On this day in 1917, residents of Puerto Rico were granted
second-class U.S. citizenship.
On this day in 1977, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted
a code of ethics stating no member shall accept payoffs in
excess of $250,000 for any single vote.
Theodor Giesel (1904-1991): aka Dr. Seuss, wrote the children's
classics "How the Grinch Stole Chanukah," "Green
Eggs and Hamlet" and "Yertle the Teenage Mutant
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, 73: former Soviet president, now pens
a weekly advice column called "Ask Gorby."
Tom Wolfe, 73: author, best known for "The Electric
Kool-Aid Acid Testicle."
John Irving, 62: author, wrote "Crack House Rules"
and "The World According to Garth Brooks."
On this day in 1961, President Kennedy established the Peace
Corps, creating thousands of low-wage jobs in backwater countries.
On this day in 1966, a movement to clean up government in
Syria leads to a takeover by the Bubble Ba'ath Party.
Roger Daltrey, 60: rock singer with the Who, hits include
"My Penetration" and "The Kids Are All White."
Ron Howard, 50: actor-director, plans to remake his 1950s
hits for the modern era in "Unhappy Daze" and "Anti-American
Catherine Bach, 50: actress, played a radioactive hillbilly
sex object in "The Nukes of Hazzard."
On this day in 1692, the first witches were arrested in Salem,
Massachusetts, where police charged them with toadslaughter
and assault with a deadly broomstick.
On this day in 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African
American to win an Oscar. As Mammy in "Gone with the
Wind," she uttered the immortal line: "I don't know
nothin' 'bout birthin no crack babies."
Dinah Shore (1916-1994): actress, starred with lover Burt
Reynolds in "The Best Little Shore House in Texas."
Aileen Wuornos (1956-2002): beat out the Boston Strangler
to win award for Hollywood's favorite serial killer.
Ja Rule, 28: rapper, best known for his hit song "Murder
On this day in 1989, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. halted
production of its experimental "smokeless cigarette"
after research showed it was not sufficiently carcinogenic.
On this day in 1951, Sen. Estes Kefauver's committee on organized
crime revealed that a reputed mobster known as Uncle Sam was
shaking down nearly all U.S. citizens for annual "tax"
On this day in 1974, the U.S. and Egypt re-established diplomatic
relations after a seven-year trial separation during which
they agreed it was OK to see other countries.
Gavin MacLeod, 74: actor, starred in the popular TV series
about romantic hijinks aboard a doomed Naxi submarine, "Das
Bernadette Peters, 56: actress, starred in "Pink Cataract"
and "Annie Get Your AK-47."
On this day in 1970, Simon and Garfunkel won a gold record
for the ominous "Bridge Over Troubled Watergate."
On this day in 1922, the Supreme Court guaranteed women the
right to vote, but only in local PTA elections.
On this day in 1991, Allied troops led by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf
entered Kuwait to complete "Operation Desert Norm."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882): poet, best known
for his "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and the Raiders."
Joanne Woodward, 74: actress, won Oscar for "The Three
Faces of Eve Brady."
Elizabeth Taylor, 72: actress, starred in the classic Dr.
Seuss movies "Cat in the Hat on a Hot Tin Roof"
and "Hop on Cleopatra."
Ralph Nader, 70: political crash-test dummy.
Chelsea Clinton, 24: famous daughter, mom formed a committee
to study a possible Chelsea presidential run in 2024.
On this day in 1951, Congress ratified the 22nd Amendment
to the Constitution, limiting a president to two major scandals
while in office.
On this day in 1919, Congress established Grand Canyon National
Park. President Woodrow Wilson posed with a hardhat and shovel
in a groundbreaking ceremony as crews began to dig the massive
On this day in 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published
the Communist Manifesto. The cover depicted a strapping young
Communist flogging a "bourgeoisie capitalist pig dog."
Victor Hugo (1802-1885): author, best known for his epic
novel "Les Miserable SOBs."
Levi Strauss (1829-1902): created the first stone-washed,
button-fly, flex-buttocks blue jeans for use by California
denim miners in 1850.
Jackie Gleason (1916-1987): comedian, played the constant
threat of explosive domestic violence to hilarious effect
in "The Funnymooners."
Tony Randall, 84: actor, played a meticulous and reverent
Christian whose roommate is a slovenly atheist in the popular
1960s sitcom, "The God Couple."
Johnny Cash (1932-2003): singer, hits include "Folgers
Coffee Blues" and his duet with A.A. Milne, "A Boy
On this day in 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated England's
Queen Elizabeth I for calling him "Dope Pius" behind
On this day in 1836, Samuel Colt received a patent for his
new Colt revolver, then placed an ad in Guns & Ammo touting
it as "great for gunfights and blowing people's heads
On this day in 1948, Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia,
eliminated the nation's system of checks and balances, then
began checking IDs and writing bogus checks.
Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919): painter, best known for
his creative use of Sherwin Williams #436 Teal to cover the
exterior trim at the Louvre.
George Harrison (1945-2001): former Beatle, solo hits include
"Dark Horse Manure" and "My Sweet Lawsuit."
Sally Jessy Raphael, 61: talk show host, recent themes include
"Bisexual Schizophrenics Who Can't Stop Cheating on Themselves."
Sean Astin, 33: actor, starred in the snack food trilogy
"Lord of the Ring Dings."
On this day in 1980, Vanilla Ice led the U.S. hockey team
to victory over Finland to win the Olympic gold medal in the
so-called "Miracle on Ice Ice Baby."
On this day in 1981, Jean Harris, reportedly enraged at having
gained three pounds, was found guilty of murdering "Scarsdale
Diet" author Dr. Herman Tarnower.
Winslow Homer (1836-1910): artist, best known for painting
Maine fishermen filling their nets with native North Atlantic
Joseph Lieberman, 62: U.S. senator, inventor of "Joe-mentum"
(opposite of "momentum").
Edward James Olmos, 57: actor, starred as a tough-talking
Latino pizza man on TV in "Miami Slice" and on the
big screen in "Stand and Deliver the Large Pepperoni."
Paula Zahn, 48: TV newswoman, blew the lid off the Sea Monkeys
On this day in 1836, traveling coonskin cap salesmen Davy
Crockett led a siege on the Alamo Rent-A-Car offices in San
On this day in 1927, President Coolidge signed legislation
creating the forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission,
with language prohibiting on-air usage of the words "dang"
On this day in 1997, scientists in Scotland announced they
had successfully cloned a lamb named "Dolly." The
creature was identical to the original except that it sported
gigantic breasts and enjoyed singing country and western tunes.
George Frederick Handel (1685-1759): composer, one of the
few musical geniuses to have his very own "Messiah."
Peter Fonda, 65: actor, starred as the zonked-out Zig Zag
Man in the seminal 1960s film "EZ Wider."
On this day in 1819, disgruntled by the poor play of the
Miami Dolphins, Spain signed Florida over to the U.S.
On this day in 1879, Frank Woolworth opened his first five-and-dime
in Utica, N.Y., with his famous slogan: "Special on duct
tape in aisle six."
On this day in 1987, pop culture artist Andy Warhol died
at age 58 in a New York City hospital after 15 minutes of
artificial respiration and a bowl of Campbell's tomato soup.
George Washington (1732-1799): first U.S. president, believed
to be the last one who "could not tell a lie."
Edward M. Kennedy, 72: U.S. senator, D-Mass., once sponsored
legislation requiring the nation's "hot chicks"
to serve him booze and sleep with him.
Jeri Ryan, 36: actress, starred as the alluring 7.9% APR
in "Star Trek: Plymouth Voyager."
Drew Barrymore, 28: actress, starred in "E.T.: The Extra
Testicle" and the blockbuster silent film "Charlie
On this day in 1885, the Washington Monument was dedicated
with a plaque proclaiming it to be: "The mother of all
On this day in 1972, President Richard Nixon began his historic
trip to China flanked by two high-ranking pandas, Ling-Ling
On this day in 1975, former White House aide H.R. Puffenstuff
was sentenced to eight years in Pee-Wee's Maximum-Security
Playhouse for his role in the Watergate coverup.
Rue McClanahan, 70: actress, starred in the hip TV crime
show "Maude Squad."
Tyne Daly, 58: actress, persuaded Hollywood legend James
Cagney to dress up as a "broad" for his role in
the popular TV crime drama "Cagney and Lacey."
Olympia Snowe, 57: U.S. senator, R-Maine, sponsored legislation
shortening Maine winters from five or six months down to three.
Kelsey Grammer, 49: actor, has been playing the character
"Frasier" since 1959.
Jennifer Love Hewitt, 25: actress, starred in the horror
film "I Know Who You Banged Summer."
On this day in 1792, President Washington signed an act to
establish the U.S. Post Office, but the grand opening ceremony
was delayed when the paperwork got lost in the mail.
On this day in 1933, the House of Representatives agreed
on action to repeal Prohibition, then celebrated with a toast
-- 216 members drank scotch, 216 drank whiskey and 3 abstained.
On this day in 1962, John Glenn became the first U.S. man
to orbit the Earth, celebrating with a swig from his flask
of vodka and Tang.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984): photographer, best known for his
photos of the animated gunslinger Yosemite Sam shooting Bugs
Bunny in the back.
Gloria Vanderbilt, 80: fashion designer, creator of blueberry-flavored
jeans and the gazelle lung handbag.
Sidney Poitier, 77: actor, starred in "To Sir Isaac
Newton With Love" and "In the Heat of the One-Night
Patricia Hearst, 50: newspaper heiress, socialite and fashionable
and kidnap victim.
Cindy Crawford, 38: model, has appeared in the annual "Sports
Illustrated: Swimsuit Porn Issue."
On this day in 1878, Thomas Edison received a patent for
his phonograph and a Grammy for his soulful recording of "Hoochie
On this day in 1803, Congress voted to admit Ohio into the
union, but insisted it stop calling itself "The Bug-Eye
On this day in 1881, Kansas became the first state to ban
booze after the governor's 16-year-old son came home from
a frat party drunk on corn brandy and singing "Louie,
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543): Polish astronomer, theorized
that the sun was at the center of the solar system, somewhere
Smokey Robinson, 64: singer, Motown hits included his salute
to an alcoholic circus performer, "Beers of a Clown."
Jeff Daniels, 49: actor, starred in Disney's vicious "101
Pit Bulls" and the X-rated "Hum and Hummer."
Benicio Del Toro, 37: actor, starred in "The Usual Corporate
Securities Fraud Suspects."
On this day in 1972, the California Supreme Court struck
down the state's death penalty. All those executed prior to
1972 were "de-electrocuted" and returned to death
On this day in 1885, Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry
Finn" was published and was immediately banned due to
its shocking use of the grammatically incorrect term "ain't."
On this day in 1861, Jefferson Davis became president of
the Confederate States of America and named the legendary
"Dukes of Hazzard" to his cabinet as Secretaries
Yoko Ono, 71: singer, best known for her songs "I Am
the Banshee" and "All You Need is Screeching."
John Travolta, 50: actor, received Oscar nominations for
his role as the charismatic Theodore Cleaver in "Saturday
Vanna White, 47: host of the sadistic game show "Wheel
Matt Dillon, 40: actor, starred in "There's Something
About Mary Magdalene."
Molly Ringwald, 36: actress, starred in "Sixteen Cannibals"
and "The Flesh-Eating Breakfast Club."
On this day in 1979, Garrison Keillor launched his radio
show about small-town midwestern hookers, "A Prairie
On this day in 1904, Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly"
was poorly received at its premiere, until it was renamed
"Madame Butterfly's Shocking Sex Fantasy."
On this day in 1817, Baltimore became the first city to be
illuminated with gas streetlamps, and the first to be hit
with gas streetlamp vandalism.
Alan Bates, 70: actor, starred as acne-ridden, socially inept
Zorba in "Zorba the Geek."
Rene Russo, 50: actress, played opposite Joe Pesci's Saddam
Hussein in "Lethal Weapon of Mass Destruction."
Michael Jordan, 41: basketball god, hairless leader of a
generation of bald men.
Lou Diamond Phillips, 41: actor, starred in the timeless
classic about a young Hispanic deer, "La Bambi."
On this day in 1959, Fidel Castro overthrew Cuban President
Batista, who was found in a ditch outside Havana with first-degree
cigar burns over 60 percent of his body.
On this day in 1804, a U.S. fleet raided Tripoli Harbor in
direct violation of the harbor's strict "Make No Wake"
On this day in 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order
of Elks was founded by a guy who had been kicked out of a
rival club called the Benevolent and Protective Order of Sea
Edgar Bergen (1903-1978): ventriloquist, best known for making
fun of the president with his dummy, Woodrow "Woody"
LeVar Burton, 47: actor, played Lt. Kunta Kinte, a former
slave who escaped onto a spaceship in "Star Trek: The
Ice-T, 45: actor-rapper, best known for his violent commercials
for Lipton Iced Tea.
On this day in 2000, Fox aired "Who Wants to Marry a
Serial Killer?," a reality-style TV special that drew
huge ratings and left only seven dead.
On this day in 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed
a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the
Supreme Court, as long as they wore a short skirt and high
On this day in 1964, Cassius Clay became the heavyweight
boxing champ with a brash, trash-talking victory over loud-mouth
couch potato Howard Cosell.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642): Italian astronomer, used a telescope
to prove his theory that the universe did not revolve around
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906): American suffragist, born in
Adams, Mass., began suffering at age 2 months.
Matt Groening, 50: creator of the knife-wielding cartoon
family, "The O.J. Simpsons."
On this day in 1849, James Polk became the first president
to be photographed in office. Polk lost his re-election bid
though, having frightened voters with his beaming red eyes.
On this day in 1859, Oregon became the nation's 33rd state,
but was put on a six-month probation filled with merciless
hazing from some of the older states.
On this day in 1945, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay joined
the United Nations after agreeing to keep their noses clean
and refrain from building atomic bombs.
Carl Bernstein, 60: journalist, author of "All the President's
Meg Tilly, 44: actress, played a young nun smitten with a
movie monster in "Agnes of Godzilla."
On this day in 1741, Andrew Bradford of Pennsylvania published
the first American magazine, the Colonial Inquirer. Its motto:
"Inquiring colonists want to know."
On this day in 1920, the League of Nations allowed Switzerland
to claim its perpetual neutrality, but then passed a resolution
to block the further spread of "this insidious neutrality
Grant Wood (1892-1942): artist, depicted a Brazilian couple
gripping a pitchfork in his greatest work, "South American
Stockard Channing, 60: actress, starred in the critically
acclaimed geology film "Six Degrees of Sedimentation."
Jerry Springer, 60: host of the daytime cockfighting show
"Lowest Common Denominator."
On this day in 1733, English settlers led by Captain Crunch
founded the city of Battle Creek, Michigan.
On this day in 1999, the Senate voted to acquit President
Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice, but found him
guilty of truth-fudging and intern-banging.
Charles Darwin (1809-1882): many scientists pooh-poohed the
theory of evolution he set forth in "On the Origin of
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1965): 16th president, freed all peoples
to have drunken sex in his epic speeches the "Intoxication
Proclamation" and the "Fornication Proclamation
Maud Adams, 59: actress, starred in the Woody Allen/James
Bond movie, "What's New, Octopussy?"
Christina Ricci, 24: actress, starred in "Clinton Family
On this day in 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed after spending
27 years in a South African prison. Asked what he would do,
Mandela responded, "I'm going to Disney World."
On this day in 1993, President Clinton named Miami prosecutor
Janet Reno to be the first female attorney general, despite
widespread concern that she might frighten the nation's children.
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931): noted genius, within days
of his birth in Ohio he invented the electric pacifier and
the solar-powered rattle.
Tina Louise, 70: actress, rumored to have slept with the
professor, the skipper and the millionaire on the 1960s reality
program "Gilligan's Temptation Island."
Burt Reynolds, 68: actor, revered as a god in Japan for his
performance in "Smokey and the Banzai."
Jennifer Aniston, 35: actress, is revered as a god in Japan
for her performance in the popular TV sitcom "Tomodachis"
On this day in 1949, opening on Broadway was
Arthur Miller's new play "Death of a Used Car Salesman."
On this day in 1962, Russia traded Francis Gary Powers, a
captured American U-2 pilot, for 12 cases of Gordon's Vodka
and a Soviet dissident to be named later.
On this day in 1998, the Senate confirmed Dr. David Satcher
as surgeon general following Satcher's ominous warning: "Failure
to support my nomination could be hazardous to your health."
Boris Pasternak (1890-1960): Russian author, best known for
his classic novel "Dr. Zhivago and Mr. Hyde."
Robert Wagner, 74: actor, starred in "Prince Valium"
and "A Piss Before Dying."
Roberta Flack, 65: singer, hit #1 in 1973 with "Killing
Me Softly With Arsenic," as a fashion designed popularized
the Flack Jacket.
George Stephanopoulos, 43: former White House pretty boy.
On this day in 1964, The
Beatles made their first visit to "The Ed Sullivan Show,"
where Sullivan ordered the moptopped lads not to sing the
song "I Wanna Hold Your Breasts."
On this day in 1950, Sen. Joseph McCarthy warned that the
State Department was infested with Communists and presented
a photo-copy from Kinkos naming names of prominent Pinkos.
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841): ninth president, died
just 32 days into his term when he was bitten by a rabid Kentucky
congressman and had to be put down.
Roger Mudd, 76: newsman who covered the great mudslides of
the 20th century.
Joe Pesci, 61: actor, starred in "Goodkillas" and
Mia Farrow, 59: actress, starred opposite the Devil in "Rosemary's
Crack Baby" and Jimi Hendrix in "The Purple Haze