Harriet Tubman escapes slavery, the capstone is set on the Washington Monument, the TV special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" debuts, and Roy Orbison passes away, all on this day.
1896: Ira Gershwin, the lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century, is born in New York City. He wrote songs such as "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You," "The Man I Love" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" with his brother as part Broadway shows. He also collaborated on his brother's opera "Porgy and Bess." He died at age 86 on Aug. 17, 1983.
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