Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven was published in 1845. Karl Benz patented the first successful gasoline-powered automobile in 1886. And in 1979, sixteen year-old Brenda Ann Spencer barricaded herself into a room in her house overlooking Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California. Using the .22 calibre semi-automatic rifle that her father had given her for Christmas, she began shooting at children and staff. Eight students and one police officer were injured, the school's principal and a custodian were killed. When asked why she had done it, she replied, "I just did it for the fun of it. I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day."
Born today: Thomas Paine (1737-1809), Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), Frederick Delius (1862-1934), Sacha Distel (1933-2004), Germaine Greer (1939), Andrew Loog Oldham (1944), Tommy Ramone (1952) and Oprah Winfrey (1954).