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1977–Elvis Presley performs what would be his last concert, at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana, for a crowd of 18,000. Although Elvis appears pale, weak, and overweight, as he has for some time, there is nothing to suggest his impending death. The last song he performs is Can't Help Falling in Love. Footage of the final concert is taken, but has not been widely seen since, although the audio portion can be heard on the LP, The Last Farewell (later released on CD as Adios: The Final Performance).



4–Augustus adopts Tiberius.

221–Roman Emperor Elagabalus adopts his cousin, Alexander Severus, as his heir and receives the title of Caesar.

363–Julian the Apostate, Roman Emperor (361-363), dies of a major hemorrhage from a battle wound in Maranga, Mesopotamia, at age 31. General Jovian is proclaimed Emperor by the troops on the battlefield.

684–Pope Benedict II begins his reign.

699–En no Ozuno, a Japanese mystic and apothecary who will later be regarded as the founder of a folk religion Shugendo, is banished to Izu Oshima.

1407–Ulrich von Jungingen becomes Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights.

1409–The Roman Catholic Church is led into a double schism as Petros Philargos is crowned Pope Alexander V after the Council of Pisa, joining Pope Gregory XII in Rome and Pope Benedict XII in Avignon.

1460–Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, and Edward, Earl of March, land in England with a rebel army and march on London.

1483–Richard III becomes King of England.

1498–The bristle toothbrush is invented during the Ming Dynasty of China. It is made of stiff pig hair.

1541–Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire, is assassinated by Diego Almagro in Lima, Peru, at age 35. Almagro is later caught and executed.

1718–Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich of Russia, Peter the Great's son, dies mysteriously after being sentenced to death by his father for plotting against him.

1721–Dr. Zabdiel Boylston gives the first smallpox inoculations in America.

1723–After a siege and bombardment by cannon, Baku surrenders to the Russians.

1740–A combined force of Spanish, free blacks, and allied Indians defeat a British garrison at the Siege of Fort Mose near St. Augustine, during the War of Jenkins' Ear.

1742–Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is born in Charleston, Province of South Carolina.

1819–The bicycle is patented.

1830–George IV of the United Kingdom dies from upper gastrointestinal bleeding at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, at age 67. His last words to his page were, "Good God, what is this? My boy, this is death.” William IV becomes King of Britain and Hanover.

1843–Hong Kong is proclaimed a British Crown Colony.

1857–The first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park, London, England.

1866–Egyptologist, George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, is born in Highclere Castle, Hampshire, England. He was an English aristocrat best known as the financial backer of the search for and the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

1870–The first section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk opens in New Jersey.

1870–The Christian holiday of Christmas is declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1878–Mercedes of Orléans, Queen of Spain, dies of typhoid fever in Palacio Real, Madrid, Spain, at age 18.

886–Henri Moissan isolates elemental Fluorine for the first time.

1889–Bangui is founded by Albert Dolisie and Alfred Uzac in what was the upper reaches of the French Congo.

1892–Author, Pearl S. Buck, is born Pearl Sydenstricker in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her novel, The Good Earth, was the best-selling fiction book in America in 1931 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.

1894–Karl Benz, of Germany, receives a U.S. patent for a gasoline-driven auto.

1894–Actress, Jeanne Eagels, is born Eugenia Eagles in Kansas City, Missouri. She was a former Ziegfeld Follies Girl who went on to greater fame on Broadway, and later in films. She appeared in the films Man, Woman, and Sin, The Letter, and Jealousy.

1898–Blues singer-guitarist, Big Bill Broonzy, is born in Scott, Mississippi. He is one of 17 children of parents born into slavery. When he was a young boy, his uncle made him a fiddle from a cigar box and taught him how to play. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, and started playing fiddle tunes, which did not appeal to sophisticated Chicago audiences, so he learned to play the guitar and sing the blues. He began making recordings in 1927, and soon became one of the most popular blues singers in the country. He broke barriers when he sang at Carnegie Hall in 1939, but by the late 1940s, the blues began to change with Muddy Waters' electric guitar sound and style. By 1950, Broonzy was working as a janitor at Iowa State University when Studs Turkel “rediscovered” him, bringing him onto his program as a frequent guest.

1899–Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia is born Maria Nikolaevna Romanova at Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire. She was an elder sister of the famous Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia.

1902–Engineer, William (Powell) Lear, is born Hannibal, Missouri. He founded the Lear Jet Corporation, a manufacturer of business jets. He also invented the battery eliminator for the B battery, and developed the 8-track cartridge (an audio tape system which was widely used in the 1960s and 1970s).

1904–Actor, Peter Lorrie, is born Ladislaw Loewenstein in Rozsahegy (present-day Ruzomberok), Austria-Hungary (present-day Slovakia). He worked in the German film industry before migrating to America in the 1930s. He appeared in the films Think Fast, Mr. Moto, Strange Cargo, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Arsenic and Old Lace, Hollywood Canteen, The Beast with Five Fingers, My Favorite Brunette, Beat the Devil, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Buster Keaton Story, Silk Stockings, The Story of Mankind, The Sad Sack, The Big Circus, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Five Weeks in a Balloon, and Muscle Beach Party.

1906–The first Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France motor racing event (or Grand Prix) is held on closed public roads outside the city of Le Mans, France.

1907–The Tiflis bank robbery takes place in Yerevan Square, present-day Freedom Square, Tbilisi.

1909–The Science Museum in London, England, comes into existence as an independent entity.

1909–Showman, Colonel Tom Parker, is born Andreas Cornelis ("Dries") van Kuijk in Breda, Netherlands (although he swore he was born in West Virginia). These types of discrepancies were common for Parker, who preferred to stay away from the public eye and allow his clients to be in the spotlight. He got the honorary title “colonel” in 1948, from Governor Jimmie Davis of Louisiana. He started in show business as the leader of the Great Parker Pony Circus before becoming manager for Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow in the 1940s and early 1950s. He became manager of then truck driver, Elvis Presley, from Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1955. They were a team until Elvis died in 1977.

1910–Chemist, Roy J. Plunkett, is born in New Carlisle, Ohio. He invented Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene) in 1938. The first nonstick cookware using Teflon was sold in 1960.

1911–Olympic athlete, Babe Didrickson, is born Mildred Ella Didrikson in Port Arthur, Texas. She excelled in golf, basketball, and track and field. She won two gold medals and one silver medal for track and field in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. She went on to become America's first female golf celebrity and the leading player of the 1940s and early 1950s. She was married to professional wrestler, George Zaharias.

1917–The first U.S. troops arrive to fight alongside Britain and France against Germany in World War I.

1919–The New York Daily News begins publication.

1922–Actress, Eleanor (Jean) Parker, is born in Cedarville, Ohio. She appeared in the films They Died with Their Boots On, Mission to Moscow, Destination Tokyo, Hollywood Canteen, Of Human Bondage, Caged, Valentino, Detective Story, The Naked Jungle, Many Rivers to Cross, The Man with the Golden Arm, Lizzie, A Hole in the Head, Home from the Hill, Return to Peyton Place, The Sound of Music, The Oscar, and Warning Shot.

1922–Prince Albert I, Monarch of Monaco (1889-1922), dies in Paris France, at age 73.

1923–Party girl, Barbara Graham, is born Barbara Elaine Ford in Oakland, California. She was tried, convicted, and put to death for murder. Her story is told in the film I Want To Live! starring Susan Hayward. However, much of the film is fictionalized: in particular, the presentation of the manner in which the police found and arrested Graham. Evidence clearly pointed to her guilt. Reporter Gene Blake, who covered Graham's murder trial for The Los Angeles Daily Mirror, dismissed the movie as "a dramatic and eloquent piece of propaganda for the abolition of the death penalty."

1924–The American occupation of the Dominican Republic ends after eight years.

1927–The Cyclone roller coaster opens on Coney Island in New York.

1931–Philosopher and author, Colin (Henry) Wilson, is born in Leicester, Leicestershire, England. He wrote widely on true crime, mysticism, and the paranormal. Wilson called his philosophy "new existentialism" or "phenomenological existentialism." His works include The Outsider, The Mind Parasites, The Philosopher's Stone, The Space Vampires, and Starseekers.

1934–President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Federal Credit Union Act.

1934–Pianist and composer, Dave Grusin, is born Robert David Grusin in Littleton, Colorado. His film scores include The Graduate, Three Days of the Condor, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Havana, The Firm, Mulholland Falls, and Author! Author!

1936–The initial flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter, takes place.

1938–Billy Davis, Jr., of The 5th Dimension is born in St. Louis, Missouri. The group’s big hits were Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In, Up, Up and Away, and Wedding Bell Blues. He was married to singer, Marilyn McCoo, also of The 5th Dimension.

1940–Under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union presents an ultimatum to Romania, requiring it to cede Bessarabia and the northern part of Bukovina.

1941–During World War II, Soviet planes bomb Kassa, Hungary (present-day Kosice, Slovakia), giving Hungary the impetus to declare war the next day.

1943–Singer, Georgie Fame, is born Clive Powell in Leigh, Lancashire, England. He began as a pianist with The Blue Flames, Billy Fury’s backup band. The Blue Flames later became his band, and they had the hits Yeh, Yeh and The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde. Georgie Fame went on to have an impressive solo career as a jazz musician, still working regularly into the 21st century.

1944–In World War II, San Marino, a neutral state, is mistakenly bombed by the RAF based on faulty information, leading to 35 civilian deaths.

1944–The Battle of Osuchy in Osuchy, Poland, one of the largest battles between Nazi Germany and Polish resistance forces, ends with the defeat of the Poles.

1945–The United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco, California.

1947–Politician, R.B. Bennett, dies of a heart attack while taking a bath at his home in Mickleham, England, at age 76. He was the 11th Prime Minister of Canada.

1948–The first supply flights are made in response to the Berlin Blockade.

1948–William Shockley files the original patent for the grown-junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.

1952–The Pan-Malayan Labor Party is founded in Malaya, as a union of statewide labor parties.

1955–The South African Congress Alliance adopts the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People in Kliptown.

1955–Decca Records announces Bill Haley and the Comets have sold more than three million records in 13 months. Both Rock Around the Clock and Shake Rattle & Roll have sold a million copies, while Dim, Dim the Lights and Mambo Rock have sold about 500,000.

1955–Mick Jones, of The Clash, is born Michael Geoffrey Jones in Wandsworth, London, England.

1956–Singer, Chris Isaak, is born Christopher Joseph Isaak in Stockton, California. His biggest hit was Wicked Game. He apeared in the films Married to the Mob, The Silence of the Lambs, Little Buddha, Grace of My Heart, That Thing You Do!, A Dirty Shame, and The Informers.

1959–The Saint Lawrence Seaway opens, giving North America's Great Lakes access to ocean-going ships.

1959–Ingemar Johansson defeats Floyd Patterson in Round 3 for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship.

1960–The former British Protectorate of British Somaliland gains its independence as Somaliland.

1960–Madagascar gains its independence from France.

1962–Brian Epstein and his brother, Clive, form NEMS Enterprises Limited, in which they are directors and shareholders. This is the company that handled the business dealings of The Beatles.

1963–Levi Eshkol becomes the Israeli Prime Minister.

1963–President John F. Kennedy gives his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, underlining the support of the United States for democratic West Germany, shortly after Soviet-supported East Germany erects the Berlin Wall.

1964–The Beatles’ soundtrack LP, A Hard Day's Night, is released on United Artists. The U.S. version has eight Beatles songs, and four instrumental cuts of music from the movie that were produced by George Martin.

1966–The Beatles' train travels to Hamburg, Germany, from where the group had last departed on January 1, 1963. This time they come back in an eight-car motorcade and play to 7,000 people. Their train is met by a lot of faces from the past, such as Astrid Kirchherr and Bert Kaempfert. The Beatles play two shows at Ernst Merck Hall. At around midnight, for old times’ sake, John Lennon and Paul McCartney take a walk through the red-light district of the Reeperbahn.

1970–Actor, Chris O'Donnell, is born Christopher Eugene O'Donnell in Winnetka, Illinois. He appeared in the films Men Don’t Leave, Fried Green Tomatoes, School Ties, Scent of a Woman, The Three Musketeers, Blue Sky, Circle of Friends, Mad Love, Batman Forever, The Chamber, In Love and War, The Bachelor, and Kinsey.

1970–Actor, Sean (Patrick) Hayes, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for the role of Jack McFarland on the TV sitcom Will & Grace. He appeared in the films Martin and Lewis, The Cat in the Hat, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, The Bucket List, Soul Men, The Three Stooges, and Hit and Run.

1973–Nine people are killed in an explosion of a Kosmos-3M rocket at Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a Russian spaceport located in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast, north of Moscow.

1973–Police raid Rolling Stone Keith Richards' home in Cheyne Walk, London, England. They discover guns, ammunition, Mandrax, and Chinese heroin. Richards is arrested with his girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg.

1973–Singer, Marsha Hunt, files a paternity suit against Mick Jagger, claiming he is the father of her 2-year-old daughter. She later loses the case.

1974–The Universal Product Code is scanned for the first time, to sell a package of Wrigley's chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1974–Actress, Elizabeth Taylor, divorces actor, Richard Burton.

1975–Indira Gandhi establishes authoritarian rule in India.

1975–Two FBI agents and a member of the American Indian Movement are killed in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Leonard Peltier is later convicted of the murders.

1975–Sonny and Cher's divorce is finalized. Cher marries musician, Gregg Allman, four days later.

1977–Park Ranger, Roy C. Sullivan, is struck by lightning for the seventh time. He was first hit in 1942, then again in 1970, 1972, 1973, and 1976.

1977–The Yorkshire Ripper kills 16-year-old shop assistant, Jayne MacDonald, in Leeds, England, changing public perception of the killer, as she is the first victim who is not a prostitute.

1977–Elvis Presley performs what would be his last concert, at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana, for a crowd of 18,000. Although Elvis appears pale, weak, and overweight, as he has for some time, there is nothing to suggest his impending death. The last song he performs is Can't Help Falling in Love. Footage of the final concert is taken, but has not been widely seen since, although the audio portion can be heard on the LP, The Last Farewell (later released on CD as Adios: The Final Performance).

1979–Vernon Presley, father of Elvis Presley, dies of a heart attack on Memphis, Tennessee, at age 63.

1980–Actor, Jason (Francesco) Schwartzman, is born in Los Angeles, California. He appeared in the films Rushmore, Slackers, Simone, I Heart Huckabees, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Marie Antoinette, The Darjeeling Limited, Funny People, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. His parents are actress, Talia Shire, and film producer, Jack Schwartzman. His uncle is film director, Francis Ford Coppola.

1989–The U.S. Supreme Court rules that 16-year-olds can receive the death penalty.

1991–The Yugoslav People's Army begins the Ten-Day War in Slovenia.

1993–Actress, Julia Roberts, marries country singer, Lyle Lovett.

1993–Baseball catcher, Roy Campanella, dies of a heart attack in Woodland Hills, California, at age 71. He played for the Negro leagues and Mexican League for several seasons, before moving into the Minor leagues in 1946. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in 1948, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. His career ended in 1958, when he was paralyzed by an automobile accident.

1994–A heat wave hits in Southwestern America: it is 104°F in Denver, Colorado; 107°F in Albuquerque, New Mexico; 112°F in El Paso, Texas; 122°F in Laughlin, Nevada; and 126°F in Death Valley, California.

1995–Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani deposes his father, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, in a bloodless coup d'état.

1995–An attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak takes place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

1996–The VH1 Archives series begins to broadcast episodes of The Dick Cavett Show from the 1960s and 1970s. The first show features the first part of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1971 appearance with Cavett (part two is broadcast on July 3rd). This is the first time the footage has been seen in almost 25 years.

1996–Actor, Kiefer Sutherland, marries model, Elizabeth Kelly Winn.

1997–The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Internet Indecency Law.

1997–Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by J.K. Rowling, is published in the United Kingdom.

1997–Comedian, Charlie Chester, dies from a stroke in Twickenham, England, at age 83.

1997–Singer, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, dies of respiratory and heart problems in Honolulu, Hawaii, at age 38. Throughout his life, Kamakawiwo’ole was morbidly obese and at one point weighed 757 pounds. He endured several hospitalizations because of health problems caused by his weight. His voice became famous outside Hawaii when his album, Facing Future, was released in 1993. His medley of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World was subsequently featured in several films, TV shows, and commercials.

1999–The U.S. premiere of the restored 1968 British film, Wonderwall, takes place at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California, as part of a 10-day film festival dedicated to movies of the 1960s. The film's soundtrack was written and produced by George Harrison as his first solo project. The motion picture, which was first shown at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 1968, was released in the U.K. on January 20, 1969. It was not a financial success and was never distributed in the U.S. The film's director, Joe Massot, re-edited the film nearly 30 years later, re-creating the soundtrack from the original master tapes that he obtained from EMI's London and Bombay studios and from George Harrison's personal archives.

2000–President Bill Clinton announces the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome.

2000–Pope John Paul II reveals the third secret of Fátima.

2003–The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence vs. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional.

2003–U.S. Senator, Strom Thurmond, dies in his sleep of heart failure in Edgefield, South Carolina, at age 100. He was an eight-term Senator of South Carolina (December 1954-April 1956 and November 1956-January 2003).

2004–Olafur Ragnar Grímsson is re-elected as President of Iceland.

2005–Princess Alexia of the Netherlands is born.

2006–The Republic of Montenegro becomes the 192nd member of the United Nations.

2006–Mari Alkatiri, the first Prime Minister of East Timor, resigns after weeks of political unrest.

2007–Pope Benedict XVI reinstates the traditional laws of papal election, in which a successful candidate must receive two-thirds of the votes.

2007–Fashion designer, Liz Claiborne, dies of cancer in New York, New York, at age 78. She launched her own design company, Liz Claiborne Inc., in 1976. It was an immediate success, with sales of $2 million in 1976, and $23 million in 1978.

2012–The Waldo Canyon Fire descends into the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, burning 347 homes in a matter of hours. Two people are killed.

2012–Novelist and screenwriter, Nora Ephron, dies of acute myeloid leukemia in New York, New York, at age 71. Her films include Silkwood, Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally, My Blue Heaven, This Is My Life, Sleepless in Seattle, Mixed Nuts, Michael, You’ve Got Mail, Hanging Up, Lucky Numbers, Bewitched, and Julie & Julia.

2012–Actress, Doris Singleton, dies in Los Angeles, California, at age 92. She is best known for the role of Lucy Ricardo's nemesis or frenemy, Carolyn Appleby, in the TV sitcom I Love Lucy. She was also seen the the TV shows The Loretta Young Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Make Room for Daddy, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and My Three Sons. She appeared in the films Terror at Midnight, Affair in Reno, and Voice in the Mirror.

2013–Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani becomes Prime Minister of Qatar.

2013–Riots in China's Xinjiang region kill at least 36 people and injure 21 others.

2013–The U.S. Supreme Court rules, 5-4, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

2014–Politician and diplomat, Howard Baker, dies from complications of a stroke in Huntsville, Tennessee, at age 88. He served as a Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee (1967-1985). He was the 12th White House Chief of Staff under President Ronald Reagan. Known in Washington, D.C., as the "Great Conciliator," Baker was often regarded as one of the most successful Senators in terms of brokering compromises, enacting legislation, and maintaining civility. He was a moderate conservative who was also respected enormously by most of his Democratic colleagues.

2015–The U.S. Supreme Court hands down a ruling making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states in America.

2015–Television writer and producer, Chris Thompson, dies after a long illness at actor Tim Curry's home in Toluca Lake, California, at age 63. His work includes Blansky’s Beauties, Laverne & Shirley, Bosom Buddies, Hard Knocks, The Larry Sanders Show, Dave’s World, and The Naked Truth.

2016–The expanded Panama Canal opens after a $4.5 billion expansion allowing larger ships to use it.

2016–A roller coaster derails and crashes at M & D's theme park in Motherwell, Scotland, injuring 10.

2016–A massive wildfire destroys at least 150 homes and kills two people dead in Kern County, California.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Julian the Apostate; a bristle toothbrush made of stiff pig hair; an early bicycle; "Father Christmas"; Big Bill Broonzy; Babe Didrickson; Barbara Graham; Georgie Fame; the Saint Lawrence Seaway; Chris O'Donnell; Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor; Elvis Presley at his last concert in 1977; Roy Campanella; Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling; Strom Thurmond; Doris Singleton; and Chris Thompson.

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