1606 – Artist Rembrandt Van Rijn (The Night Watch, Man with a Magnifying Glass, The Anatomy Lesson of Professor Tulp, Descent from the Cross, Rape of Ganymede) was born in Leiden, Holland.
1779 – Author – poet Clement Clarke Moore (’Twas the Night before Christmas) was born in New York City.
1867 – Maggie Lena Walker, first female founder of a bank (St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, VA) was born in Richmond, VA.
1903 – The newly formed Ford Motor Company took its first order from Chicago dentist Ernst Pfenning: an $850 2-cylinder Mode A.
1919 – Author Iris Murdoch (Under the Net, The Sea, the Sea) was born in Dublin.
1940 – The tallest man in the world, Robert Wadlow who stood 8”, 11.1/10” and weighed 439 pounds, died at the age of 22.
1965 – The Mariner IV spacecraft sent back the first close-up pictures of the planet Mars.
1968 – One Life to Live debuted on ABC-TV.
1968 – Commercial air travel began between the United States and the U.S.S.R. with the first plane, a Soviet Aeroflot jet, landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
1997 – Fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot to death on the steps of his mansion in Miami Beach, FL. Police believe Andrew Phillip Cunanan shot Versace during a crime spree that included the shooting deaths of 4 other men.