Today In History...
In 1778 France becomes the first nation to recognize American independence.
In 1788 Massachusetts becomes the 6th U.S. state.
In 1815 The state of New Jersey issues the first American railroad charter to John Stevens.
In 1899 A peace treaty between the U.S. and Spain is ratified by theSenate.
In 1922 The U.S., Britain, France, Italy and Japan sign a Washington naval arms limitation agreement.
In 1933 The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the "lame duck" amendment, goes into effect changing the date of presidential inaugurations from March to January.
In 1943 A Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rape.
In 1952 Britain's King George VI dies and is succeeded to the throne by his daughter Elizabeth II.
In 1959 Fidel Castro is interviewed by Edward R. Murrow.
In 1959 The U.S. successfully test-fires for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missle from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In 1968 Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower shoots a hole in one.
In 1971 Astronaut Alan Shepherd hits 3 golf balls on the moon.
In 1978 Muriel Humphrey takes the oath of office as a Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota, filling the seat of her late husband, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
In 1983 The 18-hour mini-series "The Winds Of War" debuts on ABC-TV.
In 1984 A second satellite launched from the space shuttle Challenger misfires and went off course in the third major failure of the mission.
In 1985 Israel's former secret service head admits that when old World War II Nazis were tracked down, if not prosecutable, they were executed anyway.
In 1986 The commission investigating the Challenger disaster opens its hearings into the cause of the space shuttle explosion that killed all seven crew members.
In 1986 89-year-old Ed Townsend becomes the oldest parachute jumper.
In 1986 The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 1,600 level for the first time, ending the day at 1,600.69.
In 1987 Two cosmonauts rocket up to the MIR space station and set an orbital endurance record.
In 1987 Journalist Gerald Seib is released after being held six days in Tehran and accused of spying for Israel.
In 1989 President Bush proposes that some 350 failing savings and loan companies be bailed out at the cost of $50 billion.
In 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Barbara W. Tuchman dies at age 77.
In 1990 Soviet Communist Party leaders extend a 2-day party session by an extra day amid controversy over Soviet leader Mikhail S.Gorbachev's proposals to revamp the country's political structure.
In 1991 Comedian and television performer Danny Thomas dies at age 79.
In 1992 Sixteen people are killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashes in Evansville, Indiana.
In 1993 Tennis star Arthur Ashe dies of an AIDS-related illness at age 49.
In 1994 Actor Joseph Cotten dies in Los Angeles at age 88.
In 1995 Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, the alleged mastermind of a campaign of violence, pleaded guilty in New York to plotting urban terrorism.
In 1995 The space shuttle Discovery flys to within 37 feet of the Russian space station Mir in the first rendezvous of its kind in 2 decades.
In 1996 A Turkish-owned Boeing 757 jetliner crashes into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from the Dominican Republic, killing 189 people, mostly German tourists.
In 1998 Washington National Airport is renamed for former U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
In 1999 Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky's videotaped testimony is shown at President Clinton's impeachment trial.
In 2000 First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton launches her successful candidacy In 2000 for the U.S. Senate.
In 2000 An Ariana Airlines Boeing 727 is hijacked after leaving Kabul, Afghanistan, making stops in Central Asia and Russia before arriving at Stansted airport outside London the next day.
In 2000 Nine people are killed when a train filled with Alpine ski vacationers derailed south of Cologne, Germany.
In 2000 Tarja Halonen becomes Finland's first female president.
In 2001 Ariel Sharon is elected Israeli prime minister.
In 2002 A federal judge orders John Walker Lindh, the so-called "American Taliban," held without bail pending trial.
In 2004 An explosion rips through a Moscow subway car during rush hour, killing 41 people.
In 2011 The Green Bay Packers beat Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, at SuperBowl XLV.
In 2012 Queen Elizabeth II marks her 60th anniversary of becoming British monarch, becoming only the second to do so.