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1954–The TV Dinner is introduced to the American public by Swanson & Sons. The first offering is roast turkey with stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes, and peas. It sells for 98¢ and comes in an aluminum tray, so it can easily be heated in the oven. The dinners are an immediate success. Supposedly executive, Gerald Thomas, came up with the idea when the company had tons of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. And the idea for the aluminum containers came from the trays used for airline food. Swanson would drop the term “TV dinner” in 1962.

BC 46–Julius Caesar defeats Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) in the battle of Thapsus.

402–Stilicho stymies the Visigoths under Alaric in the Battle of Pollentia.

943–Nasr II, ruler (amir) of the Samanid Empire, dies at age 38.

1199–Richard I of England dies from an infection following the removal of an arrow from his shoulder, at age 41.

1250–In the Seventh Crusade, Ayyubids of Egypt capture King Louis IX of France in the Battle of Fariskur.

1250–Guillaume de Sonnac, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, dies. He was succeeded as Grand Master by Renaud de Vichiers.

1320–The Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.

1327–At age 22, Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca), sees a beautiful married woman in the Church of Santa Clara, Avignon, France. He will write 366 poems to her throughout his life, addressing her always as “Laura” and never revealing her true identity.

1385–John, Master of the Order of Aviz, is made King John I of Portugal.

1453–Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul).

1483–Artist, Raphael, is born Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino in Urbino, Marche, Italy. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of the Renaissance. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms are the central, and the largest, work of his career. His best known work is “The School of Athens” in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura.

1489–Jodha of Mandore, Ruler of Marwar, dies at age 73. He was succeeded by his son, Rao Satal.

1490–Hungarian King, Matthias Corvinus, dies of a stroke (or possible poisoning) in Vienna, Austria, at age 47.

1520–Artist, Raphael, dies of an acute illness in Rome, Italy, at age 37. It has been said that his death was caused by a night of excessive sex with a mistress, Margherita Luti, after which he fell into a fever. In not telling his doctors that this was its cause, he was given the wrong cure, which killed him.

1528–Late Renaissance master, Albrecht Dürer, dies in Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire, at age 56. His superior woodcuts established his reputation while he was still a very young man. Dürer is widely held as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance. His vast works include altarpieces and other religious works, portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings.

1580–One of the largest earthquakes recorded in the history of England, Flanders, and Northern France, takes place.

1652–At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor, Jan van Riebeeck, establishes a resupply camp that eventually becomes Cape Town.

1671–Poet and playwright, Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, is born in Paris, France. He was particularly known for his cynical epigrams.

1712–The New York Slave Revolt begins near Broadway.

1782–King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) of Siam (present-day Thailand) founds the Chakri Dynasty.

1793–During the French Revolution, the period known as the Reign of Terror begins.

1808–John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company, which would eventually make him America's first millionaire.

1812–British forces, under the command of the Duke of Wellington, assault the fortress of Badajoz. This is the turning point in the Peninsular War against Napoleon-led France.

1814–Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba.

1826–Artist, Gustave Moreau, is born in Paris, France. He was a Symbolist painter whose main emphasis was the illustration of biblical and mythological figures. Oedipus and the Sphinx, one of his first Symbolist paintings, was exhibited at the Salon of 1864 and Moreau quickly gained a reputation for eccentricity. The painting currently resides in the permanent collection at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. During his lifetime, Moreau produced more than 8,000 paintings, watercolors, and drawings.

1830–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. and five others at Fayette, New York.

1832–The Sauk warrior, Black Hawk, enters into war with the United States.

1841–President John Tyler is sworn in, two days after having become President upon William Henry Harrison's death.

1841–The cornerstone is laid for the second Mormon temple, in Nauvoo, Missouri.

1860–Joseph Smith III, creates the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by reorganizing the previous church that had been established by his father, Joseph Smith, Jr.

1860–Glass and jewelry designer and founder of Lalique Glass, René Jules Lalique, is born in Ay, Marne, France. His childhood in the French countryside informed his later work, with naturalist motifs dominating his style. He was recognized first as one of France's foremost designers of Art Nouveau jewelry, and later, art deco glassware.

1861–The first performance is given of Arthur Sullivan's debut success, his suite of incidental music for The Tempest, which leads to a career that includes the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

1865–In the Battle of Sailor's Creek, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia fights and loses its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Virginia, during the Appomattox Campaign.

1866–The Grand Army of the Republic, a patriotic organization composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, is founded.

1868–Brigham Young marries his 27th (and final) wife.

1869–The first plastic, called celluloid, is patented.

1886–The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is incorporated.

1886–Athenagoras I of Constantinople is born Aristocles Matthew Spyrou in Vasilikón, Epirus, Greece. Initially the Greek Archbishop in North America, he was the 268th Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1948 to 1972.

1888–Thomas Green Clemson dies, bequeathing his estate to the State of South Carolina to establish Clemson Agricultural College.

1889–George Eastman introduces the Kodak Camera to the buying public.

1892–Aircraft pioneer, Donald Wills Douglas, Sr., is born in Brooklyn, New York. He founded the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1921 (the company later merged into McDonnell Douglas Corporation). Under his leadership, the company became one of the leaders of the commercial aircraft industry.

1892–Newscaster, Lowell (Jackson) Thomas, is born in Woodington, Darke County, Ohio. He was a writer, broadcaster, and traveler, best known as the man who made Lawrence of Arabia famous.

1893–A Mormon temple is dedicated in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1894–Super-centenarian, Gertrude Baines, is born in Shellman, Georgia. She will live to the age of 115 (and 158 days).

1895–Oscar Wilde is arrested in the Cadogan Hotel, London, England, after losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry.

1896–The opening of the first modern Olympic Games is celebrated in Athens, Greece, 1,500 years after the original games were banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

1909–Commodore Robert Peary becomes the first man to reach the North Pole. But in truth, Robert Peary and Matthew H. Henson, Peary’s servant, were the first men to reach the North Pole. Because Henson was a hired black man, his presence at this historic moment was not recognized until 1945, when he received a medal for outstanding service in the field of science from the U.S. government.

1916–Actor, Charlie Chaplin, signs a movie contract with the Mutual Film Corporation. He receives $675,000 a year, becoming the highest-paid film star in the world.

1917–The U.S. declares war on Germany and enters World War I.

1919–Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi orders a general strike.

1923–The first Prefects Board in Southeast Asia is formed at Victoria Institution in Malaysia.

1926–Varney Airlines (the root company of United Airlines) makes its first commercial flight.

1926–The Stanley Cup: The Montreal Maroons beats the Victoria Cougars, 3 games to 1.

1926–Singer and actor, Sergio Franchi, is born Sergio Franci Galli in Codogno, Province of Lodi, Italy. He enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame in America as a multimedia star and recording artist after being discovered on British TV in 1962.

1927–Jazz musician, Gerry Mulligan, is born Gerald Joseph Mulligan in Queens, New York. He was a baritone sax player and composer, who would go on to work with Miles Davis, Stan Kenton, and Chet Baker, among many other jazz greats. Among his albums are Mulligan Plays Mulligan, The Original Quartet with Chet Baker, Blues in Time, and Jeru. He appeared in the films I Want to Live!, The Subterraneans, Bells Are Ringing, and The Rat Race.

1928–Actress, Joi Lansing, is born Joy Brown in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is noted for her pin-up photos and various roles on television. She appeared in the films Easter Parade, Blondie’s Secret, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Neptune’s Daughter, On the Riviera, Singin’ in the Rain, The Merry Window, Touch of Evil, Queen of Outer Space, A Hole in the Head, Who Was That Lady?, and Marriage on the Rocks.

1929–Huey P. Long, Governor of Louisiana, is impeached by the Louisiana House of Representatives.

1929–Pianist-composer, André (George) Previn, is born Andreas Ludwig Priwin in Berlin, Germany. His film scores include Gigi, Porgy and Bess, Irma La Douce, and My Fair Lady. He would also conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as the London and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras. He was married to singer-songwriter, Dory Previn, and actress, Mia Farrow.

1930–Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt and declares, "With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire," beginning the Salt Satyagraha.

1930–The all-American snack treat, Hostess Twinkies, is invented by bakery executive James Dewar.

1931–Author and educator, Ram Dass, is born Richard Alpert in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a spiritual teacher and the author of the 1971 book Be Here Now. He is known for his personal and professional associations with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s, for his travels to India, and his relationship with Hindu Guru, Neem Karoli Baba.

1933–Actor, Dudley Sutton, is born in Surrey, England. He appeared in the films The Boys, The Leather Boys, The Walking Stick, The Stud, Valentino, The Big Sleep, Brimstone and Treacle, Orlando, and Incognito.

1936–A tornado outbreak in the Deep South results in a total of 446 deaths and $18 million in damage. The paths of two tornadoes meet at about 8:30 a.m. and cut a swath four blocks wide through Gainesville, Georgia, killing 203 people, injuring 934, and causing $13 million in damage. Eight to 10 feet of debris fills the streets following the storm.

1936–The 3rd Golf Masters Championship: Horton Smith wins, shooting a 285.

1937–Country musician and songwriter, Merle (Ronald) Haggard, is born in Bakersfield, California. His his include Okie from Muskogee, Workin’ Man Blues, and Mama Tried.

1937–Actor, Billy Dee Williams, is born William December Williams, Jr. in Harlem, New York. He is best known for his co-starring role in the film Lady Sings the Blues. He also appeared in the films The Last Angry Man, The Out-of-Towners, Hit!, Mahogany, The Empire Strikes Back, Nighthawks, Batman, and Undercover Brother.

1938–Teflon is invented by Roy J. Plunkett.

1938–Actor, Roy Thinnes, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for his portrayal of David Vincent in the TV series The Invaders. He appeared in the films Doppelganger, Black Noon, Death Race, The Horror at 37,000 Feet, Satan’s School for Girls, Airport 1975, The Hindenburg, and Broken English. He was married to actress, Lynn Loring

1941–In World War II, Nazi Germany launches Operation 25 (the invasion of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) and Operation Marita (the invasion of Greece).

1941–The 8th Golf Masters Championship: Craig Wood wins, shooting a 280.

1942–Screenwriter and director, Barry Levinson, is born in Baltimore, Maryland. His films include Silent Movie, High Anxiety, ...And Justice For All, Tootsie, Best Friends, Diner, The Natural, Tin Men, Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man, Avalon, Bugsy, Disclosure, Quiz Show, and Wag the Dog. He was married to actress, Valerie Curtin.

1944–Model, Anita Pallenberg, is born in Rome, Italy. She was the romantic partner of Rolling Stones' guitarist, Brian Jones, and later, the partner of guitarist, Keith Richards, with whom she had three children. She appeared in the films Candy, Barbarella, and Performance.

1945–Sarajevo is liberated from German and Croatian forces by the Yugoslav Partisans.

1947–The first Tony Awards are presented for theatrical achievement.

1947–The 11th Golf Masters Championship: Jimmy Demaret wins, shooting a 281.

1947–Actor, John (Dezso) Ratzenberger, is born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is best known for the role of mail carrier, Cliff Clavin, on the TV series Cheers. He appeared in the films The Ritz, A Bridge Too Far, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Superman, Hanover Street, The Empire Strikes Back, Outland, Gandhi, and The Village Barbershop.

1952–The 16th Golf Masters Championship: Sam Snead wins, shooting a 286.

1952–Actress, Marilu Henner, is born Mary Lucy Denise Henner in Chicago, Illinois. She is best known for the role of Elaine on the TV series Taxi. She appeared in the films Between the Lines, Bloodbrothers, The Man Who Loved Women, Cannonball Run II, Johnny Dangerously, Rustlers Rhapsody, Perfect, L.A. Story, and Noises Off. She was married to actor, Frederic Forrest.

1954–The TV Dinner is introduced to the American public by Swanson & Sons. The first offering is roast turkey with stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes, and peas. It sells for 98¢ and comes in an aluminum tray, so it can easily be heated in the oven. The dinners are an immediate success. Supposedly executive, Gerald Thomas, came up with the idea when the company had tons of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. And the idea for the aluminum containers came from the trays used for airline food. Swanson would drop the term “TV dinner” in 1962.

1954–The U.S. conducts an atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island.

1955–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1956–The Capitol Records building is dedicated in Los Angeles, California. It's the first circular office tower in America. It is 13 stories tall and 92 feet in diameter. At night, a light at the tip of the tower blinks the letters "H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D" in Morse Code.

1956–Politician, Michele Bachmann, is born Michele Marie Amble in Waterloo, Iowa. A Republican, she is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who represented Minnesota's 6th Congressional District from 2007 to 2015.

1957–Greek shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis, buys the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founds Olympic Airlines.

1957–The USSR conducts an atmospheric nuclear test.

1957–Trolley cars in New York City complete their final runs from Queens to Manhattan, to be retired at the end of the day.

1958–Alan Freed's “Big Beat Show” opens in Cleveland, Ohio, featuring Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon, Danny & The Juniors, The Chantels, Larry Williams, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Jo Ann Campbell, and Ed Townsend.

1958–The 22nd Golf Masters Championship: Arnold Palmer wins, shooting a 284.

1959–The 31st Annual Academy Awards announces its winners. Best Picture: Gigi; Best Actor: David Niven for Separate Tables; Best Actress: Susan Hayward for I Want to Live!; Best Director: Vincente Minnelli for Gigi; Best Foreign Film: My Uncle (France). The ceremonies are held at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. The hosts are Jerry Lewis, Mort Sahl, Tony Randall, Bob Hope, David Niven, and Laurence Olivier. The show's producer, Jerry Wald, started cutting numbers from the show to make sure it ran on time. He cut too much material and the ceremony ended 20 minutes early, leaving Jerry Lewis attempting to fill in the extra time.

1962–Pravda warns Soviet youth of the dangers of “twisting” (dancing the Twist).

1962–Conductor, Leonard Bernstein, causes controversy with his remarks from the podium during a New York Philharmonic concert featuring Glenn Gould performing Brahms' First Piano Concerto.

1965–The launch of Early Bird, the first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit, takes place.

1966–The Beatles are in the EMI studios in London, England, to record he first session for the album that came to be called Revolver. The first song to be taped: Tomorrow Never Knows, originally titled “Mark I” and then “The Void.” The song vividly conjures up the mental dislocation and spiritual quest unlocked by an LSD trip, with lyrics that borrow from the book, The Psychedelic Experience, by Timothy Leary (which was based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead.) At the session, John Lennon tells George Martin that he wants to incorporate the sound of 4,000 monks chanting from a mountain top. It only takes three takes to get the basic song track recorded, but it takes the rest of this day, some of the next, and some additional time on April 22nd to complete the complex overdubs. The song is the first to use Artificial Double Tracking, which is the invention of Abbey Road engineer, Ken Townsend. The song uses a multitude of tape loops, feeding voices and effects through a revolving Leslie speaker, and guitar distortion (for the "seagull-like" noise on the track). The studio wizardry was created by The Beatles, George Martin, and Geoff Emerick. For perspective on how far The Beatles were advancing musically, She Loves You was recorded less than three years earlier.

1968–Pierre Trudeau wins the Liberal Leadership Election and becomes Prime Minister of Canada soon after.

1968–The Beatles open the offices of Apple Corps Ltd. in London, England.

1968–HemisFair 1968 opens in San Antonio, Texas.

1968–The Firestone World Bowling Tournament of Champions is won by Dave Davis.

1968–Rock group, Pink Floyd, announces that founder Syd Barrett has officially left the group. He is suffering from psychiatric disorders compounded by drug use.

1968–In the downtown district of Richmond, Indiana, a double explosion kills 41 people and injures 150 others.

1969–Bassist, Pete Quaife, announces that he's quitting The Kinks.

1969–Actress, Ari Meyers, is born Ariadne Meyer in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is best known for the role of Emma Jane McArdle in the TV series Kate & Allie. She appeared in the films Author! Author!, Shakma, Think Big, Dutch, and How to Make an American Quilt.

1969–Actor, Paul (Stephen) Rudd, is born in Passaic, New Jersey. He appeared in the films Runaway Daughters, Clueless, The Locusts, The Object of My Affection, 200 Cigarettes, The Cider House Rules, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Night at the Museum, Knocked Up, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

1970–Four California Highway Patrol officers are killed in a shootout in Newhall, California.

1970–Jim Morrison's attorney, Max Fink, requests a deferral of sentencing in the trial on federal charges stemming from an incident on a Continental Airlines flight. Judge William P. Copple approves the extension, based on Morrison's claim that it was a case of mistaken identity.

1971–Rolling Stones Records is formed to promote the hits of The Rolling Stones. The famous Stones trademark, the lips logo, would become widely used.

1971–Carly Simon is introduced to James Taylor backstage after her concert at the Troubadour nightclub in Santa Moncia, California.

1971–Russian born composer, Igor Stravinsky, dies in New York, at age 88. He is best known for his compositions The Rite of Spring and The Firebird.

1972–In the Easter Offensive, American forces begin sustained air strikes and naval bombardments during the Vietnam War.

1972–Child actor, Jason Hervey, is born. He is best known for the role of Wayne Arnold on the sitcom The Wonder Years.

1973–The Pioneer 11 spacecraft is launched.

1973–The American League of Major League Baseball begins using the designated hitter.

1974–ABBA become European stars overnight, when their composition Waterloo wins the annual Eurovision Song Contest.

1974–The Firestone World Bowling Tournament of Champions is won by Earl Anthony.

1976–Actress, Candace (Helaine) Cameron, is born in Panorama City, California. She is best known for her role on the TV series Full House. Her brother is actor, Kirk Cameron.

1977–A 6.0 earthquake in Iran kills at least 348 people and injures 200 others.

1977–In New York, former Beatles representative, Allen Klein, is indicted by a grand jury on charges of failing to report more than $216,000 income from the sale of promotional Beatles records. It’s claimed that Klein schemed to get them sold to wholesalers and distributors at a profit.

1979–Student protests break out in Nepal.

1981–Bob "Bear" Hite, of Canned Heat, dies of an accidental overdose of heroin in Los Angeles, California, at age 38. The band’s hits include On the Road Again, Goin’ Up the Country, and Let’s Work Together.

1983–A German court orders Paul McCartney to pay Bettina Heubers, a 20-year-old German woman who claims to be McCartney's illegitimate daughter, the equivalent of $282 per month until the case is settled. Paul offers to submit blood tests (or any other necessary tests), that will later prove that he is not the woman's father.

1984–Members of Cameroon's Republican Guard unsuccessfully attempt to overthrow the government headed by Paul Biya.

1985–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1988–McDonald's opens its 10,000th restaurant, this one located in Dale City, Virginia.

1988–A powerful storm produces wind gusts to 75 mph around Chicago, Illinois, and high winds create 25-foot waves on Lake Michigan.

1989–Unseasonably hot weather hits California. Afternoon highs of 91 degrees in downtown San Francisco, 93 degrees in San Jose, 98 degrees in San Diego, 103 degrees in Santa Maria, 104 degrees in Riverside, and 106 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, establish records for the month of April.

1990–In Virginia, a heavy, wet snow blankets northern and central sections of the Shenandoah Valley, and eastern foothills, with up to 12 inches reported around Harrisonburg. Heavy snow also covers the high elevations of West Virginia, with 10 inches reported at Snowshoe.

1991–Former child actor, Adam Rich, is arrested for breaking into a pharmacy.

1992–The Bosnian War begins.

1992–George Harrison plays his first full-length, live concert in London, England, since The Beatles final performance there in 1969. It will benefit the Natural Law Party, an organization that promotes transcendental mediation and a spiritual lifestyle. When asked about The Beatles association with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and how he feels about transcendental meditation, George replies: “I still practice transcendental meditation and I think it’s great. Maharishi only ever did good for us, and although I have not been with him physically, I have never left him.”

1992–Voting begins on the choice between two styles of Elvis Presley postage stamps: the 1956 Elvis or the 1970s “jumpsuit” Elvis.

1992–Science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, dies of heart and kidney failure in Brooklyn, New York, at age 72. Asimov became one of the most prolific writers of all time: he wrote and published 40 novels, 382 short stories, and over 280 non-fiction books.

1994–The Rwandan Genocide begins when the aircraft carrying Rwandan President, Juvénal Habyarimana, and Burundian President, Cyprien Ntaryamira, is shot down.

1996–The Beatles' Anthology 2 goes to #1 on the U.S. albums chart.

1996–Actress, Greer Garson, dies of heart failure in Dallas, Texas, at age 91. She appeared in the films Goodbye Mr. Chips, Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Miniver, Random Harvest, Madame Curie, Mrs. Parkington, That Forsyte Woman, Sunrise at Campobello, The Singing Nun, and The Happiest Millionaire.

1998–Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of hitting India.

1998–Punk rocker, Wendy O. Williams, dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Storrs, Connecticut, at age 48. Williams first attempted suicide in 1993, by hammering a knife into her chest where it lodged in her sternum: she changed her mind and was taken to a hospital. She attempted suicide again in 1997, with an overdose of ephedrine.

1998–Country singer, Tammy Wynette, dies of a blood clot in her lung in Nashville, Tennessee, at age 55. Her hits include Stand By Your Man and D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

1999–Musician, Red Norvo, dies from a stroke in Santa Monica, California, at age 91. He performed with such greats as Charles Mingus and Frank Sinatra, and is credited with introducing the xylophone, marimba, and vibraphone to jazz.

1999–Sony Corporation announces plans to begin selling Super Audio CD players and related products in Japan. Sony's first SACD products are targeted mainly at the high end of the audio market. The SCD-1 SACD player has a suggested retail price of 500,000 Yen ($4,200).

2000–An all-star tribute to pop singer, Joni Mitchell, is held in New York, featuring performances by Shawn Colvin, James Taylor, Cyndi Lauper, Richard Thompson, Sweet Honey, Elton John, Cassandra Wilson, Wynonna Judd, k.d. lang, Bryan Adams, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

2000–Habib Bourguiba, the first President of Tunisia, dies under house arrest in Monastir, Tunisia, at age 96.

2004–Rolandas Paksas becomes the first President of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from office by impeachment.

2004–Niki Sullivan, guitarist for The Crickets, dies of a heart attack in Sugar Creek, Missouri, at age 66. He was one of the three original members of Buddy Holly's backing band, and his guitar playing was an integral part of the rock and roll legend's early success. He performed on 27 of the 32 songs Holly recorded over his brief career.

2005–Kurdish leader, Jalal Talabani, becomes Iraqi President, and Shiite Arab, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, is named Premier the next day.

2005–Prince Rainier III of Monaco dies of heart failure in Monaco, at age 81. He was succeeded by his only son, who became Prince Albert II. Prince Rainier ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost 56 years, making him one of the longest ruling monarchs in European history.

2008–The Egyptian general strike begins, first led by Egyptian workers and later to be adopted by the April 6 Youth Movement and Egyptian activists.

2009–A 6.3 earthquake strikes near L'Aquila, Italy, killing at least 253 people.

2010–Maoist rebels kill 76 CRPF officers in Dantewada district, India.

2010–Super-centenarian, Neva Morris, dies in Ames, Iowa, at age 114 (and 246 days). Her her 90-year-old son-in-law is by her side. She was the oldest verified living person in the United States, following the death of 114-year-old Mary Josephine Ray, and the last known living American born in 1895. On December 22, 2009, Morris, aged 114 years 141 days, surpassed Olivia Patricia Thomas as the oldest Iowan ever verified. On February 13, 2010, Morris became one of the 40 oldest people ever. She lived her entire life in Ames.

2011–In San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, over 193 victims of Los Zetas are exhumed from several mass graves.

2012–Azawad declares itself independent from the Republic of Mali.

2012–Model, Heidi Klum, divorces British singer, Seal, due to irreconcilable differences after seven years of marriage.

2012–Artist, Thomas Kinkade, dies from acute intoxication from alcohol and Valium, in Monte Sereno, California, at age 54. He was known for the mass marketing of his artwork as printed reproductions and other licensed products via The Thomas Kinkade Company. It is estimated that one in every 20 American homes owns a copy of one of his paintings.

2014–Actor, Mickey Rooney, dies of natural causes in Studio City, California, at age 93. He is best known for the series of “Andy Hardy” movies and his work with Judy Garland. He appeared in the films Ah, Wilderness!, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Captains Courageous, Love Finds Andy Hardy, Boys Town, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Babes in Arms, Young Tom Edison, Strike Up the Band, The Human Comedy, National Velvet, Words and Music, The Strip, Baby Face Nelson, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Requiem for a Heavyweight, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, The Comic, The Black Stallion, and Bill.

2015–Rock singer, Adam Levine, is accosted by a screaming female fan during a Maroon 5 concert at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. She ran on stage to give Levine a hug. At first, he push the girl away, then reassessing the threat level, he put his arm around her until security could arrive and remove her. Levine got a cut on his ear from the fan's finger nail.

2015–Actor, James Best, dies of pneumonia in Hickory, North Carolina, at age 88. One of the busiest actors in his six-decade career, he was seen in many TV shows including Hopalong Cassidy, Annie Oakley, The Gene Autry Show, The Lone Ranger, Zane Grey Theater, The Millionaire, Wanted Dead or Alive, Wagon Train, Bat Masterson, Have Gun Will Travel, The Andy Griffith Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Rifleman, The Twilight Zone, Rawhide, Death Valley Days, Ben Casey, Perry Maxon, I Spy, The Mod Squad, and The Dukes of Hazzard. He appeared in the films Winchester ‘73, The Cimarron Kid, Francis Goes to West point, Seminole, Riders to the Stars, Forbidden Planet, The Rack, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, The Left Handed Gun, The Killer Shrews, Shock Corridor, Shenandoah, Sounder, Ode to Billy Joe, The End, and Hooper.

2015–Singer-songwriter, vocal arranger, and conductor, Ray Charles, dies of cancer in Beverly Hills, California, at age 96. He was best known as organizer and leader of the Ray Charles Singers, who were featured on Perry Como's records and television shows for 35 years, and were also known for a series of 30 choral record albums produced in the 1950s and 1960s for the Essex, MGM, Decca, and Command labels.

2015–Super-centenarian, Gertrude Weaver, dies of pneumonia in Camden, Arkansas, at age 116 (and 276 days). Weaver did not have any chronic health problems typical of people her age: she slept well and did not drink alcohol or smoke. At the time of her death, she was the seventh verified oldest person ever.

2016–Footage of a huge, mysterious sea creature swimming in the River Thames in London, England, baffles marine experts who admit they have no idea what the animal could be. A passenger on a cable car in Greenwich recorded the video out of the window, capturing a large mass moving under the surface.

2016–Rocker, Gregg Allman's tour bus, carrying 10 members of his crew, crashes in Jackson County, West Virginia. Allman was not injured, although three members of his team were treated and released from a hospital in Charleston.

2016–Country singer, Merle Haggard, dies of complications from pneumonia in Palo Cedro, California, at age 79. His hits include Okie from Muskogee, Workin’ Man Blues, and Mama Tried.

2017–Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) acquires full ownership of premium channel Epix for $1 billion.

2017–Seven & I Holdings Co., the parent company of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, agrees to acquire the retail operations of Sunoco for $3.3 billion.

2017–The United States launches 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at the Ash Sha'irat air base in Homs Governorate, Syria, in response to a chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, which killed more than 70 people.

2017–Voters in the Gambia go to the polls for an election, which is the country's first legislative election since longtime President Yahya Jammeh resigned and left the country.

2017–Political activist, David Peel, dies of a heart attack in Manhattan, New York, at age 73. Upon his arrival in New York City in 1971, John Lennon befriended Peel, who was playing with his ragtag, hippie band in New York's Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Lennon produced the album, The Pope Smokes Dope, for Peel. The album was banned in many countries and since has been sought after by collectors worldwide. Peel also appeared with John Lennon at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on December 10, 1971.

2017–Comedian and actor, Don Rickles, dies in Beverly Hills, California, of kidney failure in at age 90. Best known as an insult comic, he also acted in both comedic and dramatic roles on film. He received widespread exposure as a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Late Show with David Letterman. He appeared in the films Run Silent Run Deep, the Rabbit Trap, The Rat Race, Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Pajama Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, Enter Laughing, Kelly’s Heros, and Casino.

2018–Medically assisted suicide becomes legal in the state of Hawaii.

2018–For the second year in a row, President Trump announces that he will most likely skip the White House Correspondents' Association's annual dinner.

2018–Several U.S. federal authorities led by the FBI seize the personal ad website, Backpage, in an effort to stop alleged human trafficking, including that of minors. Its co-founder, Michael Lacey, is charged with 93 counts of human trafficking.

2018–Social media giant, Facebook, states that people running popular pages will now have to verify their identity as part of its continued effort to stem fake news and propaganda.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Raphael; Gustave Moreau; an example of Lalique glass; Lowell Thomas; Sergio Franchi; Twinkie the Kid; Roy Thinnes; Barry Levinson; a TV dinner; trolley cars in New York City; John Lennon during the recording of Tomorrow Never Knows; Ari Meyers; ABBA; Bettina Heubers; George Harrison live in London, England; Tammy Wynette; Prince Rainier III of Monaco; James Best; and Merle Haggard.

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