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Born December 16

Justin Mentell was a young actor in Hollywood who was just starting to break out. He was known best for his role as Garrett Wells on the popular show "Boston Legal." Growing up, he was a top junior speed skater who finished third in the Junior Olympics. Mentell died in a car crash in Wisconsin at age 27 in 2010. We remember Mentell's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including country music legend Ray Price.

1973: Jason Molina, U.S. singer-songwriter who recorded under the name Songs: Ohia, is born in Lorain, Ohio.

Jason Molina (Photo by Andy Sheppard/Redferns)The label says Molina released more than 12 albums under the name Songs: Ohia and the band Magnolia Electric Co., which he started in 2003, according to his 2013 obituary by The Associated Press. Read more

 

 

 

1961: Bill Hicks, U.S. comedian known for his darkly countercultural stand-up act, is born in Valdosta, Georgia.

1951: Mike Flanagan, U.S. pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays, is born in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Mike Flanagan (AP Photo)He was 141-116 with Baltimore and is a member of the team's Hall of Fame. Flanagan was also the final Oriole to pitch at Memorial Stadium, Baltimore's home from 1954-1991, according to his 2011 obituary by The Associated Press. "Since the day I was given the number 46 I've had thousands of people tell me that that was the number of their favorite pitcher for the Orioles when they were growing up," Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie said. "From Day One I think I've been reminded of the legacy and the work that Mike did not only as a player, but as a member of the community in Baltimore." Read more

 

 

 

1930: Bill Young, U.S. politician who represented Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 through 2013 and was the longest-serving Republican in Congress at the time of his death, is born in Harmarville, Pennsylvania.

Bill Young (Associated Press)As one of the strongest defense supporters in Congress, Young made headlines in 2012 when he said the United States should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. Young told The Associated Press at the time that "we're killing kids who don't need to die," and reflected the growing weariness with a conflict that had dragged on for more than a decade, according to his 2013 obituary by the AP. Read more

 

 

 

1928: Philip K. Dick, U.S. author known for science fiction novels including "A Scanner Darkly" and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1917: Arthur C. Clarke, English author of "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Rendezvous With Rama," and other novels, is born in Minehead, England.

Some of his best-known books are "Childhood's End," 1953; "The City and the Stars," 1956; "The Nine Billion Names of God," 1967; "Rendezvous With Rama," 1973; "Imperial Earth," 1975; and "The Songs of Distant Earth," 1986, according to his 2008 obituary by The Associated Press. When Clarke and Stanley Kubrick got together to develop a movie about space, they looked for inspiration to several of Clarke's shorter pieces. As work progressed on the screenplay, Clarke also wrote a novel of the story. He followed it up with "2010: Odyssey Two," "2061: Odyssey Three," and "3001: The Final Odyssey." Read more

 

 

1901: Margaret Mead, U.S. anthropologist who studied the cultures of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1899: Noël Coward, English playwright whose works include "Hay Fever" and "Blithe Spirit," is born in Teddington, England.

1775: Jane Austen, English writer known for novels including "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma," is born in Steventon, England.

A 2013 BBC magazine article by Jon Kelly marvels at America's obsession with Austen, with the Jane Austen Society of North America boasting 4,500 members and more than 60 branches. "With their conventions, Regency costumes, and self-written 'sequels' to their heroine's novels, Austen's most dedicated adherents display a fervency easily rivaling that of the subcultures around 'Star Trek' or 'Harry Potter,'" Kelly wrote. Read more

 

 

 

1485: Catherine of Aragon, queen of England from 1508 to 1533 and the first wife of King Henry VIII, is born in Alcalá de Henares, Spain.

It seems thCatherine of Aragon (Wikimedia Commons)ere's always drama afoot in the royal family, always something available to delight and tantalize the rest of the world. But today's English royals have nothing on their predecessors. You want royal drama? Try Richard III, who murdered Henry VI to gain his throne. Or George III, who may or may not have had two wives at the same time. Or Catherine of Aragon, first of Henry VIII's six wives. Though Catherine wasn't the direct cause of royal drama, it surrounded her for most of her life. Read more.

 

 

 

 

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including country music legend Ray Price.