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1989–A 6.9 earthquake hits the San Francisco Bay area in California, at 5:04 p.m. Homes crumble, gas lines rupture, “earthquake-safe” structures fall, and the upper section of a two-tiered freeway collapses onto the lower level at the height of rush hour, trapping some commuters in flattened cars. Part of the Bay Bridge collapses. The tremor and its aftershocks reach north to Sacramento and south to Los Angeles, causing an estimated 270 deaths, 3,000 injuries, and damages up to $3 billion.



456–Ricimer, supported by Majorian, defeats the Roman usurper, Avitus, near Piacenza (northern Italy).

1091–A tornado strikes the heart of London, England.

1346–King David II of Scotland is captured by the English near Durham, and imprisoned in the Tower of London for 11 years.

1448–In the second Battle of Kosovo, the mainly Hungarian army, led by John Hunyadi, is defeated by an Ottoman army, led by Sultan Murad II.

1456–The University of Greifswald is established, making it the second oldest university in northern Europe (and for a period, the oldest in Sweden and Prussia).

1558–Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service, is founded.

1604–German astronomer, Johannes Kepler, observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus.

1610–King Louis XIII of France is crowned in Reims Cathedral.

1660–Nine regicides, the men who signed the death warrant of Charles I, are hanged, drawn, and quartered.

1662–Charles II of England sells Dunkirk to France for 40,000 pounds.

1727–Political maverick, John Wilkes, is born in London, England.

1771–The premiere of the opera Ascanio in Alba, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, age 15, takes place in Milan, Italy.

1800–Britain takes control of the Dutch colony of Curaçao.

1806–Former leader of the Haitian Revolution, Emperor Jacques I of Haiti, is assassinated after an oppressive rule.

1814–Eight people die in England’s London Beer Flood.

1849–Composer, Frederic Chopin, dies in Paris, France, at age 39. He had been suffering from tuberculosis for many years. At the time of his death, he was estranged from his long-time live-in companion, writer Aurore Dupin, who had taken “George Sand” as her pen name.

1860–The Open Championship is held for the first time, referred to in North America as The British Open.

1861–Nineteen people are killed in the Cullin-la-ringo massacre, the deadliest massacre of Europeans by aborigines in Australian history.

1888–Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph.

1888–The first issue of National Geographic is published. The highly acclaimed magazine became famous for its maps and photographic essays of exotic locales and peoples.

1900–Actress, Jean Arthur, is born Gladys Georgianna Greene in Plattsburgh, New York. She appeared in the films Whirlpool, Diamond Jim, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, The Plainsman, You Can’t Take It with You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Too Many Husbands, The Devil and Miss Jones, The Talk of the Town, Shane, and State Fair.

1902–Actress, Irene Ryan, is born Jessie Irene Noblett in El Paso, Texas. She is best known for the role of Granny Clampett in the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies.

1905–The October Manifesto is issued by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

1907–Guglielmo Marconi's company begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Clifden, Ireland.

1912–Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia declare war on the Ottoman Empire, joining Montenegro in the First Balkan War.

1915–Playwright, Arthur Miller, is born in New York, New York. His father's business failed in the Depression and Miller graduated from high school and went to work in a warehouse. He began to write plays while attending the University of Michigan. He is best known for the play Death of a Salesman. He is also well known for his screenplay for The Misfits. He was married to actress, Marilyn Monroe.

1917–The first British bombing of Germany takes place in World War I.

1918–Haitian rebels attack the barracks of the Gendarmerie of Haiti, igniting the Second Caco War.

1918–Actress, Rita Hayworth, is born Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn, New York. She achieved fame during the 1940s, as one of the era's top stars, appearing in a total of 61 films over 37 years. The press coined the term "love goddess" to describe Hayworth after she had become the most glamorous screen idol of the 1940s: she was the top pin-up girl for GIs during World War II. She appeared in the films Dante’s Inferno, Only Angels Have Wings, Susan and God, The Strawberry Blonde, Blood and Sand, Cover Girl, Gilda, The Lady from Shanghai, Miss Sadie Thompson, Pal Joey, and Separate Tables. She was married to actor, Orson Welles, Prince Aly Khan, and singer, Dick Haymes.

1919–Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is created. The company became a giant in electronics, especially radios and television sets. It would later branch out with a TV network (NBC) and other broadcast interests.

1920–Actor, Montgomery Clift, is born in New York, New York.

1921–Actor, Tom Poston, is born Thomas Gordon Poston in Columbus, Ohio. He is best known for ther role of George Utley on the sitcom Newhart. He had a recurring role on the TV shows On the Rocks, The Bob Newhart Show, Mork & Mindy, and Grace Under Fire. He appeared in the films Zotz!, Soldier in the Rain, Cold Turkey, The Happy Hooker, Rabbit Test, Carbon Copy, Krippendorf's Tribe, and The Story of Us. He was married to actress, Suzanne Pleshette.

1923–Country singer-songwriter, Hank Williams, is born Hiram King Williams in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama. He is regarded as one of the most significant and influential country singers and songwriters of the 20th century. His hits include Lovesick Blues, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Move It on Over, and Why Don’t You Love Me. His son in country singer, Hank Williams, Jr.

1926–Actress, Beverly Garland, is born Beverly Lucy Fessenden in Santa Cruz, California. She appeared in the films D.O.A., The Neanderthal Man, Swamp Women, Gunslinger, It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, The Joker Is Wild, The Alligator People, Pretty Poison, and It’s My Turn.

1930–Dietitian, Robert (Coleman) Atkins, is born in Columbus, Ohio. He was a physician and cardiologist, best known for the "Atkins Nutritional Approach," or "Atkins Diet," a popular but controversial way of eating that requires close control of carbohydrate consumption, emphasizing protein and fat as the primary sources of dietary calories in addition to a controlled number of carbohydrates from vegetables.

1931–Gangster, Al Capone, is convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

1933–Albert Einstein arrives in America, a refugee from Nazi Germany.

1938–Motorscycle stuntman and daredevil, Evel Knievel, is born Robert Craig Knievel in Butte, Montana. Over his career, he attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps, and he suffered more than 433 bone fractures, earning an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of "most bones broken in a lifetime."

1940–The body of Communist propagandist, Willi Münzenberg, is found in the South of France, beginning a never-resolved mystery.

1941–In World War II, a German submarine attacks an American ship for the first time.

1941–German troops execute the male population of the village Kerdyllia in Serres, Greece.

1941–James Seals, of Seals & Crofts, is born in Sidney, Texas.

1942–Singer, Gary Puckett, of The Union Gap, is born.

1943–The Burma Railway (Burma-Thailand Railway) is completed.

1943–The Sobibór extermination camp is closed.

1945–A massive number of people, headed by CGT, gather in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to demand Juan Perón's release.

1945–Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens becomes Prime Minister of Greece between the pull-out of the German occupation force in 1944 and the return of King Georgios II to Greece.

1946–Jim Tucker, original guitarist for the Turtles, is born in Los Angeles, California.

1947–Actor, Michael McKean, is born in New York, New York.

1949–Bill Hudson, of The Hudson Brothers, is born in Portland, Oregon.

1952–Country music singer, Hank Williams, weds Billie Jean Jones in Minden, Louisiana.

1956–Britain’s first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield, Cumbria, England.

1956–Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer play a famous chess game called “The Game of the Century.” Fischer beat Byrne and wins a Brilliancy prize.

1957–Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visit the White House in Washington, D.C.

1957–French author, Albert Camus, is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

1960–Civil rights leader, Ralph Abernathy, dies.

1961–In France, up to 400 Algerian protesters are massacred by the Paris police at the instigation of former Nazi collaborator, Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police.

1962–A chart topper: Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers.

1963–The Beatles have lunch with four Boyfriend magazine contest winners at the Old Vienna restaurant in London, England.

1964–She’s Not There, by the Zombies, is released.

1965–The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair closes after a two-year run. More than 51 million people had attended the event.

1965–A chart topper: Treat Her Right by Roy Head.

1966–A fire at a building in New York City kills 12 firefighters.

1967–John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr attend a memorial service for Brian Epstein at the New London Synagogue, Abbey Road, London, England.

1967–The musical, Hair, premieres at New York’s Public Theatre. The show would run for 1,758 performances.

1968–Reggae musician, Ziggy Marley, is born. He is the son of reggae musician, Bob Marley.

1970–Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour, Pierre Laporte, is murdered by members of the FLQ terrorist group in Montreal, Canada.

1972–Rapper, Eminem, is born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

1973–OPEC imposes an oil embargo against a number of Western countries, who are considered to have helped Israel in its war against Egypt and Syria.

1975–Maurice Gibb, of The Bee Gees, marries Yvonne Spencely.

1977–Four days after it is hijacked, Lufthansa Flight 181 lands in Mogadishu, Somalia, where a team of German GSG 9 commandos later rescue all remaining hostages on board.

1979–The Department of Education Organization Act is signed into law creating the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

1979–Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1979–The Broadway show, Beatlemania, closes at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City, after 920 performances.

1980–As part of the Holy See-United Kingdom relations, a British monarch makes the first state visit to the Vatican.

1989–The East German Politburo votes to remove Erich Honecker from his role as General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.

1989–A 6.9 earthquake hits the San Francisco Bay area in California, at 5:04 p.m. Homes crumble, gas lines rupture, “earthquake-safe” structures fall, and the upper section of a two-tiered freeway collapses onto the lower level at the height of rush hour, trapping some commuters in flattened cars. Part of the Bay Bridge collapses. The tremor and its aftershocks reach north to Sacramento and south to Los Angeles, causing an estimated 270 deaths, 3,000 injuries, and damages up to $3 billion.

1991–Entertainer, Tennessee Ernie Ford, dies of severe liver failure in Reston, Virginia, at age 72. He was a recording artist and television host who enjoyed success in the Country & Western, pop, and gospel musical genres. Noted for his rich bass-baritone voice and down-home humor, he is best remembered for his hit Sixteen Tons. He also sang the theme songs for films such as Man in the Saddle, River of No Return, and The Lonely Man. He appeared on the TV shows I Love Lucy, Make Room for Daddy, The Jack Benny Program, The Red Skelton Hour, and The Johnny Cash Show.

1992–Having gone to the wrong house for a Halloween party in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Japanese exchange student, Yoshihiro Hattori, is shot and killed by the homeowner.

1994–Russian journalist, Dmitry Kholodov, is assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces.

1995–In London, England, Sting’s former financial adviser is sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of stealing $9.4 million from the musician.

1995–Rhino Home Video releases 58 episodes of the TV series, The Monkees, on 21 cassettes. It is the largest video boxed set to be released to date.

1997–The remains of revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, are laid to rest in his adopted home of Cuba, 30 years after his execution in Bolivia.

2000–John Lennon’s legendary “Imagine” piano is the key item at a combined live and Internet auction of Beatles collectibles.

2001–Israeli tourism minister, Rehavam Ze'evi, becomes the first Israeli minister to be assassinated in a terrorist attack.

2002–Derek Bell, of The Chieftains, dies of cardiac arrest in Phoenix, Arizona, at age 66.

2003–The pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China, surpassing the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 184 feet, thus becoming the world's tallest highrise.

2007–Entertainer, Joey Bishop, dies of heart failure in Newport Beach, California, at age 89. He started out in comedy and then hosted his own late night talk show The Joey Bishop Show. He was the last surviving member of the "Rat Pack": its other members were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr. He appeared in the films Onionhead, Ocean’s 11, Sergeants 3, Texas Across the River, A Guide for the Married Man, and Who’s Minding the Mint?

2007–Singer, Teresa Brewer, dies of a neuromuscular disease in New Rochelle, New York, at age 76. She was a pop singer whose style incorporated elements of country, jazz, R&B, musicals, and novelty songs. She was one of the most prolific and popular female singers of the 1950s, recording nearly 600 songs. Among her hits are Music! Music! Music!, Till I Waltz Again With You, and Let Me Go, Lover.

2008–Singer, Levi Stubbs, of The Four Tops, dies of cancer in Detroit, Michigan, at age 72. He was also a voice artist in film and animated television series, best known having provided the voice of the alien plant, Audrey II, in the musical Little Shop of Horrors.

2008–Businessman, Ben Weider, dies in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at age 85. He co-founded (with his brother, Joe Weider) the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness.

2016–Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, backed by the U.S. led coalition, announces the beginning of the Battle of Mosul, to retake ISIL-held Mosul, the self-declared caliphate's capital in Iraq.

2016–The Vice President of Afghanistan, Abdul Rashid Dostum, survives another assassination attempt.

2016–The Orbital ATK Antares 230 rocket launches, carrying an unmanned resupply spacecraft, the Cygnus CRS OA-5 cargo ship, to the International Space Station from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

2016–An explosion and fire in Ludwigshafen, at the largest production site of BASF in Germany, kills at least two people, injures six others, and leaves two people missing.

2016–Actor, Eddie Applegate, dies in a nursing home after a long illness in Los Angeles, California, at age 81. He is best known for the role of Richard Harrison, the boyfriend of Patty Lane, on The Patty Duke Show.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: The University of Greifswald; Frederic Chopin; Irene Ryan; Rita Hayworth; Hank Williams; James Seals; Albert Camus; Ziggy Marley; Tennessee Ernie Ford; The Monkees Rhino Home Video box set; and Teresa Brewer.

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