Today In History...

In 1825 The first public railroad using steam locomotives opens in England.

In 1831 Naturalist Charles Darwin sets out on a voyage to the Pacific aboard

the H.M.S. Beagle. Darwin's discoveries during the voyage helped

formed the basis for his theories on evolution.

In 1845 Anesthesia (ether) is first used for childbirth.

In 1892 The cornerstone is laid for the Cathedral Church of St. John the

Devine in New York City.

In 1900 Militant prohibitionist Carry Nation carries out her first public

smashing of a bar, at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kansas.

In 1927 Josef Stalin's faction wins an All-Union Congress in the USSR.

In 1941 During World War II, Japan bombs Manila even though it was declared

an "open city."

In 1945 28 nations sign an agreement creating the World Bank.

In 1947 Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody debut in "Puppet Playhouse" on NBC.

In 1949 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signs an act granting sovereignty

to Indonesia after more than three centuries of Dutch rule.

In 1968 After orbiting the moon, Apollo VIII returns to Earth, making a safe

nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.

In 1970 "Hello Dolly!" closes on Broadway after a run of 2,844 performances.

In 1979 5000 Soviet troops invade Afghanistan and seize control. President

Hafizullah Amin, who was overthrown and executed, was replaced by

Babrak Karmal.

In 1983 A propane gas fire devastates 16 square blocks of Buffalo, NY.

In 1983 The rolling skating record is set at 344 hours, 18 minutes.

In 1983 Pope John Paul II meets with the man who had shot him, Mehmet Ali

Agca, and personally forgave him.

In 1984 Amid rumors he was seriously ill, Soviet President Konstantin U.

Chernenko re-appears in public to give out several literature

awards.

In 1985 American naturalist Dian Fossey, a leading authority on gorillas, is

found hacked to death at her Rwanda camp in Africa.

In 1985 Palestinian terrorists open fire inside the Rome and Vienna airports

killing 20 and wounding 110.

In 1987 Sportscaster Gayle Sterens broadcasts the first female play-by-play

of an NFL game on NBC (Kansas City 41, Seattle 20).

In 1988 Hundreds of residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, pay silent tribute to

five of the Americans killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

In 1989 President Bush, on a visit to Beeville, Texas, tells a gathering he

was determined to bring deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega to

justice "for poisoning the children of the U.S." with illegal drugs.

In 1990 Gennady I. Yanayev is approved as the Soviet Union's first vice

president on the last day of a stormy, 10-day session of the

Congress of People's Deputies.

In 1991 The U.S. and the Philippines announce that the United States would

abandon the Subic Bay naval base by the end of 1992.

In 1992 The U.S. shot down an Iraqi fighter jet during what the Pentagon

described as a confrontation between a pair of Iraqi warplanes and

U.S. F-16 jets in the UN-restricted airspace over southern Iraq.

In 1993 U.S. officials announce that Strobe Talbott would take over the

number two spot at the State Department.

In 1994 Four Roman Catholic priests are shot to death in their rectory in

Algiers, a day after French commandos killed four radicals who had

hijacked an Air France jet from Algiers to Marseille.

In 1997 Billy Wright, Northern Ireland's most notorious Protestant militant,

is shot to death by three members of the Irish National Liberation

Army at the Maze Prison outside Belfast.

In 1998 A week after she was born weighing just 10.3 ounces, the smallest of

the Houston octuplets, Chijindu Chidera, dies.

In 2000 Software engineer Michael McDermott pleads innocent to 7 counts of

murder in the shooting deaths of 7 of his co-workers the day before

at an Internet consulting company in Wakefield, MA.

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