It immediately launched the 23-year-old to fame and fortune. He went on to become the youngest author ever published by Scribner's. Fitzgerald is best known for his masterpiece The Great Gatsby (1925). Learn More
The Oscar nominee turned heads on the red carpet in an outfit resembling a swan. Over a nude body stocking and above a large white tutu-like skirt, the swan's neck was traped around Bjork's shoulders. Learn More
An indifferent student, L'Amour dropped out of high school at age 15. Over the next two decades, he traveled around the world working in an amazing variety of jobs. At various times, he tried his hand at being a cowboy, seaman, longshoreman, prizefighter, miner, and fruit picker. During World War II, L'Amour served time in Europe as an officer in the tanks corps. Learn More
San Francisco-based Twitter has become a hotbed of debates and news. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Twitter was the largest source of breaking news on the day.
The anti-slavery novel sold 300,000 copies within three months and was so widely read that when President Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, "So this is the little lady who made this big war." Learn More
His lyrics incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied existing conventions of popular music, and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture. Learn More
The prolific Updkike published some 60 books during his lengthy career, including novels, children's books, poetry, short story collections, and non-fiction. He also wrote frequently for magazines. Learn More
His theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man's view of the universe and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and ultimately, the atomic bomb. Learn More
His discovery of a new planet was the first to be made in modern times, and also the first to be made by use of a telescope, which allowed him to distinguish Uranus a planet, not a star. Learn More
Live on the Sunset Strip, a concert film recorded at the Hollywood Palladium by the provocative comedian Richard Pryor, arrived in movie theatres. Pryor appeared in some 40 films over the course of his career. Learn More
Paul McCartney, former member of The Beatles, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his "services to music." The 54-year-old from Liverpool became Sir Paul in a centuries-old ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Learn More
Music Television Network (MTV) aired the first episode of the animated series Beavis and Butt-head, which went on to become the networks highest-rated series up to that point.
With the help of Thomas A. Watson, he developed a prototype telephone which transmitted speech over wires. He was 29 years old when he patented his revolutionary new invention. Learn More
Now a common household remedy, acetylsalicylic acid was originally made from a chemical found in the bark of willow trees. The active ingredient, salicin, was used for centuries in folk medicine. Learn More
90 miles from her Nashville destination, the pilot lost control of the small plane while flying in low-visibility conditions and crashed into a wooded area, leaving no survivors.
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, his best-selling semiautobiographical novel was credited with helping to educate Western readers about Afghanistan, a country many of them knew little about. Learn More
The Yellowstone Act of 1872 set a precedent and popularized the idea of preserving sections of the public domain for use as public parks. Congress went on to designate dozens of other national parks after. Learn More
By age 10, Antoine was playing professionally in New Orleans honky-tonks where he earned the nickname "Fats". He went on to become a major international star selling an estimated 65 million records worldwide. Learn More
One of the foremost playwrights of the 20th-century and member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, he is remembered for his plays including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Learn More
Barrymore shot to stardom as a child after appearing in ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. See More
The glamorous, husky-voiced Swedish actress Greta Garbo, known for her almost unearthly beauty and intense desire for privacy, made her U.S. screen debut in The Torrent. Learn More
Napolean drew blueprints for a channel tunnel between Britain and France in 1802. Attempts to dig it date back to 1883. Yet not until 1986 was it announced that a tunnel would soon become a reality. Learn More
She is best known for her novels The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife. Tan also played in a band called Rock Bottom Remainders with fellow writers Stephen King and Dave Barry.
Once believed to be the ninth planet, Pluto was discovered at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh. Pluto lost its planet status in 2006. Learn More
The store owner and inventor Morris Michtom introduced the first Teddy bears, named after President Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy bears soon became a national childhood institution. Learn More
Al Capone's gunmen, dressed as police officers, murdered seven members of the George "Bug" Moran North Siders gang culminating in a gang war between the arch-rivals. Learn More
The manuscript was the first half of Twain's original version of Huckleberry Finn, heavily corrected in his own handwriting, which had been missing for more than a century. Learn More
Blume's books have been beloved by several generations of readers; however, the explicit subject matter of some of her novels for adolescents has made them a target for censors. Learn More
Leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, Mandla was released from prison after 27 years. He remained a global advocate for peace and social justice until his death in December 2013. Learn More
Grisham's books, including A Time to Kill and The Pelican Brief, have sold over 250 million copies worldwide, and over half a dozen of his novels have been turned into films. Learn More
The "Fab Four" - dressed in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts-were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil. Learn More
John Steinbeck's career was just starting to take off when this novella, the story of the bond between two migrant works, brought national attention to his work. He went on to win a Pulitzer Prize two years later. Learn More
Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, all heavyweights in the rapidly growing motion-picture industry, joined forces to create their own film studio. Learn More
The feature-length cartoon fantasy based on the famous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm opened in Technicolor with the Wicked Queen asking her magic mirror the question "Who is the fairest one of all?"
Considered the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language, it is the definitive authority on the meaning, pronunciation, and history of over half a million words, past and present. Learn More
The Soviet Union's first McDonald's fast food restaurant opens in Moscow. Throngs of people line up to pay the equivalent of several days' wages for Big Macs, shakes, and french fries. Learn More
It began with the stirring notes of the William Tell Overture and a shout out of "HI-you, Silver! Away!" The "masked rider of the plains" became one of the most popular and enduring western heroes of the 20th century.
Following the death of her brother, King Kalakaua, she became the last monarch of the Hawaiian Islands. Lili'uokalani is also known for composing many Hawaiian songs, including the popular "Aloha 'Oe." Learn More
45 stars sang including Cyndi Lauper Willie Nelson, Tina Turner, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan. The record sold more than 7 million copies and raised more than $60 million for African famine relief.
At the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat diamond was discovered during a routine inspection. Weighing 1.33 pounds and christened the "Cullinan", it was the largest diamond ever found. Learn More
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, died in London at the age of 90. Learn More
The documentary first played at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. It posited that there was a conspiracy between oil companies, automakers and the government to kill the electric car. Learn More
The decision to replace him was met with protests by his fans and became a public-relations debacle for NBC following an announcement that Jay Leno would return as the host of the long-running late-night program. Learn More
Simultaneous flights took off from London and Paris. The innovative supersonic airliners flew well over the sound barrier at 1, 340 miles an hour, cutting air travel time by more than half.
When his son, Christopher Robin, was about a year old, he received a stuffed bear as a present and quickly
accumulated a collection of toy animals which inspired Milne to write a series of whimsical stories about the toys. Learn More
at 4:31 a.m. the quake struck the San Fernando Valley killing 54 people and causing $20 billion in damages. Given the strength and location of the earthquake, it was fortunate that the death toll was not far higher. Learn More
"Dear Abby" dispensed witty advice on a broad range of topics, from snoring to sex. Her daily readership eventually topped 110 million and became the world's most widely syndicated newspaper column.
He advocated civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to segregation in the American South. The peaceful protests he led were often met with violence, but King and his followers persisted. Learn More
His "Reverence for Life" philosophy revolved around the idea that all life must be respected and loved, and that humans should enter into a personal, spiritual relationship with the universe and all of its creations. Learn More
In the first flight of its kind, American aviatrix Amelia Earhart departed Honolulu, Hawaii, on a solo flight to North America. The next day, after traveling 2,400 miles in 18 hours, she landed in Oakland, California. Learn More
A drilling derrick at Spindletop Hill near Beaumont, Texas produced an enormous gusher of crude oil, coating the landscape for hundreds of feet and signaling the advent of the American oil industry. Learn More
Apple Inc. CEO Stee Jobs unveiled the iPhone - a touchscreen mobile phone with an iPod, camera and web-browsing capabilities, among other features - at the Macworld convention in San Francisco. Learn More
This book deals with the race relations in the 1920's mixing fictional characters with real figures from the era. The book was made into a 1981 movie and a musical in 1997. Learn More
American's first presidential election was held as voters cast ballots to chose state electors. George Washington won the presidential election, as expected, and was sworn into office on April 30, 1789.
The film was an immediate hit: The New Yorker called it "the biggest success in the history of the movies." while The Saturday Review said it was "not merely a success; it has become a phenomenon." Learn More
While spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his newly purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley received his draft notice for the United States Army. Learn More
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come and as a result, is transformed into a kinder man. Learn More
Spielberg is one of the most successful directors in modern movie history with such blockbusters as Jaws, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.
Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful flight of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air-aircraft. THe gasoline=powered, propeller-driven biplane flew for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight. Learn More
Using sleigh dogs, Norwegian Roald Amundsen, one of the great figures in polar exploration, became the first explorer to reach the South Pole, beating his British rival, Robert Falcon Scott.
Dutch navigator Abel Tasman became the first European explorer to sight the South Pacific island group now known as New Zealand. Weeks earlier, he had discovered Tasmania, off the coast of Austrailia.
American oil tycoon Armand Hammer purchased the notebook which was written around 1508. It contained 72 loose pages of some 300 notes and detailed drawings relating to water and how it moved. Learn More
After ruling for less than one year, Edward VIII became the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne. He chose to abdicate to marry the American divorcée Wallis Warfield Simpson. Learn More
Dickenson lived much of her life in reclusive isolation. While she was a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime. Learn More
360 Japanese warplanes descended on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attach drew the United States irrevocably into World War II. Learn More
Owing to the bust crafted in 1345 B.C., Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, has become one of the most famous women of the ancient world, and an icon of feminine beauty.
The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. Learn More
The American ship was discovered sailing erratically but at full sail near the Azores Islands in the Atlantic. It was seaworthy, stores and supplies untouched, but not a soul was onboard. Captain and crew were never found. Learn More
Marlon Brando's famous cry of "STELLA!" first boomed across a Broadway stage at the Ethel Barrymore Theater during the first-ever performance of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire.
American author Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens) is lauded as the "greatest humorist this country has produced." Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Learn More
The actress Natalie Wood, who starred in such movies as Rebel Without a Cause and West Side Story, drowned in a boating accident near California's Catalina Island. She was 43 years old.
The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennesse dedicated to honoring country music and its history. It is the longest-running radio broadcast in US history. Learn More
Born in Seattle, Hendrix grew up playing guitar, imitating blues greats like Muddy Waters as well as early rockers. He's remembered for classic songs as Purple Haze, Foxy Lady, and The Wind Cries Mary.
The discovery by Howard Carter of Tutankhamun's nearly intact tomb received worldwide press coverage. It sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt. Learn More
Influential American publisher Henry Luce re-invented Life as a picture-based periodical. The first issue featured a cover photo of the Fort Peck Dam by Margaret Bourke-White. Learn More
London was one of the first writers to become a worldwide celebrity and earn a large fortune for writing. His most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush. Learn More
Eight months after the previous season's cliffhanger, 350 million people around the world tuned in to watch Dallas to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate.
Before the marriage, Phili, former prince of Greece and Denmark, renounced his titles. Wed in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, they received 2,300 wedding gifts from around the world.
Considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest wone all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in a Lead Tole, Actress in a Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay).
The original Broadway production of The Sound of Music won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals as well as a film adaptation.
Invented by Edward A. Calahan, an employee of the American Telegraph Company, ticker tape was the earliest digital electronic communications medium, transmitting stock price information over telegraph lines. Learn More
The book is sailer Ishmael's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the white whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee.
A literary celebrity during his lifetime, he is remembered for writing Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson ranks as the 26th most translated author in the world.
On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s. Learn More
102 passengers and around 30 crew made the first voyage from Plymouth, England, to the New World. The ship Mayflower has become a cultural icon in the history of the United States.
Dracula was written as a collection of realistic but completely fictional diary entries, telegrams, letters, ship's logs, and newspaper clippings, all of which added a level of detailed realism to the story.
At the time, it was America's premier museum devoted exclusively to modern art. MoMa has gone on to become one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world.
Among his best-known marches are The Stars and Stripes Forever and Semper Fidelis. Sousa also aided in the development of the sousaphone, a large brass instrument similar to the helicon and tuba. Learn More
"For his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism. Learn More
"By A Lady" appeared on the original title page. After selling out of its first print run, it has been in publication ever since. The novel has been illustrated, excerpted, abridged, and adapted for stage and film.
"For his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
After suffering from an initially unpopular reception due in part to its racially charged theme, it is now one of the best-known and most frequently performed operas. Learn More
Based on the 1958 novel by Ian Fleming, Dr. No launched a genre of "secret agent" films that flourished in the 1960'2. It also spawned a comic book adaptation and soundtrack album. Learn More
Rice's books have sold nearly 100 million copies, placing her among the most popular authors in recent American history. She is perhaps best known for her series of novels, The Vampire Chronicles.
He was one of the most significant figures in American folk music. His music, including social justice songs, such as "This Land Is Your Land", inspired several generations both politically and musically. Learn More