1807 Robert E. Lee, the future commander-in-chief of the Confederate Armies, is born.
1809 Author and poet Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston.
1840 Antarctica is discovered by the Charles Wilkes expedition.
1861 Georgia secedes from the Union.
1932 “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, who was banned from baseball after the 1919 “Black Sox” game-fixing scandal, had his appeal for reinstatement denied by the commissioner, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis.
1943 Singer-songwriter Janis Joplin is born in Port Arthur, Texas. She dies October 4th, 1970, at age 27 from a drug overdose.
1949 Robert Palmer is born. He dies in 2003.
1952 The Professional Golfers Association Tournament Committee voted to allow black golfers to compete in their tournaments.
1955 President Dwight Eisenhower allowed a presidential news conference to be filmed for TV for the first time.
1955 The game Scrabble hit the market.
1966 Burgess Meredith appears as the Penguin for the first time on the Batman TV show.
1971 “Helter Skelter” by the Beatles is played at the trial of Charles Manson.
1971 Neil Young gives a solo performance at Massey Hall in Toronto, at which he debuts music from his Harvest album, including “Old Man,” “The Needle And The Damage Done,” and “Heart Of Gold.” The show is recorded and will be released in March under the title Live At Massey Hall.
1974 A Bob Dylan and the Band concert in Miami causes a nine-mile-long traffic jam that keeps many ticket holders from the venue until the show is half over.
1974 “Smokin’ In The Boy’s Room” by Brownsville Station peaks at Number Three on the pop chart.
1974 Notre Dame’s basketball team ended UCLA’s record 88-game winning streak, beating them 71-70.
1976 The $20,000 Pyramid debuts on ABC.
1977 In one of his final acts in office, President Gerald R. Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American who made propaganda broadcasts for Japan aimed at American troops as “Tokyo Rose” during World War II.
1977 Charlie Daniels and the Marshall Tucker Band play at Jimmy Carter‘s presidential inauguration.
1980 “Jane” by Jefferson Starship peaks at Number 14 on the pop chart.
1980 “Brass In Pocket” by the Pretenders hits Number One on the U.K. pop chart.
1980 The Wall by Pink Floyd hits Number One on the album chart, where it stays for 15 weeks.
1983 Long After Dark by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers peaks at Number Nine on the album chart, while “You Got Lucky” peaks at Number 20 on the pop chart.
1983 Bassist Lamar Williams (the Allman Brothers Band, Sea Level) dies.
1985 “You’re The Inspiration” by Chicago peaks at Number Three on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.
1985 “Run To You” by Bryan Adams peaks at Number Six on the pop chart.
1985 “Born In The U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen peaks at Number Nine on the pop chart.
1985 Who drummer Zak Starkey and Sarah Menedikes are married.
1985 Madonna‘s “Like A Virgin” tops the Billboard Hot 100.
1986 Bruce Springsteen plays a benefit show in Asbury Park, New Jersey for laid-off workers from a 3M plant.
1987 R&B/jazz musician David Sanborn releases his Change Of Heart album.
1988 CBS debuts 48 Hours, a prime-time newsmagazine show.
1989 President Ronald Reagan pardons Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for contributing illegal funds to Richard Nixon. It is one of Reagan’s last actions before leaving office.
1991 “You’re Amazing” by Robert Palmer peaks at Number 28 on the pop chart on his 43rd birthday.
1993 Fleetwood Mac reunites to perform at an inaugural gala for President Clinton.
1994 The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducts John Lennon, Duane Eddy, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Bob Marley, the late blues singer Willie Dixon, Johnny Otis, the Grateful Dead, the Band, and the Animals.
1996 The films From Dusk Till Dawn, starring George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, and Mr. Holland’s Opus, starring Richard Dreyfuss, open nationwide.
1997 Madonna is named Best Actress In A Musical Or Comedy for her role in Evita at the 54th annual Golden Globe Awards.
1998 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame rockabilly singer Carl Perkins dies at age 65.
2001 In a deal sparing himself possible indictment, President Clinton acknowledged for the first time making false statements under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. He also surrendered his law license for five years.
2001 REO Speedwagon is honored in Champaign, Illinois, as a section of Main Street is being renamed REO Speedwagon Way. In addition, both the mayor of Champaign and the governor of Illinois have declared it “REO Speedwagon Day.”
2001 Carlos Santana unveils his new signature guitar at the NAMM music merchants convention in Anaheim, California.
2005 Singer-harmonica player Southside Johnny and Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford make surprise appearances at The Cutting Room in New York City with the N.Y.C. HitSquad, which includes singer-guitarist Ricky Byrd from Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, drummer Liberty Devitto and sax player Richie Cannata from Billy Joel‘s band, and ex-Deep Purple and Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner, among others. Whitford and Johnny join the band for versions of Chuck Berry‘s “Little Queenie,” Little Richard‘s “Keep A Knockin'” — which featured a slight detour into the Jeff Beck Group‘s version of the blues standard “Going Down” — and the show closer of Wilson Pickett‘s “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.).” Folk-pop-jazz singer Phoebe Snow is also a special guest at the show, taking lead vocals on Sam Cooke‘s “Bring It On Home To Me” and joining in on “634-5789.”
2005 ZZ Top, Ted Nugent, Lyle Lovett, and Robert Earl Keen are among the performers in Washington, D.C., at the state of Texas’s Black Tie & Boots Ball as part of President George W. Bush‘s inaugural week festivities.
2006 Aerosmith is featured on the Today show.
2006 The Syn shoots a concert DVD at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, Massachusetts.