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 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 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 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 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 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 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