1493: Christopher Columbus goes ashore on an island he first saw the day before. He names it San Juan Bautista, but it is later renamed Puerto Rico.
1794: The United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign Jay's Treaty, which attempts to resolve some of the lingering problems left over from the American Revolutionary War. Among other things, the treaty included the withdrawal of British forces from pre-Revolutionary forts in the Northwest Territory of the United States, sent disputes over wartime debts and the American-Canadian boundary to arbitration, and gave America limited rights to trade with British colonies in India and the Caribbean.
1831: James A. Garfield, who would go onto become the 20th President of the United States, is born in Moreland Hills, Ohio. Garfield's presidency would last only 200 days, from March 4, 1881, until his death on Sept. 19, 1881, as a result of being shot by assassin Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881. Only William Henry Harrison's presidency, of 32 days, was shorter.
1863: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pa., four and a half months after the Union armies defeated Confederacy forces at the Battle of Gettysburg. The short speech, which came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, begins with the now-iconic phrase "Four score and seven years ago," referring to the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
1905: Jazz musician and bandleader Tommy Dorsey, who had a run of 286 Billboard chart hits from the 1930s into the 1950s, is born in Shenandoah, Pa. Dorsey's bands had 17 No. 1 hits including "On Treasure Island," "Indian Summer" and "Dolores." He also had two more No. 1 hits in 1935 with his brother Jimmy Dorsey as the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, "Lullaby of Broadway" and "Chasing Shadows." His biggest hit was "I'll Never Smile Again," featuring Frank Sinatra on vocals, which was No. 1 for 12 weeks on the Billboard pop singles chart in 1940.
1916: Samuel Goldfish and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures, named for a combination of their last names. Goldfish, born Samuel Gelbfisz, then legally changed his name to Samuel Goldwyn, which he used for the rest of his life. Goldwyn Pictures proved successful, but it's most famous for its "Leo the Lion" trademark, which would be sold with the company in 1924 to Metro Pictures Corporation, soon to be renamed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM.
1920: Actress Gene Tierney, best known for her performance in the title role of "Laura" (pictured) and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Actress in "Leave Her to Heaven," is born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Tierney also starred in movies such as "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," "Heaven Can Wait" and "The Razor's Edge."
1921: Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Campanella, widely considered to have been one of the greatest catchers in the history of the game, is born in Philadelphia, Pa. After starting his career in the Negro leagues as a 16-year-old, Campanella played for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1940s and 1950s, as one of the pioneers in breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Campanella, whose career was cut short in 1958 when he was paralyzed in an automobile accident, is seen here in 1961 with San Francisco Giants outfielder Willie Mays.
1933: Talk show host and TV personality Larry King, who hosted the nightly interview TV program "Larry King Live" on CNN from 1985 to 2010, is born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1936: Talk show host Dick Cavett is born in Gibbon, Neb. Cavett, who would start his career as a gofer for Time magazine and as talent coordinator and writer for Jack Parr's "The Tonight Show," would host his own show "The Dick Cavett Show," in various formats and on various television and radio networks, from 1968 through 2007. He's seen here with Jerry Lewis on his show in 1973.
1938: Media mogul Ted Turner, who is best known as founder of the cable news network CNN and WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television, is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Turner is also known for once owning baseball's Atlanta Braves, his 10-year marriage to actress Jane Fonda, launching the charitable Goodwill Games and his $1 billion gift to support the United Nations, which created the United Nations Foundation.
1942: Fashion designer Calvin Klein, who has given his name to a range of clothing, perfumes, watches and jewelry, is born in The Bronx, N.Y.
1943: In occupied Poland, Nazis liquidate the Janowska concentration camp on the outskirts of what is now Lviv, Ukraine, murdering at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt. Seen here is SS 2nd Lt. Gustav Willhaus, camp commandant, riding past the gates of Janowska.
1954: Sammy Davis Jr. nearly dies in a serious car accident in San Bernardino, Calif., during a return trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Three days later, Davis would lose the ability see with his left eye. He would wear an eye patch for at least six months following the accident but was later fitted for a glass eye.
1955: The National Review publishes its first issue.
1956: Broadcast journalist and TV anchor Ann Curry is born in Guam.
1959: The Ford Motor Company announces the discontinuation of the unpopular Edsel model. However, production would continue until late November, with a final tally of 2,846 1960 models being produced. Over the three-year life of the car, Ford sold about 84,000 Edsels, less than half its projected break-even point, and lost about $350 million, or $2 billion in today's dollars.
1959: "Rocky & His Friends" debuts on television starring Rocky the flying squirrel and Bullwinkle the moose along with supporting segments featuring Dudley Do-Right, Peabody & Sherman, and Fractured Fairy Tales. The show, known popularly as "Rocky and Bullwinkle," was never actually called by that title while it was on TV. After its first two seasons on ABC, it moved to NBC and was renamed "The Bullwinkle Show" before being canceled in June 1963 after its fifth season.
1959: Actress Allison Janney, best known for her Emmy-winning role as C.J. Cregg on the television series "The West Wing," is born in Dayton, Ohio. Janney is also known for her roles in movies such as "The Ice Storm," "Juno," "The Help" and "Hairspray."
1961: Actress Meg Ryan, best known for her roles in movies such as "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail," is born in Fairfield, Conn. Ryan, who got her start in the daytime soap opera "As the World Turns," has also starred in movies such as "Top Gun," "Innerspace," "Joe Versus the Volcano," "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "The Doors."
1962: Actress and film director Jodie Foster, a two-time Oscar-winner for "The Accused" and "The Silence of the Lambs," is born in Los Angeles. Foster, who has also received Oscar nominations for "Taxi Driver" and "Nell," has also appeared in movies such as "Freaky Friday," "Maverick," "Contact" and "Panic Room."
1969: Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the moon. Here, Conrad can be seen in a picture taken by Bean descending the ladder of the Lunar Module.
1973: Country music singer-songwriter Billy Currington, whose No. 1 hits include "Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right," "Good Directions" and "People Are Crazy," is born in Savannah, Ga.
1975: The drama "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, and directed by Milos Forman, premieres in New York City. The movie would go on to earn nine Oscar nominations and become only the second to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay) following "It Happened One Night" in 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991 by "The Silence of the Lambs."
1977: Gymnast Kerri Strug, who won an All-Around gold medal with the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, is born in Tucson, Ariz. She is best remembered for performing the vault to help guarantee the gold medal despite having injured her ankle and for subsequently being carried to the podium by her coach, Bela Karolyi.
1979: Chuck Berry is released from Lompoc Prison in California after serving a 100-day sentence for income tax evasion.
1984: Pitcher Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets becomes the youngest major-league pitcher, at the age of 20, to be named Rookie of the Year in the National League.
1985: In Geneva, Switzerland, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time.
1990: Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus of the pop duo Milli Vanilli are stripped of their Grammy for Best New Artist a week after their producer, Frank Farian, publicly admits that they never sang a note on their debut "Milli Vanilli" album and that they lip-synch when they perform live. Arista Records then dropped the act from its roster and deleted their album and its masters from their catalog, taking "Girl You Know It's True" out of print. Morvan (left) and Pilatus (right) are seen here with National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences President C. Michael Green at the rehearsal for the 1990 Grammys.
1995: "The Beatles Anthology," a three-part documentary series focusing on the history of The Beatles, premieres on TV. The documentary coincided with the release of three double music albums, each containing two CDs or three vinyl discs of mostly never-before-released Beatles material.
1997: In Des Moines, Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey gives birth to the world's first set of septuplets to survive infancy.
1998: The United States House Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton with 12 hours of testimony from Independent Counsel Ken Starr.
1998: The Vincent van Gogh painting "Self-portrait Without Beard" sells at auction for $71.5 million. At the time, it was the third (or an inflation-adjusted fourth) most expensive painting ever sold. The 1889 painting was Van Gogh's last self-portrait, which he gave to his mother as a birthday gift.
2001: U.S. President George W. Bush signs the Secure Aviation and Transportation Act, the most comprehensive air security bill in U.S. history, at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. The Act mandates the hiring of 28,000 federal employees to screen passengers and baggage in the nation's airports.
2001: Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants becomes the first baseball player to win four Most Valuable Player awards. Having previously won the National League MVP award in 1990, 1992 and 1993, the 2001 award would be the first of four in a row (2001-2004) for Bonds, giving him a total of seven in his career. Nine other players have won MVP awards three times, the next highest total after Bonds.
2002: Six days after one of its 12 tanks burst during a storm, the Greek oil tanker Prestige splits in half and sinks off the northwest coast of Spain, releasing more than 20 million gallons of oil in the largest environmental disaster in Spanish and Portuguese history.
2003: Eight competing designs for a memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center are unveiled. The "Reflecting Absence" design seen here would be selected in January 2004 as the winning design. The memorial features two pools with waterfalls cascading down their sides located within the footprints of the Twin Towers.
2006: Nintendo's Wii game console goes on sale for the first time at a price of $249.99.
2007: Dick Wilson, the British character actor who played the role of finicky grocery store manager Mr. Whipple in more than 500 Charmin toilet paper television commercials, dies at age 91 in Los Angeles, Calif. Born Riccardo Di Guglielmo, he also appeared on TV shows such as "Bewitched" and "McHale’s Navy," and in the films "World’s Greatest Athlete" and "The Shakiest Gun in the West."
2007: Amazon.com introduces the Kindle, an electronic book-reading device. The first generation of the device sold for $399 and sold out in five and a half hours. The device remained out of stock for five months until late April 2008.
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