1690: The Massachusetts Bay Colony issues the first paper money in America. The issuance of the banknotes, called a bill of credit, was a temporary experiment to help fund the war effort against France. They represented the colony's obligation to the soldiers, who could spend or trade the colony's banknote just like silver and gold coins.
1811: Journalist and politician Horace Greeley, who famously advised "Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country" in a July 1865 editorial, is born in Amherst, N.H. Greeley was also a founder of the Liberal Republican Party and a staunch opponent of slavery. He ran for U.S. president in 1872 but lost in a landslide, becoming the only presidential candidate to have died prior to the counting of electoral votes.
1821: Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, is born in Bristol, England. She received her medical degree from the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, N.Y., on Jan. 23, 1849.
1870: The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to citizens regardless of race. Pictured is an 1870 print celebrating the passage of the amendment.
1874: Poet and art collector Gertrude Stein, who became a cult literary figure as the host of expatriate American artists and writers on the Left Bank of Paris, is born in Allegheny, Pa. Stein, who moved to Paris in 1903 and made France her home for the remainder of her life, caught mainstream attention in 1933 with the publication of the memoirs of her Paris years titled "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas." She died of stomach cancer at age 72 on July 27, 1946.
1894: Painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell, most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than four decades, is born in New York City. He died of emphysema at age 84 on Nov. 8, 1978.
1900: Kentucky Gov. William Goebel dies of wound sustained in an assassination attempt three days earlier in Frankfort, Ky. Goebel, 44, died after serving as governor for four days, having been mortally wounded the day before he was sworn into office. He remains the only U.S. state governor to have been assassinated while in office.
1904: Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd, a notorious bank robber whose crimes received heavy press coverage in the 1930s, is born in Adairsville, Ga. He was 30 years old when he was shot and killed by FBI agents and local law officers in East Liverpool, Ohio, on Oct. 22, 1934.
1913: The Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.
1916: The Centre Block, the main building of the Canadian parliamentary complex in Ottawa, starts on fire due to a cigar thrown in a wastebasket. Within 12 hours, the building was completely destroyed, except for the Library of Parliament, which was spared from the flames due to its heavy metal doors. Reconstruction of the building began almost immediately and its replacement, still in use today, was opened in January 1920.
1917: The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany a day after the latter announced a new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare during World War I. The U.S. would eventually declare war on Germany on April 6, 1917.
1918: Entertainer Joey Bishop, a member of the "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin, is born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb in The Bronx, N.Y. He died of heart failure at age 89 on Oct. 17, 2007.
1920: Henry Heimlich, the thoracic surgeon widely credited as the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, is born in Wilmington, Del.
1924: Former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson dies at age 67 in Washington, D.C., as a result of a stroke and other heart-related problems. Wilson, who served as president from 1913 to 1921, also served as the president of Princeton University and the governor of New Jersey before being elected president. After getting an agenda that included the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and an income tax through Congress in his first term, his second term was dominated by American entry into World War I.
1939: Filmmaker Michael Cimino, who won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture for 1978's "The Deer Hunter," is born in New York City. "The Deer Hunter" also earned him an Oscar nomination for its screenplay. Cimino also directed Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges in the 1974 box office hit "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" and wrote and directed the 1980 financial flop "Heaven's Gate."
1940: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, who played 18 seasons in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants, is born in Richmond, Va. At the time of his retirement following the 1978 season, he owned every major quarterback record in the NFL. He led the Vikings to the Super Bowl in 1973, 1974 and 1976 and was named the NFL's MVP in 1975. He played collegiately at the University of Georgia and is also an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame.
1943: The U.S. Army Transport ship Dorchester is sunk by a German U-boat while sailing to Greenland as part of a naval convoy during World War II. Of the 904 men on board the ship, only 230 survived. The sinking became especially famous because of four Army chaplains, who became known as the "Four Chaplains" or the "Immortal Chaplains," who gave away their life jackets to save others before they died. Pictured is a painting depicting the rescue of Dorchester survivors by the USCGC Escanaba.
1943: Actress Blythe Danner, best known for her roles on the TV shows "Will & Grace" and "Huff," and in the "Meet the Parents" movies, is born in Philadelphia, Pa. Danner, who is also the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, won Emmys for her "Huff" role in 2005 and 2006. She was also nominated for Emmys those years for her "Will & Grace" role, in 2002 and 2005, respectively, for the TV movies "We Were the Mulvaneys" and "Back When We Were Grownups." She's also won two Tony Awards for her stage work.
1945: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese, who led the Miami Dolphins to three consecutive Super Bowl appearances, including back-to-back championships in 1973 and 1974, is born in Evansville, Ind. Griese, who played for the Dolphins for 14 seasons, was named to the Pro Bowl six times and lead the NFL in passing touchdowns in 1977. He played collegiately at Purdue University and is also an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame. After his playing career, he worked as a television commentator for college football on ABC and ESPN until retiring in 2011.
1947: The lowest temperature in North America is recorded in Snag, Yukon, at -83.0 Fahrenheit.
1950: Actress Morgan Fairchild, best known for her 1970s and '80s TV work in shows such as "Flamingo Road," "Falcon Crest" and "North and South," is born Patsy Ann McClenny in Dallas, Texas.
1956: Actor and singer Nathan Lane, best known for movies such as "The Birdcage" and "The Producers," and for his voice work in "The Lion King" and "Stuart Little," is born Joseph Lane in Jersey City, N.J. Lane is also noted for his theater roles, earning Tony Awards for his roles on Broadway in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and "The Producers."
1959: A chartered plane carrying rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson crashes soon after takeoff from Clear Lake, Iowa, killing all three along with pilot Roger Peterson. An investigation later determined that a combination of poor weather conditions and pilot error caused spatial disorientation that made Peterson lose control of the plane. The rock stars, touring as part of the Winter Dance Party tour, had chartered the plane to avoid a long bus ride in cold weather from the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake to the next show in Moorhead, Minn. Holly was 22, Valens was 17 and Richardson was 28 at the time of the crash. Waylon Jennings, then a member of Holly's backup band, gave up his seat on the flight to Richardson, who was suffering from the flu, while Tommy Allsup, another member of Holly's band, lost his place to Valens on a coin toss.
1961: The U.S. Air Force begins Operation Looking Glass, an airborne command center designed to provide command and control of U.S. nuclear forces in the event that ground-based command centers are destroyed or otherwise rendered inoperable. For the next 30 years, a "Doomsday Plane" was always in the air, ready to take direct control of American bombers and missiles if needed. The aircraft ceased continuous airborne alert on July 24, 1990, but have remained on ground or airborne alert 24 hours a day since.
1964: The Beach Boys release the single "Fun, Fun, Fun." The song would peak at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
1965: Actress Maura Tierney, best known for her TV roles on "NewsRadio" and "ER," is born in Hyde Park, Mass.
1966: The unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft becomes the first man-made object to land on another celestial body when it makes a controlled rocket-assisted landing on the moon. About five minutes after touchdown, the probe began transmitting data to Earth, but it was seven hours before Luna 9 began sending the first of nine images of the surface of the moon. These were the first images sent from the surface of another planetary body.
1970: Actor Warwick Davis is born in Epsom, Surrey, England. He is best known for playing the title characters in "Willow" and the "Leprechaun" film series, the Ewok Wicket in "Return of the Jedi" and Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook in the "Harry Potter" films.
1971: New York City police officer Frank Serpico is shot in the face during a drug bust in Brooklyn. Serpico, who had reported and exposed corruption within the department, survived the shooting to later testify before the Knapp Commission, which was investigating the corruption charge. Because his fellow officers failed to follow him into the suspect's apartment and because they did not come to his aid after he'd been shot, many believe Serpico had actually been brought to the apartment by his colleagues to be murdered. Serpico, seen here in 2010, became famous after his story was told in the 1973 movie "Serpico," in which he was played by Al Pacino.
1972: A seven-day blizzard begins in Iran that will end up leaving about 4,000 people dead. The storm dumped up to 26 feet of snow in some areas, brought temperatures as low as -13 Fahrenheit and wiped out whole villages. There were no survivors in the villages of Kakkan or Kumar. The blizzard remains the deadliest snowstorm in history.
1972: The 11th Winter Olympics opens in Sapporo, Japan, becoming the first Winter Games to be held in Asia. The Soviet Union would capture the most gold medals (eight) and the most overall medals (16), while the host nation would win its first three Winter Olympic medals, sweeping all three positions in the 70-meter ski jump.
1976: Actor Isla Fisher, best known for the movies "Wedding Crashers," "Hot Rod," "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and "Now You See Me," is born in Muscat, Oman.
1989: Actor, screenwriter and director John Cassavetes dies of cirrhosis of the liver at age 59 in Los Angeles, Calif. He was known for his performances in movies such as "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Dirty Dozen" and for directing such independent films as "Faces," "Husbands," "A Woman Under the Influence," "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie" and Gloria." He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "The Dirty Dozen" and also received Oscar nominations for the screenplay for "Faces" and for directing "A Woman Under the Influence."
1989: "Wild Thing" by Tone Loc becomes the first rap single certified platinum.
1993: Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott is fined $250,000 and banned from day-to-day operations of the team for the 1993 season due to "using language that is racially and ethnically offensive." Major League Baseball would later ban her from managing the team from 1996 through 1998 due to statements in support of Adolf Hitler's domestic policies. Shortly afterwards, she sold the majority of her share in the team.
1995: Astronaut Eileen Collins (front row, second from left) becomes the first woman to pilot the space shuttle as mission STS-63 gets underway with Discovery lifting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission also marked the first rendezvous of a space shuttle with Russia's space station Mir.
1998: Convicted murderer Karla Faye Tucker is executed by lethal injection in Texas, becoming the first woman executed in the United States since 1984. Tucker and her boyfriend Danny Garrett broke into a friend's apartment in June 1983 to steal his motorcycle and ended up killing both him and a female guest.
1998: A United States Marine Corps pilot causes the death of 20 people when his low-flying plane cuts the cable of a cable-car near the Italian town of Cavalese. The plane, which was part of the NATO-led stabilization force working in Bosnia, made an emergency landing at a U.S. military air base in Aviano, Italy. The pilot, Capt. Richard J. Ashby, and his navigator, Capt. Joseph Schweitzer, were put on trial in the United States and were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. Later they were found guilty of obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for having destroyed a videotape recorded from the plane and were dismissed from the Marine Corps. The disaster, and the subsequent acquittal of the pilots, strained relations between the United States and Italy.
2006: The Egyptian passenger ferry al-Salam Boccaccio 98 catches fire and sinks in the Red Sea 62 miles from Duba, Saudi Arabia, killing more than 1,000 passengers. The ferry is seen here in an advertising poster.
2006: Actor Al Lewis, best known for his role as Grandpa Munster on the sitcom "The Munsters," dies at age 82 in New York City.
2010: Basketball Hall of Famer Dick McGuire, one of the premier guards of the 1950s, dies of a ruptured aortic aneurysm at age 84 in Huntington, N.Y. McGuire spent eight seasons with the New York Knicks and three with the Detroit Pistons. A seven-time All-Star, he led the league in assists during his rookie season with a then-record 386 assists and was among the league's top 10 playmakers for 10 of his 11 seasons.
2012: Actor and director Ben Gazzara dies of pancreatic cancer at age 81 in New York City. Gazzara's career included playing Brick in the original "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" on Broadway, roles in influential films by John Cassavetes and work with several generations of top Hollywood directors. Among his most notable movie roles were "Anatomy of a Murder," "Husbands," "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie," "Inchon," "Road House," "The Big Lebowski," "Summer of Sam" and "The Spanish Prisoner." He also starred in the 1960s TV drama "Run for Your Life," playing a terminally ill man trying to get the most out of the last two years of his life. The role earned him two Emmy nominations and three Golden Globe nominations. He earned another Emmy nomination for the 1985 TV movie "An Early Frost" and finally won an Emmy for the 2002 TV movie "Hysterical Blindness."
There are heads growing on Tony Dighera's farm, and they're not made of lettuce. They're called "pumpkinsteins," and they look a lot like the Frankenstein creature that actor Boris Karloff made famous more than 80 years ago.