1987 Pi is recited from memory to 40,000 places, by Hideaki Tomoyori (Japan).
1959 Barbie Mattel introduces the doll that would become an American icon.
1953 The Heart of Juliet Jones comic strip premiers.
1946 Twenty-three people are killed at a soccer game in England, after metal barriers collapsed causing a stampede.
1933 First radio broadcast from the floor of the House of Representatives
1916 Pancho Villa a Mexican revolutionary, leads 1500 guerrillas into New Mexico killing 17 Americans.
1864 Ulysses S. Grant is commissioned Lieutenant-General, the highest rank in the army. He assumed command of the Union Army the following day.
1862 Battle of the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly the Merrimac) in Virginia ends in a standoff, during the Civil War.
1861 First Confederate currency is authorized, in denominations of $50, $100, $500, $1,000. Source: Famous First Facts
1831 The French Foreign Legion is established.
1562 Kissing in public is made illegal in Naples, Italy, punishable by death.
1971 Emmanuel Lewis American diminutive actor. TV: Webster.
1949 Jaime Lyn Bauer American actress. TV: The Young and the Restless (Lauralee Brooks Prentiss).
1943 Bobby Fischer (Robert James Fischer), American chess champion, first American to win the world chess championship (1972).
1940 Raul Julia Puerto Rican actor. Film: Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) and The Addams Family (1991, Gomez).
1936 Mickey Gilley American singer. In 1971, he opened Gilley's in Houston, the world's largest nightclub.
1934 Yuri A. Gagarin d. 1968 Soviet cosmonaut. He became the first man in space (1961) when he orbited the Earth aboard the Soviet Vostok 1.
1920 Carl Betz d. 1978 American Emmy-winning actor. TV: The Donna Reed Show (Donna's husband) and Judd for the Defense (the tough Texas lawyer).
1918 Mickey Spillane d. 2006 (Frank Morrison), American author, creator of the hardboiled detective Mike Hammer. He has sold over 100 million books and inspired several TV series and movies. He started out as a comic book writer, working on titles such as Captain America, Human Torch, and Submariner. Writings: I, the Jury (1947), Kiss Me, Deadly (1952), and The Deep (1961)
1890 Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov d. 1986 (V.M. Skryabin), Soviet Communist leader, Soviet foreign minister (1939-49, 1953-56), and for whom the Molotov cocktail is named. He and Joseph Stalin found the party newspaper Pravda (1912).
1824 Leland Stanford d. 1893 American politician, railroad builder, philanthropist, president of the Central Pacific Railroad (1863-93), president of the Southern Pacific Railroad (1885-90), and founder of Stanford University (1885).
1451 Amerigo Vespucci d. 1512 Italian explorer, for whom America is named, and one of the first to recognize North and South America as new continents.
1994 Fernando Rey b. 1917 (Fernando Casado Arambillet, Spanish actor. He was one of Spain's best-known actors. Film: The French Connection (1971, the French drug king) and Elisa, Vida mia (1977, Cannes Best Actor).
1994 Charles Bukowski b. 1920 German-born American poet, novelist, "Bard of Beer and Broads." His heavy drinking and hard living provided the setting for the film Barfly (1987). Writings: Flowers, Fist and Bestial Wall (1959) and Ham on Rye (1982).
1993 Northcote Parkinson b. 1909 British author, historian, creator of Parkinson's Law (work expands to fill the time available for its completion).
1947 Carrie Lane Chapman Catt b. 1859 American women's rights leader, founder of the National League of Women Voters (1919). Her efforts contributed greatly to the passing of the 19th Amendment.
1944 Roy Brown b. 1893 Canadian World War I flying ace, credited with shooting down the Red Baron (1918), although this is doubted by some.