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On This Day

In 1807, Congress outlawed the importation of slaves to the United States, effective the following year.

In 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Now the majority of Texans would not believe they were ever part of it.

In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship with the passage of the Jones-Shafroth Act.

In 1956, Morocco gained its independence from France.

In 1959, Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis held the first of two recording sessions that yielded the album "Kind of Blue."

In 1985, the federal government approved a screening test for AIDS that detected antibodies to the virus, allowing possibly contaminated blood to be excluded from the blood supply. They still won't let you give blood if you've even thought of having sex with a gay man, though.

In 2008, Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Putin's hand-picked successor, scored a crushing victory in Russia's presidential election.

In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that members of the whackjob idiot wingnut fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church had a First Amendment right to picket the funeral of a Marine.

Born on This Day

1459 - Pope Adrian VI (d. 1523)


1545 - Thomas Bodley, English diplomat and library founder (d. 1613)

1793 - Sam Houston, American politician (d. 1863)

1810 - Pope Leo XIII (d. 1903)


1842 - Carl Jacobsen, Danish brewer (d. 1914)

1876 - Pope Pius XII (d. 1958)


1886 - Willis O'Brien, American animator (d. 1962)

1897 - Minor Hall, American jazz musician (d. 1959)

1900 - Kurt Weill, German composer (d. 1950)

1904 - Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), American author (d. 1991)

1917 - Desi Arnaz, Cuban-born actor and bandleader (d. 1986)

1919 - Jennifer Jones, American actress (d. 2009)


1919 - Tamara Toumanova, Russian ballerina and actress (d. 1996)


1921 - Ernst Haas, Austrian artist and photographer (d. 1986)


1922 - Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, American jazz tenor saxophonist (d. 1986)

1931 - Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union and Nobel laureate


1931 - Tom Wolfe, American author

1938 - Lawrence Payton, American singer and songwriter (The Four Tops) (d. 1997)

1939 - BarBara Luna, American actress


1941 - Jon Finch, English actor

1942 - Lou Reed, American singer and guitarist (The Velvet Underground)

1943 - Tony Meehan, English drummer (The Shadows) (d. 2005)

1948 - Rory Gallagher, Irish guitarist (Taste) (d. 1995)

1950 - Karen Carpenter, American singer and drummer (The Carpenters) (d. 1983)

1953 - Russ Feingold, American politician

1955 - Ken Salazar, American politician

1956 - John Cowsill, American musician (The Cowsills)

1956 - Mark Evans, Australian bassist (AC/DC)

1977 - Dominique Canty, American basketball player

1977 - Chris Martin, English musician (Coldplay)

Died on This Day

1589 - Alessandro Farnese, Italian cardinal (b. 1520)


1797 - Horace Walpole, English art historian (b. 1717)

1793 - Carl Gustaf Pilo, Swedish-born artist


1855 - Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, Emperor of Russia (b. 1796)

1895 - Berthe Morisot, French painter (b. 1841)


1930 - D. H. Lawrence, English writer (b. 1885)

1939 - Howard Carter, British archaeologist (b. 1874)

1942 - Charlie Christian, American swing and jazz guitarist (b. 1916)

1945 - Emily Carr, Canadian artist (b. 1871)


1982 - Philip K. Dick, American author (b. 1928)

1987 - Randolph Scott, American actor and director (b. 1898)

1992 - Sandy Dennis, American actress (b. 1937)

1999 - Dusty Springfield, English singer (Lana Sisters and The Springfields) (b. 1939)

2003 - Hank Ballard, American musician (The Midnighters) (b. 1927)

2004 - Mercedes McCambridge, American actress (b. 1916)

2008 - Jeff Healey, Canadian musician (b. 1966)

Today is

National Banana Cream Pie Day
Old Stuff Day
Read Across America Day

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