Z Day (People whose first or last name start with the letter Z must have it pretty rough. Most processes, systems and organizations use alphabetical sorting as standard, meaning they are always last no matter the place or occasion)
In 2018 researchers at Harvard (Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences), writing in Nature Nanotechnology, report the first single lens that can focus all colours of the rainbow in the same spot and in high resolution, previously only achievable with multiple lenses.
2007 – Adam Air Flight 574 disappears over Sulawesi Strait, Indonesia with 102 people on board.
2002 – Euro currency becomes legal tender in twelve of the European Union's member states.
1999 – Euro currency is introduced in 11 member nations of the European Union (with the exceptions of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece and Sweden; Greece later adopts the euro).
1998 – Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
1996 – Curaçao gains limited self-government, though it remains within free association with the Netherlands.
1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea in Norway is detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.
1995 – The World Trade Organization goes into effect.
1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect.
1993 – Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1990 – David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City's first black mayor.
1989 – The Montreal Protocol comes into force, stopping the use of chemicals contributing to ozone depletion.
1988 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America comes into existence, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
1985 – The first British mobile phone call is made by Michael Harrison to his father Sir Ernest Harrison, chairman of Vodafone.
1984 – Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.
1984 – The original American Telephone & Telegraph Company is divested of its 22 Bell System companies as a result of the settlement of the 1974 United States Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T.
1983 – The ARPANET officially changes to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.
1982 – Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar becomes the first Latin American to hold the title of Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1981 – Greece is admitted into the European Community.
1979 – Formal diplomatic relations are established between China and the United States.
1978 – Air India Flight 855 Boeing 747 crashes into the sea, due to instrument failure and pilot disorientation, off the coast of Bombay, India, killing 213.
1973 – Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Ireland are admitted into the European Economic Community.
1971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television.
1965 – The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan is founded in Kabul, Afghanistan.
1964 – The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is divided into the independent republics of Zambia and Malawi, and the British-controlled Rhodesia.
1962 – Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.
1960 – Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.
1959 – Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro's forces during the Cuban Revolution.
1958 – European Economic Community established on this day.
1956 – Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom.
1950 – Standard practice uses this day as the origin of the age scale Before Present
1949 – United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir from one minute before midnight. War between India and Pakistan stops accordingly.
1947 – The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after World War II, merge to form the Bizone, which later (with the French zone) became part of West Germany.
1947 – The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.
1945 – World War II: In retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops kill 60 German POWs at Chenogne.
1945 – World War II: The German Luftwaffe launches Operation Bodenplatte, a massive, but failed attempt to knock out Allied air power in northern Europe in a single blow.
1942 – The Declaration by United Nations is signed by twenty-six nations.
1937 – Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom.
1934 – Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison.
1934 – Nazi Germany passes the "Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring".
1932 – The United States Post Office Department issues a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth.
1928 – Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin's secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.
1927 – The Cristero War begins in Mexico.
1923 – Britain's Railways are grouped into the Big Four: LNER, GWR, SR, and LMS.
1920 – The Belorussian Communist Organisation is founded as a separate party.
1914 – The SPT Airboat Line becomes the world's first scheduled airline to use a winged aircraft.
1912 – The Republic of China is established.
1908 – For the first time, a ball is dropped in New York City's Times Square to signify the start of the New Year at midnight.
1902 – The first American college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl between Michigan and Stanford, is held in Pasadena, California.
1901 – Nigeria becomes a British protectorate.
1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton is appointed the first Prime Minister.
1899 – Spanish rule ends in Cuba.
1898 – New York, New York annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York. The four initial boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx, are joined on January 25 by Staten Island to create the modern city of five boroughs.
1892 – Ellis Island opens to begin processing immigrants into the United States.
1890 – Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.
1885 – Twenty-five nations adopt Sandford Fleming's proposal for standard time (and also, time zones)
1881 – Ferdinand de Lesseps begins French construction of the Panama Canal.
1877 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Empress of India.
1863 – American Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory.
1860 – First Polish stamp is issued.
1847 – The world's first "Mercy" Hospital is founded in Pittsburgh by the Sisters of Mercy; the name will go on to grace over 30 major hospitals throughout the world.
1833 – The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
1822 – The Greek Constitution of 1822 is adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus.
1808 – The United States bans the importation of slaves.
1806 – The French Republican Calendar is abolished.
1804 – French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the United States
1803 – Emperor Gia Long orders all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.
1801 – Ceres, the largest and first known object in the Asteroid belt, is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.
1801 – The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland is completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
1788 – First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.
1781 – American Revolutionary War: One thousand five hundred soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne's command rebel against the Continental Army's winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey in the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: Norfolk, Virginia is burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.
1773 – The hymn that became known as "Amazing Grace", then titled "1 Chronicles 17:16–17" is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton in the town of Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.
1772 – The first traveler's cheques, which can be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London, England.
1739 – Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.
1700 – Russia begins using the Anno Domini era instead of the Anno Mundi era of the Byzantine Empire.
1600 – Scotland begins its numbered year on January 1 instead of March 25.
1502 – The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is first explored by the Portuguese.
1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary is named the first King of Hungary by Pope Sylvester II.
417 – Emperor Honorius forces Galla Placidia into marriage to Constantius, his famous general (magister militum).
404 – Telemachus, a Christian monk, is killed for attempting to stop a gladiators' fight in the public arena held in Rome.
45 BC – The Julian calendar takes effect as the civil calendar of the Roman Empire, establishing January 1 as the new date of the new year.
1989 – Jason Pierre-Paul, American football player. Jason Andrew Pierre-Paul (born January 1, 1989), nicknamed "JPP", is an American football outside linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL).
1987 – Meryl Davis, American ice dancer. They also won a bronze medal in the team event at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
1987 – Ryan Perrilloux, American football player. Ryan Anthony Perrilloux (born January 1, 1987) is a American football quarterback for the Baton Rouge Redsticks of the National Gridiron League (NGL).
1986 – Ramses Barden, American football player. Against the New England Patriots, Barden won Super Bowl XLVI with the Giants.
1984 – Lance Brooks, American discus thrower. Lance Brooks (born January 1, 1984) is an American national champion discus thrower who also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
1979 – Brody Dalle, Australian-American singer-songwriter and guitarist. The group released three albums before disbanding in 2006.
1973 – Bryan Thao Worra, Laotian-American author, poet, and playwright. He is the first Laotian American to receive a Fellowship in Literature from the United States government's National Endowment for the Arts.
1973 – Danny Lloyd, American actor and educator. Danny Lloyd (born October 13, 1972) is an American teacher and former child actor best known for his role as Danny Torrance in the horror film The Shining (1980), an adaptation of Stephen King's 1977 novel of the same name.
1972 – Barron Miles, American-Canadian football player and coach. Miles finished his career tied for second all-time in career interceptions with 66 and as the all-time leader in blocked kicks with 13.
1971 – Bobby Holík, Czech-American ice hockey player and coach. Robert Holík (born January 1, 1971) is a Czech-American former professional ice hockey center who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL).
1971 – Chris Potter, American saxophonist and composer, was English academic and clergyman.
1971 – Denise Stapley, American former game show contestant, winner of Survivor: Philippines. Denise Marie Stapley (née McCormick; born January 1, 1971) is an American sex therapist known as the winner of Survivor: Philippines, the 25th season of the reality TV competition series Survivor.
1971 – Sammie Henson, American wrestler and coach. Samuel "Sammie" Henson (born January 1, 1971) is a World Champion wrestler, winning a gold medal in freestyle for the USA at the 1998 FILA Wrestling World Championships, held in Tehran, Iran.
1969 – Morris Chestnut, American actor and producer. He has appeared in feature films and on television series, including the starring role of FBI Agent Will Keaton in the NBC TV series The Enemy Within.
1969 – Verne Troyer, American actor and stuntman, was an American actor, comedian, and stunt performer who played Mini-Me in the Austin Powers film series. He had cartilage–hair hypoplasia and was 2 ft 8 in (81 cm) tall.
1965 – Andrew Valmon, American runner and coach. Andrew Orlando Valmon (born January 1, 1965) is an American former 400 meters runner.
1964 – Dedee Pfeiffer, American actress. Dorothy Diane "Dedee" Pfeiffer (born January 1, 1964) is an American film and television actress.
1961 – Sergei Babayan, Armenian-American pianist and academic. He continues to appear as soloist with leading orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under such conductors as Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Tugan Sokhiev, Neeme Järvi, Hans Graf, and David Robertson.
1959 – Andy Andrews, American tennis player. Andy Andrews (born May 22, 1959) is an American author of self-help/advice books and a corporate speaker, known for his 2002 bestselling book The Traveler's Gift.
1958 – Dave Silk, American ice hockey player and coach. David Mark "Silky" Silk (born January 1, 1958) is a retired professional American ice hockey player.
1956 – Mark R. Hughes, American businessman, founder of Herbalife (d. 2000), was an American businessman who was the founder, chairman, and CEO of Herbalife International Ltd, a multi-level marketing company.
1955 – LaMarr Hoyt, American baseball player. Dewey LaMarr Hoyt, Jr. (born January 1, 1955, in Columbia, South Carolina) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who won the 1983 American League Cy Young Award.
1954 – Bob Menendez, American lawyer and politician. Robert Menendez (/mɛˈnɛndɛz/; born January 1, 1954) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from New Jersey, a seat he has held since 2006.
1954 – Richard Edson, American drummer. Richard Edson (born January 1, 1954) is an American actor and musician.
1953 – Gary Johnson, American businessman and politician, 29th Governor of New Mexico. He was also the Libertarian nominee for U.S.
1953 – Lynn Jones, American baseball player and coach. Lynn Morris Jones (born January 1, 1953) is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Detroit Tigers (1979–83) and Kansas City Royals (1984–86).
1951 – Martha P. Haynes, American astronomer and academic. She was a Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the International Astronomical Union from 2006-2012., and has been on the Board of Trustees of Associated Universities Inc since 1994.
1951 – Radia Perlman, American software designer and network engineer. She also made large contributions to many other areas of network design and standardization, such as link-state routing protocols.
1949 – Olivia Goldsmith, American author (d. 2004), was an American author, best known for her first novel The First Wives Club (1992), which was adapted into the movie The First Wives Club (1996).
1948 – Joe Petagno, American illustrator. Joe Petagno (born January 1, 1948) is an American artist known principally for creating images used on rock album covers for bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nazareth, Black Oak Arkansas, Sweet, Hawkwind, Motörhead, Roy Harper, Marduk, Bal-Sagoth, Autopsy, Attick Demons, Illdisposed and Sodom.
1947 – Jon Corzine, American sergeant and politician, 54th Governor of New Jersey. Jon Stevens Corzine (/ˈkɔːrzaɪn/; born January 1, 1947) is an American financial executive and retired politician who served as a United States Senator from New Jersey from 2001 to 2006 and the 54th Governor of New Jersey from 2006 to 2010.
1947 – Leon Patillo, American singer and evangelist. Leon Norman Patillo (born January 1, 1947) is an American Contemporary Christian singer and evangelist.
1946 – Claude Steele, African-American social psychologist and academic. He was the executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley, and he currently serves as a professor of psychology at Stanford University.
1946 – Shelby Steele, American journalist, author, and director. Shelby Steele (born January 1, 1946) is an American conservative author, columnist, documentary film maker, and a Robert J. and Marion E.
1945 – Victor Ashe, American politician and former United States Ambassador to Poland. Ashe is a Republican.
1944 – Jimmy Hart, American wrestling manager and singer. James Ray Hart (born January 1, 1943) is an American professional wrestling manager, executive, composer, and musician currently signed with WWE in a Legends deal.
1943 – Bud Hollowell, American baseball player and manager (d. 2014), was an American professional baseball player and minor league manager. After his athletic career, he became an educator and author.
1943 – Don Novello, American comedian (Father Guido Sarducci), screenwriter and producer. Donald Andrew "Don" Novello (born January 1, 1943) is an American writer, film director, producer, actor, singer and comedian.
1943 – Jerilyn Britz, American golfer, was an American professional golfer on the LPGA Tour. She won the 1979 U.S.
1943 – Ronald Perelman, American businessman and philanthropist, founded MacAndrews & Forbes. Perelman holds significant shares in companies such as AM General, Deluxe Entertainment, Revlon, SIGA Technologies RetailMeNot, Merisant, Scantron, Scientific Games Corporation, Valassis, vTv Therapeutics and Harland Clarke.
1942 – Al Hunt, American journalist. Albert Reinold Hunt Jr. (born December 4, 1942) is an American journalist, formerly a columnist for Bloomberg View (from which he retired at the end of 2018), the editorial arm of Bloomberg News (which is a subsidiary of Bloomberg L.P.).
1942 – Billy Lothridge, American football player (d. 1996), was an American football Punter, Safety and Quarterback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins. He played college football at Georgia Tech.
1942 – Country Joe McDonald, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was the lead singer of the 1960s psychedelic rock group Country Joe and the Fish.
1942 – Dennis Archer, American lawyer and politician, 67th Mayor of Detroit. He later served as president of the American Bar Association, becoming the first black president of the organization, which, until 1943, had barred African American lawyers from membership.
1939 – Senfronia Thompson, American politician. Senfronia Calpernia Thompson (born January 1, 1939) is a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing the 141st District since 1972.
1938 – Frank Langella, American actor. He has won four Tony Awards, two for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his performances as Richard Nixon in the play Frost/Nixon and as André in The Father and two for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performances in Edward Albee's Seascape and Ivan Turgenev's Fortune's Fool.
1938 – Robert Jankel, English businessman, founded Panther Westwinds (d. 2005), was a British designer of limousines, armoured cars, and other speciality vehicles. He also founded the automotive company Panther Westwinds.
1936 – Don Nehlen, American football player and coach. Nehlen retired from coaching college football in 2001 with a career record of 202–128–8 and as the 17th winningest coach in college football history.
1936 – James Sinegal, American businessman, co-founded Costco. Sinegal (born January 1, 1936), also known as Jim Sinegal, is a retired American billionaire businessman who is the co-founder and former CEO of the Costco Wholesale Corporation, an international retail chain.
1934 – Alan Berg, American lawyer and radio host (d. 1984), was an American attorney and talk radio show host in Denver, Colorado. Berg was known for his liberal, outspoken viewpoints and confrontational interview style.
1933 – James Hormel, American philanthropist and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Luxembourg. Ambassador and is a noted LGBT activist.
1932 – Jackie Parker, American football player and coach (d. 2006). He is primarily known for his play with the Edmonton Eskimos.
1930 – Frederick Wiseman, American director and producer. He has been called "one of the most important and original filmmakers working today".
1930 – Jean-Pierre Duprey, French poet and sculptor (d. 1959), was a French poet and sculptor, one of the modern examples of a poète maudit (accursed poet).
1930 – Ty Hardin, American actor (d. 2017), was an American actor best known as the star of the 1958 to 1962 ABC/Warner Bros. Western television series Bronco.
1929 – Larry L. King, American journalist, author, and playwright (d. 2012). King (January 1, 1929 – December 20, 2012) was an American playwright, journalist, and novelist, best remembered for his 1978 Tony Award-nominated play The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which became a long-running production on Broadway and was later turned into a feature film starring Burt Reynolds, Charles Durning and Dolly Parton.
1929 – Raymond Chow, Hong Kong film producer, co-founded Orange Sky Golden Harvest, was a Hong Kong film producer, and presenter. He was responsible for successfully launching martial arts and the Hong Kong cinema onto the international stage.
1928 – Ernest Tidyman, American author and screenwriter (d. 1984), was an American author and screenwriter, best known for his novels featuring the African-American detective John Shaft. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the film version of Shaft with John D.F.
1928 – Gerhard Weinberg, German-American historian, author, and academic. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
1927 – Doak Walker, American football player and businessman (d. 1998). He played college football as a halfback at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1948.
1927 – James Reeb, American clergyman and political activist (d. 1965), was an American Unitarian Universalist minister, pastor, and activist during the Civil rights movement in Washington, D.C. and Boston, Massachusetts. While participating in the Selma to Montgomery marches actions in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, he was murdered by white segregationists, dying of head injuries in the hospital two days after being severely beaten.
1927 – Vernon L. Smith, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. Vernon Lomax Smith (born January 1, 1927) is an American economist and professor of business economics and law at Chapman University.
1924 – Charlie Munger, American businessman and philanthropist. Munger served as chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation from 1984 through 2011.
1923 – Daniel Gorenstein, American mathematician and academic (d. 1992). He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1950 under Oscar Zariski, introducing in his dissertation a duality principle for plane curves that motivated Grothendieck's introduction of Gorenstein rings.
1923 – Milt Jackson, American vibraphonist and composer (Modern Jazz Quartet) (d. 1999), was an American jazz vibraphonist, usually thought of as a bebop player, although he performed in several jazz idioms. He is especially remembered for his cool swinging solos as a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet and his penchant for collaborating with several hard bop and post-bop players.
1922 – Ernest Hollings, American soldier and politician, 106th Governor of South Carolina, was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from South Carolina from 1966 to 2005. A conservative Democrat, he was also the Governor of South Carolina and the 77th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.
1922 – Jerry Robinson, American illustrator (d. 2011), was an American comic book artist known for his work on DC Comics' Batman line of comics during the 1940s. He is best known as the co-creator of Robin and the Joker and for his work on behalf of creators' rights.
1922 – Roz Howard, American race car driver (d. 2013), was an American stock car racing driver. He competed in the NASCAR Grand National Division, now the Sprint Cup Series, and the NASCAR Convertible Division in the 1950s and early 1960s, in addition to racing throughout the southeast, winning the 1957 MARC Southern Late Model Championship.
1921 – César Baldaccini, French sculptor and academic (d. 1998), was a noted French sculptor.
1921 – Ismail al-Faruqi, Palestinian-American philosopher and academic (d. 1986), was a Palestinian-American philosopher, widely recognised by his peers as an authority on Islam and comparative religion. He spent several years at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, then taught at several universities in North America, including McGill University in Montreal.
1921 – Regina Bianchi, Italian actress (d. 2013), was an Italian stage and film actress.
1920 – Mahmoud Zoufonoun, Iranian-American violinist (d. 2013), was an accomplished musician in the art of Persian traditional music.
1920 – Osvaldo Cavandoli, Italian cartoonist (d. 2007). His most famous work is his series of short animated cartoons, La Linea ("The Line").
1919 – Carole Landis, American actress (d. 1948), was an American actress and singer. She worked as a contract-player for Twentieth Century-Fox in the 1940s.
1919 – J. D. Salinger, American soldier and author (d. 2010), was an American writer best known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye.
1919 – Rocky Graziano, American boxer and actor (d. 1990), was an Italian-American professional boxer who held the World Middleweight title. Graziano is considered one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history, often displaying the capacity to take his opponent out with a single punch.
1917 – Shannon Bolin, American actress and singer (d. 2016). A March 10, 1941, article in The Mason City Globe-Gazette said that she was "known as 'The Lady with the Dark Blue Voice.'"
1912 – Kim Philby, British spy (d. 1988), was a British intelligence officer and a double agent for the Soviet Union. In 1963, he was revealed to be a member of the Cambridge Five, a spy ring which passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II and in the early stages of the Cold War.
1911 – Audrey Wurdemann, American poet and author (d. 1960). She was the youngest winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry at the age of 24, for her collection Bright Ambush.
1911 – Hank Greenberg, American baseball player and lieutenant (d. 1986), was an American professional baseball player and team executive. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB), primarily for the Detroit Tigers as a first baseman in the 1930s and 1940s.
1911 – Roman Totenberg, Polish-American violinist and educator (d. 2012). A child prodigy, he lived in Poland, Moscow, Berlin, and Paris, before formally immigrating to the U.S. in 1938, at age 27.
1909 – Dana Andrews, American actor (d. 1992), was an American film actor and a major Hollywood star during the 1940s. He continued acting in less prestigious roles into the 1980s.
1909 – Stepan Bandera, Ukrainian soldier and politician (d. 1959), was a head of a militant wing of the Ukrainian independence movement, and a leader and ideologist of Ukrainian nationalists.
1905 – Stanisław Mazur, Ukrainian-Polish mathematician and theorist (d. 1981), was a Polish mathematician and a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
1902 – Hans von Dohnányi, German jurist and political dissident (d. 1945), was a German jurist of Hungarian ancestry, Righteous Among the Nations, and German resistance member against the Nazi régime.
1900 – Paola Borboni, Italian film actress (d. 1995), was an Italian stage and film actress whose career spanned nine decades of cinema.
1900 – Xavier Cugat, Spanish-American singer-songwriter and actor (d. 1990), was a Spanish-Cuban and American musician and bandleader who spent his formative years in Havana, Cuba. A trained violinist and arranger, he was a leading figure in the spread of Latin music.
1895 – J. Edgar Hoover, American law enforcement official; 1st Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (d. 1972), was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States and an American law enforcement administrator. He was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation – the FBI's predecessor – in 1924 and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director for another 37 years until his death in 1972 at the age of 77.
1894 – Edward Joseph Hunkeler, American clergyman (d. 1970), was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as bishop of the Diocese of Grand Island, Nebraska (1945–1951), and Bishop and Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas (1951–1969).
1894 – Satyendra Nath Bose, Indian physicist and mathematician (d. 1974), was an Indian physicist specialising in theoretical physics. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate.
1892 – Artur Rodziński, Polish-American conductor (d. 1958), was a Polish conductor of opera and symphonic music. He is especially noted for his tenures as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic in the 1930s and 1940s.
1889 – Charles Bickford, American actor (d. 1967), was an American actor best known for his supporting roles. He was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for The Song of Bernadette (1943), The Farmer's Daughter (1947), and Johnny Belinda (1948).
1888 – John Garand, Canadian-American engineer, designed the M1 Garand rifle (d. 1974). Jean Cantius Garand (/ˈɡærənd/; January 1, 1888 – February 16, 1974), also known as John C.
1884 – Chikuhei Nakajima, Japanese lieutenant, engineer, and politician, founded Nakajima Aircraft Company (d. 1949), was a Japanese naval officer, engineer, and politician, who is most notable for having founded Nakajima Aircraft Company in 1917, a major supplier of airplanes in the Empire of Japan. He also served as a cabinet minister.
1883 – William J. Donovan, American general, lawyer, and politician (d. 1959). William Joseph Donovan (January 1, 1883 – February 8, 1959) was an American soldier, lawyer, intelligence officer and diplomat, best known for serving as the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II.
1879 – E. M. Forster, English author and playwright (d. 1970), was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. Many of his novels examined class difference and hypocrisy, including A Room with a View (1908), Howards End (1910) and A Passage to India (1924).
1878 – Agner Krarup Erlang, Danish mathematician, statistician, and engineer (d. 1929), was an engineer who invented the fields of queueing theory.
1874 – Frank Knox, American publisher and politician, 46th United States Secretary of the Navy (d. 1944), was an American politician, newspaper editor and publisher. He was also the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1936, and Secretary of the Navy under Franklin D.
1874 – Gustave Whitehead, German-American pilot and engineer (d. 1927), was an aviation pioneer who emigrated from Germany to the United States where he designed and built gliders, flying machines, and engines between 1897 and 1915. Controversy surrounds published accounts and Whitehead's own claims that he flew a powered machine successfully several times in 1901 and 1902, predating the first flights by the Wright Brothers in 1903.
1867 – Lew Fields, American actor, producer, and manager (d. 1941), was an American actor, comedian, vaudeville star, theatre manager, and producer. He was part of a comedy duo with Joe Weber.
1864 – Alfred Stieglitz, American photographer and curator (d. 1946), was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an accepted art form. In addition to his photography, Stieglitz was known for the New York art galleries that he ran in the early part of the 20th century, where he introduced many avant-garde European artists to the U.S.
1864 – Qi Baishi, Chinese painter (d. 1957), was a Chinese painter, noted for the whimsical, often playful style of his watercolor works.
1863 – Pierre de Coubertin, French historian and educator, founded the International Olympic Committee (d. 1937), was a French educator and historian, founder of the International Olympic Committee, and its second President. He is known as the father of the modern Olympic Games.
1860 – Dan Katchongva, American tribal leader and activist (d. 1972), was a Hopi Native American traditional leader. Son of Yukiuma, keeper of the Fire Clan tablets, who founded Hotevilla in 1906.
1860 – Jan Vilímek, Czech illustrator and painter (d. 1938). Vilímek was born on 1 January 1860 in Žamberk, Bohemia.
1859 – Michael Joseph Owens, American inventor (d. 1923), was an inventor of machines to automate the production of glass bottles.
1857 – Tim Keefe, American baseball player (d. 1933), was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He stood 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).
1854 – James George Frazer, Scottish anthropologist and academic (d. 1941), was a Scottish social anthropologist and folklorist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. His most famous work, The Golden Bough (1890), documents and details the similarities among magical and religious beliefs around the globe.
1848 – John W. Goff, Irish-American lawyer and politician (d. 1924), was an American lawyer and politician from New York.
1819 – Arthur Hugh Clough, English-Italian poet and academic (d. 1861), was an English poet, an educationalist, and the devoted assistant to Florence Nightingale. He was the brother of suffragist Anne Clough and father to Blanche Athena Clough who both became principals of Newnham College, Cambridge.
1806 – Lionel Kieseritzky, Estonian-French chess player (d. 1853), was a Baltic German chess master, famous primarily for a game he lost against Adolf Anderssen, which because of its brilliance was named "The Immortal Game".
1803 – Edward Dickinson, American politician and father of poet Emily Dickinson (d. 1874), was an American politician from Massachusetts. He is also known as the father of the poet Emily Dickinson; their family home in Amherst, the Dickinson Homestead, is now a museum dedicated to her.
1769 – Marie Lachapelle, French obstetrician (d. 1821), was a French midwife, head of obstetrics at the Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris. She published textbooks about women’s bodies, gynecology, and obstetrics.
1752 – Betsy Ross, American seamstress, credited with designing the Flag of the United States (d. 1836), was an American upholsterer who was credited by her relatives in 1870 with making the first American flag, accordingly known as the Betsy Ross flag. Though most historians dismiss the story, Ross family tradition holds that General George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and two members of a congressional committee—Robert Morris and George Ross—visited Mrs.
1750 – Frederick Muhlenberg, American minister and politician, 1st Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (d. 1801). A delegate to the Pennsylvania state constitutional convention and a member of the U.S.
1745 – Anthony Wayne, American general and politician (d. 1796), was a United States Army officer and statesman. He adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him promotion to brigadier general and the nickname Mad Anthony.
1735 – Paul Revere, American silversmith and engraver (d. 1818), was an American silversmith, engraver, early industrialist, and Patriot in the American Revolution. He is best known for his midnight ride to alert the colonial militia in April 1775 to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, as dramatized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" (1861).
1638 – Nicolas Steno, Danish pioneer in anatomy and geology, bishop (d. 1686), was a Danish scientist, a pioneer in both anatomy and geology who became a Catholic bishop in his later years. Steno was trained in the classical texts on science; however, by 1659 he seriously questioned accepted knowledge of the natural world.
1561 – Thomas Walsingham, English spymaster (d. 1630), was an English chronicler, and is the source of much of the knowledge of the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V, and the careers of John Wycliff and Wat Tyler.
1548 – Giordano Bruno, Italian mathematician, friar, philosopher, poet, and cosmological theorist (d. 1600), was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetic occultist. He is known for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then-novel Copernican model.
1545 – Magnus Heinason, Faroese naval hero (d. 1589), was a Faroese naval hero, trader and privateer.
1449 – Lorenzo de' Medici, Italian politician (d. 1492), was an Italian statesman, de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic and the most powerful and enthusiastic patron of Renaissance culture in Italy. Also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (Lorenzo il Magnifico ) by contemporary Florentines, he was a magnate, diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets.
2016 – Dale Bumpers, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 38th Governor of Arkansas (b. 1925)
2016 – Mike Oxley, American lawyer and politician (b. 1944)
2016 – Vilmos Zsigmond, Hungarian-American cinematographer and producer (b. 1930)
2015 – Donna Douglas, American actress (b. 1932)
2015 – Mario Cuomo, American lawyer and politician, 52nd Governor of New York (b. 1932)
2014 – Juanita Moore, American actress (b. 1914)
2014 – Pete DeCoursey, American journalist (b. 1961)
2013 – Patti Page, American singer and actress (b. 1927)
2012 – Tommy Mont, American football player and coach (b. 1922)
2010 – Lhasa de Sela, American-Mexican singer-songwriter (b. 1972)
2009 – Claiborne Pell, American politician (b. 1918)
2008 – Harold Corsini, American photographer and educator (b. 1919)
2007 – Leon Davidson, American chemist and engineer (b. 1922)
2007 – Tillie Olsen, American short story writer (b. 1912)
2006 – Harry Magdoff, American economist and journalist (b. 1913)
2005 – Eugene J. Martin, American painter (b. 1938)
2005 – Shirley Chisholm, American educator and politician (b. 1924)
2003 – Joe Foss, American soldier, pilot, and politician, 20th Governor of South Dakota (b. 1915)
2003 – Royce D. Applegate, American actor and screenwriter (b. 1939)
2002 – Julia Phillips, American film producer and author (b. 1944)
2001 – Ray Walston, American actor (b. 1914)
1998 – Helen Wills, American tennis player and coach (b. 1905)
1997 – Townes Van Zandt, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b. 1944)
1996 – Arleigh Burke, American admiral (b. 1901)
1996 – Arthur Rudolph, German-American engineer (b. 1906)
1995 – Eugene Wigner, Hungarian-American physicist and mathematician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1902)
1994 – Cesar Romero, American actor (b. 1907)
1992 – Grace Hopper, American computer scientist and admiral, co-developed COBOL (b. 1906)