Today In History...

In 1789 During the French Revolution, citizens of Paris storm Bastille prison and release the seven prisoners inside.

In 1798 Congress passes the Sedition Act, making it a federal crime to publish false, scandalous or malicious writing about the U.S. government.

In 1850 The first public demonstration of ice made by refrigeration.

In 1853 Commodore Matthew Perry relays to Japanese officials a letter from former President Fillmore, requesting trade relations.

In 1881 William Bonney Jr., alias Billy the Kid, is reportedly shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

In 1921 Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are convicted in Dedham, MA, in the killing of a shoe company paymaster and his guard. (Sacco and Vanzetti were executed six years later.)

In 1933 All German political parties, with the exception of the Nazi Party, are outlawed.

In 1950 R.E. Wayne is awarded the first Distinguished Flying Cross.

In 1951 Citation becomes the first horse to win $1,000,000 in races.

In 1958 The army of Iraq overthrows the monarchy.

In 1965 U.S. Mariner IV, the first Mars probe, passes at 6,100 miles and sends back photographs of the planet.

In 1965 U.S. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, dies in London at age 65.

In 1966 Richard Speck kills 8 student nurses in a Chicago dormitory. (Speck died in prison in 1991, a day short of his 50th birthday.)

In 1969 The "Futbol War" between El Salvador and Honduras begins.

In 1969 The film "Easy Rider" opens nationally.

In 1972 The State Department criticizes actress Jane Fonda for making anti-war radio broadcasts in Hanoi, calling them "distressing."

In 1975 Plans to build EPCOT Center in Orlando, Florida, are announced.

In 1976 Jimmy Carter wins the Democratic presidential nomination by an overwhelming margin at the party's convention in New York.

In 1978 The cheese-eating record is set when Peter Dowdeswell downs a pound of hard cheddar in 73 seconds.

In 1978 Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky is convicted of treasonous espionage, and sentenced to 13 years of hard labor. (He was released in 1986.)

In 1983 Two members of Congress, Illinois Republican Daniel Crane and Massachusetts Democrat Gerry Studds admitted to having sexual relations with congressional pages.

In 1984 New Zealand's Labor Party, led by David Lange, wins a landslide election victory, ending conservative Prime Minister Robert

In 1986 Richard Miller of the FBI is sentenced to two life terms as a Soviet spy. (The verdict was later overturned and Miller was convicted again and sentenced to 20 years in prison.)

In 1987 Taiwan ends 37 years of martial law.

In 1988 Iran's foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Velayati, denounces the U.S. downing of an Iranian jetliner as "a barbaric massacre."

In 1989 Leaders of the seven richest nations open a summit in Paris, which was also celebrating the bicentennial of the French Revolution with pomp and pageantry.

In 1991 American and Soviet negotiators in Washington continue work on trying to complete a treaty slashing long-range nuclear arsenals.

In 1993 President Clinton visits flood-stricken Iowa for the second time in 10 days, telling flood victims to "hang in there."

In 1995 Under pressure from Congress, FBI Director Louis J. Freeh removes Larry Potts as the bureau's deputy director because of controversy over Potts' role in a deadly 1992 FBI siege in Idaho.

In 1996 Fire crews battle blazes covering more than 16,000 acres in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Utah.

In 1997 The international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia sentences Dusan Tadic to 20 years in prison.

In 1997 O.J. Simpson's California mansion is auctioned off for $2.6 million.

In 1998 The city of Los Angeles sues 15 tobacco companies for $2.5 billion over the dangers of secondhand smoke.

In 2000 A Florida jury orders five major tobacco companies to pay smokers a record $145 billion in punitive damages.

In 2001 China convicts American business professor Li Shaomin of spying for Taiwan and then ordered him deported.

In 2001 Former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, 84, suffers a head injury in a fall in Sun Valley, Idaho. She died 3 days later.

In 2002 A gunman tries but failed to assassinate French President Jacques Chirac during a Bastille Day parade.

In 2003 Iraq's new governing council, in its first full day on the job, votes to send a delegation to the U.N. Security Council and assert its right to represent Baghdad on the world stage.


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