Published On: Jan 31 2014 11:20:36 AM CSTUpdated On: Feb 24 2015 01:00:00 AM CST
2014: Actor and film director Harold Ramis dies of complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis at age 69 in Glencoe, Illinois. Ramis was best known for his roles in "Ghostbusters" and "Stripes," both of which he co-wrote, and for directing movies such as "Caddyshack," "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This."
2012: Author and illustrator Jan Berenstain, best known for creating the children's book series "The Berenstain Bears" with her husband Stan Berenstain, dies of a stroke at age 88 in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
2011: The space shuttle Discovery launches on its 39th and final mission. The mission transported several items to the international space station, including the Permanent Multipurpose Module Leonardo, which was left permanently docked to one of the station's ports. At the end of the mission, Discovery had completed a cumulative total of a whole year (365 days) in space.
2006: Actor Don Knotts, best known for his portrayal of Barney Fife on the 1960s sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show" and landlord Ralph Furley on the sitcom "Three's Company," dies of lung cancer at age 81 in Los Angeles, California. Knotts won five Emmys for playing Barney Fife and also starred in movies such as "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken," "The Reluctant Astronaut," "The Shakiest Gun in the West" and "The Apple Dumpling Gang."
1999: Lauryn Hill wins five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist, for her debut solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."
1998: Comedian and violinist Henny Youngman, known as the King of the One Liners, dies of pneumonia at age 91 in Manhattan, New York. His performances featured short, simple jokes usually delivered rapid-fire, often with violin interludes. Among his best known one-liners was "Take my wife -- please."
1994: Actress and singer Dinah Shore, the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s, dies of ovarian cancer at age 77 in Beverly Hills, California. Shore reached her height of popularity during the Big Band era, including the No. 1 hits "I'll Walk Alone," "The Gypsy," "The Anniversary Song" and "Buttons and Bows," but found even more success a decade later hosting a series of variety programs on television for Chevrolet.
1993: Eric Clapton wins big at the Grammy Awards, taking home three awards, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year, for his song "Tears In Heaven;" two more, including Album of the Year, for his album "Unplugged;" and the Best Rock Song award for his acoustic version of "Layla." The six Grammys in one night ties Clapton with four others for second most behind the eight each Michael Jackson and the band Santana won in 1984 and 2000, respectively.
1992: The U.S. Postal Service unveils two proposals for its planned Elvis Presley stamps, giving the public a chance to vote for the first time for which of the two versions -- a thin, '50s Elvis or a jumpsuited, fat '70s one -- would make the final cut. The younger Elvis eventually won with more than 75 percent of the vote and was issued on Jan. 8, 1993, which would have been Presley's 58th birthday.
1991: Singer-songwriter and guitarist Webb Pierce, who charted more No. 1 hits than any other country artist during the 1950s, dies of pancreatic cancer at age 69. Pierce's biggest hit was "In the Jailhouse Now," which charted for 37 weeks in 1955, 21 of them at No. 1. Among his other No. 1 hits were "Slowly," "Love, Love, Love," "I Don't Care," "There Stands the Glass," "More and More," "I Ain't Never" and "Wondering."
1988: The U.S. Supreme Court overturns a $200,000 award to Rev. Jerry Falwell that had been won against Hustler magazine over a 1983 fake advertisement parodying the prominent fundamentalist Protestant minister. The ad featured a fiction interview in which Falwell describes his first sexual experience as occurring with his mother in an outhouse. While the original jury found in favor of Hustler publisher Larry Flynt on the libel claim, it found in favor of Falwell on the intentional infliction of emotional distress charge. The Supreme Court's ruling held that public figures cannot circumvent First Amendment protections by attempting to recover damages based on emotional distress suffered from parodies, expanding legal protections for parody and satire.
1982: Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers breaks Phil Esposito's NHL record for most goals in a season, with his 77th goal on the season in a game against the Buffalo Sabres. He added two more goals later in the 6-3 win to give him a total of 79 goals in 64 games and would eventually end the season with 92 goals, a single-season record that still stands today. He also added 120 assists for a total of 212 points in the season, becoming the only player in NHL history to break the 200-point mark.
1981: Britain's Prince Charles announces his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer. The couple, who divorced in August 1996, are seen here in 1985.
1980: The United States Olympic hockey team completes their "Miracle on Ice" by defeating Finland 4-2 to claim the gold medal in Lake Placid, New York.
1977: Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is currently undefeated as a professional and is a five-division world champion, having won 10 world titles and the lineal championship in four different weight classes.
1976: The Eagles' "Greatest Hits" album becomes the first album in the U.S. to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, which was introduced in 1976 in recognition of one million shipments in the United States.
1975: The Led Zeppelin double album "Physical Graffiti" is released. The album, which included songs like "Kashmir," "Trampled Under Foot" and "Black Country Woman," was the band's second most commercially successful release, selling eight million copies in the United States alone.
1970: "ABC" by the Jackson 5 is released. The song eventually knocked The Beatles' song "Let It Be" out of the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and also topped the soul singles chart for four weeks.
1969: Johnny Cash performs a concert for inmates at San Quentin State Prison in California. The concert was recorded and released on June 4, 1969, as "At San Quentin," a follow-up album to Cash's previous live album, the critically acclaimed and commercially successful "At Folsom Prison." The album went gold later that summer and received three Grammy nomination, including Album of the Year. It has since been certified as triple platinum.
1966: Actor Billy Zane, best known for his movie roles in "Dead Calm," "Titanic" and "The Phantom," is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1965: Actress Kristin Davis, best known for her role on the TV series "Sex and the City," is born in Boulder, Colorado.
1956: Hall of Fame first baseman and designated hitter Eddie Murray, a member of the 3,000-hit and 500-home run clubs, is born in Los Angeles, California. He played more than half of his 21-year career with the Baltimore Orioles, winning a World Series title in 1983, and was an eight-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove winner, a three-time Silver Slugger winner, and the 1987 American League Rookie of the Year.
1955: Steve Jobs, the co-founder and longtime CEO of Apple Inc., is born in San Francisco, California. Jobs died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56 on Oct. 5, 2011.
1950: Singer-songwriter and guitarist George Thorogood is born in Wilmington, Delaware. He is best known for his hit song "Bad to the Bone" as well as for covers of blues standards such as "Move It On Over," "Who Do You Love?" and "House Rent Boogie/One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer."
1947: Actor Edward James Olmos, best known for movies such as "Stand and Deliver," "Selena" and "Blade Runner" and the TV series "Miami Vice" and "Battlestar Galactica," is born in Los Angeles, California.
1945: Actor Barry Bostwick, best known for his roles in the movie "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and the sitcom "Spin City," is born in San Mateo, California.
1943: George Harrison, the singer-songwriter and musician who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of The Beatles, is born in Liverpool, England. Harrison is known for writing songs such as "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun" while with the band. He had a successful solo career after the band broke up and also co-founded the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison in 1988. He died of lung cancer at the age of 58 on Nov. 29, 2001.
1942: In what became known as the Battle of Los Angeles, an anti-aircraft artillery barrage in Los Angeles County targets what was originally thought to be an attacking force from Japan from the evening well into the following morning. The incident, which came less than three months after the United States entered World War II as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was shortly dismissed by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox as a "false alarm." However, contemporary newspapers published reports and speculation of a cover-up and some UFO conspiracy theorists have suggested the targets were actually extraterrestrial spacecraft.
1938: Phil Knight, the businessman and billionaire who co-founded Nike, Inc., is born in Portland, Oregon.
1924: Two years into his six-year prison sentence for sedition over his campaign of mass civil disobedience, Mahatma Gandhi is released from prison due to ill-health following surgery to treat his appendicitis the previous month.
1921: Actor Abe Vigoda, best known for his roles on the sitcom "Barney Miller" and in the movie "The Godfather," is born in New York City.
1885: Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz is born in Fredericksburg, Texas. Nimitz held the dual command of commander in chief for the United States Pacific Fleet for U.S. naval forces and for the Pacific Ocean Areas for U.S. and Allied air, land, and sea forces during World War II. He also served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1945 until 1947. On Sept. 2, 1945, Nimitz signed for the United States when Japan formally surrendered on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. When he died at age 80 on Feb. 20, 1966, he was the United States' last surviving fleet admiral, considered to be the highest possible rank attainable in the U.S. Navy. The fleet admiral rank is reserved for wartime use only and the grade is not currently active.
1874: Hall of Fame baseball player Honus Wagner, who won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history, and is often considered the greatest shortstop ever, is born in in the Chartiers neighborhood of Pittsburgh, which is now a part of the borough of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
1868: Andrew Johnson becomes the first U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The House brought 11 articles of impeachment against Johnson detailing his "high crimes and misdemeanors," but the main accusation was that he had violated the Tenure of Office Act by removing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton from office and replacing him with Maj. Gen. Lorenzo Thomas. He was later acquitted in the Senate by one vote.
1810: English philosopher and scientist Henry Cavendish, most noted for his discovery of hydrogen or what he called "inflammable air", dies at age 78 in London, England. Cavendish was also famous for his studies into the composition of atmospheric air, the properties of different gases, the law governing electrical attraction and repulsion, and calculations of the density of the Earth.
1803: In Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the principle of judicial review, finding that federal courts have the duty to review the constitutionality of acts of Congress and to declare them void if they run contrary to the Constitution. The case was the first time the Supreme Court asserted its power to strike down an act of Congress as unconstitutional.
1582: Pope Gregory XIII announces a reformation of the calendar through the papal bull Inter gravissimas. The new calendar fixed a flaw in the Julian calendar, which was too long in treating each year as 365 days and six hours in length, whereas calculations showed the actual mean length of a year is about 11 minutes shorter. The decree created a 10-day shift later in the year to make up for the change, meaning the day after Thursday, Oct. 4, 1582, would not be Friday, Oct. 5, but rather Friday, Oct. 15. The calendar, which became known as the Gregorian calendar after Gregory, remains the internationally accepted civil calendar to this date.