1931: Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, dies in West Orange, New Jersey, at the age of 84.
1982: Automaker John Z. DeLorean is arrested and charged with conspiracy to obtain and distribute 55 pounds of cocaine.
1947: The notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communist influence in one of the world’s richest and most glamorous communities, Hollywood.
1941: German soldiers go on a rampage, killing thousands of Yugoslavian civilians, including whole classes of schoolboys.
1975: Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, is given a “general” discharge by the air force after publicly declaring his homosexuality.
1998: Doctor Barnett Slepian is shot to death inside his home in Amherst, New York, by an anti-abortion radical, marking the fifth straight year that a doctor who was willing to perform abortions in upstate New York and Canada had been the victim of a sniper attack.
1969: Movie star Richard Burton dazzles wife Elizabeth Taylor, and their legions of fans, when he buys her a 69-carat Cartier diamond ring costing $1.5 million.