Published On: Jan 01 2013 08:45:02 PM CSTUpdated On: Jan 02 2016 01:00:00 AM CST
2011: English actor Pete Postlethwaite, best known for his movie roles in "In the Name of the Father," "The Usual Suspects," "The Constant Gardener," "Romeo + Juliet" and "The Town," dies of pancreatic cancer at the age of 64 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. Postlethwaite earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for "In the Name of the Father" in 1994.
2008: Oil prices soar to $100 a barrel for the first time.
2006: An explosion in a coal mine in Sago, West Virginia, traps and kills 12 miners, while leaving one miner in critical condition.
2004: The NASA robotic space probe Stardust successfully flies past comet Wild 2, collecting samples that are returned to Earth. Seen here is a picture of the comet the probe took during its approach.
1986: Hall of Fame baseball team owner and promoter Bill Veeck dies of cancer at age 71 in Chicago, Illinois. Veeck was well-known for his quirky publicity stunts as a team owner, including using 3-foot-7-inch Eddie Gaedel as a pinch-hitter for the St. Louis Browns in 1951 and Disco Demolition Night in 1979 while owner of the Chicago White Sox. He also signed Larry Doby as owner and team president of the Cleveland Indians in 1947, thereby integrating the American League.
1983: Actress Kate Bosworth, known for roles in movies such as "Blue Crush," "Wonderland," "Beyond the Sea" and "Superman Returns," is born in Los Angeles.
1974: Country music singer and actor Tex Ritter, who starred in more than 50 Westerns, most of the "singing cowboy" variety, dies of a heart attack at the age of 68 in Nashville, Tennessee. Ritter also recorded several No. 1 country hits, including "I'm Wastin' My Tears on You," "You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often" and "You Will Have To Pay." He was also the father of "Three's Company" actor John Ritter.
1974: President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 miles per hour in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo.
1971: Actor Taye Diggs, best known for his roles in movies such as "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Go," "The Wood," "Chicago" and "Rent," is born Scott Leo Diggs in Newark, New Jersey.
1969: Model Christy Turlington, best known for representing Calvin Klein from 1987 to 2007, is born in Walnut Creek, California.
1968: Actor Cuba Gooding Jr., best known for Academy Award-winning role in "Jerry Maguire," is born in The Bronx, New York. Gooding is also known for roles in movies such as "Boyz n the Hood," "Outbreak," "As Good as it Gets," "Men of Honor," "Pearl Harbor" and "Radio."
1967: Actress Tia Carrere, best known for her roles in movies such as "Wayne's World," "True Lies" and "Kull the Conqueror," is born Althea Rae Janairo in Honolulu, Hawaii.
1965: The New York Jets sign University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath for $427,000, a pro football record at the time.
1963: Former Major League Baseball pitcher David Cone is born in Kansas City, Missouri. Cone pitched the 16th perfect game in MLB history in 1999 and was a part of five World Series championship teams (1992 with the Toronto Blue Jays and 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 with the New York Yankees). He also pitched for the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox during his 17-year career.
1961: Actress Gabrielle Carteris, best known for her role as Andrea Zuckerman on the TV drama "Beverly Hills, 90210," is born in Scottsdale, Arizona.
1959: Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the moon and to orbit the sun, is launched by the Soviet Union.
1953: Guccio Gucci, the businessman and fashion designer who founded The House of Gucci in 1921 as a leather goods company and small luggage store, dies at the age of 71 in Milan, Italy. Gucci is seen here at right with his parents.
1947: Zoologist Jack Hanna, whose media appearances have made him one of the most notable animal experts in the United States, is born in Knoxville, Tennessee.
1942: Thirty-three members of a German spy ring headed by Fritz Joubert Duquesne are sentenced to a total of 300 years in prison in the largest espionage case in United States history. The spies who formed the ring were placed in key jobs in the United States to get information that could be used in the event of war and to carry out acts of sabotage. The ring was discovered thanks to the work of the FBI and William G. Sebold, who had been recruited as a spy for Germany and served as a double agent for the U.S. government.
1940: Televangelist Jim Bakker, seen here in the late-1980s with his wife Tammy Faye Bakker, is born in Muskegon, Michigan. A former Assemblies of God minister and host of "The PTL Club," a popular evangelical Christian television program, a sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry in 1987. He was convicted on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy in 1989 and ended up serving five years in prison.
1936: Country singer-songwriter Roger Miller, an 11-time Grammy winner best known for songs such as "King of the Road" and "Dang Me," is born in Fort Worth, Texas. He died of lung and throat cancer at the age of 56 on Oct. 25, 1992.
1935: Bruno Hauptmann goes on trial for the murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the infant son of aviator Charles Lindbergh. He would be convicted of extortion and murder the following month and was executed by electric chair on April 3, 1936.
1920: Author and biochemistry professor Isaac Asimov, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books, is born in Petrovichi in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Asimov's most famous work is the "Foundation Series." His other major series are the "Galactic Empire" series and the "Robot" series. He died of heart and kidney failure at age 72 on April 6, 1992.
1909: Politician Barry M. Goldwater, a five-term U.S. senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for president in the 1964 election, is born in Phoenix, Arizona Territory. He
died of complications from a stroke on May 29, 1998, at age 89.
1788: Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
Did you see the bright ball of light in the sky Wednesday night? It's wasn't a meteorite or meteor, and it wasn't an alien from outer space coming to visit us. The bright light in the sky is actually more "earthly."