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1994–Grunge rocker, Kurt Cobain, of Nirvana, commits suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head in Seattle, Washington, at age 27. During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness, and depression. He also had difficulty coping with his fame and public image, and the professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician Courtney Love.



456–St. Patrick returns to Ireland as a missionary Bishop.

517–Timothy I of Constantinople dies. He was a Christian priest who was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople by Roman Emperor Anastasius I.

582–Eutychius of Constantinople dies in at age 70. A few minutes before his death, he touched the skin of his hand and said, "I confess that in this flesh we shall rise again." Considered a saint in the Catholic and Orthodox Christian traditions, he was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 552 to 565 and from 577 to 582.

823–Lothair I is crowned King of Italy by Pope Paschal I.

902–Iraqi caliph, Al-Mu'tadid, dies at Hasani Palace in Bagdad, Iraq, at age 40. It was rumored that he was poisoned.

1081–Alexios I Komnenos is crowned Byzantine Emperor at Constantinople, bringing the Komnenian Dynasty to full power.

1205–Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem dies in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem, at age 33.

1242–During the Battle on the Ice of Lake Peipus, Russian forces, led by Alexander Nevsky, rebuff an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights.

1288–Emperor Go-Fushimi of Japan is born in Japan. His reign spanned the years from 1298 to 1301.

1315–James III of Majorca is born in Catania, Sicily. He was the last ruler of independent Majorca.

1536–The last Roman triumph is the Royal Entry of Charles V into Rome.

1566–Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrick van Brederode, force themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands. The Inquisition is suspended and a delegation is sent to Spain to petition Philip II.

1604–Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine, is born Charles de Lorraine in Nancy, France.

1609–Daimyo Shimazu Tadatsune of the Satsuma Domain in southern Kyushu, Japan, completes his successful invasion of the Ryukyu Kingdom in Okinawa.

1614–Native American, Pocahontas, marries English colonist, John Rolfe, in Virginia.

1621–The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts, on its return trip to Great Britain.

1649–Elihu Yale, founder of Yale University, is born in England.

1697–Charles XI, King of Sweden (1660-1697), dies at age 41.

1710–The Statute of Anne receives the Royal Assent, establishing the copyright law of the United Kingdom.

1722–Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen, discovers Easter Island.

1761–Sybil Ludington is born in Kent, New York. The daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, she was a heroine of the American Revolutionary War who, mounted on her horse, Star, became famous for her 40-mile night ride on April 26, 1777, to alert rebel forces to the approach of the British forces. Her action was similar to that of Paul Revere, although she rode more than twice the distance of Revere, and was only 16 years old at the time.

1764–The Sugar Act is passed in Great Britain, placing new restrictions on the import of molasses to America.

1792–President George Washington exercises his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.

1795–Peace of Basel between France and Prussia is made.

1804–The first recorded meteorite in Scotland falls in the town of Possil.

1806–Isaac Quintard patents apple cider.

1815–The volcano Tambora erupts in Sumbawa, Java.

1818–In the Battle of Maipú, Chile's independence movement, led by Bernardo O'Higgins and José de San Martín, are victorious over Spain, killing 2,000 Spaniards and 1,000 Chilean patriots.

1847–Birkenhead Park, the first civic public park in Britain, is opened in Birkenhead.

1856–Educator and author, Booker T. Washington, is born Booker Taliaferro Washington in Hale's Ford, Virginia. Between 1890 and 1915, he was the dominant leader in the African-American community of the U.S. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery, and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. In addition to his contributions in education, Washington wrote 14 books. His autobiography, Up From Slavery, first published in 1901, is still widely read today.

1858–Washington Atlee Burpee is born in Sheffield, New Brunswick, Canada. He is the founder of the world's largest mail-order seed company, Burpee Seeds. At the time of his death in 1915, the company had 300 employees and distributed over one million catalogs a year, receiving 10,000 orders per day.

1862–The Battle of Yorktown begins in the American Civil War.

1869–Daniel Bakeman, last surviving veteran of the Revolutionary War, dies at age 109.

1879–Chile declares war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.

1883–Actor, Walter Huston, is born Walter Thomas Houghston in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He appeared in the films Abraham Lincoln, A House Divided, Rain, Kongo, Dodsworth, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Maltese Falcon, Yankee Doodle Dandy, The Outlaw, Dragon Seed, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and The Furies. He was the father of actor and director John Huston, and the grandfather of actress, Anjelica Huston.

1895–Playwright, Oscar Wilde, loses his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, who'd accused the writer of homosexual practices.

1896–The first modern Olympic Games officially open in Athens, Greece.

1900–Archaeologists in Knossos, Crete, discover a large cache of clay tablets with hieroglyphic writing in a script they call Linear B.

1900–Actor, Spencer (Bonaventure) Tracy, is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During his career, Tracy appeared in 75 films and developed a reputation among his peers as one of the screen's greatest actors. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Tracy as one of the Top Ten Hollywood legends. He appeared in the films Dante’s Inferno, Fury, San Francisco, Libeled Lady, Captains Courageous, Boys Town, Stanley and Livingstone, Young Tom Edison, Northwest Passage, Boom Town, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Woman of the Year, Tortilla Flat, A Guy Named Joe, State of the Union, Adam’s Rib, Father of the Bride, Pat and Mike, The Actress, Bad Day at Black Rock, Desk Set, The Old Man and the Sea, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, How the West Was Won, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

1901–Actor, Melvyn Douglas, is born Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg in Macon, Georgia. He appeared in the films The Gorgeous Hussy, Captains Courageous, Ninotchka, A Woman’s Face, Two-Faced Woman, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Billy Bud, Hud, Advance to the Rear, The Americanization of Emily, I Never Sang for My Father, One is a Lonely Number, The Candidate, and Being There. He was the father of actress, Illeana Douglas.

1905–Actor, Bill Raisch, is born. He is best known for the role of the “one-armed man” in the TV drama series The Fugitive.

1908–Actress, Bette Davis, is born Ruth Elizabeth Davis in Lowell, Maine. She is regarded as one of the greatest actresses in cinema history. Until the late 1940s, Davis was one of American cinema's most celebrated leading ladies, known for her forceful and intense style. Her forthright manner, clipped vocal style, and ubiquitous cigarette contributed to a public persona that has often been imitated and parodied. She appeared in the films The Petrified Forest, Jezebel, Dark Victory, The Old Maid, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Little Foxes, Now, Voyager, A Stolen Life, All About Eve, The Star, The Catered Affair, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Dead Ringer, The Nanny, and The Whales of August. She was married to actor, Gary Merrill.

1909–Film producer, Cubby Broccoli, is born Albert Romolo Broccoli in Queens, New York. His films include Jazz Boat, Dr. No, Call Me Bwana, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Life Twice, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diaonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy.

1911–Waldorf W. Aster acquires The Daily Observer.

1915–Boxing challenger, Jess Willard, knocks out Jack Johnson in Havana, Cuba, to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World.

1916–Actor, Gregory Peck, is born Eldred Gregory Peck in San Diego, California. He appeared in the films Spellbound, The Yearling, Duel in the Sun, Gentleman’s Agreement, Twelve O’Clock High, The Gunfighter, Roman Holiday, The Purple Plain, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Moby Dick, Designing Woman, The Big Countey, Pork Chop Hill, Beloved Infidel, On the Beach, the Guns of Navarone, Cape Fear, How the West Was Won, To Kill a Mockingbird, Captain Newman, M.D., Arabasque, Mackenna’s Gold, Marooned, I Walk the Line, Billy Two Hats, The Omen, The Boys from Brazil, Amazing Grace and Chuck, and Old Gringo.

1917–Fiction writer, Robert (Albert) Bloch, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He focused on crime, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over 30 novels. He is best known for the book Psycho, which became a hit movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. His pen names include Tarleton Fiske, Will Folke, Nathan Hindin, E.K. Jarvis, Floyd Scriltch, Wilson Kane, John Sheldon, and Collier Young.

1920–Novelist, Arthur Hailey, is born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. His novels include Hotel, Airport, Wheels, and The Moneychangers.

1921–TV host, Robert Q. Lewis, is born in New York, New York.

1922–The American Birth Control League, forerunner of Planned Parenthood, is incorporated.

1922–Actor, Christopher (Michael) Hewett, is born in Worthing, Sussex, England. He is best known for the role of Lynn Aloysius Belvedere on the sitcom Mr. Belvedere. He appeared in the films Pool of London, The Lavender Hill Mob, The Producers, and Ratboy.

1922–Actress, Gale Storm, is born Josephine Owaissa Cottle in Bloomington, Texas. She is best known for her starring role on the 1950s TV series My Little Margie. She appeared in the films Tom Brown’s School Days, Let’s Go Collegiate, Red River Valley, Revenge of the Zombies, Campus Rhythm, G.I. Honeymoon, It Happened on Fifth Avenue, Abandoned, Curtain Call at Cactus Creek, The Underworld Story, and Between Midnight and Dawn.

1923–The Firestone Company puts inflatable tires into production.

1923–Nguyen Van Thieu, President of South Vietnam (1965-1975), is born.

1923–Egyptologist, George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, dies of blood poisoning (progressing to pneumonia) in Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt, at age 56. He was an English aristocrat best known as the financial backer of the search for and the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings. His death led to the story of the "Curse of Tutankhamun," the "Mummy's Curse."

1926–Movie director, Roger (William) Corman, is born in Detroit, Michigan. He has been called "The Pope of Pop Cinema," and is known as a trailblazer in the world of independent film. A number of noted film directors and producers worked with Corman (usually early in their careers), including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Bartel, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante, James Cameron, John Sayles, Jonathan Kaplan, and Robert Towne. Actors who obtained their career breaks working for Corman include Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper, Talia Shire, Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro, and David Carradine. His films include Swamp Women, Day the World Ended, Gunslinger, It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Undead, Teenage Caveman, The Wasp Woman, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Intruder, The Masque of the Red Death, The Wild Angels, The Trip, Bloody Mama, The Dunwich Horror, and Boxcar Bertha.

1928–Tony Williams, of The Platters, is born Samuel E. Williams in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

1929–Actor, Nigel (Barnard) Hawthorne, is born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England. He appeared in the films Carve Her Name with Pride, Young Winston, History of the World: Part 1, Gandhi, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, Turtle Diary, The Madness of King George, and Amistad.

1929–Record producer, Joe Meek, is born Robert George Meek in Newent, Gloucestershire, England. His best-remembered hit is the Tornados' Telstar, which became the first record by a British group to reach #1 in the U.S. “Hot 100.” Meek worked with Chris Barber, Shirley Bassey, The Beat Boys, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, The Pete Best Four, The Checkmates, Petula Clark, The Cryin' Shames, Billie Davis, Lonnie Donegan, Diana Dors, Billy Fury, The Honeycombs, Tom Jones, John Leyton, Sounds Incorporated, Tommy Steele, Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, The Tornados, Frankie Vaughan, and Gene Vincent. Meek was ranked the greatest producer of all time by New Music Express.

1932–Alcohol prohibition ends in Finland and alcohol sales begin in Alko liquor stores.

1932–Ten thousand rioters seize the Colonial Building in the Dominion of Newfoundland, leading to the end of self-government.

1933–President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs two executive orders: 6101 to establish the Civilian Conservation Corps, and 6102 "forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates" by U.S. citizens.

1934–Comedian-impressionist, Frank Gorshin, is born Frank John Gorshin, Jr. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is best known for the role of The Riddler in the TV series Batman. He appeared in the films Hot Rod Girl, The True Story of Jesse James, Dragstrip Girl, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Bells Are Ringing, Where the Boys Are, That Darn Cat!, and 12 Monkeys.

1934–Jazz tenor sax player, Stanley Turrentine, is born. He played with Tommy Turrentine, Lowell Fulson, Tadd Dameron, Earl Bostic, and Max Roach.

1936–A tornado hits Tupelo, Mississippi, devastating the town and killing 216 people. Elvis Presley, still an infant, is held by his mother, Gladys, in his Great Uncle Noah's house until the storm passes.

1937–Military leader, Colin (Luther) Powell, is born in New York, New York. He is an American statesman and a retired Four-Star General in the U.S. Army. He was the 65th U.S. Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African-American to serve in that position. During his military career, Powell also served as National Security Advisor (1987-1989), as Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command (1989), and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993), holding the latter position during the Persian Gulf War.

1939–In Germany, membership in “Hitler Youth” becomes obligatory.

1939–Singer-songwriter, Crispian St. Peters, is born Robin Peter Smith in Swanley, Kent, England. He had a big hit with The Pied Piper.

1939–Choreographer, David Winters, is born in London, England. He worked on the teen music show Hullabaloo.

1941–Eric Burdon, of The Animals, is born in Newcastle, England.

1941–Actor, Michael Moriarty, is born in Detroit, Michigan. He appeared in the films Bang the Drum Slowly, The Last Detail, and Windmills of the Gods.

1942–The Imperial Japanese Navy launches a carrier-based air attack on Colombo, Ceylon, during the Indian Ocean raid during World War II. Port and civilian facilities are damaged and the Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk southwest of the island.

1942–Allan Clarke, vocalist with the pop group The Hollies, is born in Salford, Lancashire, England.

1943–Actor, Max Gail, is born in Detroit, Michigan. He is best known for his co-starring role on the TV sitcom Barney Miller.

1944–During World War II, 270 inhabitants of Kleisoura, Greece, are executed by the Germans.

1944–Dave Holland, of Judas Priest, is born.

1945–Kuniaki Koiso resigns as Prime Minister of Japan and is replaced by Kantaro Suzuki.

1945–The temperature at Eagles Nest, New Mexico, drops to 45 degrees below zero.

1946–Stage and screen actress, Jane Asher, is born in London, England. She was the envy of millions of Beatles fans as the long-time girlfriend of Paul McCartney. She appeared in the films The Greengage Summer, Masque of the Red Death, Alfie, and The Buttercup Chain. Her brother is musician, Peter Asher, of Peter and Gordon.

1949–A fire in the 60-year-old St. Anthony’s Hospital in Effingham, Illinois, kills 77 people, resulting in nationwide fire code improvements.

1950–Agnetha Fltskog, of ABBA, is born in Jonkoping, Sweden.

1951–Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death for performing espionage for the Soviet Union.

1954–Stan Ridgway, of Wall of Voodoo, is born Stanard Ridgway in Barstow, California. The group's biggest hit was Mexican Radio. His songs have been heard in the films Rumble Fish, Slam Dance, Pump Up the Volume, Box of Moonlight, and Simpatico.

1955–Winston Churchill resigns as British Prime Minister, and is succeeded by Anthony Eden.

1955–Richard J. Daley is elected Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, beginning one of the most controversial political careers in American history.

1956–In Sri Lanka, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike is sworn in as the Prime Minister of Ceylon.

1957–In India, Communists win the first elections in united Kerala, and E.M.S. Namboodiripad is sworn in as the first Chief Minister.

1957–Country singer, Vince Gill, is born in Norman, Oklahoma.

1958–Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada, is destroyed in a non-nuclear controlled explosion.

1958–Johnny Mathis’ album, Johnny’s Greatest Hits on Columbia Records, makes it to the pop music charts for the first time. The LP will remain on the charts for a record 490 weeks (nearly 9.5 years).

1959–The 23rd Golf Masters Championship: Art Wall, Jr., wins, shooting a 284.

1963–Singer, Jimmy Osmond, of The Osmond Brothers, is born.

1964–The first driverless trains run on the London Underground.

1964–U.S. Army General, Douglas MacArthur, dies of biliary cirrhosis in Washington, D.C., at age 84. During his lifetime, MacArthur earned over 100 military decorations from the U.S. and other countries, including the Medal of Honor.

1965–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1965–The 37th Annual Academy Awards announces its winners. Best Picture: My Fair Lady; Best Actor: Rex Harrison for My Fair Lady; Best Actress: Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins; Best Director: George Cukor for My Fair Lady; Best Foreign Film: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Italy). The ceremonies are held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. The host is Bob Hope.

1966–Dr. Timothy Leary speaks at New York’s Town Hall, saying that the drug LSD “is to psychology what the microscope is to biology.”

1966–Mike McCready, guitarist for Pearl Jam, is born Michael David McCready in Pensacola, Florida.

1967–Fans of The Monkees march in London, England, in protest of the announcement that Davy Jones would be inducted into the British Army. Jones is eventually exempted from duty for being his family's main provider.

1969–Massive anti-war demonstrations are held in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the United States.

1970–An article in The New York Times defends rock music as “the most popular of creative arts today.”

1971–In Sri Lanka, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna launches a revolt against the United Front government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

1971–Mount Etna erupts in Sicily, Italy.

1971–The Los Angeles Times reports that the New School for Social Research in New York City is one of the first institutions to offer a course on rock & roll music. Several years later, it would also be the first school to offer a course in audio engineering.

1972–A tornado, 500 yards wide at times, touches down at a marina on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. It then tears through Vancouver, Washington, killing six people, injuring 300 others, and causing more than $5 million in damage.

1972–Actor, Brian Donlevy, dies of throat cancer in Woodland Hills, California, at age 71. He is best known for his supporting roles as dangerous tough guys from the 1930s to the 1960s.

1973–Pierre Messmer becomes Prime Minister of France.

1973–Singer and music producer, Pharrell (Lanscilo) Williams, is born in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His biggest hit was the song Happy. On March 31, 2014, Williams was announced as a new coach for the seventh season of reality competition series, The Voice, replacing CeeLo Green. On May 18, 2015, Team Pharrell’s 16-year-old Sawyer Fredericks won the eighth season of The Voice.

1974–The World Trade Center opens in New York City. It is (at the time) the tallest building in the world with 110 stories. On September 11, 2001, the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history would in a few hours turn the twin towers into rubble.

1975–Chiang Kai-shek, Nationalist Chinese leader, dies of a heart attack at age 87.

1976–James Callaghan becomes Prime Minister of England.

1976–Reclusive billionaire, Howard Hughes, dies of kidney failure en route to Houston, Texas, at age 70. In 1983, Hughes' $2.5 billion estate was eventually split among 22 cousins, including William Lummis, who serves as a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Hughes was an American business tycoon, entrepreneur, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, inventor, filmmaker, and philanthropist. During his lifetime, he was known as the wealthiest self-made man in the world. He is remembered for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle in later life, caused in part by a worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and chronic pain.

1977–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1980–EMI Records announces a £28 million loss for the second half of 1979. The company had seen an £18 million profit for the same time period a year earlier. The stats show the hard times the record industry is experiencing.

1980–Political pundit, Mary Katharine Ham, is born in Montgomery, Alabama. She is editor at large of Hot Air, a contributing editor to Townhall Magazine, and a CNN contributor. She was a Fox News Channel contributor for eight years.

1982–After years of publication to the radio and recording industry, Record World magazine closes up shop and files for bankruptcy protection.

1983–Danny Rapp, of Danny & the Juniors, dies of suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Quartzsite, Arizona, at age 41. The group had hits in the 1950s with At the Hop and Rock and Roll is Here to Stay.

1986–Three people are killed in the bombing of the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, Germany.

1987–Calling it the first launching of a television network in almost 40 years, the FOX Broadcasting Company, under the direction of media and publishing baron, Rupert Murdoch, begins transmitting two Sunday night offerings: Married... With Children and The Tracey Ullman Show.

1987–A storm produces unprecedented April snows in the central Appalachian Mountains. Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, receives 35 inches of snow, and up to 60 inches (six feet) of snow was reported in the mountains along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.

1988–The Democratic National Convention picks Michael Dukakis as it Presidential candidate.

1989–Late Night with David Letterman becomes the first network TV show to use Dolby stereo.

1989–Unseasonably hot weather is experienced in the southwestern U.S. Afternoon highs of 100 degrees at Santa Maria, California, and 105 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, establishes records for the month of April.

1990–After serving part of his sentence for drug possession, resisting arrest, and other charges, soul singer, James Brown, is put on a work-release program. He is moved to South Carolina's Lower Savannah Work Center, where he is paid $4.00 per hour to provide counseling for drug addicts.

1991–The U.S. begins air drops to Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq.

1991–An ASA EMB 120 crashes in Brunswick, Georgia, killing all 23 people aboard including Senator John Tower and Astronaut, Sonny Carter.

1992–Alberto Fujimori, President of Peru, dissolves the Peruvian Congress by military force.

1992–Sam Walton, CEO of Walmart, dies of cancer in Little Rock, Arkansas, at age 74.

1993–Construction begins on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

1994–Grunge rocker, Kurt Cobain, of Nirvana, commits suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Seattle, Washington, at age 27. During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness, and depression. He also had difficulty coping with his fame and public image, and the professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician Courtney Love.

1994–Enologist, Andre Tchelistcheff, dies. He was a pivotal figure in the revitalization of the California wine industry following Prohibition. He used his training in viticulture and wine making in Paris, France, to pioneer techniques such as cold fermentation and the use of American oak barrels for aging. He was also an authority on the types of soil that were suitable for growing different grape varieties.

1997–Poet, Allen Ginsberg, dies of heart failure in New York, New York, at age 70. He was one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s, and the counterculture of the 1960s. He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism, and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem, "Howl", in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.

1998–In Japan, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge opens to traffic, becoming the longest bridge span in the world.

1998–Rock drummer, Cozy Powell, is killed in a high-speed car crash near Bristol, England, at age 50. Powell played with Black Sabbath, Jeff Beck, Brian May, and Whitesnake.

1999–Two Libyans suspected of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 are handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.

2000–Racecar driver, Lee Petty, dies from an abdominal aortic aneurysm in Greensboro, North Carolina, at age 86. He was one of the pioneers of NASCAR, and one of its first superstars.

2004–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: Staff of The Los Angeles Times for its engrossing examination of the tactics that have made Wal-Mart the largest company in the world with cascading effects across American towns and developing countries; Fiction: The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Amistad/Harper Collins); Drama: I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright (Faber and Faber); Non-Fiction: Gulag–A History by Anne Applebaum (Doubleday); History: A Nation Under Our Feet by Steven Hahn (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press); Biography or Autobiography: Khrushchev–The Man and His Era by William Taubman (W.W. Norton); Poetry: Walking to Martha's Vineyard by Franz Wright (Alfred A. Knopf); Photography: Carolyn Cole, of The Los Angeles Times, for her cohesive, behind-the-scenes look at the effects of civil war in Liberia, with special attention to innocent citizens caught in the conflict; Music: Tempest Fantasy by Paul Moravec (Subito Music).

2005–Writer, Saul Bellow, dies in Brookline, Massachusetts, at age 89. His works include The Victim, Seize the Day, Herzog, and A Theft.

2005–Actress, Debralee Scott, dies of cirrhosis in Amelia Island, Florida, at age 52. She is best known for her roles on the sitcoms Welcome Back Kotter, Angie, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, and Forever Fernwood. She appeared in the films Dirty Harry, American Graffiti, The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder, Our Time, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, Pandemonium, and Police Academy.

2006–Singer, Gene Pitney, dies of a heart attack in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, at age 66. His hits include Town Without Pity, (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance, Only Love Can Break a Heart, True Love Never Runs Smooth, Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa, and It Hurts to Be in Love.

2008–Actor, Charlton Heston, dies of pneumonia in Beverly Hills, California, at age 84. He is best known for the role of Moses in the epic film The Ten Commandments. He appeared in the films The Greatest Show on Earth, Ruby Gentry, The Far Horizons, Touch of Evil, The Big Country, Ben-Hur, El Cid, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Major Dundee, Will Penny, Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Soylent Green, Earthquake, and Midway.

2009–North Korea launches its controversial Kwangmyongsong-2 rocket. The satellite passes over mainland Japan, which prompts an immediate reaction from the United Nations Security Council.

2010–Twenty-nine coal miners are killed in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.

2012–International internet group, Anonymous, hacks several Chinese bureaus in opposition to the country’s censorship.

2012–About 20 million people in southern and eastern England are banned from using garden hoses for gardening or cleaning, due to a two-year drought. The fine for using a hose is £1,000 ($1,500).

2012–Businessman, Jim Marshall, dies of natural causes in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, age 88. He founded Marshall Amplification and built amps for some of the biggest names in rock music. He is considered to be one of the “four fathers” of rock music equipment, along with Leo Fender, Les Paul, and Seth Lover.

2012–German car designer, Ferdinand A. Porsche, dies at age 76.

2015–Three men are hospitalized after a swarm of 20,000 to 30,000 bees attacked them in New Port Richey, Florida. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the group was attempting to get honey from the hive and that is what prompted the attack.

2015–Actor, Richard Dysart, dies after a long illness in Santa Monica, California, at age 86. He is best known for the role of Leland McKenzie on the TV drama L.A. Law. He appeared in the films Petulia, The Lost Man, The Hospital, The Terminal Man, The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder, The Day of the Locust, An Enemy of the People, Meteor, Being There, The Thing, The Falcon and the Snowman, Mask, Pale Rider, Wall Street, and Back to the Future Part III.

2016–France places Panama back on its list of countries that don't cooperate in catching tax evaders. This comes from the release of the “Panama Papers,” which implicates hundreds of famous and wealthy people in laundering money offshore.

2017–Mexican Beltrán Leyva Cartel drug lord, Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, is sentenced to life in prison and ordered to forfeit $529,200,000.

2017–North Korea fires a medium-range ballistic missile about 37 miles into its eastern waters, according to United States and South Korean officials. U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, issues a statement saying "The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment."

2017–Two openly gay candidates are elected to the Anchorage Assembly, becoming the first LGBT elected officials in Alaska.

2017–Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource Inc. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, announcing it plans to close 400 under-performing stores in America.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: St. Patrick; the Mayflower; apple cider; Spencer Tracy; Bette Davis; Gregory Peck; Gale Storm; Joe Meek; tornado ravaged Tupelo, Mississippi; The Hollies; Jane Asher; Vince Gill; a scene from the film Mary Poppins; Mt. Etna; the original World Trade Center Twin Towers; Mary Katharine Ham; Sam Walton; Allen Ginsberg; The Known World by Edward P. Jones; Charlton Heston; and Ferdinand A. Porsche.

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