This Date In History

1492

Queen Isabella of Spain (most famous for bankrolling Christopher Columbus' trip to America) declares that all of her Jewish constituents must convert to Christianity or leave the country.
1794
Eli Whitney's patent for the cotton gin is granted. This mass industrialization of the cotton industry sets back abolitionism movements by nearly 30 years as slaves become extremely valuable property almost overnight.
1804
The famed composer Johann Strauss is born.
1879
Some scientist named Albert is born. He basically rewrites the book on space, time, and the universe.
1883
Communism pioneer and author of Das Kapital Karl Marx dies.
1900
The Gold Standard Act is passed, placing American currency on the gold standard.
1903
The Hay-Herran Treaty is ratified, giving the United States permission to build the Panama Canal. The Colombian Senate rejected the treaty, giving way to Teddy Roosevelt's staged "revolt" in Panama to create an independent country - one that would let the Canal be built.
1912
Swing bandleader Les Brown is born.
1914
Auto racing patriarch Lee Petty (father of Richard and grandfather of Kyle) is born.
Famed Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray, whose 7th inning singalong of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" never failed to win converts, is born.
1916
Famed Southern writer Horton Foote (Tender Mercies) is born.
1920
Hank Ketcham, creator of the American Dennis The Menace, is born.
1922
Space jazz pioneer and creator of exotica Les Baxter is born.
1923
Tragic modernist photographer Diane Arbus is born.
1932
Kodak founder and multimillionaire George Eastman commits suicide at the age of 77.
1933
Soulful musician and space jazz pioneer Quincy Jones is born.
Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine (Alfie, Sleuth, Get Carter) is born.
1941
Wolfgang Petersen, movie director most famous for his German submarine epic Das Boot, is born.
1946
NBA Hall of Famer Wes Unseld is born.
1947
Witty New York comedian and director Billy Crystal (City Slickers, When Harry met Sally) is born.
1950
L.A. radio personality and "Disco Duck" one-hit-wonderRick Dees is born.
1958
Prince Albert of Monaco is born to parents Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly.
1961
Former Minnesota Twins centerfielder and Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett is born.
1965
Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers ace Kevin Brown is born.
1969
Long time Charlotte Hornets forward Larry Johnson, whose "Grandma" commercials of the early 90s sold millions of Converse shoes, is born.
1973
Chic Young, the original artist of the comic strip Blondie, dies.
1975
Actress Susan Hayward (With A Song in My Heart, I'll Cry Tomorrow) dies of brain cancer. Her cancer is linked to radiation received while filming The Conqueror in the atomic wasteland of Nevada.
1976
Busby Berkeley, whose Hollywood song and dance spectacles were known the world over, dies.
1979
A Trident plane crashes into a factory in eastern China, killing over 200 people.
Actor Chris Klein (American Pie, Heaven on Earth) is born.
1983
Taylor Hanson, 1/3 of the musical trio Hanson, is born.
1989
The Brady Bill becomes law, banning the importation of assault rifles into the United States.
1991
Howard Ashman, lyricist for Broadway and Disney (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), dies of AIDS.
After spending 16 years in prison, the "Birmingham Six" are released after a jury determines that the police fabricated evidence against the IRA members.

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