It is also the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863), freeing "all slaves in areas still in rebellion"—as well as the date on which John Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman, and John Ehrlichman were found guilty of cover-up charges in the Watergate scandal (1975).
When you're done celebrating those notable dates, why not send a birthday greeting to J.D. Salinger (born in 1919 in New York City)? That is, if you can find an address or phone number for the famously reclusive author...
Born This Day
1449: Lorenzo de Medici, Renaissance merchant prince and patron of the arts (Italy; died 1492)
1484: Huldreich Zwingli, Swiss theologian and Reformation leader (Wildhaus, Sankt Gallen, Switzerland; died 1531)
1735: Paul Revere, Revolutionary War patriot and silversmith (Boston, MA; died 1818)
1745: "Mad Anthony" Wayne, Revolutionary War general (Waynesboro, PA; died 1796)
1752: Betsy Ross, needleworker reputed to have created the first American flag (Philadelphia, PA; died 1836)
1854: Sir James George Frazier, anthropologist/classicist (Scotland; died 1941)
1863: Pierre Coubertin, sportsman who revived the Olympic Games (France; died 1937)
1879: E. M. Forster, novelist/essayist (London, England; died 1970)
1895: J. Edgar Hoover, FBI director (Washington, D.C.; died 1972)
1900: Xavier Cugat, band leader (Spain; died 1990)
1909: Dana Andrews, actor (Collins, MS; died 1992); Barry Goldwater, AZ senator and presidential candidate (Phoenix, AZ; died 1998)
1911: Hank Greenberg, baseball player (New York, NY; died 1986)
1912: H. A. R. (Kim) Philby, Soviet double agent (Ambala, India; died 1988)
1919: J. D. Salinger, author (New York, NY)
1922: Milt Jackson, jazz musician (Detroit, MI; died 1999)
1940: Frank Langella, actor (Bayonne, NJ)
1968: Gillian Welch, singer-songwriter (New York, NY)
1972: Catherine McCormack, actress (Alton, England)
This Day in History
1801: The Act of Union brings about the political union of Ireland with Great Britain.
1841: El Salvador gains independence after the breakup of the United Provinces of Central America.
1863: Pres. Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing "all slaves in areas still in rebellion."
1874: The East India Company is dissolved and its 24,000-man military force is incorporated into the British army.
1898: Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island are consolidated with Manhattan and the Bronx to form the 5 boroughs of present-day New York City.
1900: Six British colonies join to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
1942: The Declaration by United Nations, accepting the idea of a new international organization and pledging not to make a separate peace with the Axis powers, is signed by representatives of 26 allied nations.
1946: Hirohito, the Japanese emperor, publicly denies his divinity, a traditional Shinto idea accepted by many Japanese.
1948: An agreement establishing a customs union among Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, known as Benelux, takes effect.
1956: The Republic of Sudan is formally established.
1958: The European Community (now EU ) goes into effect.
1959: In Cuba, the government of Fulgencio Batista is overthrown by the rebel forces of Fidel Castro.
1960: Cameroon achieves full independence and Ahmadou Ahidjo, prime minister since 1958, becomes the first president.
1962: Western Samoa (now Samoa) becomes an independent state.
1968: All new cars built in the U.S. are required to have exhaust-emission control devices.
1972: Kurt Waldheim becomes secretary-general of the United Nations.
1973: Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark join the European Community.
1975: Former Attorney Gen. John Mitchell and former presidential advisers H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty of Watergate cover-up charges.
1978: New copyright laws go into effect, greatly extending the length of time works are protected.
1984: Brunei, a sultanate on the island of Borneo, becomes fully independent.
1992: Egyptian diplomat Boutros Boutros Ghali becomes secretary-general of the United Nations.
1993: Czechoslovakia officially becomes 2 separate countries—the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1994: The North American Free Trade Agreement takes effect.
1995: The World Trade Organization (WTO), successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), begins operations with 81 member nations.
1997: Ghanian diplomat Kofi Annan takes office as the secretary-general of the United Nations.
2000: Vladimir Putin takes office as acting president of Russia.
2002: 12 European countries inaugurate the largest currency changeover in history by surrendering their national currencies and adopting the euro. In the throes of a spiraling economic crisis, the Argentine congress picks Peronist Sen. Eduardo Duhalde to be President—the country's fifth presidential change in only two weeks.
2003: Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, leader of the left-wing Worker's Party, is sworn in as Brazil's new president after winning a landslide election in Oct. 2002.