Today In History...
In 1789 Benjamin Franklin writes a letter to a friend stating, "In this world nothing can said to be certain, except death and taxes."
In 1839 Abolitionists gather in Warsaw, NY, for a convention, during which they nominate James G. Birney for president.
In 1875 Players in a Harvard-Yale football game are the first to wear uniforms.
In 1909 250 miners lose their lives in a fire and explosion at the St. Paul Mine at Cherry, Illinois.
In 1921 "The Sheik," starring Rudolph Valentino, is released.
In 1927 The Holland Tunnel, the first underwater vehicular tunnel, is opened to provide access between New York and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.
In 1937 NBC forms the first full-sized symphony orchestra exclusively for radio broadcasting.
In 1940 Walt Disney's animated feature "Fantasia" premieres at New York's Broadway Theatre.
In 1941 British aircraft carrier "Ark Royal" sinks in the Mediterranean Sea, one day after being torpedoed by a German U-boat.
In 1942 The minimum draft age is lowered from 21 to 18.
In 1956 The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.
In 1967 Carl Burton Stokes becomes the first black in the U.S. elected mayor, when he wins the Cleveland, Ohio, mayoral race.
In 1969 In a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro Agnew accuses network TV departments of bias and distortion.
In 1970 A cyclone kills an estimated 300,000 in Bangladesh.
In 1971 Mariner 9 is the first to orbit another planet (Mars).
In 1974 Karen Silkwood, a technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant in Crescent, OK, is killed in a car crash.
In 1979 Former California Governor Ronald Reagan announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in New York.
In 1982 Korean boxer Duk Koo Kim is fatally injured when he is knocked out by Ray Mancini.
In 1982 The Vietnam War Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC.
In 1982 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin cuts short his U.S. visit after learning of the death of his wife, Aliza.
In 1982 Lech Walesa is freed after an 11-month internment in Poland.
In 1984 A libel suit against Time Inc. by former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon went to trial in New York. The court ruled the Time article in question had been false and defamatory, but not libelous.
In 1985 Long dormant, the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupts in Columbia washing away 25,000 people in floods and mudslides.
In 1986 President Reagan publicly acknowledges that the U.S. had sent "defensive weapons and spare parts" to Iran in an attempt to improve relations, but denied the shipments were part of a deal aimed at freeing hostages in Lebanon.
In 1987 Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega unveils an 11-point proposal in Washington for a cease-fire that called for the Contra rebels to lay down their weapons and accept an amnesty.
In 1989 Polish labor leader Lech Walesa receives the Medal of Freedom from President Bush during a White House ceremony.
In 1990 U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III tells reporters in Hamilton, Bermuda, the Persian Gulf crisis threatened world recession and the loss of American jobs.
In 1991 The U.S. House of Representatives approved a Senate-passed bill guaranteeing many workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family emergencies.
In 1992 Riddick Bowe wins the undisputed heavyweight boxing title in Las Vegas with a unanimous decision over Evander Holyfield.
In 1994 A heavily armed gunman exchanges fire with police for more than 25 minutes on a San Francisco street, hitting two police officers, a paramedic and another person before being killed.
In 1994 Sweden votes to join the European Union.
In 1995 Glen Rogers, a drifter suspected of killing at least four women in a cross-country string of slayings, is captured after a high-speed chase in Kentucky.
In 1995 7 people, including 5 Americans, are killed when a bomb exploded at a military training facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In 1996 Sgt. Loren B. Taylor, a drill sergeant who had sex with three women recruits at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, is given 5 months in prison and a bad-conduct discharge in the first sentencing of the burgeoning Army sex scandal.
In 1996 A Saudi Boeing 747 collides with a Kazak cargo plane about 60 miles southwest of New Delhi, killing 349 people.
In 1996 An all-white jury in Pittsburgh acquits John Vojtas, a police officer, in the death of black motorist Jonny Gammage in a verdict that angered black activists.
In 1998 President Clinton agrees to pay Paula Jones $850,000, without an apology or admission of guilt.
In 1999 The Navy recovers the cockpit voice recorder from EgyptAir Flight 990, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on October 31 killing all 217 people aboard.
In 1999 Lennox Lewis becomes the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world in a unanimous decision over Evander Holyfield in Las Vegas.
In 2000 Lawyers for George W. Bush fail to win a court order barring manual recounts of ballots in Florida. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris announced she would end the recounting at 5 pm the next day-prompting an immediate appeal by lawyers for Al Gore.
In 2000 Joe Mullen and Denis Savard are among those inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In 2001 Eight foreign aid workers -- including two Americans -- held captive in Afghanistan for three months are freed from a prison by anti-Taliban fighters.
In 2001 President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet at the White House, where they pledged to slash Cold War-era nuclear arsenals.
In 2004 Harry Lampert, the illustrator who created the DC Comics superhero The Flash, dies at age 88.