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1879–Physicist, Albert Einstein, is born in Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire. In 1905, while he was still working as a patent examiner, he published four papers in Germany's leading physics journal. Each one dealt with a separate area of physics, and each one broke new ground in its field. He did not win the Nobel Prize for the paper he had written about the Theory of Relativity: it was for one of the other papers, a description of the photoelectric effect. Einstein's intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with genius, so that in a sense he may be regarded as the greatest genius who ever lived.



BC 44–On the night before the Assassination of Julius Caesar, Casca and Cassius decide that Mark Antony should stay alive.

313–Emperor Jin Huidi is executed by Liu Cong, ruler of the Xiongnu state (Han Zhao).

1457–Jingtai, Emperor of China, dies most likely due to murder, at age 28.

1471–Sir Thomas Malory dies in London, England, at age 71. He may have completed compiling and translating Le Morte d'Arthur while in prison.

1489–The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice, Italy.

1592–This is ultimate Pi Day: the largest correspondence between calendar dates and significant digits of pi since the introduction of the Julian calendar.

1647–Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, dies in The Hague, Holland, Dutch Republic, at age 63.

1681–German baroque composer, Georg Philipp Telemann, is born in Magdeburg, Duchy of Magdeburg, Brandenburg-Prussia. He was a very prolific composer and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time: compared favorably both to his friends Johann Sebastian Bach and to George Frideric Handel.

1689–Scotland dismisses Willem III and Mary Stuart as King and Queen.

1780–Spanish forces capture Fort Charlotte in Mobile, Alabama, the last British frontier post capable of threatening New Orleans in Spanish Louisiana.

1794–Eli Whitney patents his cotton gin, making it possible to clean 50 pounds of cotton a day, compared to only one pound a day.

1800–Luigi Chiaramonti is crowned Pope Pius VII.

1804–Composer, Johann Strauss I, is born in Leopoldstadt, Austria (present-day Vienna). He was famous for his waltzes and he became one of the well loved dance composers in Vienna. His mother died of “creeping fever” when he was seven. Then when he was 12, his father was discovered drowned, possibly by suicide, in the Danube River.

1811–Augustus FitzRoy, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, dies in Euston Hall, Suffolk, England, at age 75.

1812–The U.S. Congress authorizes War Bonds to finance the War of 1812.

1820–Victor Emmanuel II of Italy is born Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso di Savoia at Palazzo Carignano, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia.

1844–Umberto I of Italy is born in Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia.

1852–Playwright, Lady Augusta Gregory, is born in County Galway, Ireland. In 1894, she met the poet W. B. Yeats for the first time. Together they set about starting a theatre where contemporary Irish drama could be staged. Since there weren't many contemporary Irish plays, Lady Gregory, who was now 50, co-wrote plays with Yeats, and wrote many more of her own. The Irish Literary Theatre was renamed the Abbey Theatre in 1904, and she remained one of its members for the rest of her life.

1863–Railroad engineer, Casey Jones, is born Jonathan Luther Jones in Jackson, Tennessee. He worked for the Illinois Central Railroad (IC). As a boy, he lived near Cayce, Kentucky, where he acquired the nickname of "Cayce," which he chose to spell as "Casey." Jones was also famous for his peculiar skill with the train whistle. His whistle was made of six thin tubes bound together, the shortest being half the length of the longest. Its unique sound involved a long-drawn-out note that began softly, rose and then died away to a whisper, a sound that became his trademark.

1864–Samuel Baker discovers another source of the Nile River in East Africa and names it Lake Albert Nyanza.

1874–Businessman, Anton (Frederik) Philips, is born in Zaltbommel, Gelderland, Netherlands. He co-founded Philips Electronics.

1879–Physicist, Albert Einstein, is born in Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire. In 1905, while he was still working as a patent examiner, he published four papers in Germany's leading physics journal. Each one dealt with a separate area of physics, and each one broke new ground in its field. He did not win the Nobel Prize for the paper he had written about the Theory of Relativity: it was for one of the other papers, a description of the photoelectric effect. Einstein's intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with genius, so that in a sense he may be regarded as the greatest genius who ever lived.

1883–Philosopher, Karl Marx, dies of bronchitis and pleurisy in London, England, at age 64. There were between nine and 11 mourners at his funeral. London had been his home since 1849. He'd been expelled, during the turbulent 1840s, from his native Prussia, then from France and Belgium. In England he lived in poverty, spending his days reading and writing at the British Museum. He wrote The Communist Manifesto.

1885–Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera, The Mikado, premieres in London, England.

1887–Sylvia (Woodbridge) Beach, is born in Baltimore, Maryland. The daughter of a Presbyterian minister, she caught a lifelong love of France when her father was sent to Paris to preach to American students. She founded the Left Bank bookshop, Shakespeare & Company in 1919; a store that sold English-language books. Beach also promoted literature, publishing the first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses. The store was a mecca to the lost generation writers and other American expatriates, until it was shut down by the Nazis in 1941.

1889–Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his “Navigable Balloon.”

1896–The Sutro Baths open by the Cliff House in San Francisco, California.

1900–U.S. currency goes on the Gold Standard.

1903–The Hay-Herran Treaty, granting the United States the right to build the Panama Canal, is ratified by the U.S. Senate.

1903–President Theodore Roosevelt establishes the first U.S. national bird sanctuary to protect pelicans and herons nesting on Pelican Island, near Sebastian, Florida.

1908–Aircraft designer, Ed Heinemann, is born in Saginaw, Michigan. His approach to aircraft design was uncomplicated, once saying “that he simply took the most powerful engine available and designed the aircraft around it.”

1908–Businessman, Philip Conrad Vincent, is born in Wilbraham Gardens, Fulham, England. He founded Vincent Motorcycles.

1910–Lakeview Gusher, the largest U.S. oil well gusher near Bakersfield, California, vents to atmosphere.

1912–Bandleader, Les Brown, is born in Reinerton, Pennsylvania. He and His Band of Renown would record such classics as: Sentimental Journey, My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time, Leap Frog, and I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.

1913–John D. Rockefeller gives $100 million to the Rockefeller Foundation.

1914–Singer-songwriter, Lee Hays, of The Weavers, is born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Throughout his life, he was concerned with overcoming racism, inequality, and violence in society. Hays wrote or co-wrote Wasn't That a Time?, If I Had a Hammer, and Kisses Sweeter than Wine, which became Weavers' staples. He also familiarized audiences with songs of the 1930s labor movement, such as We Shall Not be Moved.

1914–Racecar driver, Lee Petty, is born in Randleman, North Carolina. He was one of the pioneers of NASCAR, and one of its first superstars. He is the father of Richard Petty, who would become NASCAR's all-time race winner.

1916–Horton Foote, American author, playwright, and screenwriter, is born Albert Horton Foote, Jr. in Wharton, Texas. He is best known for his screenplays for the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird and the 1983 film Tender Mercies. His other film scripts include Baby the Rain Must Fall starring Steve McQueen and Lee Remick, and The Trip to Bountiful starring Geraldine Page.

1919–Novelist, Max Shulman, is born. He wrote The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. That was the basis for the 1953 movie The Affairs of Dobie Gillis, followed by the TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963).

1920–Cartoonist, Hank (King) Ketcham, is born in Seattle, Washington. He created the cartoon strip, “Dennis the Menace.”

1921–Samuel Truett Cathy, the founder of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, is born in Eatonton, Georgia.

1923–President Warren G. Harding is the first President to pay income taxes. His tax bill was nearly $18,000.

1923–Photographer, Diane Arbus, is born Diane Nemerov in New York, New York. She was noted for photographs of "deviant, marginal, and minority people (dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal."

1925–Walter Camp, father of American football, dies in New York, New York, at age 65.

1926–A train falls off a bridge over the Río Virilla between Heredia and Tibás in Costa Rica, killing 248 people and wounding 93 others.

1927–Igor Stravinsky finishes composing his opera Oedipus Rex, with text by Jean Cocteau.

1928–Astronaut, Frank Borman, is born in Gary, Indiana. He is best known as the Commander of Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon, making him, along with crew mates, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the first of only 24 humans to do so. Before flying on Apollo, he set a 14-day spaceflight endurance record on Gemini 7.

1931–The first theater for rear movie projection is built in New York City.

1931–Alam Ara, India's first talking film, is released.

1932–Industrialist, George Eastman, inventor of the Kodak camera, dies from a self-inflicted shot to the heart in Rochester, New York, at age 77. In his final two years, Eastman was in intense pain caused by a disorder affecting his spine. He left a note which read, "To my friends: my work is done. Why wait?" He founded the Eastman Kodak Company and popularized the use of roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream.

1933–Actor, Michael Caine, is born Maurice J. Micklewhite in Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, London, England. Renowned for his distinctive Cockney accent, Caine has appeared in over 115 films and is one of the Britain's most recognizable actors. His breakthrough role in the 1960s classic, Alfie, lead to a successful career in America. He appeared in the films Carve Her Name with Pride, The Wrong Arm of the Law, Zulu, The Ipcress File, The Wrong Box, Hurry Sundown, Woman Times Seven, Deadfall, The Italian Job, Too Late the Hero, Get Carter, Zee and Co., Pulp, Sleuth, The Romantic Englishwoman, The Man Who Would Be King, Harry and Walter Go to New York, A Bridge Too Far, California Suite, The Hand, Deathtrap, Educating Rita, Blame It on Rio, Hannah and Her Sisters, Sweet Liberty, Mona Lisa, Half Moon Street, Surrender, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Little Voice, The Cider House Rules, Quills, Last Orders, The Quiet American, Secondhand Lions, and The Prestige.

1933–Composer and record producer, Quincy Jones, is born Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. in Chicago, Illinois. He is an American conductor, arranger, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, entertainment company executive, and humanitarian. His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations and 27 Grammy wins. Jones was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.

1934–Astronaut, Eugene (Andrew) Cernan, is born in Bellwood, Illinois. He has been into space three times: as pilot of Gemini 9A in June 1966; as Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 10 in May 1969; and as Commander of Apollo 17 in December 1972, the final Apollo lunar landing.

1936–The first all-sound film version of Show Boat opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

1938–Actress, Eleanor Bron, is born in Stanmore, Middlesex, England. She appeared in the films Help!, Alfie, Two for the Road, Bedazzled, Thank You All Very Much, Women in Love, The National Health, Turtle Diary, Little Dorrit, Iris, and The Heart of Me.

1939–John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath is published. It is the story of the Joad family, farmers from Oklahoma, who leave the Dust Bowl for a new life in California.

1939–Astronaut, William Benjamin Lenoir, is born in Miami, Florida.

1941–The Nazi occupiers of Holland forbid Jews to own companies.

1941–Film director, producer, and screenwriter, Wolfgang Petersen, is born in Emden, Prussia, Germany. His films include Das Boot, The NeverEnding Story, Enemy Mine, Shattered, In the Line of Fire, Outbreak, Air Force One, and The Perfect Storm.

1942–Australians are required to carry identity cards during World War II.

1942–British actress, Rita Tushingham, is born in Garston, Liverpool, Lancashire, England. She appeared in the films A Taste of Honey, A Place to Go, The Leather Boys, Girl with Green Eyes, The Knack... and How to Get It, Doctor Zhivago, The Trap, Smashing Time, Diamonds for Breakfast, The Guru, The Bed Sitting Room, Straight on Till Morning, and Being Julia.

1943–Jim Pons, bassist for The Turtles and The Mothers of Invention, is born in Santa Monica, California.

1945–Country singer, Michael Martin Murphey, is born in Dallas, Texas. He has recorded the hit singles Wildfire, Carolina in the Pines,What's Forever For, A Long Line of Love, What She Wants, and Don't Count the Rainy Days. He was married to Diana Vero, the former secretary to Brian Epstein, and traveled with The Beatles during their first North American tour in the summer of 1964.

1948–Comedian-actor, Billy Crystal, is born William Edward Crystal in New York, New York. He appeared in the films Rabbit Test, This Is Spinal Tap, Running Scared, The Princess Bride, Throw Momma from the Train, When Harry Met Sally..., City Slickers, Mr. Saturday Night, Forget Paris, Analyze This, and Analyze That.

1950–The FBI initiates the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Program in order to draw national attention to dangerous criminals who have avoided capture.

1950–Disc jockey, Rick Dees, is born Rigdon Osmond Dees III in Jacksonville, Florida. He is an radio personality, stand-up comedian, actor, and voice artist, best known for his internationally syndicated radio show The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown, and for the 1976 novelty song Disco Duck.

1951–Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, is born in Brooklyn, New York. The company has opened almost 200 franchised shops and reports earnings of $237 million annually.

1954–Actor, Adrian (George) Zmed, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for the role of Officer Vince Romano in the series T.J. Hooker. He appeared in the films Grease 2, Bachelor Party, Improper Conduct, Unconditional Love, Until Morning, and The Craving Heart.

1956–The Alan Freed film, Rock Around the Clock, starring The Platters and Bill Haley and His Comets, premieres in New York City.

1958–The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of American) is created to award gold and platinum records, giving the first gold disc to Perry Como's Catch A Falling Star.

1958–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1958–The USSR conducts an atmospheric nuclear test.

1958–Albert II, Prince of Monaco, is born in Prince's Palace, Monaco-Ville, Monaco. Prince Albert II is one of the wealthiest royals in the world, with assets valued at more than $1 billion, which includes land in both Monaco and France. He is the son of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and actress, Grace Kelly. His sisters are Caroline, Princess of Hanover, and Princess Stéphanie.

1961–The New English Bible (New Testament) is published in the U.K.

1961–Actress, Penny Johnson, is born in Baltimore, Maryland. She is best known for the roles of Sherry Palmer on the action/drama series 24, and Captain Victoria "Iron" Gates on the comedy-drama series Castle. She appeared in the films Swing Shift, The Hills Have Eyes, What’s Love Got to Do with It?, Molly & Gina, and Absolute Power.

1964–A jury in Dallas, Texas, finds Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. He is sentenced to die in the electric chair.

1967–The body of President John F. Kennedy is moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery.

1971–The Rolling Stones play a “farewell” concert at London's Roundhouse. The band is about to go into tax exile in France.

1973–Liam Cosgrave is appointed President of Ireland.

1973–Computer scientist, Howard H. Aiken, dies in St. Louis, Missouri, at age 73. He created the Harvard Mark I. This was the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC), called Mark I by Harvard University’s staff. It was a general purpose electro-mechanical computer that was used in the war effort during the last part of World War II. The Mark I was officially retired, after 15 years of service, in 1959.

1973–Cartoonist, Chic Young, dies in St. Petersburg, Florida, at age 72. He created the comic strip “Blondie.” According to King Features Syndicate, Young had a daily readership of 52 million.

1974–Quebec declares French as its official language.

1975–After heavy rains, fifteen days before Opryland's scheduled March 29th opening, the nearby Cumberland River overflows its banks, causing the park to be flooded. Some lower lying portions of Opryland are under as much as 16-feet of water. There are several casualties from the park's new petting zoo: two wolves, five goats, six rabbits, 13 quail, and some bantam chickens. Total flood damage is estimated at approximately $5 million.

1975–Actress, Susan Hayward, dies of brain cancer in Hollywood, California, at age 57. There is speculation that Hayward may have developed cancer from radioactive fallout from atmospheric atomic bomb tests while making the film, The Conqueror, with John Wayne. Several production members, as well as Wayne himself, Agnes Moorehead, Pedro Armendáriz, and its director Dick Powell, later succumbed to cancer and cancer-related illnesses. She appeared in the films Beau Geste, Adam Had Four Sons, Reap the Wild Wind, The Fighting Seabees, Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman, They Won’t Believe Me, Tulsa, My Foolish Heart, I’d Climb the Highest Mountain, Rawhide, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, David and Bathsheba, With a Song in My Heart, The Lusty Men, White Witch Doctor, I’ll Cry Tomorrow, Top Secret Affair, I Want to Live!, Woman Obsessed, Ada, Back Street, I Thank a Fool, Stolen Hours, Where Love Has Gone, and Valley of the Dolls.

1976–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1976–Choreographer-director, Busby Berkeley, dies of natural causes in Palm Desert, California, at age 80. Berkeley devised elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. His works used a large number of showgirls and props as fantasy elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances.

1978–The Israel Defense Forces invade and occupy southern Lebanon, in Operation Litani.

1979–A Hawker Siddeley Trident crashes into a factory near Beijing, China, killing at least 200 people.

1980–A plane crashes during final approach near Warsaw, Poland, killing 87 people, including a 14-man American boxing team.

1981–Eric Clapton has an attack of bleeding ulcers that leads to the cancellation of his 60-date tour of the U.S.

1983–OPEC cuts oil prices for first time in 23 years.

1983–Musician, Jordan Taylor Hanson, of the pop group The Hansons, is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

1984–Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Féin, is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in central Belfast, Ireland.

1989–Writer, Edward Abbey, dies of complications from surgery in Oracle, Arizona, at age 62. His best known work is The Monkey Wrench Gang.

1991–Songwriter, Howard Ashman, dies of AIDs in New York, New York, at age 40. He collaborated with Alan Menken on several films, notably animated features for Disney, Ashman writing the lyrics and Menken composing the music.

1992–Farm Aid Five in Irving, Texas, attracts a crowd of 40,000 to watch performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Paul Simon, and John Mellencamp.

1992–The Soviet newspaper, Pravda, suspends publication.

1992–Six Flags Fiesta Texas opens. It is built inside an abandoned rock quarry in Northwest San Antonio, Texas, and is managed by Gaylord Entertainment (owners of Opryland). Original theme sections are Los Festivales, Crackaxle Canyon, Spassburg, Rockville, and Ol’ Waterin Hole Water Park. One of the feature rides is The Rattler, with the world's largest drop on a wooden roller coaster.

1992–C.V. Wood, Jr., the chief developer of Disneyland, dies of cancer at age 71.

1994–Linux kernel version 1.0.0 is released.

1994–Mexican billionaire banker, Alfredo Harp Helu, is kidnapped.

1995–Norman Thagard, becomes the first American Astronaut to ride to space on-board a Russian launch vehicle.

1995–Nuclear-astro physicist, William A. Fowler, dies in Pasadena, California, at age 83. Fowler's most famous paper was "Synthesis of the Elements in Stars," co-authored with E. Margaret Burbidge, Geoffrey Burbidge, and Fred Hoyle, and published in 1957.

1997–John Curtis, Jr., CEO of the Luby's cafeteria chain, commits suicide at age 58.

1997–Film director, Fred Zinnemann, dies of a heart attack in London, England, at age 89. His films include The Men, High Noon, The Member of the Wedding, From Here to Eternity, Oklahoma!, A Hatful of Rain, The Old Man and the Sea, The Nun’s Story, The Sundowners, Behold a Pale Horse, A Man for All Seasons, The Day of Jackal, and Julia.

1998–An 6.9 earthquake hits southeastern Iran.

1999–Actor, Kirk Alyn, dies in The Woodlands, Texas, at age 89. He was the first actor to play the comic book hero "Superman." He appeared in the films My Sister Eileen, Lucky Jordan, You Were Never Lovelier, Swing Shift Maisie, The Man from the Rio Grande, Pistol Packin’ Mama, Four Jills in a Jeep, The Time of Their Lives, Little Miss Broadway, The Three Musketeers, When Worlds Collide, The Eddy Duchin Story, Beginning of the End, and The Great White Hope.

2004–Vladimir Putin is re-elected President of Russia.

2004–John W. Seybold, economist and computer typesetting pioneer, dies at age 88. His firm ROCAPPI (Research on Computer Applications in the Printing and Publishing Industries), founded in 1963, was a pioneer in developing computer-based typesetting systems.

2005–The 20th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is held. This year’s inductees are: (Performers) U2, Buddy Guy, The Pretenders, The O'Jays, and Percy Sledge; (Non-Performer) No awards given; and (Sidemen) No awards given. The Lifetime Achievement goes to Frank Barsalona and Seymour Stein. The ceremony takes place at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

2007–The first World Maths Day is celebrated.

2008–A series of riots, protests, and demonstrations erupt in Lhasa and elsewhere in Tibet.

2009–Altovise Davis, wife of singer, Sammy Davis, Jr., dies of complications from a stroke in Los Angeles, California, at age 65.

2010–Actor, Peter Graves, dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, at age 83. He is best known for his starring role in the TV series Mission: Impossible from 1967 to 1973. He appeared in the films Red Planet Mars, Stalag 17, Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, Killers from Space, The Long Gray Line, Wichita, The Night of the Hunter, It Conquered the World, Beginning of the End, Death in Small Doses, Texas Across the River, The Ballad of Josie, and Airplane!

2011–The 26th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is held. This year’s inductees are: (Performers) Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, and Tom Waits; (Non-Performer) No awards given; (Sidemen) No awards given; and (Early Influence) No awards given. The Lifetime Achievement goes to Jac Holzman and Art Rupe. An Award for Musical Excellence goes to Leon Russell. The ceremony takes place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

2013–A series of car bombings in Baghdad, Iraq, kills 25 people and wounds 50 others.

2013–Xi Jinping is named the new President of the People's Republic of China.

2016–An Amtrak passenger train derails west of Dodge City, Kansas.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Mark Antony; Georg Philipp Telemann; Lady Augusta Gregory; Albert Einstein; the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, California, Philip Conrad Vincent; Horton Foote; Diane Arbus; an early Kodak camera; Quincy Jones; Rita Tushingham; Billy Crystal; Prince Albert of Monaco; John F. Kennedy's gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery; the "Blondie" comic strip; Susan Hayward; The Hansons; Six Flags Fiesta Texas; Vladimir Putin; and Peter Graves.

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