Today In History
On This Day:
In 1859, author Washington Irving died at the age of 76. He penned such classic tales as "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle."
In 1925, the "WSM Barn Dance" made its radio debut on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee. The program later became known as "The Grand Ole Opry."
In 1932, Groucho Marx performed on radio for the first time.
In 1939, Dr. James Naismith died at the age of 78. He is credited with inventing the game of basketball.
In 1960, Elvis Presley topped the pop singles chart with "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"
In 1963, President Lyndon Johnson announced the space center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, would be renamed The John F. Kennedy Space Center. The announcement came just days after Kennedy was assassinated. The surrounding Cape Canaveral was also renamed Cape Kennedy, but in 1973, residents in the area voted to change the name back to Cape Canaveral.
In 1974, John Lennon made his final concert appearance at an Elton John concert at New York's Madison Square Garden. The two legends sang three songs together.
In 1975, "The Edge of Night" aired for the final time on CBS before moving to ABC for another nine seasons.
In 1981, legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant won his 315th game to become college football's winningest coach. His record was broken four years later by Grambling's Eddie Robinson.
In 1984, talk show host Phil Donahue moved his show from Chicago to New York to be closer to his wife, actress Marlo Thomas.
In 1990, Margaret Thatcher resigned as British Prime Minister.
In 1992, Whitney Houston topped the pop singles chart with "I Will Always Love You." The tune stayed in the top spot for 14 weeks.
In 1994, convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate.
In 1995, President Clinton signed a six-billion dollar road bill that ended the federal 55-mile-per-hour speed limit.
In 1997, the final original regular installment of "Beavis and Butthead" aired on MTV.
In 1999, National Zoo officials in Washington, D.C. euthanized Hsing-Hsing, the popular giant panda who was brought to America in 1972 from China. The panda's health had been deteriorating.
In 2004, a corporate jet carrying NBC sports executive Dick Ebersol and family members crashed at Colorado's Montrose Regional Airport. While Ebersol, his son Charlie, and a third crew member survived the crash, Ebersol's 14-year-old son Teddy and two other crew members were killed in the wreck.
In 2004, Oscar winning actress Julia Roberts gave birth to twins -- a girl and a boy. Roberts and husband Danny Moder named the newborns Hazel Patricia and Phinnaeus Walter.
In 2006, in an effort to ease tensions caused by controversial comments made earlier in the year, Pope Benedict traveled to the mostly-Muslim country of Turkey. The 79-year-old Pontiff angered much of the Muslim world in September 2006 with a speech that portrayed Islam as an irrational and violent religion. Speaking with Turkey's prime minister, the Pope called Islam "peaceful and affectionate."
In 2007, 19 days after Broadway stagehands walked off the job, a tentative agreement was reached between the stagehand union leaders and theater producers that sent the stagehands back to work. The strike shut down more than two dozen productions and cost the city of New York an estimated two million dollars in revenue each day the picket lines continued.
In 2008, the Black Friday sales rush turned tragic in New York where a seasonal employee was trampled to death by eager shoppers at a Wal-Mart store. The stampede left four others injured, including a pregnant woman. In an incident in Southern California, a shooting at a toy store in Palm Desert, left two people dead.
In 2010, "Airplane" and "Naked Gun" actor Leslie Nielsen died on this date on this date at the age of 84.
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