This Date in History

1591

Pope Gregory XIV dies.
1758
Noah Webster, whose dedication to lexicology resulted in the first American dictionary, is born.
1781
General George Washington captures Yorktown, Virginia, forcing General Cornwallis's surrender and bringing about the end to the American Revolution.
1793
Queen Marie Antoinette is beheaded during the French Revolution.
1834
London's Palace of Westminster, which holds both houses of Parliament, burns to the ground. It takes thirty years for the new Palace to be erected.
1854
Irish playwright and wit Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest, "The Portrait of Dorian Gray") is born.
1859
John Brown leads his raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia, which ultimately leads to his hanging. His death serves as a major catalyst for the violence that results in the American Civil War.
1882
Noted early Hollywood producer Harry Rapf (A Wicked Woman, From Rags To Riches) is born.
1886
David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minster to Israel, is born.
1888
Nobel Prize-winning American playwright Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh, Mourning Becomes Electra) is born.
1890
Irish rebel Michael Collins, who helped form the Irish Republican Army and was assassinated while serving as a leader during the Irish Civil War, is born.
1898
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas is born.
1925
Oscar-winning actress and musical sensation Angela Lansbury (Gaslight, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, "Murder, She Wrote") is born.
1931
Chuck Colson, who as chief counsel to President Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal served several months in prison for obstruction of justice, is born.
1934
Mao Zedong and other Communists begin their Long March, a military retreat from Chiang Kai-Shek's troops that spanned some 4000 miles into western China. Although only 20,000 of the original 90,000 troops survived the trek, it gave them the isolation and time they needed to rebuild and conquer China 15 years later.
1938
Andy Warhol model and Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico is born in Cologne, Germany.
1940
The ghetto in Warsaw, Poland is established, paving the way for the concentration camps that dotted Eastern Europe during World War II.
NBA Hall of Famer Dave DeBusschere is born.
1941
Former major league catcher and Emmy-winning World Series announcer Tim McCarver is born.
1946
Six years after the creation of the Warsaw Ghetto, ten Nazis are hung at Nuremberg, including Hans Frank, former Governor-General of Poland during the war.
"Three's Company" actress and exercise guru Suzanne Somers is born.
1947
Bob Weir, longtime guitarist for the Grateful Dead, is born.
Parodic producer and director David Zucker (Airplane!, Naked Gun, Scary Movie) is born.
1958
Oscar-winning actor and activist Tim Robbins is born.
1959
General George C. Marshall, whose eponymously-named Marshall Plan saved thousands of lives in post-war Europe, passes away.
1961
Husker Du and Sugar frontman Bob Mould is born.
1962
Michael Balzary, better known as Flea, the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is born.
1964
China tests its first nuclear weapon, making them the third such country to do so.
1970
Anwar Sadat is elected President of Egypt.
1972
Louisiana Senator Hale Boggs passes away in a mysterious plane crash in Alaska. His service on the {Warren Commission] refuels conspiracy about the death of President John F. Kennedy.
Actor Leo G. Carroll, who appeared in a number of Alfred Hitchcock films but is probably most famous for his role on the TV series "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", dies.
1973
Legendary jazz drummer Gene Krupa dies of leukemia. He was 63.
1974
Hocket star Paul Kariya is born.
1978
Karol Wojtyla is named Pope John Paul II.
1984
Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end apartheid in South Africa.
1990
Jazz drummer Art Blakey, who along with Horace Silver helped define modern jazz throughout the latter half of the 20th century, dies.
1995
The Million Man March takes place in Washington, D.C., with such luminaries as Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, andJesse Jackson speaking out in favor of better representation for blacks in America.
1997
Eminent novelist James Michener (Texas, Hawai) passes away.
1998
Jon Postel, who as editor of the RFC documents for Internet protocol helped shape the Internet for nearly 40 years, passes away.
1999
Writer Jean Shepherd, whose childhood memoir A Christmas Story became one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time in 1983, passes away.
2000
Former "Combat!" star Rick Jason commits suicide after 10 years suffering from multiple sclerosis.

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