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John Lennon fatally shot by fan, Sammy Davis, Jr. is featured, and more from Britannica

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Encyclopaedia Britannica | On This Day
December 08
Sammy Davis, Jr.

FEATURED BIOGRAPHY

Sammy Davis, Jr.

American entertainer

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John Lennon

FEATURED EVENT

1980

John Lennon fatally shot by fan

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MORE EVENTS ON THIS DAY

Big Bird in Sesame Street
2019: American actor and puppeteer Caroll Spinney—who created the characteristics and mannerisms of Big Bird, a larger-than-life puppet he played for nearly 50 years—died at age 85. [Sort fact from fiction in our pop culture quiz.]
John Glenn
2016: American astronaut and politician John Glenn—who was the first U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth, for which he was regarded as a national hero—died at age 95. [Take our famous astronauts and cosmonauts quiz.]
Dragon on recovery ship
2010: The American aerospace venture SpaceX became the first commercial company to release a spacecraft—the Dragon capsule—into orbit and successfully return it to Earth. [Test your knowledge of space exploration.]
Mia Hamm
2004: Mia Hamm, a leading figure in U.S. women's football (soccer), retired from the sport. [How much do you know about football (soccer)?]

ALSO BORN ON THIS DAY

1982

Nicki Minaj

Trinidadian-born singer, songwriter, and television personality

1542

Mary

queen of Scotland

1943

Jim Morrison

American singer and songwriter

1925

Sammy Davis, Jr.

American entertainer

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