1941 – The United Service Organization (USO) is created to entertain American troops.
1945 – World War II: Santo Tomas Internment Camp is liberated from Japanese authority.
1945 – World War II: The Yalta Conference between the “Big Three” (Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin) opens at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea.
1945 – World War II: The British Indian Army and Imperial Japanese Army begin a series of battles known as the Battle of Pokoku and Irrawaddy River operations.
1948 – Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) becomes independent within the British Commonwealth.
1961 – The Angolan War of Independence and the greater Portuguese Colonial War begin.
1966 – All Nippon Airways Flight 60 plunges into Tokyo Bay, killing 133.
1967 – Lunar Orbiter program: Lunar Orbiter 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.
1969 – Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.
1974 – M62 coach bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) explodes a bomb on a bus carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel in Yorkshire, England. Nine soldiers and three civilians are killed.
1975 – Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.
1976 – In Guatemala and Honduras, an earthquake kills more than 22,000.
1977 – A Chicago Transit Authority elevated train rear-ends another and derails, killing 11 and injuring 180, the worst accident in the agency’s history.
1992 – A coup d’état is led by Hugo Chávez against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
1997 – En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
1998 – The 5.9 Afghanistan earthquake shakes the Takhar Province with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). With 2,323 killed and 818 injured, the damage is considered extreme.
1999 – Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot 41 times by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race relations in the city.
2003 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopts a new constitution, becoming a loose confederacy between Montenegro and Serbia.
2004 – Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
2015 – TransAsia Airways Flight 235 with 58 people on board, en route from the Taiwanese capital Taipei to Kinmen, crashes into the Keelung River just after take-off, killing 43 people.
Celebrating Birthday’s Today
1961 – Stewart O’Nan, American novelist
1961 – Denis Savard, Canadian ice hockey player, and coach
1962 – Clint Black, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
1962 – Stephen Hammond, English banker, and politician
1963 – Pirmin Zurbriggen, Swiss skier
1965 – Jerome Brown, American football player (d. 1992)
1966 – Tony Butterfield, Australian rugby league player
1966 – Viatcheslav Ekimov, Russian cyclist
1967 – Sergei Grinkov, Russian figure skater (d. 1995)
1970 – Gabrielle Anwar, English actress
1971 – Rob Corddry, American actor, producer, and screenwriter
1971 – Eric Garcetti, American lieutenant, and politician, 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles
1972 – Dara Ó Briain, Irish comedian, and television host
1972 – Giovanni Silva de Oliveira, Brazilian footballer, and manager
1973 – Oscar De La Hoya, American boxer
1973 – James Hird, Australian footballer, and coach
1973 – Manny Legace, Canadian ice hockey player, and sportscaster
1975 – Natalie Imbruglia, Australian singer-songwriter and actress
1977 – Gavin DeGraw, American singer-songwriter
1979 – Giorgio Pantano, Italian race car driver
1980 – Raimonds Vaikulis, Latvian basketball player
1981 – Jason Kapono, American basketball player
1981 – Johan Vansummeren, Belgian cyclist
1982 – Chris Sabin, American wrestler
1982 – Ivars Timermanis, Latvian basketball player
1982 – Tomas Vaitkus, Lithuanian cyclist
1983 – Lee Stempniak, American ice hockey player
1983 – Rebecca White, Australian politician
1984 – Sandeep Acharya, Indian singer (d. 2013)
1984 – Mauricio Pinilla, Chilean footballer
1986 – Maximilian Götz, German race car driver
1986 – Mahmudullah Riyad, Bangladeshi cricketer
1987 – Darren O’Dea, Irish footballer
1987 – Lucie Šafářová, a Czech tennis player
1988 – Carly Patterson, American gymnast, and singer