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 Encyclopaedia Britannica

*1857American defense lawyer, public speaker, debater, and writer Clarence Darrowóamong whose high-profile court appearances was the Scopes Trial, in which he defended a Tennessee high-school teacher who had broken a state law by presenting the Darwinian theory of evolutionówas born. 
2012Dick Clark, an American radio and television personality, best known for hosting American television's longest-running variety show, American Bandstand, from 1957 to 1987 died on this day in 2012. Known as the worlds oldest teenager, Dick was 82. 
2002Actor Robert Blake and his bodyguard were arrested in connection with the shooting death of Blake's wife about a year before.  
2002The Amtrack Auto Train derailed in a remote area of north Florida. Four people were killed and 133 were injured.  
2002The city legislature of Berlin decided to make Marlene Dietrich an honorary citizen. Dietrich had gone to the United States in 1930. She refused to return to Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power. 
2002After 29 years in exile, the former king of Afghanistan, Mohammad Zahir Shah, returned to the capital city of Kabul in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of the country and toppling of the Taliban government. 
2000Joan Lunden and Jeff Konigsberg were married.  
2000The Nasdaq had the biggest one-day point gain in its history.  
1999Wayne Gretzky (New York Rangers) played his final game in the NHL. He retired as the NHL's all-time leading scorer and holder of 61 individual records.  
1989Thousands of Chinese students demanding democracy tried to storm Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.  
1985Ted Turner filed for a hostile takeover of CBS.  
1985Tulane University abolished its 72-year-old basketball program. The reason was charges of fixed games, drug abuse, and payments to players.  
1984Daredevils Mike MacCarthy and Amanda Tucker made a sky dive from the Eiffel Tower. The jump ended safely.  
1983The U.S. Embassy in Beirut was blown up by a suicide car-bomber. 63 people were killed including 17 Americans.  
1980Rhodesia achieved its independence from the United Kingdom and became the nation of Zimbabwe. 
1979The TV show "Real People" premiered.  
1978The U.S. Senate approved the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama on December 31, 1999.  
1960The Mutual Broadcasting System was sold to the 3M Company of Minnesota for $1.25 million.  
1956Actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco were married. The religious ceremony took place April 19.  
1955One of the most creative intellects in human history was Albert Einstein, who died in Princeton, New Jersey, this day in 1955 and whose advanced theories of relativity and gravitation revolutionized science and philosophy. 
1954Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power in Egypt.  
1950The first transatlantic jet passenger trip was completed.  
1949The Republic of Ireland was established.  
1946The League of Nations was dissolved.  
1945During the U.S. invasion of the Japanese island of Okinawa in World War II, 44 year old American war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed on nearby Ie Island by Japanese gunfire. 
1943Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, was shot down by American P-38 fighters.  
1942James H. Doolittle and his squadron, from the USS Hornet, raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities.  
1942The Vichy government capitulated to Adolf Hitler and invited Pierre Laval to form a new government in France.  
1938U.S. President Roosevelt threw out the first ball preceding the season opener between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics.  
1937Leon Trotsky called for the overthrow of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.  
1934The first Laundromat opened in Fort Worth, TX.  
1924Simon and Schuster, Inc. published the first "Crossword Puzzle Book."  
1923Yankee Stadium opened in the Bronx, NY. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1. John Phillip Sousa's band played the National Anthem.  
1910Walter R. Brookins made the first airplane flight at night.  
1906San Francisco, CA, was hit with an earthquake. The orginal death toll was cited at about 700. Later information indicated that the death toll may have been 3 to 4 times the original estimate.  
1895New York State passed an act that established free public baths.  
1877Charles Cros wrote a paper that described the process of recording and reproducing sound. In France, Cros is regarded as the inventor of the phonograph. In the U.S., Thomas Edison gets the credit.  
1861Colonel Robert E. Lee turned down an offer to command the Union armies during the U.S. Civil War.  
1853The first train in Asia began running from Bombay to Tanna.  
1847U.S. forces defeated the Mexicans at Cerro Gordo.  
1846The telegraph ticker was patented by R.E. House  
1838The Wilkes' expedition to the South Pole set sail.  
1834William Lamb became prime minister of England.  
1818A regiment of Indians and blacks were defeated at the Battle of Suwann, in Florida, ending the first Seminole War.  
1791National Guardsmen prevented Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris.  
1775Paul Revere, a renowned silversmith, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott are better remembered as folk heros of the American Revolution who this night in 1775 made a dramatic ride on horseback to warn Boston-area residents of an imminent British attack. 
1676Sudbury, Massachusetts, was attacked by Indians.  
1521Martin Luther confronted the emperor Charles V in the Diet of Worms and refused to retract his views that led to his excommunication.  
1506Pope Julius II laid the first stone of the new St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. 
Asterisks (*) denotes birthday

Famous Birthdays
1984 - Georgine America FerreraActress
1976 - Melissa Joan Hart
1967 - Maria Bello
1963 - Conan OBrien
1956 - Eric Roberts
1947 - James Woods
1946 - Hayley Mills
1882 - Leopold Stokowski
1857 - Clarence Darrow

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