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Famous Birthdays
 Encyclopaedia Britannica

*1904American pianist and composer Count Basie, born this day in 1904, was one of the outstanding organizers of big bands in jazz history. Stranded in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1927, Basie remained there and eventually (in 1935) assumed the leadership of a nine-piece band. One night, while the band was broadcasting on a shortwave radio station in Kansas City, he was dubbed “Count” Basie by a radio announcer who wanted to indicate his standing in a class with aristocrats of jazz such as Duke Ellington. Jazz critic and record producer John Hammond heard the broadcasts and promptly launched Basie's band on its career. 
2003In Ghana, businessman Gyude Bryant was selected to oversee the two-year power-sharing accord between Liberia's rebels and the government. The accord was planned to guide the country out of 14 years of civil war. 
2002In Pakistan, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf unilaterally amended the Pakistani constitution. He extended his term in office and granted himself powers that included the right to dissolve parliament.  
1998Samuel Bowers, a 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted in Hattiesburg, MS, of ordering a firebombing that killed civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer in 1966.  
1998Wesley Snipes received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  
1997Afghanistan suspended its embassy operations in the United States.  
1997Cicely Tyson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  
1997Hudson Foods Inc. closed a plant in Nebraska after it had recalled 25 million pounds of ground beef that was potentially contaminated with E. coli 01557:H7. It was the largest food recall in U.S. history.  
1996The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was signed by U.S. President Clinton. The act made it easier to obtain and keep health insurance.  
1995In Jerusalem, Israel, a bus bombing by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) killed four and wounded more than 100.  
1995Nine people died in a plane crash in Georgia.  
1994Ernesto Zedillo won the Mexican presidential election.  
1993NASA lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft. The fate of the spacecraft was unknown. The mission cost $980 million.  
1992NBC News fired Authur Kent two weeks after he refused an assignment to war-torn Croatia.  
1992Randall Weaver, a neo-Nazi leader, opened fire on U.S. marshals from his home in Idaho. Weaver surrendered 11 days later ending the standoff. During the standoff a deputy marshal, Weaver's wife and his son were killed.  
1991The hard-line coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev ended. The uprising that led to the collapse was led by Russian federation President Boris Yeltsin.  
1991Latvia declared its independence from the Soviet Union. 
1989In Columbia, The estates of drug lords were raided in a crackdown that occurred after the killing of a presidential candidate.  
1989Voyager 2, a U.S. space probe, got close to the Neptune moon called Tritan.  
1988An earthquake on the Nepal-India border killed over 1,000 people.  
1987A U.S. Marine was convicted for spying for the first time. Sergeant Clayton Lonetree was giving secrets to the KGB while working as a guard at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. He served eight years in a military prison.  
1986In Cameroon, a nation in West Africa, toxic gas erupted from a volcanic lake. The gas killed more than 1,700 people.  
1984Clint Eastwood was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  
1984Victoria Roche, a reserve outfielder, became the first girl to ever compete in a Little League World Series game.  
1983Philippine politician Benigno Simeon Aquino was assassinated as he deplaned in Manila.  
1971Laura Baugh, at the age of 16, won the United States Women's Amateur Golf tournament. She was the youngest winner in the history of the tournament.  
1963In South Vietnam, martial law was declared. Army troops and police began to crackdown on the Buddhist anti-government protesters.  
1959Hawaii became the 50th state. U.S. President Eisenhower also issued the order for the 50 star flag.  
1945U.S. President Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped about $50 billion in aid to America's Allies during World War II.  
1943Japan evacuated the Aleutian island of Kiaska. Kiaska had been the last North American foothold held by the Japanese.  
1940Exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in Mexico City from wounds that had inflicted by an assassin.  
1929The Chicago Cardinals traveled out of town for training camp. They were the first professional football team to do this.  
1923In Kalamazoo, Michigan, an ordinance was passed forbidding dancers from gazing into the eyes of their partner.  
1912Arthur R. Eldred became the first American boy to become an Eagle Scout. It is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.  
1888The adding machine was patented by William Burroughs.  
1878The American Bar Association was formed by a group of lawyers, judges and law professors in Saratoga, NY.  
1858This day marked the beginning of the famous debates in Illinois between Abraham Lincoln, Republican Party nominee for the U.S. Senate, and incumbent Senator Stephen A. Douglas of the Democratic Party. Lincoln in his acceptance speech said that “A house divided against itself cannot stand” and “this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” Douglas thereupon attacked Lincoln as a radical who threatened the continued stability of the Union. Lincoln, who opposed Douglas's support of popular sovereignty, challenged Douglas to a series of three-hour debates, and the two eventually agreed to hold joint encounters in seven Illinois congressional districts. 
1841A patent for venetian blinds was issued to John Hampton.  
1831Nat Turner began an unsuccessful slave rebellion in the American South, eventually killing 60 people before being stopped by a 3,000-man militia. He was later executed. 
1808British General Arthur Wellesley (later duke of Wellington) defeated French General Andoche Junot at Vimeiro, Portugal. 
1680The Pueblo Indians drove the Spanish out and took possession of Santa Fe, NM.  
Asterisks (*) denotes birthday

Famous Birthdays
1992 - RJ MitteActor (TV:"Braking Bad")
1989 - Hayden PanettiereActress (Heros & Joe Somebody)
1987 - Cody KaschActor
1986 - Usain BoltOlympic Gold Medal Sprinter
1984 - Melissa SchumanSinger
1983 - Brody JennerTV Personality
1979 - KelisSinger
1975 - Alicia WittActress
1971 - Liam HowlettMusician (Prodigy)
1970 - Carrie-Anne MossActress (Matrix & Mission to Mars)
1970 - Craig CounsellMLB Player
1966 - John WettelandBaseball All-Star Pitcher
1959 - Jim McMahonFootball Hall of Famer and NFL Quarterback
1956 - Kim CattrallActress (Sex in the City)
1954 - Nick KaneCountry Musician
1952 - Glenn HughesSinger
1951 - Harry SmithCBS Early Show co-host
1947 - Carl GiammaresePop Singer-Musician
1947 - Loretta DevineActress
1945 - Willie LanierFootbal Hall of Famer
1945 - Patty McCormackActress
1941 - Jackie DeShannonSinger
1939 - Calrence WilliamsActor
1939 - James BurtonRock & Roll Musician
1939 - Harold ReidSinger (The Statler Brothers)
1938 - Kenny RogersActor & Country Singer
1936 - Wilt Chamberlain
1932 - Melvin Van Peebles
1929 - X.J. Kennedy
1924 - Jack Weston
1923 - Chris Schenkel
1904 - Count Basie
1872 - Aubrey Beardsley

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