Today In History...

In 1694 Queen Mary II of England dies after five years of joint rule with

her husband, King William III.

In 1832 John Calhoun becomes the first U.S. vice president to resign,

stepping down after differences with Preisdent Andrew Jackson.

In 1846 Iowa becomes the 29th U.S. state.

In 1869 A patent for chewing gum is granted to William Findley Semple of

Mount Vernon, Ohio.

In 1902 Trans-Pacific cable links Hawaii to the mainland.

In 1906 The NCAA is formed as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

In 1908 80,000 die when a earthquake strikes Messina, Italy.

In 1917 The New York Evening Mail publishes a fictitious essay by H.L.

Mencken on the history of bathtubs in America.

In 1939 The first B-24 bomber protype (Liberator) is test flown.

In 1945 The Pledge of Allegiance is officially recognized by the U.S.

Congress.

In 1945 Author, Theodore Dreiser dies in Hollywood, California.

In 1950 Chinese troops cross the 38th Parallel into South Korea.

In 1954 Kansas' 24-hour snowfall record is set at 26 inches at Fort Scott.

In 1973 Alexander Solzhenitsyn publishes "Gulag Archipelago," an expose

of the Soviet prison system that leads to his expulsion from the

Soviet Union.

In 1974 A 6.8 earthquake kills 5200 in Pakistan.

In 1981 Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American "test-tube" baby, is born

in Norfolk, Virginia.

In 1982 Nevell Johnson, Jr., a black man, is killed by a police officer in

Miami video arcade, setting off three days of racial disturbances

that leaves another man dead.

In 1985 The American government tests a key piece of the "Star Wars" defense

plan by setting off a hydrogen bomb in the Nevada desert.

In 1985 One of South Africa's most prominent white dissidents, Molly

Blackburn, is killed in a car crash outside Port Elizabeth along

with liberal politician Brian Bishop.

In 1987 The bodies of 14 relatives of R. Gene Simmons are found at his home

near Dover, Arkansas, after Simmons goes on a shooting spree in

Russellville that claims 2 other lives. (Simmons is later executed.)

In 1988 British authorities investigating the explosion that destroyed Pan

Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, conclude that the blast was

caused by a bomb aboard the jumbo jet.

In 1989 Alexander Dubcek, the former Czechoslovak Communist leader who was

deposed in a Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968, is named

chairman of the country's parliament.

In 1991 Russian President Boris Yeltsin orders state land privatized as he

pushed ahead with his reforms.

In 1992 Somalia's two main warloads, Mohamed Farrah Aidid and Ali Mahdi

Mohamed, promise an end to their hostilities.

In 1993 Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary tells CNN that people wrongfully

exposed to radiation through federally funded experiments more than

40 years ago deserved to be compensated.

In 1993 Journalist William Shirer, author of "The Rise and Fall of the Third

Reich," dies in Boston at age 89.

In 1994 CIA Director R. James Woolsey resigns, ending a tenure shadowed by

the Aldrich Ames spy scandal.

In 1996 Leftist rebels in Peru release 20 more hostages, including two

ambassadors, from Japan's embassy residence, following talks between

guerrillas and the government's negotiator.

In 1997 One woman is killed and more than 100 others were hurt when a United

Airlines jumbo jet en route from Tokyo to Honolulu encountered

severe turbulence over the Pacific.

In 1998 American warplanes exchange missile fire with Iraqi air defenses.

In 1998 Four people are killed, two missing and presumed dead, when fierce

gales struck during an Australian yacht race.

In 1999 Taking last-minute Y2K precautions, the U.S. Defense Department

shuts down its web site to keep it safe from hackers.

In 2002 The U.N. nuclear watchdog decides to pull its inspectors out of

North Korea by New Year's Eve, a step demanded by the North.

In 2003 Libya for the first time allowed UN nuclear officials to inspect

four sites related to its nuclear weapons program.

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