1865: Writer William Butler Yeats, one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature, is born in Sandymount, County Dublin, Ireland. In 1923, he became the first Irishman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, with the Nobel Committee praising his "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." Some of Yeats' greatest works include "The Tower" and "The Winding Stair and Other Poems."
1866: The U.S. Congress approves the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment, guaranteeing African-Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law, would be ratified on July 9, 1868.
1892: Actor Basil Rathbone, best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in 14 Hollywood films made between 1939 and 1946, is born Philip St. John Basil Rathbone in Johannesburg, South African Republic. Rathbone, who also won a Tony Award in 1948 for his stage work, also played Murdstone in 1935's "David Copperfield" and Sir Guy of Gisbourne in 1938's "The Adventures of Robin Hood."
1893: Author Dorothy L. Sayers, best known for her series of mysteries set between World War I and World War II featuring English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, is born in Oxford, England.
1900: China's Boxer Rebellion against foreigners and Chinese Christians erupts into violence. Seen here is a Chinese Boxer soldier during the rebellion.
1903: Football halfback Harold Edward "Red" Grange, a charter member of both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame, is born in Forksville, Pa. Grange, who played for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears and the short-lived New York Yankees, helped legitimize the NFL when he signed with the Bears in 1925. He won two NFL championships with the Bears in 1932 and 1933.
1926: Actor Paul Lynde, best known for his roles on the sitcom "Bewitched" and in the musical "Bye Bye Birdie," is born in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Lynde, who was also the regular "center square" guest on the game show "Hollywood Squares" from 1968 to 1981, died of heart attack at age 55 on Jan. 10, 1982.
1932: Actor Bob McGrath, best known playing one of the longest lasting human characters on the children's television series "Sesame Street," is born in Ottawa, Ill.
1939: Siegfried Fischbacher (right), known for his long-running Las Vegas magic show with Roy Horn (left) involving white tigers and lions, is born in Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany.
1943: Actor Malcolm McDowell, best known for the Stanley Kubrick film "A Clockwork Orange," is born Malcolm John Taylor in Horsforth, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.
1944: The first V-1 flying bomb hits England. The use of the bombs, an early pulse-jet-powered predecessor of the cruise missile, was in response to the successful Allied landing at Normandy a week earlier. Eight civilians were killed by the bomb, which struck next to a railway bridge.
1947: The first night game is played at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox were the third-to-last team out of 16 major-league teams to have lights in their home park.
1951: Actor Stellan Skarsgård, best known for movies such as "Ronin," "Mamma Mia!," "Thor" and "Marvel's The Avengers," is born in Gothenburg, Sweden.
1951: Actor Richard Thomas, best known for playing John-Boy Walton on the TV show "The Waltons," is born in New York City.
1953: Actor and comedian Tim Allen, best known for the sitcom "Home Improvement," "The Santa Clause" film series and voicing Buzz Lightyear in the "Toy Story" movies, is born Timothy Alan Dick in Denver, Colo.
1962: Actress Ally Sheedy, best known for such 1980s movies as "The Breakfast Club," "St. Elmo's Fire," "WarGames" and "Short Circuit," is born in New York City.
1966: The Supreme Court of the United States rules in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.
1967: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominates Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Confirmed in August and sworn in on Oct. 2, 1967, Marshall would serve on the court for the next 24 years, compiling a liberal record that included strong support for Constitutional protection of individual rights, especially the rights of criminal suspects against the government.
1970: "The Long and Winding Road" becomes The Beatles' last No. 1 song in the United States. The song, from the album "Let It Be," was also the last single released by the quartet while all four members remained alive.
1970: Singer-songwriter and rock musician Rivers Cuomo, best known as the frontman of the rock band Weezer, is born in New York City.
1971: The New York Times begins publication of the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War. Parts of the study, ordered in secret by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, was leaked to the press by former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg. The full report was declassified and publicly released in June 2011.
1974: Stuntman and actor Steve-O, best known for his roles in the "Jackass" TV series and movies, is born Stephen Gilchrist Glover in London, England.
1979: Actress Darla Hood, best known as the leading lady in the "Our Gang" series from 1935 to 1941, dies of heart failure at the age of 47 in North Hollywood, Calif. An autopsy later discovered that Hood had contracted acute hepatitis from a blood transfusion she had recently received during an appendectomy, leading to her death.
1981: Actor Chris Evans, best known for his superhero roles as Johnny Storm/Human Torch in the "Fantastic Four" movies and as Steve Rogers/Captain America in "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Marvel's The Avengers," is born in Sudbury, Mass. Evans has also appeared in movies such as "Not Another Teen Movie," "Push" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World."
1983: Pioneer 10 becomes the first manmade object to leave the central Solar System when it passes beyond the orbit of Neptune, which was the furthest planet from the sun at the time. The robotic space probe, launched in March 1972, had earlier completed the first mission to the planet Jupiter. Communication was lost on Jan. 23, 2003, due to power constraints, with the probe at a distance of 12 billion kilometers from Earth.
1986: Jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman, who was known as the "King of Swing" and led one of the most popular musical groups in America in the mid-1930s, dies of heart attack at the age of 77 in New York City.
1986: Actress Kat Dennings, best known for the sitcom "2 Broke Girls" and movies such as "Thor," "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," is born Katherine Litwack in Philadelphia, Pa.
1986: Twin actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, best known for starring on the sitcom "Full House," are born in Sherman Oaks, Calif. After debuting on "Full House" as infants, the Olsen Twins appeared together in a variety of TV, film and video projects throughout their child and teenage years and also launched their own clothing line.
1987: Actress Geraldine Page, who was nominated for an Academy Award eight times before winning the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in 1985's "The Trip to Bountiful," dies of a heart attack at age 62 in New York City. Her other Oscar-nominated roles came in "Hondo," "Summer and Smoke," "Sweet Bird of Youth," "You're a Big Boy Now," "Pete 'n' Tillie," "Interiors" and "The Pope of Greenwich Village."
1994: A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, blames recklessness by Exxon and Capt. Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages.
1995: Alanis Morissette releases the album "Jagged Little Pill." The album would sell more than 15 million copies and peak at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart. Morissette also won five Grammys for the album, including Album of the Year, making her the youngest artist in history to win the title at age 21, a record she held for 14 years.
1996: The anti-government group Montana Freemen surrenders after an 81-day standoff with FBI agents near Jordan, Mont.
1997: A federal jury sentences Timothy McVeigh to death for his part in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The same jury had earlier convicted McVeigh for conspiracy to commit the attack and for the deaths of eight federal law agents who were in the building when a massive diesel fuel-fertilizer bomb ripped the front off the nine-story building on April 19, 1995. He would be executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind.
2000: After serving almost 20 years of a life sentence, Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, is pardoned by Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi at the pope's request. Agca was deported to Turkey, where he was imprisoned for a murder and two bank raids he committed in the 1970s. He was released from prison in January 2010, after almost 29 years behind bars in Italy and Turkey.
2002: The United States withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a treaty with the Soviet Union that had limited the anti-ballistic missile systems used in defending areas against missile-delivered nuclear weapons.Supporters of the withdrawal argued that it was a necessity in order to test and build a limited National Missile Defense to protect the United States from nuclear blackmail by a rogue state.
2005: Following a nearly five-month long trial, a jury in Santa Maria, Calif., acquits pop singer Michael Jackson of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch.
2008: After a six-year legal battle, R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly is acquitted of all charges after less than a day of deliberations in his child pornography trial. Prosecutors had argued that a video tape mailed to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002 showed Kelly having sex with and urinating on a 13-year-old girl.
2008: Broadcast journalist and lawyer Tim Russert, who appeared for more than 16 years as the longest-serving moderator of "Meet the Press," dies from sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 58 in Washington, D.C.
2010: Country singer, TV host and actor Jimmy Dean dies of natural causes at the age of 81 in Varina, Va. Dean had a hit in 1961 with the song "Big Bad John," starred in his own television variety show and appeared in the movie "Diamonds Are Forever" and the TV series "Daniel Boone" and "Fantasy Island." He is perhaps best known today as the creator of the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company, which he founded in 1969. He's seen here in 1966.