Abel Tasman was the first European to discover an island south of Australia, which he named Van Dieman's Land, in 1642. Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police Department in 1963. The incident was broadcast live on television, as the networks were covering Oswald's transfer at the time. Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discovered a 40% complete skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis female in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia in 1974. She was named Lucy, after the Beatles' song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. In 1993, eleven year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were convicted of the murder of two year-old James Bulger.
Born today: Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), Scott Joplin (1868-1917), Ian Botham (1957) and Arundhati Roy (1961).