1997 Ellen DeGeneres' character comes out of the closet on the TV sitcom Ellen.
1993 Monica Seles the #1 ranked women's tennis player, is stabbed in the back during a tournament in Germany. Her attacker didn't want her to compete against Steffi Graf.
1993 Longest time between the birth of triplets A Vancouver, British Columbia woman delivers the first of her triplets. The other two were born 45 days later.
1975 Vietnam War - Fall of Saigon The South Vietnam capital is captured the People's Army of Vietnam, marking the end of the Vietnam War and the unification of the country under communist rule.
1973 Top Nixon aids, H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Richard Kleindienst resign amid charges of White House efforts to obstruct justice in the Watergate case.
1943 World War II, Dead Man's Bluff The Allies plant a corpse with fictitious classified documents indicating a pending invasion of Sardinia, Greece. Hitler fell for the rouse. The Allies then took Sicily, the real point of attack, which was under defended because of the buildup in Sardinia for the fake invasion.
1939 Lou Gehrig plays the last of his record 2,130 consecutive major-league games.
1900 Hawaii becomes a U.S. Territory.
1878 Germs Louis Pasteur lectures at the French Academy of Science in favor of his theory that many diseases are caused by tiny organisms. He was met with skepticism by many scientists of the day.
1812 Louisiana becomes the 18th state.
1803 Louisiana Purchase 828,000 square miles of land are purchased from France for $15,000,000.
1598 First Theatrical Performance in North America A Spanish comedy given near present day El Paso.
1462 First French settlement in what was to become the present day U.S. is established, Port Royal on Parris Island, of the coast of present day South Carolina.
1953 Merrill Osmond American singer. Music: One Bad Apple (1971, #1) and Go Away Little Girl (1971, #1).
1944 Jill Clayburgh American actress. Film: An Unmarried Woman (1978). TV: Search For Tomorrow (brain tumor victim Grace Bolton).
1938 Gary Collins American actor, talk-show host. TV: Hour Magazine and Home.
1926 Cloris Leachman American Oscar-winning actress. Film: The Last Picture Show (1971) and Young Frankenstein (1974). She was a runner-up in the 1946 Miss America Pageant.
1912 Eve Arden d. 1990 (Eunice Quedens), Emmy-winning actress. TV: Our Miss Brooks (Connie Brooks).
1857 Eugen Bleuler d. 1939 Swiss psychiatrist. He coined the term "Schizophrenia" (1908, schizo=split, phrene=mind). He also coined the terms "ambivalence" (1911) and "autism" (1912)
1777 Karl Friedrich Gauss d. 1855 German mathematician, astronomer. The magnetic unit of flux density "Gauss" is named for him. He also devised the method of least squares used in statistics.
1662 Mary II d. 1694 Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1689-94). She died of smallpox.
1994 Richard Scarry b. 1919 American children's author, creator of Lowly Worm. His 250 books sold over 100 million copies in over 30 languages. Writings: Best Word Book Ever (1965) and Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (1974).
1983 Muddy Waters b. 1915 (McKinley Morganfield), American blues musician, "The Father of Chicago Blues."
1974 Agnes Moorehead b. 1906 American Emmy-winning actress. Film: Citizen Kane (1941), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1943). TV: Bewitched (Samantha's mother Endora). Her death was attributed to radiation exposure received from an A-bomb test near the filming of the movie The Conqueror in 1953.
1956 Alben William Barkley b. 1877 35th U.S. Vice-President (1949-53).
1945 Eva Braun b. 1912 Hitler's mistress, they were married shortly before committing suicide together.
1941 Edwin Stanton Porter b. 1870 Italian-born American film director. Film: The Life of an American Fireman (1903, the first American film to use intercutting), The Great Train Robbery (1903, the first motion picture with a plot), and The Eternal City (1915).
1926 Bessie Coleman b. 1892 American daredevil aviator. She was the world's first black female aviator (1921). She died in a plane crash while preparing for a show.
1879 Sarah Josepha Hale b. 1788 American author, Mary Had a Little Lamb (1830).
1792 John Montagu b. 1718 English diplomat, 4th Earl of Sandwich, for whom the Sandwich Islands are named, and inventor of the sandwich which he devised as quick meal to allow him more time to gamble.
1790 Samuel Heinicke b. 1727 opened the first German institute for the deaf (1778).