2010: Actress Lindsay Lohan is released from a Los Angeles jail after serving 14 days of a 90-day sentence for violating her probation in a 2007 drug case.
1997: Writer William S. Burroughs, a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author best known for his novel "Naked Lunch," dies in Lawrence, Kansas, at age 83 from complications of a heart attack he had suffered the previous day.
1990: Iraq invades Kuwait. Within two days of intense combat, most of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces were either overrun by the Iraqi Republican Guard or had escaped to neighboring Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The invasion would eventually lead to the Gulf War.
1985: Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, crashes during a thunderstorm while on approach to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, killing 137.
1979: New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson dies at age 32 after crashing his Cessna Citation airplane while practicing landing at Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio. Munson, who played his entire 11-year career with New York, was the only Yankee ever to win both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards. He helped the team to three consecutive World Series, winning two of them in 1977 and 1978.
1976: Austrian film director Fritz Lang, whose best known movies include "Metropolis" and "M," dies in Beverly Hills, California, at age 85.
1976: Actor Sam Worthington, best known for his roles in movies such as "Avatar," "Terminator Salvation" and "Man on a Ledge," is born in Godalming, Surrey, England.
1973: A flash fire at the Summerland indoor amusement on England's Isle of Man kills about 50 and leaves 80 seriously injured.
1970: Director, screenwriter and actor Kevin Smith, best known for movies such as "Clerks," "Mallrats," "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma," is born in Red Bank, New Jersey. Smith, who often played the role of "Silent Bob" in his movies, is also known for his podcasts and as a comic book fan and writer.
1967: The drama "In the Heat of the Night," starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger and Warren Oates, and directed by Norman Jewison, premieres in New York City. The movie, which tells the story of Virgil Tibbs, a black police detective from Philadelphia who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in Mississippi, would win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Steiger.
1964: In what became known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, North Vietnamese gunboats allegedly fire on the U.S. destroyer USS Maddox in international waters. The incident led to the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression." The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.
1964: Actress Mary-Louise Parker, best known for the TV series "The West Wing" and "Weeds," and for movies such as "Fried Green Tomatoes" and "RED," is born in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
1962: Robert Zimmerman legally changes his name to Bob Dylan, a name he had been using professionally since October 1959.
1953: Actor Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on the 1960s sitcom "The Munsters," is born Patrick Alan Lilley in Los Angeles, California. He also starred in the early 1970s Saturday morning TV show "Lidsville."
1943: Prisoners in the Nazi death camp of Treblinka rebel, seizing small arms, spraying kerosene on all the buildings and setting them on fire. Although a number of guards were killed, many more prisoners died in the uprising. Of 1,500 prisoners, about 600 managed to escape, but only 40 are known to have survived until the end of World War II.
1943: The Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 is rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri and sinks. Lt. John F. Kennedy (far right), the future U.S. president, saves all but two of his crew.
1939: Albert Einstein and fellow emigre physicist Leó Szilárd write a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to begin the Manhattan project to develop a nuclear weapon.
1939: Film director Wes Craven, best known for "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and the "Scream" film franchise, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1937: The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is passed in America. Although the act didn't officially criminalize marijuana use, its effect was to render marijuana and all of its byproducts illegal. In 1969 in Leary v. United States, part of the Act was ruled to be unconstitutional as a violation of the Fifth Amendment, since a person seeking the tax stamp would have to incriminate him/herself.
1934: Adolf Hitler becomes Germany's head of state with the title of Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor of the Reich).
1932: Irish actor Peter O'Toole, perhaps best known for playing T. E. Lawrence in "Lawrence of Arabia," is born in either Connemara, Ireland, or Leeds, England. O'Toole holds the record for most Academy Award nominations without a win, earning nods for "Lawrence of Arabia," "Becket," "The Lion in Winter," "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," "The Ruling Class," "The Stunt Man," "My Favorite Year" and "Venus." He died at age 81 on Dec. 14, 2013.
1924: Actor Carroll O'Connor, best known for playing Archie Bunker on the sitcoms "All in the Family" and "Archie Bunker's Place," is born in Manhattan, New York. O'Connor, who died from a heart attack on June 21, 2001, was also known for the TV crime drama "In the Heat of the Night."
1923: President Warren G. Harding (left), who had been suffering from a respiratory illness believed to be pneumonia, shudders and drops dead in the middle of a conversation with his wife at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Physicians attending to him pointed to congestive heart failure as the cause of death. Vice President Calvin Coolidge (right) was sworn in as the 30th U.S. president.
1922: Alexander Graham Bell, the Canadian inventor and engineer who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone, dies of complications arising from diabetes at his private estate in Nova Scotia, Canada, at age 75.
1892: Film executive Jack Warner, who became the president and driving force behind the Warner Bros. Studios, is born in London, Ontario, Canada.
1876: Frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok, 39, is shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota).
1873: The Clay Street Hill Railroad begins operating the first cable car in San Francisco's famous cable car system.
1870: Tower Subway, the world's first underground tube railway, opens in London. Originally featuring a 12-person cable car that went under the River Thames, the railway service lasted only three months. The tunnel was then transformed into a pedestrian tunnel.
1834: French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue of Liberty, is born in Colmar, France.
1799: French inventor Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, who invented a form of hot-air balloon with his brother and made the first manned ascent in 1783, dies at age 54 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
1790: The first U.S. Census is conducted, with a total population of 3,929,214 recorded.
1776: The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence takes place.
1610: Henry Hudson sails into what is now known as Hudson Bay thinking he had made it through the Northwest Passage and reached the Pacific Ocean.