2009: James von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist and Holocaust denier, opens fire in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., killing security guard Stephen T. Johns. While awaiting trial, von Brunn died of natural causes on Jan. 6, 2010.
2007: The final episode of "The Sopranos" airs on HBO. The sixth season episode came to an abrupt finish, cutting to a black screen during a scene in which mob boss Tony Soprano and his family were gathering for a family meal at a local diner. The controversial ending left unresolved the fate of Soprano and his family.
2004: Singer-songwriter and pianist Ray Charles, the soul and R&B music pioneer known for songs such as "I Got a Woman," "Georgia on My Mind," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and ""What'd I Say," dies of liver failure and hepatitis C at the age of 73 in Beverly Hills, California.
2003: The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission. The rover would land successfully on Mars on Jan. 4, 2004. It performed geological analysis of Martian rocks and planetary surface features, logging nearly five miles on the planet's surface, before becoming stuck in late 2009. Its last communication with Earth was sent on March 22, 2010.
2002: Mafia boss John Gotti, 61, dies of throat cancer at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. Gotti had been serving a life sentence since being convicted in 1992 of five murders, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling, extortion, tax evasion and loansharking.
1999: NATO suspends its air strikes after 10 weeks following Slobodan Miloševi?'s agreement to withdraw Serbian forces from Kosovo.
1997: Before fleeing his northern stronghold, Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot orders the killing of his defense chief Son Sen and 11 of Sen's family members. He would be arrested by Khmer Rouge military chief Ta Mok on June 19, 1997. He would ultimately die on April 15, 1998, at the age of 72 while under house arrest by a faction of the Khmer Rouge in Anlong Veng, Kingdom of Cambodia.
1992: Model and actress Kate Upton, best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, including being the cover model in 2012 and 2013, is born in St. Joseph, Michigan. Upton has also tried her hand at acting, appearing in the movies "Tower Heist," "Three Stooges" and "The Other Woman."
1991: Jaycee Dugard, 11, is abducted by Phillip and Nancy Garrido from her South Lake Tahoe, California, neighborhood. Dugard was held by the couple for 18 years before she was found by authorities in August 2009. During this time, Dugard bore two daughters who were ages 11 and 15 at the time of her reappearance. On June 2, 2011, Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years imprisonment; his wife received 36 years to life.
1991: The series finale of "Twin Peaks" airs. The show, created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, followed an investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer. It ran for a total of 30 episodes over two seasons, becoming one of the top-rated shows of 1990 and developing a cult fan base.
1988: American author Louis L'Amour, best known for his 89 novels, most of them in the western genre, dies of lung cancer at age 80 in Los Angeles, California.
1982: Figure skater Tara Lipinski, the youngest individual gold medalist in the history of the Olympic Winter Games, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lipinski won a gold medal at the age of 15 at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. She also was the 1997 U.S. and World champion.
1978: The racehorse Affirmed wins the Belmont Stakes to capture the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The thoroughbred was the 11th and most recent horse to win the Triple Crown, which consists of winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Here, jockey Steve Cauthen signs a pictures of himself on Affirmed before the running of the 139th Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013.
1978: Actor DJ Qualls, known for movies such as "The New Guy," "Road Trip" and "Hustle & Flow," and TV series like "Memphis Beat" and "Supernatural" (pictured), is born in Nashville, Tennessee.
1978: Actor, punk rock musician and songwriter Shane West, best known for movies such as "A Walk to Remember" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," and for TV series such as "Once and Again," "ER" and "Nikita," is born Shannon Bruce Snaith in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. West has also performed with the punk rock band The Germs.
1977: James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., escapes from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Petros, Tennessee, with six other convicts. Ray and the rest of the escapees would be recaptured three days later. A year was added to Ray's previous sentence, to total 100 years, although he would die in prison on April 23, 1998.
1977: The Apple II computer goes on sale. The computer, designed as a mass-market product rather than something for engineers or enthusiasts, would become one of the first successful personal computers. The product line continued until 1993.
1976: Adolph Zukor, the Hungarian film mogul who co-founded Paramount Pictures, dies at age 103 in Los Angeles, California.
1973: R&B singer-songwriter Faith Evans, best known for hit songs like "Love Like This," "All Night Long" and "Never Gonna Let You Go," is born in Lakeland, Florida. She is also known as the widow of rapper Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace and recorded a 1997 tribute single featuring Puff Daddy, named "I'll Be Missing You," that won her a Grammy Award in 1998.
1967: Israel and Syria agree to a cease-fire, ending the Six-Day War. The war, which began on June 5 with Israel launching surprise bombing raids against Egyptian air-fields, ended in a decisive victory for Israel, with the country taking control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
1967: Actor Spencer Tracy, best known for movies such as "Captains Courageous," "Boys Town," "Father of the Bride," "Desk Set," "The Old Man and the Sea," "Inherit the Wind," "Judgment at Nuremberg" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," dies of a heart attack at the age of 67 in Beverly Hills, California. Tracy was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor and won two, sharing the record for nominations in this category with Laurence Olivier.
1965: Model and actress Elizabeth Hurley, whose best known movies include "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," "Bedazzled" and "EDtv," is born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.
1963: Actress Jeanne Tripplehorn, best known for the TV series "Big Love" (pictured) and "Criminal Minds" and movies like "Basic Instinct," "The Firm" and "Waterworld," is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1962: Actress Gina Gershon, best known for her roles in the films "Cocktail," "Showgirls," "Bound," "Face/Off" and "The Insider," is born in Los Angeles, California.
1961: Singer-songwriter and musician Kim Deal, best known for her work with the rock groups the Pixies and The Breeders, is born in Dayton, Ohio.
1959: Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who resigned in disgrace in 2008 amid revelations he had patronized prostitutes, is born in The Bronx, New York.
1953: Politician and lawyer John Edwards, who served as a U.S. senator from North Carolina from 1999 through 2005 and was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004, is born in Seneca, South Carolina. Edwards, who also ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008, was indicted in June 2011 on six felony charges of violating multiple federal campaign contribution laws to cover up an extramarital affair, but was acquitted of one charge with a mistrial declared on the remaining five. The remaining charges were eventually dropped.
1951: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, who played his entire 15-year career for the San Diego Chargers, is born in San Francisco, California. Fouts led the NFL in passing yards four straight years from 1979 to 1982, and became the first player in history to throw for 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Since retiring in 1987, he has worked as a TV and radio analyst for NFL broadcasts, including a stint on "Monday Night Football."
1946: Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight boxing champion, dies in a car crash near Franklinton, North Carolina, at age 68. Johnson beat the reigning world champion, Canadian Tommy Burns, in Sydney, Australia, on Dec. 26, 1908, to win the title and held onto it until 1915. He fought professionally until 1938 at age 60, retiring with a 73-13-10 record.
1944: Joe Nuxhall of the Cincinnati Reds becomes the youngest player ever in a major-league baseball game, pitching two-thirds of an inning at the age of 15 years and 316 days. Nuxhall, who was called upon for that one game due to player shortages during World War II, would eventually find his way back to the Reds in 1952 and play 15 more MLB seasons.
1943: Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro patents his ballpoint pen. In 1945, Marcel Bich bought the patent from Biro and soon made the pen the main product of his Bic company.
1940: Norway surrenders to German forces two months after first being invaded on April 8, 1940. By holding out that long, Norway became the country to withstand the German invasion for the longest period of time at the onset of World War II. Hitler garrisoned Norway with about 300,000 troops for the rest of the war.
1935: Dr. Robert Smith, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous with Bill Wilson, takes his last drink. The date is celebrated as the anniversary of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.
1928: Children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, best known for the 1963 book "Where the Wild Things Are," is born in Brooklyn, New York. He died from complications of a stroke at the age of 83 on May 8, 2012.
1922: Actress and singer Judy Garland, best known for her starring role in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz," is born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Garland was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1954 remake of "A Star is Born" and for Best Supporting Actress for the 1961 film "Judgment at Nuremberg." Garland, who started in vaudeville and signed with MGM as a teenager, also found success as a recording artist and through record-breaking concert appearances. She also struggled with issues in her personal life, including a long battle with drugs and alcohol, and died at the age of 47 from a barbiturate overdose.
1910: Blues singer and musician Howlin' Wolf, known for such blues standards as "Smokestack Lightnin'," "Little Red Rooster," "Back Door Man," "Killing Floor" and "Spoonful," is born Chester Arthur Burnett in White Station, Mississippi. He died from complications of kidney disease at age 65 on Jan. 10, 1976.
1909: The SOS distress signal was used for the first time, with the Cunard liner RMS Slavonia transmitting the signal after it wrecked off the Azores. All aboard the Slavonia were rescued by the Princess Irene, which was 180 miles away when the call was received.
1901: Composer Frederick Loewe (left), who collaborated with lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (right) to create some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theater for both the stage and on film, is born in Berlin, Germany. Some of Loewe's best known works with Lerner include "Brigadoon," "Gigi," "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot."
1898: During the Spanish-American War, U.S. Marines land on the island of Cuba and establish a base at Guantánamo Bay.
1895: Singer and actress Hattie McDaniel, who became the first black actor to win an Academy Award when she won Best Supporting Actress in 1940 for her role of Mammy in "Gone with the Wind," is born in Wichita, Kansas. McDaniel, who appeared in more than 300 movies, was also a professional singer-songwriter, comedian, stage actress, radio performer and television star. She died of breast cancer at the age of 57 on Oct. 26, 1952.
1854: The first class of the United States Naval Academy graduates.
1793: The Jardin des Plantes museum opens in Paris. A year later, it would become the first public zoo.
1692: Bridget Bishop is hanged, becoming the first of 20 people who would be executed for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.