2003: In an effort to discredit U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, who had written an article critical of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Washington Post columnist Robert Novak reveals that Wilson's wife Valerie Plame (pictured here in 2007) is a CIA covert operative. The column effectively ended Plame's career with the CIA and she later formally resigned in December 2005. The resulting scandal also led to a criminal investigation over the leak, although no one was ever charged for the leak itself. Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, was eventually convicted of lying to investigators in connection with the case, but his prison sentence was ultimately commuted by President George W. Bush.
1998: Richard McDonald, the American businessman who co-founded McDonald's, dies at age 89 in Bedford, New Hampshire. Along with his brother, Maurice McDonald, Richard McDonald established the first McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California, in 1940. They later franchised their successful chain of restaurants, with Ray Kroc buying the business in 1961 and turning it into the fast-food giant it is today.
1969: The United States $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills are officially withdrawn from circulation. Pictured is the $10,000 bill, which featured Salmon P. Chase, the sixth U.S. chief justice.
1969: The movie "Easy Rider," starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, premieres in New York City. The movie, which tells the story of two bikers who travel the American Southwest and South, was produced by Fonda and directed by Hopper. It received two Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Jack Nicholson and Best Original Screenplay. The success of the landmark counterculture film helped spark the New Hollywood phase of filmmaking during the early 1970s.
1968: Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 500th career home run. Aaron joined the 500 home run club exactly a year after Eddie Matthews became the seventh player to reach the milestone. Aaron would reach 755 career home runs before retiring in 1976, a major-league record that would last until surpassed by Barry Bonds in 2007.
1967: Eddie Mathews of the Houston Astros becomes the seventh major-leaguer to hit 500 career home runs with a home run off pitcher Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants. Matthews would retire in 1968 with a career total of 512 home runs.
1966: Richard Speck murders eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital in a Chicago dormitory. He was sentenced to death, but that sentence was later overturned due to issues with jury selection at his trial. Speck died of a heart attack in 1991 while still in prison.
1966: Actor Matthew Fox, best known for his roles on the TV series "Party of Five" and "Lost," is born in Abington, Pennsylvania.
1965: Politician and diplomat Adlai Ewing Stevenson II dies of heart attack at age 65 in London, England. Stevenson served as the 31st governor of Illinois and was the Democratic Party's candidate for U.S. president in 1952 and 1956, losing both times to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. He also sought the Democratic nomination a third time, in 1960, but was defeated by Sen. John F. Kennedy. After Kennedy was elected, he appointed Stevenson as the ambassador to the United Nations, a position he held from 1961 until his death.
1965: The Mariner 4 spacecraft takes the first close-up photos of another planet during a flyby of Mars.
1964: The Rolling Stones score their first No. 1 hit in the United Kingdom with their cover of Bobby and Shirley Womack's "It's All Over Now." Later that month the song became the band's third single released in the United States, where it stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks and peaked at No. 26.
1961: Actor Jackie Earle Haley, best known for the movies "Breaking Away," "The Bad News Bears," "Watchmen" and the 2010 remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," is born in Northridge, California.
1960: Jane Goodall arrives at the Gombe Stream Reserve in present-day Tanzania to begin her famous study of chimpanzees in the wild.
1960: Actress Jane Lynch is born in Dolton, Illinois. Lynch is best known for the TV shows "Glee" and "Party Down" and her roles in movies such as "Best in Show," "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Role Models" and "Wreck-It Ralph."
1946: Dr. Benjamin Spock's "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" is first published. The manual on infant and child care sold more than 500,000 copies in its first six months and had sold more than 50 million copies by the time of Spock's death in 1998.
1943: The George Washington Carver National Monument is founded near Diamond, Missouri, becoming the first United States national monument honoring a black person as well as the first honoring a non-president. The site preserves Carver's boyhood home and also features a nature trail, museum and more.
1933: All political parties in Germany are outlawed except the Nazi Party. However, for all practical purposes Germany had been a one-party state since the passage of the Enabling Act in March 1933, which gave Adolf Hitler's government the right to make laws without the involvement of the country's legislature.
1926: Actor Harry Dean Stanton is born in West Irvine, Kentucky. He is best known for his roles in movies such as "Cool Hand Luke," "Alien," "Paris, Texas," "Escape From New York," "Repo Man," "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "Pretty In Pink," as well as the HBO series "Big Love" (pictured).
1921: Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are convicted in Dedham, Massachusetts, of killing a shoe company paymaster and his guard during a 1920 robbery. The controversial trial and the following series of appeals made them the center of one of the largest cause célèbres in modern history. The two were executed via electric chair on Aug. 23, 1927.
1918: Filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential film directors of all time, is born in Uppsala, Sweden. Some of his best known films include "Wild Strawberries," "Through a Glass Darkly," "The Virgin Spring," "Fanny and Alexander" and "Cries and Whispers." He died at the age of 89 on July 30, 2007.
1913: Gerald Ford, who served as the 38th president of the United States from 1974 to 1977, is born Leslie Lynch King Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska. Ford served as vice president from 1973 to 1974, becoming the first person appointed to the position under the terms of the 25th Amendment following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew. When he became president upon Richard Nixon's resignation in August 1974, he became the first, and so far only, person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected by the Electoral College. Ford, who also served nearly 25 years representing Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives, died at the age of 93 on Dec. 26, 2006.
1912: Singer-songwriter and folk musician Woody Guthrie, whose best known song is "This Land is Your Land," is born in Okemah, Oklahoma. Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger and Joe Strummer have acknowledged Guthrie, who died at the age of 55 in October 1967, as a major influence.
1910: Animator William Hanna, who co-founded the Hanna-Barbera animation studio with Joseph Barbera in 1957, is born in Melrose, New Mexico. Hanna died of throat cancer at the age of 90 on March 22, 2001. The Hanna-Barbera studio produced programs such as "The Flintstones," "The Huckleberry Hound Show," "The Jetsons," "Scooby-Doo," "The Smurfs" and "Yogi Bear."
1881: The outlaw William Henry McCarty, better known as Billy the Kid, is shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett at a ranch house in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The frontier gunman, who was 21 when he died, is generally believed to have killed at least eight people, but some legends put his death toll as high as 21.
1867: Alfred Nobel demonstrates dynamite for the first time at a quarry in Redhill, Surrey, England. Nobel's new invention proved easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin.
1865: English mountaineer Edward Whymper's expedition becomes the first reach the peak of the Matterhorn, in the Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy. However, four members of Whymper's party would die in the descent.
1853: The Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations opens in New York City. The event is recognized as the first major world's fair to take place in the United States.
1798: The Sedition Act becomes law in the United States, making it a federal crime to write, publish or utter false or malicious statements about the United States government. The act was pushed through by congressional Federalists and denounced by Democratic-Republicans, which ultimately helped them to victory in the 1800 election, when Thomas Jefferson became president. The act, which historians agree was in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of freedom of speech, was allowed to expire in 1800.
1789: Citizens of Paris storm the Bastille, the prison and fortress perceived to be a symbol of royal power. Its fall later that day proved to be the flashpoint of the French Revolution.
A controversial plan by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indian Tribe to annex more than 1,400 acres of mainly agricultural land in the Santa Ynez Valley into its sovereign nation through the fee-to-trust process has cleared a major hurdle.