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1995–Microsoft officially rolls out its Windows 95 operating system. Midnight parties at retailers across the U.S. offer the new system for sale to those who are eager to buy. Jay Leno hosts the official launch party at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. The company lights up the Empire State Building with the Windows 95 logo colors, and licenses the Rolling Stones song, Start Me Up (for $12 million), to use in its TV advertisements.

BC 49–Julius Caesar's General Gaius Scribonius Curio is defeated in the Battle of the Bagradas by the Numidians, under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba of Numidia. Curio commits suicide to avoid capture.

79–The volcano, Mt. Vesuvius, erupts for the first time, destroying southern Italy’s cities of Pompeii, Stabiaes, and Herculaneum. The explosion happened without warning at about noon, covering Pompeii in a layer of ash nearly 13 feet deep. The other two cities were buried under mud and volcanic debris. Archaeologists were later able to determine what life was like in Roman times from the volcanic-ash-preserved remains of the cities. Vesuvius still remains active.

394–The Graffito of Esmet-Akhom, the latest known inscription in Egyptian hieroglyphs, is written.

410–The Visigoths, under King Alaric I, begin to pillage Rome.

455–The Vandals, led by King Genseric, begin to plunder Rome. Pope Leo I requests Genseric not destroy the ancient city or murder its citizens. He agrees, and the gates of Rome are opened. However, the Vandals loot a great amount of treasure.

1042–Byzantine Emperor, Michael V Kalaphates, dies.

1103–King Magnus Barefoot of Norway dies.

1185–The Normans sack Thessalonica.

1198–Alexander II of Scotland is born.

1200–King John of England, signer of the first Magna Carta, marries Isabella of Angoulême at the Bordeaux Cathedral.

1215–Pope Innocent III declares the Magna Carta invalid.

1349–Six thousand Jews are killed in Mainz, Germany, after being blamed for the bubonic plague.

1358–John I of Castile is born in Épila, Spain. He was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile. He was the last Spanish monarch to receive a formal coronation.

1393–Arthur III, Duke of Brittany, is born.

1456–Johann Gutenberg finishes printing the first book printed from moveable type. The book became known as the Gutenberg Bible.

1482–The town and castle of Berwick upon Tweed is captured from Scotland by an English army.

1516–The Ottoman Empire, under Selim I, defeats the Mamluk Sultanate and captures present-day Syria at the Battle of Marj Dabiq.

1561–Willem of Orange marries Duchess Anna of Saxony.

1608–The first official English representative to India lands in Surat.

1662–The Act of Uniformity requires England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.

1682–William Penn receives the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania.

1690–Job Charnock, of the East India Company, establishes a factory in Calcutta, India, which is formerly considered the founding of the city.

1714–King Alaungpaya of Burma is born in Moksobo. He is considered one of the three greatest monarchs of Burma, alongside Anawrahta and Bayinnaung, for unifying the country for the third time in Burmese history.

1772–William I of the Netherlands is born.

1781–During the American Revolutionary War, a small force of Pennsylvania militia is ambushed and overwhelmed by an American Indian group, which forces George Rogers Clark to abandon his attempt to attack Detroit.

1812–In the Peninsular War, a coalition of Spanish, British, and Portuguese forces succeed in lifting the two-and-a-half-year-long Siege of Cádiz.

1814–British troops invade Washington, D.C. During the burning of Washington, the White House, the Capitol, and many other buildings are set ablaze.

1815–The modern Constitution of the Netherlands is signed.

1816–The Treaty of St. Louis is signed in St. Louis, Missouri.

1820–A constitutionalist insurrection takes place in Oporto, Portugal.

1821–The Treaty of Córdoba is signed in Córdoba (present-day Veracruz, Mexico), ending the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.

1853–The first potato chips are prepared by Chef George Crum in Saratoga Springs, New York.

1857–The Panic of 1857 begins, setting off one of the most severe economic crises in United States history.

1865–Ferdinand I of Romania is born.

1870–The Wolseley expedition reaches Manitoba to end the Red River Rebellion.

1875–Captain Matthew Webb becomes the first person to swim the English Channel.

1880–Businessman, Joshua Lionel Cowen, is born. He co-founded the Lionel Corporation.

1891–Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.

1898–Count Muravyov, Foreign Minister of Russia, presents a rescript that convokes the First Hague Peace Conference.

1901–Actor, Preston Foster, is born.

1902–Italian mob boss, Carlo Gambino, is born.

1905–Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup is born in Forest, Mississippi. The bluesman's That's All Right Mama was Elvis Presley's first single. Admirers like Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, and Fleetwood Mac have also covered his songs.

1909–Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.

1911–Television host and announcer, Durward Kirby, is born.

1914–The Battle of Cer ends as the first Allied victory in World War I.

1917–TV personality and announcer, Dennis James, is born Demie James Sposa in Jersey City, New Jersey. Up until 1976, he had appeared on TV more times and for a longer period than any other television star. He is credited as the host of TV's first network game show, the DuMont Network's Cash and Carry in 1946. James was also the first person to host a telethon, the first to appear in a TV commercial, first to emcee a variety show, and first to appear on video tape. He hosted the shows Stop the Music, Name That Tune, The (New) Price Is Right, People Will Talk, and PDQ.

1929–Arab attacks on the Jewish community in Hebron, in the British Mandate of Palestine, result in the death of about 68 Jews, while the remaining Jews are forced to leave the city.

1929–Egyptian-Palestinian engineer and politician, Yasser Arafat, is born. He was the first President of the Palestinian National Authority.

1931–France and the Soviet Union sign a neutrality/no attack treaty.

1931–The United Kingdom's Second Labour Government ends with the formation of the U.K. National Government.

1932–Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop from Los Angeles, California, to Newark, New Jersey.

1933–The Crescent Limited train derails in Washington, D.C., after the bridge it is crossing is washed out by the Chesapeake-Potomac hurricane.

1934–Actor, Kenny Baker, is born Kenneth George Baker in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. Baker stood only 3 feet, 8 inches tall. He is best known for the role of R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise. He appeared in the films Circus of Horrors, Flash Gordon, The Elephant Man, Time Bandits, Amadeus, Mona Lisa, Labyrinth, Sleeping Beauty, and Willow. He was married to actress, Eileen Baker.

1936–The Australian Antarctic Territory is established.

1938–David Freiberg, of Jefferson Starship and Quicksilver Messenger Service, is born.

1938–guitarist and composer, Mason Williams, is born. He had a big hit with the instrumental Classical Gas.

1941–Adolf Hitler orders the cessation of Nazi Germany's systematic T4 euthanasia program of the mentally ill and the handicapped due to protests, although killings continue for the remainder of World War II.

1942–Joe Chambers, guitarist with The Chambers Brothers, is born in Scott County, Mississippi. The group’s biggest hit was Time Has Come Today.

1943–John Cipollina, guitarist for Quicksilver Messenger Service, is born in Berkeley, California.

1944–Jim Capaldi, drummer and vocalist for Traffic, is born.

1944–Astronaut, Gregory Jarvis, is born.

1945–Actress, Ronee Blakley, is born.

1945–Molly Duncan, saxophonist for the Average White Band, is born in Scotland.

1945–Ken Hensley, of Uriah Heep, is born in England.

1947–Actress, Anne Archer, is born.

1948–Musician and composer, Jean Michel Jarre, is born in France.

1949–The treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization goes into effect.

1949–Actor, Joe Regalbuto, is born.

1949–Actor, Charles Rocket, is born.

1950–Edith Sampson becomes the first black U.S. delegate to the United Nations.

1954–The Communist Control Act goes into effect, outlawing the American Communist Party.

1954–Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, President of Brazil, commits suicide and is succeeded by João Café Filho.

1955–Minister and politician, Mike Huckabee, is born. He was the 44th Governor of Arkansas.

1956–Elvis Presley records We’re Gonna Move and Love Me Tender at 20th Century Fox Studios in Hollywood, California.

1956–Actor, Kevin Dunn, is born.

1957–Comedian, actor and writer, Stephen Fry, is born in Hampstead, London, England. He came into prominence as half of the comedy act of Fry & Laurie. He appeared in the BBC TV series Blackadder, and is known for the role of the Prime Minister in 24: Live Another Day. He has also written four novels and three volumes of autobiography, which explore his life with bi-polar disorder.

1958–Actor, Steve Guttenberg, is born.

1959–Billboard magazine runs an article declaring “Rock and Roll Ain’t Ready for the Old Rockin’ Chair Yet,” declaring that not only have legends like Elvis Presley and Fats Domino weathered commercial dry spells, but that rock is safe in the hands of newcomers like the Everly Brothers and Ricky Nelson.

1961–Actor, Jared Harris, is born in England.

1962–Journalist and news correspondent, Major Garrett, is born.

1962–Talk show host and actor, Craig Kilborn, is born.

1964–Oteil Burbridge, of The Allman Brothers Band, is born.

1965–Actress, Marlee Matlin, is born.

1966–The Beatles perform their second concert at Shea Stadium in New York.

1967–Led by Abbie Hoffman, the Youth International Party temporarily disrupts trading at the New York Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing trading to cease as brokers scramble to grab the money.

1967–Pattie Harrison convinces her husband George, and the rest of the Beatles, to attend a lecture given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Transcendental Meditation (TM). They send a note to him requesting a private audience, and offer themselves as disciples. He accepts, and invites them to an indoctrination course for spiritual regeneration two days later in Bangor, in North Wales. TM involves the silent repetition of a word, short phrase, or sound (a mantra) to produce a state of mind that reduces stress, calms the mind, and energizes both mind and body.

1967–Industrialist, Henry J. Kaiser, dies in Honolulu, Hawaii, at age 85. He was a ship builder and took part in the construction of Boulder Dam. He established the Kaiser Shipyards, which built Liberty ships during World War II, after which he formed Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Steel.

1968–France becomes the world’s fifth thermonuclear power when it explodes a hydrogen bomb at the Fangataufa Atoll in the South Pacific. The bomb had a yield of 2.6 megatons (the equivalent of more than two-and-a-half million tons of TNT) and heavily contaminated the atoll, leaving it off-limits to humans for six years. Atmospheric and underwater nuclear weapons testing continued there for nearly 30 more years.
1968–To celebrate his 21st birthday (which was actually yesterday), Keith Moon drives a Lincoln convertible into the pool of a Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan.

1968–Billboard reports a rumor that Diana Ross is ready to leave The Supremes and begin a solo career.

1968–John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear for an interview on David Frost’s TV program Frost on Saturday to discuss art, vibrations, and the avant-garde.

1969–The film, Alice's Restaurant, opens in America.

1978–Jazz singer, Louis Prima, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in New Orleans, Louisiana, at age 67. Prima rode the musical trends of his time, starting with his seven-piece New Orleans style jazz band in the late 1920s, then leading a swing combo in the 1930s, a big band in the 1940s, a Vegas lounge act in the 1950s, and a pop-rock band in the 1960s. His biggest hit was Old Black Magic.

1981–Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.

1983–Jerry Lee Lewis’ fifth wife, Shawn Stevens, is found dead of a methadone overdose three months after the couple had married.

1989–Colombian drug barons declare "total war" on the Colombian government.

1989–Cincinnati Reds manager, Pete Rose, is banned from baseball for gambling by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti.

1989–At the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, The Who perform their rock opera, Tommy, with an all-star cast that includes Elton John, Billy Idol, and Patti LaBelle.

1991–Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1991–Ukraine declares itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1992–Hurricane Andrew makes landfall just south of Miami, Florida, as a Category 5 hurricane.

1994–The initial accord takes place between Israel and the PLO about partial self-rule of the Palestinians on the West Bank.

1995–Microsoft officially rolls out its Windows 95 operating system. Midnight parties at retailers across the U.S. offer the new system for sale to those who are eager to buy. Jay Leno hosts the official launch party at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. The company lights up the Empire State Building with the Windows 95 logo colors, and licenses the Rolling Stones song, Start Me Up (for $12 million), to use in its TV advertisements.

1995–Actor, Gary Crosby, dies of lung cancer in Burbank, California, at age 62. He was seen often in TV shows in 1950s and 1960s. He appeared in the films Star Spangled Rhythm, Duffy’s Tavern, Marci Gras, Holiday for Lovers, A Private’s Affair, The Right Approach, Battle at Bloody Beach, Two Tickets to Paris, Operation Bikini, Girl Happy, Which Way to the Front?, and The Night Stalker.

1998–The first radio-frequency identification (RFID) human implantation is tested in the United Kingdom.

1998–It is announced that a 53-year-old Englishwoman, by the name of Ingrid Pedersen, has declared herself John Lennon’s half-sister. “Now at last I can admit who I am: the little sis John loved but could never find,” she says. Birth and adoption certificates appear to show she was born in Liverpool, England, to Julia Lennon, after her brief affair with a soldier. For decades, she was known only as Victoria, the child Julia gave up for adoption.

1998–Actor, E.G. Marshall, dies of lung cancer in Bedford, New York, at age 84. He is best known for the role of lawyer Lawrence Preston on the TV drama series The Defenders. He appeared in the films 13 Rue Madeleine, Call Northside 777, The Caine Mutiny, The Silver Chalice, The Bachelor Party, 12 Angry Men, Compulsion, Cash McCall, Town Without Pity, The Chase, Is Paris Burning?, The Learning Tree, Interiors, My Chauffeur, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Nixon, and Absolute Power.

1999–Actress, Mary Jane Croft, dies.

2001–Actress, Jane Greer, dies.

2004–Two airliners explode after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport, near Moscow, Russian, killing 89 passenders. The explosions are caused by suicide bombers (reportedly female) from the Russian Republic of Chechnya.

2004–Swiss-American psychiatrist and academic, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, dies.

2006–The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term planet, so that Pluto is now considered a “dwarf” planet.

2007–Film director, Aaron Russo, dies.

2010–In San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 72 illegal immigrants are killed by Los Zetas and eventually found dead by Mexican authorities.

2012–Actor, Steve Franken, dies.

2013–Actress, Julie Harris, dies of congestive heart failure at her home in West Chatham, Massachusetts, at age 87. She appeared in the films The Member of the Wedding, East of Eden, I Am a Camera, The Truth About Women, Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Haunting, Hamlet, Harper, You’re a Big Boy Now, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The People Next Door, Voyage of the Damned, The Bell Jar, Gorillas in the Mist, The Golden Boys, and The Lightkeepers.

2014–New York comics dealers, Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo, submit the record-setting bid of $3.2 million in an eBay auction for Action Comics No. 1, the 1938 comic book in which Superman first appeared. This near perfect copy was kept for decades in a cedar chest in the mountains of West Virginia. About 100 to 150 copies are believed to exist, only a handful of them in top condition.

2014–Blues singer, Jesse Kinch, wins the first season of the singing competition TV series, Rising Star, with a soulful rendention of the Who’s Love Reign O’er Me, which captured 79% of the audience vote.

2014–A 6.0 earthquake centered in Napa Valley, rocks Northern California. It is the biggest quake in the Bay Area since the 7.1 quake that hit the area in 1989.

2014–Actor and director, Richard Attenborough, dies in London, England, at age 90. He appeared in the films Brighton Rock, The Scamp, The Man Upstairs, The Angry Silence, Whistle Down the Wind, The L-Shaped Room, and The Great Escape. He directed the films Oh! What a Lovely War, A Bridge Too Far, Magic, Gandhi, Cry Freedom, Chaplin, and Shadowlands.

2016–The world's largest aircraft, Hybrid Air Vehicles HAV 304 Airlander 10, crashes at RAF Cardington, Bedfordshire, England, during its second test flight.

2016–Proxima Centauri b is discovered as the closest exoplanet to Earth that may be habitable.

2016–A 6.2 earthquake strikes central Italy, near the city of Perugia, killing at least 150 people. Aftershocks are felt as far away as Rome and Florence.

2016–A 6.8 earthquake hits central Myanmar, west of the town of Chauk, killing at least three people. It is also felt in Thailand, Bangladesh, and India.


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