Harriet Tubman escapes slavery, the capstone is set on the Washington Monument, the TV special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" debuts, and Roy Orbison passes away, all on this day.
1949: Iconic folk and blues musician Lead Belly, whose real name was Huddie William Ledbetter, dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 61 in New York City.
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