Richard Pryor 1940-2005
1640 - Portugal regains its independence from Spain and John IV of Portugal becomes king.
1822 - Dom Pedro is crowned as Emperor of Brazil.
1913 - Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line, reducing chassis assembly time from 12 1/2 hours in October to 2 hours, 40 minutes (although Ford was not the first to use an assembly line, his successful adoption of one did spark an era of mass production).
1918 - Iceland becomes a self-governing kingdom, yet remains united with Denmark.
1918 - Transylvania unites with Romania, following the March 27 incorporation of Bessarabia and Bucovina.
1918 - The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is proclaimed.
1925 - World War I aftermath: Locarno Treaties - The final Locarno Pact is signed in London, establshing post-war territorial settlements in return for normalizing relations with defeated Germany.
1934 - In the Soviet Union, Politburo member Sergei Kirov is shot dead at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad by Leonid Nikolayev (it is widely thought that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered this murder).
1952 - The New York Daily News carries a front page story announcing that Christine Jorgensen, a transsexual woman in Denmark became the recipient of the first successful sexual reassignment operation.
1955 - American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws (Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr. later led the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott as a result).
1958 - Central African Republic becomes independent from France.
1959 - Cold War: Antarctic Treaty signed - 12 countries, including the United States and the Soviet Union, sign a landmark treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on that continent (this was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War).
1965 - The Border Security Force is formed in India as a special force to guard the borders
1969 - Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II (on January 4, 1970, the New York Times ran a long article, "Statisticians Charge Draft Lottery Was Not Random").
1973 - Papua New Guinea gains self government from Australia.
1974 - A Boeing 727 carrying TWA Flight 514 crashes 25 miles northwest of Dulles International Airport during bad weather, killing all 92 people on-board.
1981 - A Yugoslavian DC-9 crashes into a mountain while approaching Ajaccio Airport in Corsica killing 178.
1990 - Channel Tunnel workers from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 meters beneath the English Channel seabed, establishing the first ground connection between the island of Great Britain and the mainland of Europe since the last ice age.
1991 - Cold War: Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approve a referendum for independence from the Soviet Union.
1998 - Exxon announces a US$73.7 billion deal to buy Mobil, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the largest company on the planet.
1709 - Franz Xaver Richter, composer (d. 1789)
1716 - Etienne-Maurice Falconet, French sculptor (d. 1791)
1844 - Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom (d. 1925)
1884 - Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, painter, graphic artist (d. 1976)
1895 - Henry Williamson, author (d. 1977)
1912 - Minoru Yamasaki, American architect (d. 1986)
1913 - Mary Martin, actor, singer (d. 1990)
1935 - Woody Allen, film director, actor, comedian
1935 - Lou Rawls, singer
1939 - Lee Trevino, golfer
1940 - Richard Pryor, actor, comedian
1942 - John Crowley, author
1945 - Bette Midler, actress
1946 - Gilbert O'Sullivan, singer
1950 - Keith Thibodeaux, drummer and actor ("Little Ricky" on I Love Lucy)
1961 - Jeremy Northam, actor
1978 - Brad Delson, lead guitar musician of Linkin Park
1135 - Henry I of England
1523 - Pope Leo X
1755 - Maurice Greene, composer
1947 - Aleister_Crowley
1950 - E. J. Moeran, composer
1973 - David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel
1985 - Alvin Ailey, dancer, choreographer
1987 - James Baldwin, author