1817 Author, naturalist, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who wrote Walden and created the concept of civil disobedience, was born.
1860 African-American scientist and educator George Washington Carver, whose discoveries helped to revolutionize agriculture in the South, was born.
1895 Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein, who partnered with composer Richard Rodgers on musicals such as Oklahoma!, The King & I, The Sound Of Music, South Pacific, and Showboat, was born.
1908 Actor/comedian Milton Berle, the biggest star of early television, nicknamed “Uncle Milty” and “Mr. Television,” was born. He died March 27th, 2002, at 93.
1909 Actor “Curly“ Joe DeRita (The Three Stooges) is born. He dies in 1993.
1933 A new U.S. industrial code was established to fix a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour, the first national minimum wage law passed by Congress.
1954 Elvis Presley signs a contract with Sun Records and quits his day job at Crown Electric.
1960 The Ohio Art Company introduced the first Etch-A-Sketch toy for sale.
1962 The Rollin’ Stones, as they are known at the time, play their debut gig at the Marquee Club in London, England. The band includes Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, and Dick Taylor, with future Kinks drummer Mick Avory rounding out the lineup.
1969 “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” by the Beatles peaks at Number Eight on the pop chart.
1969 Blind Faith kicks off its first (and only) U.S. tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1976 Family Feud debuted on ABC with host Richard Dawson.
1979 The Chicago White Sox were forced to forfeit the second game of a twi-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers due to the behavior of disorderly fans during Disco Demolition Night. The promotion involved admitting fans for 98 cents if they brought a disco record. The records were then collected, and then literally blown up in center field. A riot ensued.
1980 “I’m Alive” by the Electric Light Orchestra peaks at Number 16 on the pop chart.
1980 “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ Top peaks at Number 89 on the pop chart.
1983 Traffic multi-instrumentalist Chris Wood dies at age 39.
1984 Happy Days last aired on ABC after 11 years.
1984 New York instituted the nation’s first mandatory seat belt law.
1984 Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale announced he’d chosen Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York to be his running mate. Ferraro was the first woman to run for the vice presidency on a major-party ticket.
1986 “Your Wildest Dreams” by the Moody Blues peaks at Number Nine on the pop chart.
1986 “Tuff Enuff” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds peaks at Number 10 on the pop chart.
1986 “Like A Rock” by Bob Seger peaks at Number 12 on the pop chart.
1996 TV journalist John Chancellor died at the age of 68.
1997 Generation Swine by Motley Crue enters the album chart at its peak position of Number Four.
1998 France beat Brazil, 3-0, for its first World Cup soccer championship.