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American History tours, Revolutionary war, American Civil War, American battlefields, Revolutionary War conference

1956Bandstand, hosted by Dick Clark, debuts on TV station WFIL Channel 6 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It will later become American Bandstand and be distributed on the ABC-TV network on August 5, 1957. Almost all of the rock ‘n’ roll era's major artists will find their way onto Clark's long-running show.

455–The Roman military commander Avitus is proclaimed Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

491–Odoacer makes a night assault with his Heruli guardsmen, engaging Theoderic the Great in Ad Pinetam. Both sides suffer heavy losses, but in the end Theodoric forces Odoacer back into Ravenna, Northern Italy.

518–Byzantine Emperor, Anastasius I Dicorus, dies.

660–Korean forces, under general Kim Yu-sin of Silla, defeat the army of Baekje in the Battle of Hwangsanbeol.

869–A 8.6 earthquake and subsequent tsunami strikes the area around Sendai in the northern part of Honshu, Japan.

1249–Emperor Kameyama of Japan is born in Japan.

1357–Emperor Charles IV assists in laying the foundation stone of Charles Bridge in Prague.

1386–The Old Swiss Confederacy makes great strides in establishing control over its territory by soundly defeating the Archduchy of Austria in the Battle of Sempach.

1511–Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg is born.

1540–King Henry VIII of England annuls his marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.

1572–Nineteen Catholics suffer martyrdom for their beliefs in the Dutch town of Gorkum.

1578–Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, is born in Graz, Austria.

1595–Astronomer, Johannes Kepler, inscribes geometric solid construction of the Universe.

1609–Bohemia is granted freedom of religion through the Letter of Majesty by the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II.

1654–Emperor Reigen of Japan is born Satohito in Japan.

1654–Ferdinand IV, King of the Romans, dies.

1701–A Bourbon force, under Nicolas Catinat, withdraws from a smaller Habsburg force, under Prince Eugene of Savoy, in the Battle of Carpi.

1745–A French victory in the Battle of Melle allows them to capture Ghent, in the Flemish Region of Belgium.

1746–Philip V of Spain dies at in El Escorial in Madrid, Spain, at age 62. He had been suffering fits of manic depression and increasingly falling victim to a deep melancholia.

1755–The Braddock Expedition is soundly defeated by a smaller French and native American force in its attempt to capture Fort Duquesne, in what is present-day downtown Pittsburgh.

1764–Author, Ann Radcliffe, is born Ann Ward in Holborn, London, England. Radcliffe's fiction is characterised by seemingly supernatural events that are then provided rational explanations. Throughout her work, traditional moral values are asserted, the rights of women are advocated, and reason prevails. Her work includes The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, A Sicilian Romance, The Romance of the Forest, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and The Italian. Despite the acclaim for her writing, she did not maintain a public profile and very little is known about her life.

1776–George Washington orders the Declaration of Independence to be read out loud to members of the Continental Army in New York, New York, for the first time.

1786–Princess Sophie Hélène Béatrice of France is born.

1789–In Versailles, France, the National Assembly reconstitutes itself as the National Constituent Assembly and begins preparations for a French constitution.

1790–The Swedish Navy captures one third of the Russian Baltic fleet.

1793–The Act Against Slavery is passed in Upper Canada and the importation of slaves into Lower Canada is prohibited.

1807–The Treaties of Tilsit are signed by Napoleon I of France and Alexander I of Russia.

1808–The leather-splitting machine is patented by Samuel Parker of Billerica, Maine.

1810–Napoleon annexes the Kingdom of Holland as part of the First French Empire.

1811–Explorer, David Thompson, posts a sign at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers (in present-day Washington state), claiming the land for the United Kingdom.

1815–Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord becomes the first Prime Minister of France.

1816–Argentina declares independence from Spain.

1819–Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine, is born in Spencer, Massachusetts.

1821–Four hundred and seventy prominent Cypriots, including Archbishop Kyprianos, are executed in response to Cypriot aid to the Greek War of Independence.

1850–Persian prophet, Báb, is executed by firing squad in Tabriz, Persia, at age 30. He was the founder of Bábism, and one of three central figures of the Bahá'í Faith.

1850–President Zachary Taylor dies. He was the 12th President of the United States. Vice President, Millard Fillmore, becomes President upon Taylor's death.

1863–In the American Civil War, the Siege of Port Hudson ends, giving the Union complete control of the Mississippi River.

1864–Franz Muller commits the first known murder on a British train.

1868–The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.

1875–The Herzegovina Uprising against Ottoman rule begins, which will have far-reaching implications throughout the Balkans.

1877–The Wimbledon Tennis Championships is held for the first time.

1896–William Jennings Bryan delivers his Cross of Gold speech, advocating bimetallism (meaning both gold and silver money are legal tender in unlimited amounts) at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

1900–Queen Victoria of the U.K. gives Royal Assent to an Act creating Australia, uniting separate colonies on the continent under one federal government.

1900–The Governor of Shanxi province in North China orders the execution of 45 foreign Christian missionaries and local church members, including children.

1901–Writer, Barbara Cartland, is born Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland in Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, England. She was known for romance novels and was one of the best-selling authors, as well as one of the most prolific and commercially successful authors, worldwide in the 20th century. Her 723 novels were translated into 38 languages.

1903–Future Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, is exiled to Siberia for three years.

1916–British Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath, is born.

1918–In Nashville, Tennessee, an inbound local train collides with an outbound express, killing 101 people and injuring 171 others, making it the deadliest rail accident in U.S. history.

1918–Philosopher, Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti, is born in Machilipatnam, India. He was an Indian “seeker” who questioned enlightenment. He rejected the very basis of "thought," and in doing so negated all systems of thought and knowledge in reference to it. Throughout his life, Krishnamurti never saw a doctor or took medication, believing the body would take care of itself. He was not related to his contemporary, Jiddu Krishnamurti, although he attended some of his lectures and the two met to talk several times.

1922–Johnny Weissmuller swims the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds, breaking the world swimming record.

1927–Actor and singer, Ed Ames, is born.

1928–Actor, Vince Edwards, is born Vincent Edward Zoino in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York. He and his twin brother, Anthony, were the youngest of seven children. He is best known for the title role in the TV medical drama Ben Casey. He appeared in the films The Night Holds Terror, Serenade, The Killing, Hit and Run, The Hired Gun, The Three Faces of Eve, City of Fear, The Scavengers, Too Late Blues, The Outsider, Hammerhead, The Mad Bomber, The Seduction, Space Raiders, and Deal of the Century.

1929–Hassan II of Morocco is born.

1929–Singer-songwriter, (Barton) Lee Hazlewood, is born in Mannford, Oklahoma. He is best known for his work with guitarist Duane Eddy during the late 1950s, and singer Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s. He wrote These Boots Are Made for Walkin' Summer Wine, How Does That Grab Ya, Darlin', Friday's Child, So Long, Babe, and Sugar Town. Among his most well-known vocal performances is Some Velvet Morning, a 1967 duet with Nancy Sinatra. Early in 1967, Lee also produced the #1 hit song Somethin' Stupid for Frank and Nancy Sinatra.

1932–The state of São Paulo revolts against the Brazilian Federal Government, starting the Constitutionalist Revolution.

1932–Politician, Donald Rumsfeld, is born. He was the 13th U.S. Secretary of Defense.

1932–Businessman, King Camp Gillette, dies in Los Angeles, California, at age 77. He founded the Gillette Company. His innovation was the thin, inexpensive, disposable razor blade of stamped steel.

1933–Neurologist, chemist, and author, Oliver Sacks, is born.

1935–Actor, Michael Williams, is born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. He was an actor on stage, in television, and in film. He appeared on stage in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Beggar’s Opera, King Lear, Marat/Sade, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, and The Tempest. He appeared in the films The Trial of Joan of Arc, Tell Me Lies, Eagle in a Cage, Dead Cert, Enigma, Educating Rita, Henry V, and Tea with Mussolini. He was married to actress, Judi Dench.

1937–The silent film archives of Fox Film Corporation are destroyed by the vault fire at 20th Century Fox.

1938–Actor, Brian Dennehy, is born.

1942–Actor, Richard Roundtree, is born.

1942–Actress, Edy Williams, is born.

1943–The Allied invasion of Sicily causes the downfall of Mussolini, forcing Hitler to break off the Battle of Kursk.

1943–Astronaut, John Casper, is born.

1944–American forces take Saipan, bringing the Japanese archipelago within range of B-29 raids, which causes the downfall of the Tojo government.

1944–Finland wins the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in northern Europe.

1945–Writer and libertarian, Dean Ray Koontz, is born in Everett, Pennsylvania. Koontz has had 14 titles on The New York Times Bestseller List, selling over 450 million copies of his books.

1946–Mitch Mitchell, drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, is born.

1946–Bon Scott, of AC/DC, is born in Scotland.

1947–Britain's Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten announce their engagement.

1947–Mitch Mitchell, drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, is born John Roland Mitchell in Greenwich, London, England.

1947–Football player and actor, O.J. Simpson, is born.

1951–Actor, Chris Cooper, is born.

1952–Telvision host and pianist, John Tesh, is born.

1955–The Russell-Einstein Manifesto is released by Bertrand Russell in London, England. It highlights the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and calls for world leaders to seek peaceful resolutions to international conflict. The signatories include 11 pre-eminent intellectuals and scientists, including Albert Einstein, who signed it just days before his death on April 18, 1955.

1955–A chart topper: Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets. The song was featured in the film The Blackboard Jungle.

1955–Politician, Lindsey Graham, is born.

1955–Actor, Jimmy Smits, is born.

1956–Bandstand, hosted by Dick Clark, debuts on TV station WFIL Channel 6 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It will later become American Bandstand and be distributed on the ABC-TV network on August 5, 1957. Almost all of the rock ‘n’ roll era's major artists will find their way onto Clark's long-running show.

1956–A 7.7 earthquake in Amorgos triggers a destructive tsunami that affects the Aegean Sea. The main quake is followed minutes later by a damaging 7.2 aftershock. Altogether, 53 people are killed and 100 others are injured.

1956–Actor, Tom Hanks, is born in Concord, California. After winning two Oscars as Best Actor, he would go on to write, direct and star in the movie That Thing You Do! the best tribute film ever made about the British Invasion of 1964. Hanks co-starred in the TV series Bosom Buddies. He appeared in the films Splash, Big, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, and Apollo 13. He is married to actress, Rita Wilson.

1957–Elvis Presley's second film, Loving You, premieres.

1957–Actress, Kelly McGillis, is born.

1958–Lituya Bay, on the coast of the Southeast part of Alaska, is hit by a mega-tsunami, the largest in recorded history.

1959–Jim Kerr, of Simple Minds, is born in Scotland.

1961–In a referendum, Turkish voters approve the Turkish Constitution of 1961.

1962–The U.S. conducts the Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test. The test damaged electronics in Honolulu, Hawaii, and New Zealand; fused 300 street lights in Oahu, Hawaii; set off about 100 burglar alarms; and caused the failure of a microwave repeating station on Kauai, Hawaii, which cut off the sturdy telephone system from the other Hawaiian islands.

1962–Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans exhibition opens at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, California.

1964–A chart topper: House of the Rising Sun by The Animals.

1964–Courtney Love, of Hole, is born. She was married to grunge rocker, Kurt Cobain.

1971–Jim Morrison is quietly buried in Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France.

1971–Software developer, Marc Andreessen, is born. He co-founded Netscape.

1972–In Belfast, Ireland, British Army snipers shoot and kill five civilians in the Springhill Massacre.

1972–Wings opens its “Wings Over Europe” tour with a performance at the Theatre Antique, Chateauvallon, France. It is Paul McCartney's first major live performance since the breakup of The Beatles.

1974–Earl Warren, 14th Chief Justice of the United States, dies in Washington, D.C., at age 73. He was appointed the Chairman of what became known as the Warren Commission, which was formed to investigate the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

1975–Singer-songwriter, Jack White, is born John Anthony Gillis in Detroit, Michigan. He is known as the lead singer and guitarist of duo, The White Stripes. He has also had success in other bands and as a solo artist. He is widely credited as one of the key artists in the garage rock revival of the 2000s.

1976–Actor, Fred Savage, is born Frederick Aaron Savage in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for the role of Kevin Arnold in the popular sitcom The Wonder Years. He appeared in the films The Boy Who Could Fly, The Princess Bride, Vice Versa, Little Monsters, The Wizard, Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Welcome to Mooseport. His brother is actor, Ben Savage.

1977–A young Declan McManus, aka Elvis Costello, quits his job as a computer programmer.

1979–A car bomb destroys a Renault automobile owned by "Nazi hunters" Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at their home in France.

1979–Actress and writer, Cornelia Otis Skinner, dies.

1981–Donkey Kong, a video game created by Nintendo, is released.

1982–Margaret Thatcher begins her second term as British Prime Minster.

1982–Pan Am Flight 759 crashes in Kenner, Louisiana, killing all 145 people on board and eight others on the ground.

1985–Scottish-American activist, Jimmy Kinnon, dies. He founded Narcotics Anonymous.

1986–The Parliament of New Zealand passes the Homosexual Law Reform Act, legalising homosexuality in New Zealand.

1986–Patriarch Nicholas VI of Alexandria dies.

1988–Dog training expert, Barbara Woodhouse, dies from a stroke in Buckinghamshire, England, at age 78. Her 1980 television series, Training Dogs the Woodhouse Way, made her into a household name in the U.K. She was also known for her "no bad dogs" philosophy.

1992–Journalist, Eric Sevareid, dies of stomach cancer in Washington, D.C., at age 79. He was one of a group of elite war correspondents hired by pioneering CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow. After a long and distinguished career, he followed in Murrow's footsteps as a commentator on the CBS Evening News.

1993–The Parliament of Canada passes the Nunavut Act, leading to the 1999 creation of Nunavut, dividing the Northwest Territories into arctic (Inuit) and sub-arctic (Dene) lands based on a plebiscite.

1995–The Navaly church bombing is carried out by the Sri Lanka Air Force, killing 125 Tamil civilian refugees.

1996–Attorney, Melvin Belli, dies of complications from pancreatic cancer in San Francisco, California, at age 88. He was a prominent American lawyer known as "The King of Torts." He had many celebrity clients, including Zsa Zsa Gabor, Errol Flynn, Chuck Berry, Muhammad Ali, The Rolling Stones, Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker, Martha Mitchell, Lana Turner, Tony Curtis, and Mae West. He won over $600 million in judgments during his legal career. He was the attorney for Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald on live television after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

1999–Days of student protests begin after Iranian police and hardliners attack a student dormitory at the University of Tehran.

2002–Actor, Rod Steiger, dies of pneumonia in Los Angeles, California, at age 77. He appeared in the films On the Waterfront, Oklahoma!, The Big Knife, Jubal, The Harder They Fall, The Unholy Wife, Cry Terror!, The Mark, Tbe Longest Day, The Pawnbroker, Doctor Zhivago, In the Heat of the Night, No Way to Treat a Lady, The Sergeant, The Illustrated Man, Loly Madonna XXX, W.C. Fields and Me, The Amityvlle Horror, The Chosen, and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe.

2004–Actress, Isabel Sanford, dies in Los Angeles, California, at age 86. She is best known for the role of Louise Jefferson on All in the Family and The Jeffersons. She appeared in the films Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Young Runaways, The Comic, The New Centurions, Hickey & Boggs, Lady Sings the Blues, and Up the Sandbox.

2006–At least 122 people are killed, after a Sibir Airlines Airbus A310 passenger jet, carrying 200 passengers, veers off the runway while landing in wet conditions at Irkutsk Airport in Siberia.

2006–Milan Williams, keyboard player for The Commodores, dies.

2011–South Sudan gains independence and secedes from Sudan.

2011–Würzel, guitarist for Motörhead, dies.

2014–A gunman kills six people, including four children, in Spring, Texas.

2014–Eileen Ford, head of the Ford Modeling Agency, dies from complications of meningioma and osteoporosis in Morristown, New Jersey, at age 92. The agency broke forth with some of the top models of the 1950s and 1960s, including Suzy Parker, Mary Jane Russell, Carmen Dell'Orefice, and Dovima. In the early 1970s, Ford was still the top modeling agency in the world, representing Jerry Hall, Christie Brinkley, Rene Russo, Kim Basinger, Janice Dickinson, Lauren Hutton, Karen Graham, and Susan Blakely.

2015–IBM unveils a powerful new chip that the company says could boost computing power of "everything from smartphones to spacecraft." It is the industry's first 7-nanometer chip that can hold more than 20 billion tiny switches or transistors for improved computing power.

2016–Green Party presumptive presidential candidate, Jill Stein, invites Bernie Sanders to take over her place as the party's nominee.

2016–NATO members in Warsaw, Poland, agree to extend their mission in Afghanistan into 2017, and that they will continue to fund the Afghan Armed Forces until 2020.

2016–Gambia and Tanzania outlaw child marriages.

2016–South Korea claims that North Korea has fired a ballistic missile from a submarine.

2016–Multiple gunshots strike the pubic safety headquarters of the Police Department in San Antonio, Texas. No injuries are reported.

2016–Following the sniper shooting of 12 white police officers in Dallas, Texas, the Bahamas issues a travel warning for its citizens going to the United States.

2016–123rd Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Serena Williams beats Angelique Kerber (7-5, 6-3).

2017–Four students from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China, enter the Lunar Palace-1 Space Station with the aim of living self-sufficiently for 200 days.

2017–UNESCO declares the Lake District in North West England as a world heritage site.

2017–The Alaskan Bogoslof volcano erupts again, sending ash over the Aleutians Islands and prompting an aviation warning by the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

2018–President Donald Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Roman military commander Avitus; Emperor Reigen of Japan; a leather-splitting machine; Barbara Cartland, Vince Edwards; Michael Williams; Mitch Mitchell; Dick Clark; Cambell's Soup Can art by Andy Warhol; Declan McManus, aka Elvis Costello; Eric Sevareid; a Sibir Airlines Airbus; and a 7 nanometer chip.

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