Published On: Feb 20 2013 11:46:53 PM CSTUpdated On: Feb 21 2015 01:00:00 AM CST
2000: David Letterman returns to the late-night talk show "Late Show with David Letterman" about five weeks after having an emergency quintuple heart bypass operation. Letterman brought all but one of the doctors and nurses on stage who had participated in his surgery and recovery to tearfully thank them.
1987: Model and actress Ashley Greene, best known for playing Alice Cullen in the "Twilight Saga" movies, is born in Jacksonville, Florida.
1987: Actress Ellen Page, best known for her roles in movies such as "Juno," "Inception," "Whip It" and "X-Men: The Last Stand," is born Ellen Philpotts-Page in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
1979: Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, who rose to fame on the 1990s TV drama "Party of Five," is born in Waco, Texas. Hewitt has also starred in the TV show "Ghost Whisperer" and in movies such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Can't Hardly Wait," "Heartbreakers" and "Garfield: The Movie."
1975: Former U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman (the latter two are seen here in 1973) are sentenced to prison for their roles in the Watergate scandal. All three men were initially sentenced to between two and a half and eight years in prison on conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury charges. In 1977, the sentences were commuted to one to four years and they would all serve less than two years in prison before being released.
1974: The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to a truce with Egypt.
1972: President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations. It marked the first time a U.S. president had visited the country, which at that time considered the U.S. one of its staunchest foes. During the week-long visit, Nixon and his advisers engaged in substantive discussions with China's leaders, including a meeting with Chairman Mao Zedong, while first lady Pat Nixon toured schools, factories and hospitals with the American press corps in tow.
1970: The Jackson 5, led by 11-year-old Michael Jackson, make their TV debut on "American Bandstand," performing "I Want You Back."
1966: The Beatles' song "Nowhere Man" is released as a single in the United States. It would eventually climb to No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
1965: Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated at the age of 39 at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.
1963: Actor Billy Baldwin, the younger brother of fellow actor Alec Baldwin best known for his roles in movies such as "Flatliners," "Backdraft" and "Sliver," is born in Massapequa, New York.
1962: Author David Foster Wallace, best known for the 1996 novel "Infinite Jest," is born in Ithaca, New York. He committed suicide at age 46 by hanging himself on Sept. 12, 2008.
1962: Chuck Palahniuk, best known for writing novels such as "Fight Club," "Choke," "Invisible Monsters" and "Haunted," is born in Pasco, Washington.
1958: Country music singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, best known for songs such as "Passionate Kisses," "Shut Up and Kiss Me," "I Feel Lucky" and "Down at the Twist and Shout," is born in Princeton, New Jersey.
1958: Gibson's first Flying V guitar is shipped from a factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Today, the original futuristic-looking Flying V, which was discontinued in 1959, is one of the most valuable production-model guitars on the market.
1958: The peace symbol, commissioned by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, is created by British professional designer and artist Gerald Holtom. The symbol is a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters N and D, standing for "nuclear disarmament."
1958: The first U.S. submarine to circumnavigate the world returns to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After leaving the harbor on July 8, 1957, the USS Gudgeon spent 228 days traveling about 25,000 miles while visiting ports in Asia, Africa and Europe.
1955: Actor Kelsey Grammer, best known for his two-decade run playing psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane first on the sitcom "Cheers" and then on the spinoff "Frasier," is born in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. He has won five Emmy Awards, and has also worked as a television producer, director, writer, and voice artist.
1953: Actor William Petersen, best known for the TV show "CSI" and for his roles in movies such as "To Live and Die in L.A." and "Manhunter," is born in Evanston, Illinois.
1948: NASCAR is incorporated. The business, which name stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events.
1947: In New York City, Polaroid Corporation co-founder Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera," the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America. The camera would be available for commercial sales less than two years later.
1946: Actor Alan Rickman, best known for his roles in the movies "Die Hard," "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," the "Harry Potter" series, "Michael Collins," "Dogma" and Tim Burton's version of "Sweeney Todd," is born in London, England.
1946: Actor Anthony Daniels, best known for his role as the droid C-3PO in the "Star Wars" film series, is born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.
1946: Actress Tyne Daly, best known for playing Detective Mary Beth Lacey in the TV series "Cagney & Lacey," is born in Madison, Wisconsin. Daly, who has won six Emmys for her TV work, is also known for the TV series "Judging Amy" and "Christy."
1943: Record and film producer David Geffen is born in Brooklyn, New York. Geffen is noted for creating Asylum Records in 1970, Geffen Records in 1980 and DGC Records in 1990. He was also one of the three founders of DreamWorks SKG in 1994.
1937: The first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Arrowbile, flies for the first time. The high-wing monoplane, with detachable wings and powered by a Studebaker engine, could reach a top air-speed of 120 miles per hour and 70 mph on a highway. A total of five Arrowbiles were eventually built.
1934: Actress Rue McClanahan, best known for her TV roles as Vivian Harmon on "Maude," Fran Crowley on "Mama's Family," and Blanche Devereaux on "The Golden Girls," is born in Healdton, Oklahoma. She earned four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress for her "Golden Girls" role, winning in 1987. She died of a brain hemorrhage at age 76 on June 3, 2010.
1933: Singer-songwriter, pianist and activist Nina Simone, a 15-time Grammy Award nominee over the course of her career, is born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina. Aspiring to become a classical pianist when starting out, Simone ended up fusing a wide range of music styles -- including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop -- to create her signature sound. She also became heavily involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. She died of breast cancer at age 70 on April 21, 2003.
1931: Alka-Seltzer is sold for the first time. Hub Beardsley, the president of Miles Laboratories, got the idea for the effervescent antacid and pain reliever after visiting a local newspaper in Elkhart, Indiana, during a severe flu epidemic in the winter of 1928. After learning that newspaper staff members seemed to be resistant to the illness because they were treated with a combination of aspirin and baking soda at the first sign of sickness, Beardsley asked his chief chemist, Maurice Treneer, to develop something similar in tablet form.
1927: Humorist Erma Bombeck, who became famous for her newspaper column describing suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s, is born Erma Louise Fiste in Bellbrook, Ohio. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers. She died from complications of a kidney transplant at age 69 on April 22, 1996.
1925: Film director Sam Peckinpah, best known for such films as "The Wild Bunch," "Straw Dogs," "The Getaway," "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia," is born in Fresno, California. Peckinpah, seen here with Bob Dylan on the set of "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid," died of heart failure at age 59 on Dec. 28, 1984.
1925: The New Yorker magazine publishes its first issue.
1918: The last Carolina Parakeet, the only parrot species native to the eastern United States, dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo. It was not until 1939, however, that it was determined that the Carolina Parakeet had become extinct.
1907: Poet W. H. Auden, regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, is born in York, England. Some of his best known poems include "Funeral Blues" ("Stop all the clocks"), "Musée des Beaux Arts," "Refugee Blues," "The Unknown Citizen" and "September 1, 1939." He died of heart failure at age 66 on Sept. 29, 1973.
1903: French author Anaïs Nin, remembered for her published journals and hailed by many critics as one of the finest writers of female erotica, is born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris. A great deal of her work, including "Delta of Venus" and "Little Birds," was published posthumously.
1885: The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated in Washington, D.C. Construction of the monument began in 1848, but was halted from 1854 to 1877, and finally completed in 1884.
1878: The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut. It actually consisted of only a single piece of cardboard and listed 50 businesses in New Haven that had a telephone.
1848: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish "The Communist Manifesto." The short book presents the authors' theories about the nature of society and politics and features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then eventually communism. Since its publication, it has since been recognized as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts.
1842: John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.
1821: Charles Scribner I, who founded a publishing company that would eventually become Charles Scribner's Sons, is born in New York City.
1804: The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its debut at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales. The engine successfully carried 10 tons of iron, five wagons and 70 men nearly 10 miles in four hours and five minutes, an average speed of approximately 2.4 mph. However, it was too heavy for the cast iron rails used at the time. The locomotive only ran three trips before it was abandoned. Pictured is a model of the locomotive at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, Wales.