Mark Twain is born, Lucy and Desi elope, civil war breaks out in Palestine, Bing and Bowie sing a Christmas duet, and Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is released, all on this day.
2007: Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s, dies of pulmonary disease at the age of 69 in Clearwater, Florida. In his career he attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980, and, in 1974, a failed jump across Snake River Canyon in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket. The 35 broken bones he suffered during his career earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of "most bones broken in a lifetime."
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
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