On This Day December 16
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1770 – Composer-pianist Ludwig van Beethoven (d. 1827)
1775 – Author Jane Austen (“Sense and Sensibility,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Mansfield Park,” “Emma”) (d. 1817)
1917 – Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, whose short story, “The Sentinel,” inspired the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” (d. 2008)
1938 – Golden Globe-winning actress-director Liv Ullmann (“The Emigrants,” “Scenes from a Marriage,” “Face to Face”)
1941 – CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl
1943 – Emmy-winning TV producer-writer Steven Bochco (“Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” “Doogie Howser, M.D.”)
1947 – Actor Ben Cross, best known for playing British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the movie “Chariots of Fire”
1962 – Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry
1963 – Actor Benjamin Bratt (“Law & Order,” “Demolition Man,” “Traffic,” “Miss Congeniality,” “Private
1773 – Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British ships docked in Boston Harbor and dump 342 chests of tea into the water to protest tea taxes. The raid comes be known as the Boston Tea Party.
1944 – The deadliest conflict of World War II occurs on this day. The Germans launch the last major offensive of the war, Operation Mist, also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Battle of the Bulge, an attempt to push the Allied front line west from northern France to northwestern Belgium.
1951 – “Just the facts, ma’am.” The police detective series “Dragnet,” which launched on NBC Radio in 1949, premieres on NBC Television, starring Jack Webb as detective Joe Friday. Webb was the show’s creator and also served as director/producer. The series runs through 1970.
1960 – This day marks the worst commercial aviation disaster of its time. A United Airlines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collide over New York City, sending one aircraft hurtling into Staten Island and the other into a Brooklyn neighborhood. The crash kills 134 people, including six on the ground.
1973 – Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson becomes the first player in the National Football League to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season.
1957 – After six weeks on top of the Best Sellers in Stores chart in October and November of this year, Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” climbs back into the No. 1 spot for a week.
1967 – The Monkees are in the middle of a four-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Daydream Believer.” The song becomes the band’s final No. 1 hit in the U.S.
1972 – Billy Paul starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Me and Mrs Jones.”
1983 – British rockers The Who announce their breakup. However, it was not to last, as the band gets back together in 1985 for Live Aid (a massive, duel-venue benefit concert for African famine relief) and then launches a full-fledged reunion tour in 1989.
1995 – “One Sweet Day,” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, is in its third week as a No. 1 single. It holds the top spot for a record-breaking total of 16 weeks.
2000 – Destiny’s Child rules the Billboard Hot 100 with “Independent Women Part I,” from the movie, “Charlie’s Angels.” This track remains a No. 1 single for 11 weeks.