1776 Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense, which greatly influenced the writers of the Declaration Of Independence.
1870 John D. Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil.
1901 The discovery of oil in Beaumont, Texas, marked the beginning of oil finds in the state.
1904 Actor Ray Bolger (The Wizard Of Oz‘s Scarecrow) is born. He dies in 1987.
1917 William F. “Buffalo Bill“ Cody dies at age 70.
1943 Jim Croce is born. He dies in 1973.
1946 The first General Assembly of the United Nations, made up of 51 nations, convened in London.
1949 Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace is born. She dies in 2002.
1956 Elvis Presley makes his first recordings for RCA — a cover of Ray Charles‘s “I Got A Woman,” followed by a new song called “Heartbreak Hotel.”
1961 Author Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man) dies at age 56.
1967 Massachusetts Republican Edward W. Brooke, the first black person elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote, took his seat.
1969 George Harrison quit the Beatles, but he returned less than two weeks later.
1970 Willy And The Poor Boys by Creedence Clearwater Revival peaks at Number Three on the album chart, where it spends six weeks.
1971 Masterpiece Theatre, an anthology show hosted by Alistair Cooke and featuring mostly BBC productions, debuted on PBS.
1972 The longest winning streak in NBA history ended when the Milwaukee Bucks beat the L.A. Lakers 120-104. The Lakers had won 33 straight games.
1976 “Golden Years” by David Bowie peaks at Number 10 on the pop chart.
1976 Blues great Howlin’ Wolf dies at age 65.
1999 The Sopranos premiered on HBO.
2000 Rock star Melissa Etheridge ended speculation about the paternity of the children she shared with then-partner Julie Cypher, telling Rolling Stone magazine that the biological father was David Crosby. Cypher carried the children that Crosby fathered by artificial insemination. Etheridge and Cypher have since split, but are raising the children together.
2000 America Online announced it was buying Time Warner for $162 billion, in what would be biggest corporate merger ever.
2003 Five hundred Beatles session tapes stolen in the 1970s are recovered by police in England and Holland, and five people are arrested in the two separate raids.