George Washington crosses the Delaware, "To Kill a Mockingbird" premieres, Gorbachev resigns, and passengers on a Christmas flight into Detroit foil the "Underwear Bomber," all on this day.
1954: R&B singer Johnny Ace dies of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound he suffered while playing with a .22 caliber revolver backstage during a concert in Houston, Texas. Ace, whose real name was John Marshall Alexander Jr., scored a string of hit singles in the mid-1950s, including "Pledging My Love," which would become a posthumous R&B No. 1 hit for 10 weeks starting in February 1955.
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White House photo
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