1985 Yul Brynner's 4,625th and last Broadway performance as the King of Siam in The King and I.
1980 U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corp is established, provides incentives to produce synthetic substitutes for imported fuel.
1971 26th Amendment ratified, lowering the voting age to 18.
1953 First Chevrolet Corvette is produced. It was the first plastic-laminated fiberglass sports car.
1950 Pres. Truman authorizes ground and air strikes against North Korea, during the Korean War.
1948 The transistor is demonstrated by Drs. Bardeen and Brattain of Bell Laboratories.
1908 The Tunguska Event A 12½ megaton explosion occurs in Central Siberia. The cause is undetermined, although the common belief is an asteroid or comet burst in the sky. The energy of the blast was about 1,000 times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and knocked people off their feet hundreds of miles away.
1521 Gordillo lands near Cape Fear, North Carolina claiming it for Spain.
1966 Mike Tyson American boxer, World Heavyweight Champion. In 1986 he became the youngest heavyweight champion ever. He was convicted (1992) and sentenced to prison for raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant.
1942 Robert Ballard American oceanographer, discoverer of the remains of the Titanic.
1936 Nancy Dussault American actress. TV: Good Morning America (the original co-host) and Too Close for Comfort (Muriel).
1934 Harry Blackstone Jr American magician.
1930 June Valli d. 1993 American singer. Music: Crying in the Chapel (1954). TV: The Andy Williams and June Valli Show and the voice on the Chiquita banana commercials.
1919 Susan Hayward d. 1975 (Edythe Marrener), American Oscar-winning actress. Film: I Want To Live (1958). Her death was attributed to radiation exposure received from an A-bomb test near the filming of a movie in 1953.
1917 Lena Horne American singer, actress. She was the first black person to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio.
1819 William Almon Wheeler d. 1887 19th U.S. Vice-President (1877-81).
1470 Charles VIII d. 1498 King of France (1483-98).
2003 Buddy Hackett b. 1924 (Leonard Hacker), American comedian. He was offered the job of replacing Curly of The Stooges, but turned it down. Film: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and The Love Bug (1968). Quote: "My mother's menu consisted of two choices - Take it or leave it."
2002 Pete Gray b. 1915 (Peter Wyshner), American one-armed pro baseball player. He batted a .218 as an outfielder for St. Louis (1945) and was the Southern Association's 1944 MVP. Having lost his right arm as child - he was a right-hander - he learned to bat and field with his left arm.
2001 Chet Atkins b. 1924 American guitarist, Grammy-winning, Country Music and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. He has sold over 30 million records and is credited with creating the "Nashville sound." He initially had difficulty learning the electric guitar because his childhood home didn't have electricity (according to his autobiography Country Gentleman).
1993 Spanky McFarland b. 1928 (George McFarland), American actor. Film: The Little Rascals (Spanky). He appeared in 95 Our Gang films.
1974 Alberta Christine Williams King b. 1903 mother of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. She was shot to death while playing the organ during a church service by a 21-year-old black man who proclaimed "all Christians are my enemies."
1961 Lee De Forest b. 1873 American inventor, "Father of the Radio." He invented the triode (amplifier vacuum tube, 1907) and was a pioneer in the development of talking pictures and television.
1882 Charles J. Guiteau b. ???? hanged for assassinating Pres. Garfield.
1785 James Edward Oglethorpe b. 1696 English general, colonized Georgia and founded the city of Savannah (1733).
1660 William Oughtred b. 1574 English mathematician, credited with inventing the slide rule (1621), and introduced the use of 'X' to denote multiplication.