1989 Tiananmen Square Several thousand students gather to mourn the death of pro-reform leader Hu Yaobang. Eventually more than a million would gather leading to martial law and the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
1983 Truck-bomb strikes the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 17 Americans and 46 Lebanese.
1978 U.S. Senate votes to turn the Panama Canal over to Panama on December 31, 1999.
1956 First major-league umpire to wear glasses Eddie Rommel of the American League. Source: Famous First Facts
1942 World War II - First U.S. bombing of the Japanese mainland Doolittle raids Tokyo with 16 B-25 bombers.
1934 First U.S. launderette opens, in Texas.
1924 First crossword puzzle book is published by Simon and Schuster. Source: Famous First Facts
1923 Yankee Stadium The stadium has its first game, with Babe Ruth hitting the stadium's first home run.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake The most violent U.S. earthquake ever recorded hits San Francisco, destroying 25,000 buildings and killing hundreds of people.
1846 First printing telegraph American inventor Royal Earl House receives a patent for his device, which was capable of 50 words a minute.
1506 St. Peter's Basilica Pope Julius II lays the cornerstone of the famous basilica.
1963 Conan O'Brien American Emmy-winning TV host, comedian. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. TV: Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993-2009) and The Simpsons (writer and producer).
1956 John James American actor. TV: Dynasty (Jeff Colby).
1953 Rick Moranis Canadian Emmy-winning actor. Film: Ghostbusters (1984), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). TV: Second City TV. Comedy Album: The Agoraphobic Cowboy (2005).
1947 Dorothy Lyman American Emmy-winning actress. TV: Mama's Family (Naomi).
1937 Robert Hooks American actor. TV: N.Y.P.D. (Det. Jeff Ward).
1933 Harold Innocent d. 1993 (Harold Sydney Harrison), English actor. Film: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991, the corrupt bishop).
1921 Barbara Hale American Emmy-winning actress. TV: Perry Mason (Della Street).
1912 Wendy Barrie d. 1978 (Wendy Jenkins), British actress. TV: The Wendy Barrie Show.
1904 Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham d. 1981 American comedian. TV: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (the judge).
1857 Clarence Darrow d. 1938 American lawyer, defender of John Scopes in the famous Tennessee Monkey Trial (1925).
1993 Bernie Wayne b. 1919 American composer. Music: There She Is (1955, Miss America Pageant theme) and the music for Blue Velvet (1963, #1).
1955 Albert Einstein b. 1879 German-born Nobel-winning physicist and mathematician who introduced the theory of relativity.
1945 Sir John Ambrose Fleming b. 1849 English engineer. He patented the first vacuum tube (1904), revolutionizing the wireless telegraph. He also made numerous contributions to the development of the telephone and electric lighting.
1912 Major Walter Clopton Wingfield b. 1833 British tennis pioneer, inventor of the game of tennis (1873).
1873 Justus von Liebig b. 1803 German organic chemist. His work in replacing soil minerals laid the foundation for modern fertilization.
1853 William Rufus King b. 1786 13th U.S. Vice-President (1853). He took oath of office in Cuba.
1674 John Graunt b. 1620 English statistician. He co-wrote the world's first book of statistics and is the founder of the science of demography (the statistical study of human populations).