Today In History...
In 1784 A U.S. clipper, the "Empress of China," leaves New York City for the Far East.
In 1819 Spain cedes Florida to the United States.
In 1856 The first national meeting of the Republican Party takes place in Pittsburgh.
In 1865 Tennessee adopts a new constitution abolishing slavery.
In 1879 F.W. Woolworth opens his five-cent store in Utica, New York.
In 1889 President Cleveland signs a bill to admit South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Washington state to the Union.
In 1892 The Oscar Wilde play "Lady Windermere's Fan" is first performed, at London's St. James Theatre.
In 1900 Hawaii becomes a U.S. Territory.
In 1902 Major Walter Reed shows that mosquitoes carry yellow fever.
In 1920 The Emeryville, California, dog track introduces the first mechanical rabbit.
In 1924 Calvin Coolidge delivers the first presidential radio broadcast from the White House.
In 1934 The romantic comedy "It Happened One Night," starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, opens at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
In 1935 It becomes illegal for airplanes to fly over the White House.
In 1936 Sioux Center, Iowa, receives 42 inches of snow, the state record.
In 1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt vetoes a proposed tax reduction bill.
In 1951 The Air Force announces it would build a nuclear powered plane.
In 1955 Prototypes IRBM and A-Bomb successfully tested in Nevada desert.
In 1963 Rene Lacoste patents his revolutionary metal tennis racquet.
In 1967 More than 25,000 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launch Operation Junction City, an offensive aimed at smashing a Viet Cong stronghold near the Cambodian border.
In 1973 The U.S. and Communist China agree to establish liaison offices in Beijing and Washington.
In 1977 The Boy Scouts change their name to "Scouting/USA."
In 1980 In a stunning upset, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeats the Soviets at Lake Placid, NY, 4-3. (The U.S. went on to win the gold medal.)
In 1983 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that a monopoly on the word "Monopoly" by the Parker Brothers is unfair trade after trying to stop the use of "Anti-Monopoly."
In 1983 Illinois Congressman Harold Washington wins Chicago's Democratic mayoral primary on his way to becoming the city's first black mayor.
In 1984 David, a 12-year-old who spent most of his life in a plastic bubble because of no immunity to disease, dies 15 days after leaving the bubble for a bone-marrow transplant.
In 1985 Secretary of State George P. Shultz, speaking in San Francisco, calls for renewed assistance to the Nicaraguan Contras.
In 1986 The Philippine Army's top officials resign and urged President Marcos to do the same.
In 1987 A weeklong series of storms hits the West Coast with record amounts of rain and snow, causing 20 deaths.
In 1987 Pop artist Andy Warhol dies at the age of 58.
In 1988 In Lebanon, the kidnappers of U.S. Marine Lt. Col. William R. Higgins release a videotape in which Higgins asked the U.S. to meet his abductor's demands.
In 1988 Bonnie Blair of the U.S. wins the women's 500-meter speed-skating event at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada.
In 1990 In a taped deposition for the trail of former national security advisor John Poindexter, former President Reagan said he never had "any inkling" his aides were secretly arming the Nicaraguan Contras.
In 1991 President George Bush and America's Gulf War allies give Iraq 24 hours to begin withdrawing from Kuwait, or face a final all-out attack.
In 1992 At the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, American speed skater Cathy Turner wins the women's 500-meter race.
In 1993 A jury is seated in Los Angeles in the federal trial of four police officers accused of violating Rodney King's civil rights.
In 1994 The U.S. Justice Department charges Aldrich Hazen Ames, a 31-year CIA veteran and former senior Soviet counterintelligence officer, and his wife, Rosario, with conspiracy to commit espionage for selling U.S. national security secrets to Moscow.
In 1995 France accuses four American diplomats and a fifth U.S. citizen of spying and asks them to leave the country.
In 1996 Alan Greenspan is renominated as chairman of Federal Reserve.
In 1996 The space shuttle Columbia blasts into orbit on a mission to unreel a satellite on the end of a 12.8 mile cord.
In 1997 Cutbacks begin under the new welfare law limiting childless adults, under age 50 and able to work, to three months of food stamps in any three-year period.
In 1998 Abraham A. Ribicoff, who served as President Kennedy's secretary of
Health, Education and Welfare, dies in Riverdale, NY, at age 87.
In 1998 The Czech Republic defeats Russia, 1-0, to win men's hockey as the Nagano Winter Olympics came to a close.
In 1999 Levi Strauss announces it would closing 11 of its plants.
In 2000 Cyclone Eline drenches central Mozambique, already suffering its worst flooding in a half-century.
In 2003 Jesica Santillan, the teenager who'd survived a botched heart-lung transplant long enough to get a second set of donated organs, dies 2 days after the second transplant at Duke University MedicalCenter.
In 2004 Consumer advocate Ralph Nader enters the presidential race as an independent.