2012: The retired space shuttle Endeavour arrives at its permanent new home at the California Science Center after a two-day, 12-mile journey that saw it inch its way through the street of Los Angeles on robotic dollies at a top speed of 2 miles per hour. The Endeavour was the fifth and final operational shuttle built, commissioned in 1987 to replace the space shuttle Challenger. It first flew in 1992 and made a total of 25 missions, culminating in the penultimate space shuttle mission in May 2011.
2012: Austrian skydiver and daredevil Felix Baumgartner sets the world record for skydiving an estimated 24 miles, reaching an estimated speed of 843.6 mph, or Mach 1.25. In making the jump from a helium balloon in the stratosphere, he also became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power on his descent and set new records for highest manned balloon flight and greatest free fall velocity.
2012: Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who embodied a vanishing breed of liberal Republicanism before switching to the Democratic Party at the twilight of his political career, dies at age 82 following a long battle with cancer. Specter died of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at his home in Philadelphia. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980 and represented Pennsylvania for 30 years, longer than anyone in the state's history, before losing in a 2010 primary election. Specter was a Democrat from 1951 to 1965, then a Republican from 1965 until 2009, when he switched back to the Democratic Party.
2011: The Apple iPhone 4S is released. The model included faster processing speeds, a new camera and Siri, a voice-activated personal assistant.
2009: Professional wrestler, manager and actor Lou Albano dies in his sleep from a heart attack at age 76 in Westchester County, New York. Albano was a wrestler from 1953 to 1969 and then became a manager until 1995. Known for his unique brand of showmanship, "Captain Lou" also helped usher in wrestling's crossover success with mainstream audiences through his collaborations with Cyndi Lauper in the 1980s, which included playing the singer's father in the video for her hit single "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."
2006: Three-time Grammy-winning country musician Freddy Fender, best known for his 1970s country hits "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," dies of lung cancer at age 69 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
2003: With one out in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series, Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman reaches out from the Wrigley Field stands and deflects a foul ball about to be fielded by Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou. The Cubs, who were leading the Florida Marlins 3-0 at that point, would go on to lose the game, and the series-deciding Game 7 the following day, denying the team its first World Series berth since 1945.
1998: Eric Robert Rudolph is charged with six bombings, including the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, Georgia. His series of anti-abortion and anti-gay-motivated bombings killed two people and injured at least 150 others between 1996 and 1998. He would spend five years on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list until he was caught in 2003. In 2005, Rudolph pleaded guilty to numerous federal and state homicide charges and accepted four consecutive life sentences in exchange for avoiding a trial and a potential death sentence.
1997: Novelist Harold Robbins, one of the best-selling writers of all time, dies of pulmonary arrest at age 81 in Palm Springs, California. Robbins wrote more than 25 best-sellers and sold more than 750 million copies of his books in 32 languages. Some of his best-known works includes "Where Love Has Gone," "The Carpetbaggers" and "The Dream Merchants."
1994: Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in the establishment of the Oslo Accords and the framing of the future Palestinian Self Government. Rabin and Arafat are seen here in September 1993 shaking hands at the White House following the signing the Oslo Accords.
1994: The movie "Pulp Fiction," starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman and Ving Rhames, and directed by Quentin Tarantino, premieres in theaters. The film was a huge box office success and earned seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Travolta, Best Supporting Actor for Jackson, Best Supporting Actress for Thurman, and Best Director for Tarantino, who ended up winning Best Original Screenplay along with his co-writer Roger Avary. It was also awarded the Palme d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.
1990: American composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein dies of a heart attack at age 72 five days after retiring from conducting. His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic and from his music for "West Side Story," as well as "Candide," "Wonderful Town" and "On the Town."
1989: Actress Mia Wasikowska, best known for movies such as "Alice in Wonderland," "The Kids are All Right," "Lawless" and "Stoker," is born in Canberra, Australia. She's also known for the HBO series "In Treatment."
1987: Jessica McClure, 18 months old, falls down an abandoned well in Midland, Texas, and becomes trapped. The rescue of "Baby Jessica" took 58 hours and gained worldwide attention.
1981: Egyptian Vice President Hosni Mubarak is elected as president of the country one week after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. He served as president until February 2011, when he stepped down following 18 days of demonstrations in an uprising against his regime.
1979: The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the first gay rights march on Washington, D.C., draws between 75,000 and 125,000 gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people and their straight allies to demand equal civil rights and urge the passage of protective civil rights legislation.
1978: Singer-songwriter, dancer and actor Usher, whose No. 1 hits include "Nice & Slow," "U Remind Me," "U Got It Bad," "Yeah!," "Burn," "Confessions Part II" and "OMG," is born Usher Raymond IV in Dallas, Texas.
1977: Singer and actor Bing Crosby, one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century and the star of movies such as "White Christmas," "Going My Way" and "The Bells of St. Mary's," collapses and dies of a massive heart attack following a round of golf near Madrid, Spain. He was 74. Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Actor for "Going My Way" and was nominated again for "The Bells of St. Mary's."
1975: KISS releases a live version of the song "Rock and Roll All Nite" as a single. The song, which had peaked at No. 57 as a studio track earlier in the year, eventually reached No. 12 in early 1976, the first of six top-20 songs for the band in the 1970s.
1974: Singer-songwriter Natalie Maines (center), best known as the lead singer of the country band the Dixie Chicks, is born in Lubbock, Texas.
1972: The movie "Last Tango in Paris," starring Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider and Jean-Pierre Léaud, premieres in New York City. The film's sexual content caused enormous public controversy in the United States and it received an X rating upon its release. Brando received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and Bernardo Bertolucci was nominated for Best Director.
1969: The Supremes release "Someday We'll Be Together." Although it was released as the final Supremes song featuring Diana Ross, who would leave the group for a solo career in January 1970, it was recorded as Ross' first solo single and Supremes members Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong do not sing on the recording. It hit No. 1 in the last week of the year, making it not only the last of 12 chart-topping pop hits for The Supremes, but also the final American No. 1 hit of the 1960s.
1968: The crew of Apollo 7 transmits the first live television broadcast aboard a crewed spacecraft. Pictured here are command module pilot Donn F. Eisele (left) and mission commander Walter M. Schirra Jr. (right).
1965: Actor Steve Coogan, best known for movies such as "Around the World in 80 Days," "The Other Guys" (pictured), "Tropic Thunder" and "Night at the Museum," is born in Middleton, Lancashire, England.
1964: Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in America, becoming, at age 35, the youngest person to receive the award.
1964: Leonid Brezhnev becomes the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and thereby, along with his allies, the leader of the USSR, ousting Nikita Khrushchev. Brezhnev would preside over the country until his death in 1982.
1963: Actress Lori Petty, best known for movies such as "Point Break," "Free Willy," "A League of Their Own" and "Tank Girl," is born in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1962: A U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane captures photos of Soviet missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads being installed and erected in Cuba. The photos would set off the 13-day confrontation that became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, generally considered as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict.
1959: Australian actor Errol Flynn, known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his playboy lifestyle, dies of a heart attack at age 50 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Some of his best known movies include "The Adventures of Robin Hood," "The Sea Hawk" and "Captain Blood."
1957: The Everly Brothers score their first No. 1 hit with "Wake Up Little Susie."
1954: The movie "White Christmas," starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney, and directed by Michael Curtiz, premieres in theaters. The movie featured the songs of Irving Berlin, including the title song, "White Christmas," and easily became the year's top moneymaking film.
1952: Actor Harry Anderson, best known for playing Judge Harry Stone on the sitcom "Night Court," is born in Newport, Rhode Island. He's also known for the TV movie "Stephen King's It" and the sitcom "Dave's World."
1947: U.S. Air Force Capt. Chuck Yeager becomes the first human to break the sound barrier while flying a Bell X-1 rocket-powered experimental aircraft over the high desert of Southern California.
1944: Athens, Greece, is liberated by British Army troops entering the city as the Wehrmacht pulls out during World War II.
1944: After being linked to a plot against Adolf Hitler, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is forced to commit suicide in return for assurances that his family would not be persecuted following his death. He was given a state funeral, and his cause of death announced as a heart attack, following a car crash. Rommel was known as the "Desert Fox" due to his leadership of German and Italian forces in the North African campaign earlier in World War II.
1943: Prisoners at the Nazi German Sobibor extermination camp in Poland revolt against the Germans, killing 11 guards and wounding many more. About 300 of the camp's 600 prisoners escaped, with about 50 of those surviving until the end of the war.
1940: Singer and actor Cliff Richard, best known for the Billboard Hot 100 top-10 hits "Devil Woman," "We Don't Talk Anymore" and "Dreamin'", is born Harry Rodger Webb in Lucknow, British India.
1939: Ralph Lauren, the fashion designer who founded the Ralph Lauren Corporation, is born Ralph Lifshitz in The Bronx, New York.
1938: John Dean, who served as the White House counsel for U.S. President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973, is born in Akron, Ohio. While in the White House, he became deeply involved in events leading up to the Watergate burglaries and the subsequent cover-up and scandal. He eventually pleaded guilty to a single felony count, in exchange for becoming a key witness for the prosecution.
1933: Adolf Hitler withdraws Germany from the League of Nations while he secretly begins to rearm the country.
1927: Actor Roger Moore, best known for playing British secret agent James Bond for seven films between 1973 and 1985, and Simon Templar in the TV series "The Saint" from 1962 to 1969, is born in London, England.
1926: A. A. Milne's children's book "Winnie-the-Pooh" is first published.
1912: While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt is shot in an assassination attempt by saloonkeeper John Flammang Schrank. The bullet lodged in Roosevelt's chest after penetrating his steel eyeglass case and a thick, folded copy of the speech he was carrying in his jacket. Concluding that the bullet had not penetrated his lung, he declined suggestions he go to the hospital immediately and instead delivered his 90-minute speech. Since doctors later determined it would be more dangerous to remove the bullet than to leave it in Roosevelt's chest, he carried the bullet the rest of his life.
1910: Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden, who led the UCLA Bruins to 10 NCAA men’s basketball championships during his coaching career, is born in Hall, Indiana. Wooden earned national titles in 1964, 1965, 1967-1973 and 1975. As a player, Wooden was the first to be named basketball All-American three times, and he won a Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship at Purdue in 1932, seven years before the birth of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Wooden was also named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and as a coach, the first person ever enshrined in both categories. He died at age 99 on June 4, 2010.
1908: The Chicago Cubs defeat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in Game 5 of the World Series to earn their second consecutive title. It would be the Cubs' last championship to date.
1894: E. E. Cummings, an eminent voice of 20th century poetry, is born Edward Estlin Cummings in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He died from a stroke at the age of 67 on Sept. 3, 1962.
1893: Actress Lillian Gish, whose film acting career spanned 75 years, is born in Springfield, Ohio. Gish was a prominent film star of the 1910s and 1920s, particularly known for working with director D. W. Griffith, including her leading role in Griffith's 1915 movie "Birth of a Nation." She also appeared in movies such as "Duel in the Sun," "Night of the Hunter" and "The Whales of August." She died at the age of 99 on Feb. 27, 1993.
1890: Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as the 34th president of the United States between 1953 and 1961, is born in Denison, Texas. Before becoming president, Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. As president, he launched the Interstate Highway System, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which led to the Internet, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He died of congestive heart failure at the age of 78 on March 28, 1969.
1888: French inventor Louis Le Prince films the first motion picture, "Roundhay Garden Scene." The two-second clip was shot by Le Prince near Leeds, England, using his single-lens camera and George Eastman's recently invented paper film.
1644: William Penn, the businessman and philosopher who founded of the Province of Pennsylvania, is born in London, England.