and "The Long Goodbye," is born Sterling Relyea Walter in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. He died of prostate cancer at the age of 70 on May 23, 1986.
1911: Playwright Tennessee Williams, best known for works such as "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Glass Menagerie" and "The Night of the Iguana," is born Thomas Lanier Williams III in Columbus, Mississippi. He died at age 71 on Feb. 25, 1983.
1892: Walt Whitman, one of the most influential poets in American history, dies at the age of 72 in Camden, New Jersey. The cause of death was officially listed as "pleurisy of the left side, consumption of the right lung, general miliary tuberculosis and parenchymatous nephritis." Whitman's work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection "Leaves of Grass," which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Some of Whitman's best known poems include "Song of Myself," "O Captain! My Captain!" and "Beat! Beat! Drums!"
1881: Guccio Gucci, the businessman and fashion designer who founded The House of Gucci in 1921 as a leather goods company and small luggage store, is born in Florence, Italy. Gucci is seen here at right with his parents.
1874: Robert Frost, one of the most popular and critically respected American poets of his generation, is born in San Francisco, California. Frost, whose best known works include "The Gift Outright," "Neither Out Too Far Nor In Too Deep," "Acquainted with the Night" and "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening," received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry during his lifetime.
1830: The Book of Mormon is first published by Joseph Smith in Palmyra, New York, as "The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi." According to Smith's account, the Book of Mormon was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as "reformed Egyptian" engraved on golden plates. Smith claimed that the last prophet to contribute to the book, a man named Moroni, buried it in a hill in present-day New York and then returned to earth in 1827 as an angel, revealing the location of the book to Smith and instructing him to translate and disseminate it as evidence of the restoration of Christ's true church in the latter days.
1827: German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most famous and influential composers of all time, dies at the age of 56 in Vienna, Austria. His best known compositions include nine symphonies, five concertos for piano, 32 piano sonatas and 16 string quartets. Around 1800 his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. He gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose, with many of his most admired works coming from this period.
1812: A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coins the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win re-election. The term got its name from Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry, who the month before had signed a redistricting law favoring his party.