On this day in 1784, Benjamin Franklin wrote
that he was unhappy about the eagle being made the symbol
of America. He said he favored the turkey, preferably with
mayo and cheese on rye.
On this day in 1979, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller
died at age 70 when he accidentally suffocated in a six-foot-high
pile $100 bills.
On this day in 1998, President Clinton vigorously denied
having an affair with a White House intern, telling reporters,
"I did not 'git jiggy wit' that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964): U.S. military general, uttered
the fame words "I shall return" before going to
the bathroom at a bar in the Philippines.
Paul Newman, 79: actor, lost to a pool-playing chimp in "The
Color of Monkey," ate too many eggs in "Cool Hand
Ellen DeGeneres, 46: noted lesbian, starred as a humorous
lesbian in the ground-breaking lesbian sitcom "Ellen
the Humorous Lesbian."
Wayne Gretzky, 43: hockey superstar, widely considered the
greatest lesbian ever to play in the NHL.
On this day in 1880, Thomas
Edison received a patent for his new Barney the Dinosaur nightlight.
On this day in 1888, the National Pornographic
Society was founded and began publishing a magazine showing
bare-breasted "Women of the Third World."
On this day in 1951, a new era of weapons testing
began as the U.S. dropped a one-kiloton anvil in Nevada.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): composer, best known
for operas like "The Marriage of Figaro" and his
stormy followup "The Messy Divorce of Figaro."
Mikhail Baryshnikov, 56: ballet superstar, six-time league
MVP for the Pittsburgh Pirouetters.
Bridget Fonda, 40: actress, played a chubby psycho's roommate
in "Single Wide Female."
On this day in 1547, Edward
VI became king of England at the tender age of 9. Unfortunately
his crown was five sizes too big and his obsession with Hot
Wheels cars resulted in a new law requiring all kings to be
at least 18.
On this day in 1909, the U.S. lost its jurisdiction over
Cuba in a high-stakes game of "rock, paper, scissors"
with the Russians and the Chinese.
Alan Alda, 68: actor, starred in Woody Allen's "Rhymes
Jeanne Shaheen, 57: former N.H. governor, known as "Shaheen:
the Lean, Mean Governing Machine," she is fond of red
tape and blue-ribbon panels.
Elijah Wood, 23: actor, starred in "The Fellowship of
the Ring Around the Collar."
On this day in 1845, Edgar
Allan Poe first published "The Raven," in which
he eerily predicted that the Baltimore Ravens would win the
Super Bowl 156 years later.
On this day in 1861, Kansas became the 34th
state; today its major tourist attractions include the Soybean
Museum and the Farm Accident Hall of Fame.
On this day in 1979, Jimmy Carter welcomed Deng
Xiaoping to the White House, but the Chinese leader shellacked
him 21-3 in a friendly game of ping-pong.
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904): Russian author, best known for
his risqué novel about the loss of innocence, "The
Cherry Poppin' Orchard."
Tom Selleck, 59: actor, played a fun-loving caveman in the
1980s detective show "Cro-Magnon, P.I."
Oprah Winfrey, 50: talk show host and actress, starred with
Harpo Marx in "A Night at the Oprah."
Heather Graham, 34: actress, starred in the porn-horror films
"Boogie Night of the Living Dead" and "Boogie
Nightmare on Elm Street."
On this day in 1948, Mahatma
Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist who believed
grown men should not wear diapers in pubic.
On this day in 1964, the U.S. launched Ranger 6, a rocket
whose mission was to crash land on the moon, manned only by
three of NASA's top crash-test dummies.
On this day in 1969, the Beatles performed on their studio
rooftop; when police told them to stop and they refused, they
were roughed up by Sgt. Pepper.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945): 32nd president, three-time
White House wheelchair basketball champion.
Gene Hackman, 74: actor, won Oscar playing a guy who got
syphilis from a Parisian hooker in "The French Infection."
Vanessa Redgrave, 67: actress, earned Oscar nomination as
a whiskey-swilling monarch in "Mary, Queen of Scotch."
Dick Cheney, 63: vice president, hobbies include running
the world from an "undisclosed location."
On this day in 1949, NBC
broadcast the first TV daytime soap opera, "Don't Mess
With My Children."
On this day in 1990, McDonald's opened its first
restaurant in Moscow, serving Caviar McNuggets and vodka-flavored
On this day in 1928, inventor
Richard Drew created Scotch tape during a weeklong scotch-drinking
Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Austrian composer, died while
trying to bang out "Unfinished Symphony (No. 8)."
Carol Channing, 80-something: underwent multiple breast jobs
to prepare for her role in "Hello, Dolly Parton!"
Johnny Rotten, 48: played tenor saxophone for the legendary
punk band the Sax Pistols.
Minnie Driver, 33: actress, starred in the football feel-good
movie "Good Will Punting."
Justin Timberlake, 23: singer, developed his lightweight
vocal style on Mickey Mouse Club.
On this day in 1861, Texas
voted to secede from the Union after them damn Yankees suggested
there might be something wrong with owning human beings.
On this day in 1960, four black college students staged a
"sit-in" at a Woolworth's lunch counter in North
Carolina, where they'd been denied the right to consume rancid
egg salad on rye.
On this day in 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was welcomed
back to Iran with a ticker-tape parade celebrating his victory
in ESPN's "World's Strongest Ayatollah Contest."
Clark Gable (1901-1960): actor, best known for his role as
a dashing tracheotomy survivor in "Gone With the Windpipe."
Sherman Hemsley, 66: actor, starred as the wise-cracking
illegitimate great, great grandson of Thomas Jefferson and
his slave Sally Hemings in "The Jeffersons."
Lisa Marie Presley, 36: divorced Michael Jackson because
he wanted her to father a set of androgynous albino quintuplets.