1791: The first performance of "The Magic Flute," the last opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to make its debut, takes place at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria. Mozart, who conducted the orchestra himself for the premiere, would die a little more than two months later.
1861: William Wrigley Jr., the businessman who founded the Wrigley Company, is born in Philadelphia, Pa.
1882: Hans Geiger, the physicist and co-inventor of the Geiger counter, is born in Neustadt an der Haardt, Germany.
1907: The McKinley National Memorial, the final resting place of assassinated U.S. President William McKinley and his family, is dedicated in Canton, Ohio.
1917: Jazz drummer and bandleader Buddy Rich, billed as the world's greatest drummer, is born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1921: Actress Deborah Kerr, whose films included "The King and I," "An Affair to Remember" and "From Here to Eternity," and who earned six Oscar nominations for Best Actress in her career, is born Deborah Jane Trimmer in Glasgow, Scotland.
1924: Author Truman Capote, who was responsible for many literary classics, most notably the novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and the true crime novel "In Cold Blood," is born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans, La.
1927: New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 60 home runs in a season, breaking the single-season mark of 59 he had set in 1921. In addition to his career-high 60 home runs, Ruth batted .356, drove in 164 runs and slugged .772.
1931: Actress Angie Dickinson, best known for her roles in the films "Rio Bravo" and "Dressed to Kill," and for starring on the 1970s crime series "Police Woman" (pictured), is born Angeline Brown in Kulm, N.D.
1935: The Boulder Dam, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River on the border between Arizona and Nevada, is dedicated. The dam was renamed Hoover Dam in 1947 after former President Herbert Hoover. While the powerhouse was still under construction, most of the work on the dam had been completed by the formal dedication, which was scheduled to coincide with with a western tour being made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1935: The opera "Porgy and Bess," with music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by Heyward and Ira Gershwin, premieres in Boston.
1935: Singer-songwriter Johnny Mathis, who sold hundreds of millions of records of jazz and pop music standards in the 1960s and 1970s, is born in Gilmer, Texas.
1942: Singer-songwriter Frankie Lymon (second from left), best known as the boy soprano lead singer of a New York City-based early rock 'n' roll group The Teenagers, is born in Harlem, N.Y. The Teenagers' first single, 1956's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," was also their biggest hit. Lymon would die from a heroin overdose on Feb. 27, 1968, at the age of 25.
1947: The World Series, featuring the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, is televised for the first time. The October 1947 Billboard magazine reported that more than 3.9 million people viewed the games, primarily on TV sets located in bars. The Yankees would win in seven games over the Dodgers, which featured rookie Jackie Robinson and was the first racially integrated team to play in the World Series.
1949: The Berlin Airlift ends. The airlift had begun on June 25, 1948, in reaction to the Soviet Union's blockade of the Western Allies' railway, road and canal access to sectors of Berlin under Allied control and had been expected to last three weeks. Overall the effort delivered a total of 2.3 million tons of goods, nearly two-thirds of which was coal, on more than 278,000 flights to Berlin. While the airlift proved a success, the early Cold War events directly led to the creation of two separate German states.
1952: Actor Jack Wild, best known for playing The Artful Dodger in the 1968 musical "Oliver!" and for his leading role as Jimmy in the 1969 children's television series "H.R. Pufnstuf," is born in Royton, Manchester, England. Wild received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor at the age of 16 for his role in "Oliver!" and also received Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for Most Promising Newcomer for the role.
1953: President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominates Earl Warren as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States under a recess appointment. The Senate would confirm the appointment on March 1, 1954. Warren would serve until 1969 and became known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused and ending public-school-sponsored prayer.
1954: The U.S. Navy submarine USS Nautilus is commissioned as the world's first nuclear reactor powered vessel.
1954: Actor Barry Williams, best known for playing Greg Brady on "The Brady Bunch," is born Barry William Blenkhorn in Santa Monica, Calif.
1955: Film star James Dean dies in a car crash near Cholame, Calif., at the age of 24. He is best known for his starring role in "Rebel Without a Cause," in which he personified the restless American youth of the mid-50's. His acting career only lasted a little over a year, but his three films and tragic death helped make him an American legend.
1957: Actress Fran Drescher, best known for her role as Fran Fine in the hit TV sitcom "The Nanny," is born in Kew Gardens, Queens, N.Y.
1960: "The Flintstones" premieres as the first prime time animation show. The show was an instant hit and would run for six seasons before ending on April 1, 1966.
1961: Actor Eric Stoltz, best known for movies like "Mask," "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "Pulp Fiction," is born in Whittier, Calif. He also starred in the TV series "Caprica" and has established a career as a television director, directing episodes of "Private Practice," "Nashville" and "Glee" among other series.
1962: Mexican-American labor leader César Chávez (pictured) founds the National Farm Workers Association, which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers union.
1964: Singer-songwriter and guitarist Trey Anastasio, best known as the lead guitarist and vocalist of the rock band Phish, is born in Fort Worth, Texas.
1964: Actress and model Monica Bellucci, best known for movies like "Brotherhood of the Wolf," "Irréversible," "Tears of the Sun," "The Matrix Reloaded," "The Passion of the Christ" and "Shoot 'Em Up," is born in Città di Castello, Umbria, Italy.
1968: The Boeing 747 is rolled out and shown to the public for the first time at the Boeing Everett Factory. The jet first flew on Feb. 9, 1969.
1968: The song "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf is released as a single. It would peak at No. 3 in the United States, becoming the band's second-biggest hit, surpassed only by "Born to Be Wild."
1968: The Supremes' song "Love Child" is released as a single. The song would go on to become the Supremes' 11th No. 1 single in the United States.
1970: Actor Tony Hale, best known for his TV roles on "Arrested Development" and "Veep," is born in West Point, N.Y.
1971: Actress Jenna Elfman, best known for the sitcom "Dharma & Greg," is born Jennifer Mary Butala in Los Angeles, Calif.
1972: Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates records the 3,000th and final hit of his career with a double off Jon Matlack of the New York Mets at Three Rivers Stadium. It was the last at-bat of his career during a regular season, with the future Hall of Famer dying in a plane crash off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 31, 1972.
1975: Actress Marion Cotillard, best known for movies such as "La Vie en Rose," "Nine," "Inception," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Rust and Bone," is born in Paris, France. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for playing French singer Édith Piaf in 2007's "La Vie en Rose" and also earned an Oscar nomination in 2013 for her role in "Rust and Bone."
1978: Ventriloquist and actor Edgar Bergen, best known for Charlie McCarthy, the ventriloquist dummy who became his lifelong performance partner, dies of kidney disease at age 75 in Paradise, Nev.
1980: Swiss tennis player Martina Hingis, who spent a total of 209 weeks as World No. 1, is born in Košice, Czechoslovakia. Hingis won five Grand Slam singles titles (three Australian Opens, one Wimbledon, and one U.S. Open) and nine Grand Slam women's doubles titles in her career.
1982: The sitcom "Cheers" premieres. Almost canceled during its first season, the show went on to become one of the highest-rated TV shows in America, earning a top-10 rating during eight of its 11 seasons, including one at No. 1. It was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for all 11 of its seasons and earned 28 Emmys from a then-record 117 nominations before concluding in 1993.
1982: Actress Lacey Chabert, best known for the TV show "Party of Five" and movies like "Not Another Teen Movie" and "Mean Girls," is born in Purvis, Miss.
1982: Actor Kieran Culkin, the brother of actors Macaulay Culkin and Rory Culkin best known for movies like "Igby Goes Down" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," is born in New York City.
1985: Seismologist and physicist Charles Francis Richter, most famous as the creator of the Richter magnitude scale, which, until the development of the moment magnitude scale in 1979, measured the size of earthquakes, dies of congestive heart failure at age 85 in Pasadena, Calif.
1985: T-Pain, the Grammy-winning rapper best known for popularizing Auto-Tune, is born Faheem Rasheed Najm in Tallahassee, Fla. He is also the founder of the record label Nappy Boy Entertainment and his second album, 2007's "Epiphany," topped the Billboard 200 album chart. He's also known for frequently appearing as a guest artist on other performers' songs, being featured on more than 50 chart-topping singles between 2006 and 2010, including Flo Rida's debut single "Low."
1992: George Brett of the Kansas City Royals reaches his 3,000th career hit with a single during a game against the California Angels. The future Hall of Famer would end his career following the 1993 season with a total of 3,154 career hits.
1993: An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale hits India's districts of Latur and Osmanabad, destroying 52 villages, killing 20,000 people dead and leaving another 30,000 injured.
1996: The U.S. Congress passes the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban as an amendment to an omnibus appropriations bills, barring the possession of firearms for people who were convicted of domestic violence, even misdemeanor level.
1997: Bob Dylan's 30th studio album "Time Out of Mind" is released. The album is hailed as one of Dylan's best albums and it went on to win three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
1998: Former major-league pitcher Dan Quisenberry, who played primarily for the Kansas City Royals and led the American League in saves a record five times, dies of brain cancer at age 45 in Leawood, Kan.
2003: Robert Kardashian, the attorney and businessman who gained national recognition as O. J. Simpson's friend and defense attorney during Simpson's 1995 murder trial, dies of esophageal cancer at age 59 in Los Angeles, Calif.
2004: Researchers from the National Science Museum of Japan and the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association capture the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat about 600 miles south of Tokyo. The undersea animal can grow up to a maximum of 43 feet in length.
2005: Editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad are printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Muslim groups in Denmark complained, and the issue eventually led to protests around the world, including violent demonstrations and riots in some Islamic countries.
2007: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre completes his 421st career touchdown pass, breaking Dan Marino's NFL record. Favre would go on to total 508 in his career before retiring in 2010.