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1972–NBC-TV presents The Midnight Special for the first time. John Denver is the host for the first show and Wolfman Jack is the show’s announcer. The late-night pop and rock music program proved to be a ratings success.

BC 295–The first temple to Venus, the Roman goddess of love, beauty and fertility, is dedicated by Quintus Fabius Maximus Gurges during the Third Samnite War.

BC 43–Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, later known as Augustus, compels the Roman Senate to elect him Consul.

14–Romsn Emperor, Augustus, dies.

232–Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius Probus, is born.

1153–Baldwin III of Jerusalem takes control of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from his mother Melisende, and also captures Ascalon.

1342–Catherine of Bohemia is born.

1493–Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, dies.

1504–In Ireland, the Hiberno-Norman de Burghs (Burkes) and Anglo-Norman Fitzgeralds fight in the Battle of Knockdoe.

1561–Mary, Queen of Scots, at 18-years-old, returns to Scotland after spending 13 years in France.

1596–Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, is born at Dunfermline Palace, Fife, Scotland. Because her husband’s reign in Bohemia lasted for just one winter, she is often referred to as The Winter Queen. She was the granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots.

1612–The "Samlesbury witches," three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury, England, are put on trial, accused of practicing witchcraft. It is one of the most famous witch trials in British history.

1637–Countess Emilie Juliane of Barby-Mühlingen is born at Heidecksburg Castle in Rudolstadt, Germany. She was the most productive of German female hymn-writers, with 600 hymns being attributed to her.

1692–Five women and a clergyman are executed after being convicted of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.

1743–Madame du Barry, mistress of Louis XV of France, is born Jeanne Bécu in Vaucouleurs, France. She inspired a wax figure at Madame Tussaud's in London, England, called “The Sleeping Beauty,” which is the oldest existing figure on display.

1759–The Lagos Naval Battle takes place during the Seven Years' War between Great Britain and France.

1768–Saint Isaac's Cathedral is founded in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

1772–Gustav III of Sweden stages a coup d'état, in which he assumes power and enacts a new constitution that divides power between the Riksdag and the King.

1777–Francis I of the Two Sicilies is born.

1812–In the War of 1812, the American frigate, USS Constitution, defeats the British frigate, HMS Guerriere, off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, earning the nickname "Old Ironsides."

1819–Politician, Julius van Zuylen van Nijevelt, is born. He was Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

1839–Details of Louis Daguerre’s first practical photographic process are released in Paris, France.

1843–The Saturday Post magazine carries Edgar Allen Poe's short story “The Black Cat.”

1848–The discovery of gold in California is reported by The New York Herald begins the California Gold Rush.

1854–The First Sioux War begins when U.S. Army soldiers kill Lakota Chief Conquering Bear; in return they are massacred.

1861–The first ascent of Weisshorn, fifth highest summit in the Alps, takes place.

1862–In the American Indian Wars, during an uprising in Minnesota, Lakota warriors decide not to attack heavily-defended Fort Ridgely and instead turn to the settlement of New Ulm, killing white settlers along the way.

1868–Jules Janssen discovers Helium during a solar eclipse.

1861–The first ascent of Weisshorn, fifth highest summit in the Alps, takes place.

1871–Inventor and aviation pioneer, Orville Wright, is born.

1878–Politician, Manuel L. Quezon, is born Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina in Baler, Tayabas, Spanish East Indies (present-day Baler, Aurora, Philippines). He was the second President of the Philippines.

1883–Fashion designer, Coco Chanel, is born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in Saumur, France. Chanel is the only fashion designer to make the Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Founder of the Chanel brand, she promoted casual style in her women's fashions, liberating her clients from corsets. She also created one of the most iconic fragrances in the word, Chanel No. 5. Chanel never married, preferring to enjoy romantic liaisons with some of the world's most famous men, including Igor Stravinsky.

1895–American outlaw, gunfighter, and notorious folk icon of the Old West, John Wesley Hardin, dies in El Paso, Texas, at age 42. Following an argument with Hardin that afternoon, Constable John Selman, Sr. walked up behind him in the Acme Saloon at around midnight and shot him in the head. Though Hardin died instantly, Selman fired three more shots into Hardin's body as it lay on the floor.

1902–Poet and author, Ogden Nash, is born.

1909–The first automobile race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

1915–Journalist and screenwriter, Ring Lardner, Jr., is born.

1919–Afghanistan gains full independence from the United Kingdom.

1919–Publisher, Malcolm Forbes, is born.

1921–Visionary, Gene Roddenberry, is born Eugene Wesley Roddenberry in El Paso, Texas. He is best known as the creater of Star Trek. He was an American television screenwriter, producer, populistic philosopher, and futurist. Years after his death, Roddenberry was one of the first humans to have his ashes carried into earth orbit.

1927–Patriarch Sergius of Moscow proclaims the declaration of loyalty of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Soviet Union.

1931–Jockey, Bill Shoemaker, is born William Lee Shoemaker in Fabens, Texas. For 29 years he held the world record for total professional jockey victories. When Shoemaker earned his 6,033rd victory in September 1970, he broke jockey Johnny Longden's record. Soon after retiring as a jockey in 1990, Shoemaker returned to the track as a trainer for such clients as Gulfstream magnate, Allen Paulson, and composer, Burt Bacharach. He continued to train racehorses until his retirement on November 2, 1997.

1933–Actress, Debra Paget, is born.

1934–The creation of the position Führer is approved by the German electorate with 89.9% of the popular vote.

1934–The first All-American Soap Box Derby is held in Dayton, Ohio.

1934–Tennis player, Renée Richards, is born.

1938–Actress, Diana Muldaur, is born.

1939–Ginger (Peter) Baker, drummer for Cream, is born in Lewisham, England.

1939–Miranda Guinness, Countess of Iveagh, is born.

1940–Singer, Johnny Nash, is born.

1940–Actress, Jill St. John, is born.

1942–Politician and actor, Fred Thompson, is born Freddie Dalton Thompson in Sheffield, Alabama. A Republican, Thompson served in the U.S. Senate representing Tennessee from 1994 to 2003. In the final months of his Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the long-running TV series Law & Order as Manhattan District Attorney, Arthur Branch. He appeared in the films Marie, No Way Out, Fat Man and Little Boy, The Hunt for Red October, Class Action, Cape Fear, Thunderheart, In the Line of Fire, and Secretariat.

1944–The city of Paris, France, rises against German occupation with the help of Allied troops.

1945–Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh take power in Hanoi, Vietnam.

1944–Singer, Billy J. Kramer, of Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, is born William Ashton in Bootle, England.

1945–Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh, take power in Hanoi, Vietnam.

1945–Ian Gillan, of Deep Purple, is born in Hounslow, England.

1946–Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, is born.

1946–Film executive, Dawn (Leslie) Steel, is born in the Bronx, New York. She was one of the first women to run a major Hollywood film studio, rising through the ranks of merchandising and production to head Columbia Pictures. Steel was responsible for the making of Flashdance, her first hit film. She then greenlit Fatal Attraction, Footloose, Beverly Hills Cop, and Top Gun, among others.

1948–Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, is born. She co-founded the Parents Music Resource Center.

1948–Actor, Gerald McRaney, is born.

1951–John Deacon, bass player for Queen, is born in England.

1952–Actor, Jonathan Frakes, is born.

1953–The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and MI6 help to overthrow the government of Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran and reinstate the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

1953–Political consultant, Mary Matalin, is born.

1955–In the northeast United States, severe flooding caused by Hurricane Diane claims 200 lives.

1955–Actor, Peter Gallagher, is born.

1956–Actor, Adam Arkin, is born.

1959–Bluesman, Blind Willie McTell, dies in Georgia, at age 61. He was best known for his song Statesboro Blues, which was later covered by The Allman Brothers Band. He was a great influence to 1960s blues guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.

1960–In Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union, downed American U-2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers, is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Soviet Union for espionage.

1960–Russia’s Sputnik 5 carries two dogs and three mice into orbit. They are later recovered alive.

1962–The Beatles perform at the Cavern Club at night, their first appearance at the venue with Ringo Starr as their drummer. A fight breaks out with fans of Pete Best as The Beatles enter the club, and George Harrison gets a black eye.

1962–Actress, Valérie Kaprisky, is born in France.

1963–Photographer, Robert Freeman, shoots the half-shadow of The Beatles photo that will become the album cover for their second LP, With The Beatles (it is also used for the cover of the American LP, Meet The Beatles). Freeman takes the photo at the The Palace Court Hotel, the group was staying in Bournemouth, England. This is one of the early signs of the great sense of style The Beatles had in presenting themselves to the public, be it through album covers, specially-themed photo sessions, fashion choices, and of course, the famous Beatle hairstyle.

1963–John Stamos, is born. He is best known for the role of Uncle Jesse on the TV series Full House.

1964–Syncom 3, the first geostationary communication satellite, is launched.

1964–The Beatles open their first tour of America with a performance at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California, for a crowd of 17,130. They perform the 12 songs which make up their repertoire for the entire tour: Twist and Shout, You Can’t Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Things We Said Today, Roll Over Beethoven, Can’t Buy Me Love, If I Fell, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Boys, A Hard Day’s Night, and Long Tall Sally. They will visit 26 cities on this late summer visit. The supporting acts are the Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, The Righteous Brothers, and Jackie De Shannon. The same day, a Kansas City impresario offers $350,000 for The Beatles to perform in his city, the largest amount paid to an artist in the U.S. up to that time. Beatles mamager, Brian Epstein, checks with the group, who agrees to do the show, then accepts the offer.

1965–Japanese Prime Minister, Eisaku Sato, becomes the first post-World War II sitting prime minister to visit Okinawa Prefecture.

1965–The Beatles, touring North America, perform two shows at Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, Texas. The Beatles earn $85,000 for the two performances, each with an audience of 12,000. Beatlemania was “...at possibly its most acute level yet witnessed.” Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, hurts his back when he is sprung from the emergency exit of an airplane into a service truck, during a serious outbreak of Beatle madness at the Houston Airport.

1965–Actor, Kevin Dillon, is born.

1965–Actress, Kyra Sedgwick, is born. She is married to actor, Kevin Bacon.

1966–The Beatles, touring America for the last time, perform two shows at Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee. An anonymous phone caller threatens that one or all of The Beatles will be assassinated during one of their performances. Midway through the second show, someone in the audience throws a lighted firecracker onto the stage, and it explodes, causing the group a moment of alarm. Paul McCartney would say later that when they heard the sound they looked at each other to see who was going to drop from being shot.

1966–Singer-songwriter, Lee Ann Womack, is born.

1967–Drummer, Jason Starkey, is born at the Queen’s Charlotte Maternity Hospital, Hammersmith, London, England. He is the son of Ringo Starr.

969–Actor, Matthew Perry, is born.

1972–NBC-TV presents The Midnight Special for the first time. John Denver is the host for the first show and Wolfman Jack is the show’s announcer. The late-night pop and rock music program proved to be a ratings success.

1973–Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, is born.

1974–The Harry Nilsson LP, Pussy Cats, is released. John Lennon produced the album. On the back of the album are the following inscriptions: “Everything is the opposite of what it is,” Dr. Winston O’Boogie M.D. (Manic Depressive) and “But somehow it isn’t only not just the words isn’t it?” Prof. Schmilsson M.E. (Me).

1977–Actor and comedian, Groucho Marx, dies. He is best known of The Marx Brothers, whose films include A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races.

1978–Over 400 people are killed in the Cinema Rex fire in Iran.

1979–Musician, Dorsey Burnette, dies of a heart attack in Canoga Park, California, at age 46. His songs include Tall Oak Tree and Dreamin’.

1980–Saudia Flight 163, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, burns after making an emergency landing at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing 301 people.

1980–Businessman, Otto (Heinrich) Frank, dies of lung cancer in Birsfelden, Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland, at age 91. He was the father of Anne Frank. As the sole member of his family to survive the Holocaust, he inherited Anne's manuscripts after her death, arranged for the publication of her diary as The Diary of a Young Girl in 1947, and oversaw its transition to the stage and screen.

1981–U.S. fighters intercept and shoot down two Libyan Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets over the Gulf of Sidra.

1986–Actress, Hermione Baddeley, dies.

1987–In the United Kingdom, Michael Ryan kills 16 people with a semi-automatic rifle and then commits suicide.

1989–Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski nominates Solidarity activist, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, to be the first non-communist prime minister in 42 years.

1989–Authorities from four European countries (on the Dutch vessel “Volans” and the British launch “Landward”) board the offshore rock station, Radio Caroline (on the ship “Ross Revenge”), in international waters in the North Sea and force it to shut down. Disc jockeys relay a blow-by-blow account of events to listeners right up to the end.

1989–Several hundred East Germans cross the frontier between Hungary and Austria during the Pan-European Picnic, as part of the events that began the process of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

1991–Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is placed under house arrest while on holiday in the town of Foros, Ukraine.

1991–For three days black groups target Hasidic Jews on the streets of Crown Heights in New York City, after two black children are hit by a car driven by a Hasidic man.

1991–The George Harrison album, The Concert for Bangla Desh, is released on double CD in the U.K.

1999–In Belgrade, Yugoslavia, tens of thousands of Serbians rally to demand the resignation of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milosevic.

2001–Singer, Betty Everett, dies.

2003–A car-bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Iraq kills the agency's top envoy, Sérgio Vieira de Mello, and 21 other employees.

2003–A suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem, Israel, planned by Hamas, kills 23 Israelis, seven of them children, in the Shmuel HaNavi bus bombing.

2003–Politician, Carlos Roberto Reina, dies. He was President of Honduras.

2005–The first ever joint military exercise between Russia and China, called Peace Mission 2005, begins.

2005–A series of strong storms lashes southern Ontario, Canada, spawning several tornadoes, as well as creating extreme flash flooding within the city of Toronto and its surrounding communities.

2008–LeRoi Moore, of Dave Matthews Band, dies.

2009–A series of bombings in Baghdad, Iraq, kills 101 people and injures 565 others.

2009–Television producer, Don Hewitt, dies. He created the investigative news show 60 Minutes.

2010–Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, with the last of the United States brigade combat teams crossing the border to Kuwait.

2012–Film director, Tony Scott, dies of an apparent suicide after jumping off a bridge in San Pedro, California, at age 68. He reportedly had inoperable brain cancer. His films include The Hunger, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, Revenge, Days of Thunder, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide, The Fan, and Enemy of the State.

2013–A train accident in India kills at least 37 people and injures over a dozen others.

2013–Actor, Lee Thompson Young, dies of suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his apartment in Los Angeles, California. Young suffered from bi-polar disorder and depression. He was best known for the role of Detective Barry Frost on the TV series Rizzoli & Isles.

2016–The Airlander 10 hybrid airship, which is 302 feet long, makes its maiden civilian flight.

2016–A U.S. Defense Department audit reveals that the U.S. Army had manipulated its finances, making $6.5 trillion of improper accounting adjustments in order to balance the books in 2015.

2016–Presidental candidate, Donald Trump, and Vice Presidental candidate, Mike Pense, visit water-ravaged neighborhoods and meet with first responders who conducted historic rescues during the devastating floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

2016–Talent mamager, Lou Pearlman, dies from a stroke while incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas, at age 62. On May 21, 2008, Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding. He had earlier been the manager of successful 1990s boy bands Backstreet Boys and NSYNC.


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