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1762
Catherine the Great becomes the new ruler of Russia after the murder of Peter III.
1790
Free market economist Adam Smith passes away.
1815
Napoleon surrenders at Rochefort to the British, making way for his exile to St. Helena in October.
1899
Erle Stanley Gardner, author most famous for his Perry Mason detective stories, is born.
Oscar-winning actor James Cagney (Angels With Dirty Faces, Ragtime) is born.
1912
Television personality Art Linkletter is born.
1917
Self-deprecating comedienne Phyllis Diller is born.
Hall of fame Indians second baseman and manager Lou Boudreau is born.
1918
After the Russian Revolution, the main members of the Romanov family are executed in a basement. Their bodies are hidden away so well that rumors that Anastasia, the youngest daughter, is still alive begin to spring up.
1920
International Olympics Committee Chairman Juan Antonio Samaranch is born.
1928
Jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, whose compositions for the Peanuts cartoons remain some of most loved songs of all time, is born.
1934
Acting patriarch Donald Sutherland (The Dirty Dozen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is born.
1935
Jazz and soul singer Diahann Carroll is born.
1936
A minor battle in eastern Spain marks the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
1937
Polish author Stanislaw Tym is born.
1944
Disaster strikes in Port Chicago, California when two ammunitions ship collide and explode, killing 232 soldiers and workers.
1947
Infamous mistress of Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles, is born.
1948
The Stooges bassist and sometimes actor Ron Asheton is born.
1952
German cultural icon and "Knight Rider" star David Hasselhoff is born.
1953
Actress P.J. Soles (Carrie, Stripes) is born.
1955
Disneyland opens to the public for the first time.
1959
Smoky blues and jazz chanteuse Billie Holiday dies. She is 44.
1961
"The Georgia Peach" Ty Cobb, baseball's all-time batting leader, dies.
1966
Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh frontman Lou Barlow is born.
1967
Legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane dies.
1971
Activist and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom author Cory Doctorow is born.
1974
Baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean passes away.
1981
A skywalk above the Hyatt Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri collapses, killing 114 people.
1996
TWA Flight 800 explodes over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 passengers aboard. Terrorism is suspected, but the final ruling is plane malfunction.
1997
The famous nickel and dime store company Woolworths closes after over 100 years in the retail business.
2001
Outspoken editor in chief of the Washington Post Katharine Graham succumbs to injuries suffered in a fall one week earlier.

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