On This Day
In 1846, in Austin, Texas, the Republic of Texas government transferred power to the State of Texas government following Texas' annexation by the United States.
In 1861, serfdom was finally abolished in Russia.
In 1878, Thomas Edison received a patent for his phonograph.
In 1881, Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.
In 1959, an agreement was signed by Britain, Turkey and Greece granting Cyprus its independence.
In 2004, former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in connection with the energy trader's collapse.
In 2007, New Jersey became the third state to offer civil unions to gay couples.
In 2008, the ailing Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency after nearly a half-century in power.
Born on This Day
1473 - Nicolaus Copernicus, mathematician and astronomer (d. 1543)
1717 - David Garrick, British actor (d. 1779)
1833 - Élie Ducommun, Swiss journalist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1906)
1843 - Adelina Patti, Italian opera singer (d. 1919)
1877 - Gabriele Münter, German painter (d. 1962)
1877 - Else Berg (Elsenberg), Dutch/German painter (d. at Auschwitz in 1942)
1897 - Hope Hampton, American actress (d. 1982)
1893 - Sir Cedric Hardwicke, British actor (d. 1964)
1895 - Louis Calhern, American actor (d. 1956)
1896 - André Breton, French poet (d. 1966)
1897 - Alma Rubens, American actress (d. 1931)
1910 - Dorothy Janis, American silent film actress (d. 2010)
1911 - Merle Oberon, Anglo-Indian actress (who tried to hide her Asian blood her entire career) (d. 1979)
1924 - Lee Marvin, American actor (d. 1987)
1930 - John Frankenheimer, American director (d. 2002)
1937 - Robert Walker Jr., American guitarist
1939 - Gwen Taylor, English actress
1940 - Smokey Robinson, American singer
1943 - Lou Christie, American singer
1946 - Karen Silkwood, American activist (d. 1974)
1950 - Andy Powell, British musician (Wishbone Ash)
1954 - Michael Gira, American musician (Swans)
1956 - Dave Wakeling, English musician (The (English) Beat and General Public)
1956 - Peter Holsapple, American musician (The dBs and The Continental Drifters)
1963 - Seal, English singer
1965 - Jon Fishman, American musician (Phish)
1975 - Daniel Adair, Canadian Drummer (3 Doors Down)
Died on This Day
1622 - Sir Henry Savile, English educator (b. 1549)
1936 - Billy Mitchell, American general and military aviation pioneer (b. 1879)
1951 - André Gide, French writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1869)
1962 - Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek doctor, inventor of the Pap smear (b. 1883)
1969 - Madge Blake, American actress (b. 1899)
1972 - Lee Morgan, American jazz musician (b. 1938)
1980 - Bon Scott, Australian singer (AC/DC) (b. 1946)
1983 - Alice White, American film actress (b. 1904)
2001 - Stanley Kramer, American director (b. 1913)
2007 - Janet Blair, American actress (b. 1921)
National Chocolate Mint Day
Temporary Insanity Day