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 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 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 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 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 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 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