Today In History...

In 1809 Wearing masks at parties and balls is banned in Boston, MA.

In 1853 The U.S. buys some 45,000 miles of land from Mexico in a deal that

becomes known as the Gadsden Purchase (the southern part of Arizona

and New Mexico).

In 1894 Suffragist Amelia Jenks Bloomer dies. She was best known for wearing

a short skirt and baggy trousers that became known as "bloomers."

In 1903 602 people die when fire breaks out in the Iroquois Theater in

Chicago.

In 1911 Sun Yat-sen is elected the first president of the Republic of China

after the fall of the Chinese dynasties.

In 1916 Grigori Rasputin is assassinated in Russia.

In 1922 Vladimir I. Lenin proclaims the establishment of the Union of Soviet

Socialist Republics (USSR).

In 1924 Astronomer Edwin Hubble announces the existence of other Milky Way

systems.

In 1935 Italian bombers destroy a Swedish Red Cross unit in Ethiopia.

In 1936 A huge sitdown strike erupts at the Fisher Body Plant in Flint, MI,

when workers learn 5 employees were fired for wearing union buttons.

In 1938 The electronic television system is patented by V.K. Zworykin.

In 1940 California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting

Los Angeles and Pasadena, is officially opened.

In 1944 King George II of Greece proclaims a regency to rule his country,

virtually renouncing the throne.

In 1947 King Michael of Romania agrees to abdicate, but charges he was

forced off the throne by Communists.

In 1970 The U.S. ceases from putting real silver in silver dollars and

50 cent coins.

In 1972 The U.S. halts its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

In 1977 President Jimmy Carter holds the first news conference by an

American president in Eastern Europe.

In 1978 Ohio State University fires Woody Hayes as its football coach, one

day after Hayes punched Clemson University player Charlie Bauman

during the Gator Bowl after Bauman intercepted an Ohio pass.

In 1985 The Reagan administration accuses Libya of supporting the Abu Nidal

Palestinian faction suspected of carrying out the attacks on the

Rome and Vienna airports on December 27 that claimed 20 lives, but

stopped short of holding Libya responsible for the massacre.

In 1986 The Soviet Union turns down a proposal by the U.S for an exchange of

televised New Year's greetings by President Reagan and Soviet leader

Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

In 1987 Manufacturers of all-terrain vehicles agree to withdraw the 3-wheel

model from dealer's inventories.

In 1988 President Reagan and President-elect Bush are subpoenaed to testify

as defense witnesses in the pending Iran-Contra trial of Oliver

North. (The subpoenas were ultimately suppressed.)

In 1988 President Reagan and President-elect Bush are subpoenaed to testify

as defense witnesses in the pending Iran-Contra trial of Oliver

North. (The subpoenas were subsequently quashed.)

In 1990 Iraq's information minister, Latif Nussayif Jassim, said President

Bush "must have been drunk" when he suggested Iraq might withdraw

from Kuwait.

In 1991 30 people are killed by a car bomb in Lebanon.

In 1991 The remains of two kidnapped Americans killed by their captors in

Lebanon, William Buckley and Marine Colonel William R. Higgins,

arrive in the U.S. for burial.

In 1991 Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States agree to establish

unified command over nuclear weapons, while allowing member states

to form their own armies.

In 1992 President Bush embarks on the final foreign trip of his term in

office, heading to a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris

Yeltsin.

In 1992 President Bush embarks on the final foreign trip of his term in

office, heading to a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris

Yeltsin, with a stopover in Somalia to visit U.S. troops.

In 1993 Israel and the Vatican agree to recognize one another.

In 1994 U.S. Army helicopter pilot Bobby Hall walks to freedom 13 days after

he was captured by North Korea. Co-pilot David Hilemon died when the

chopper was shot down.

In 1994 A gunman walks into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and

opened fire, killing two employees and wounding five other people.

(A suspect, John C. Salvi III, was later arrested).

In 1995 A U.S. military policeman, Martin John Begosh, becomes the first

American injured in NATO's Bosnia peace mission when his Humvee hit

an anti-tank mine.

In 1996 About 36 people are killed when a bomb explodes on an Indian

commuter train; a militant group claimed responsibility.

In 1997 The single deadliest massacre in Algeria's history begins in four

mountain villages as armed men killed 412 men, women and children.

In 2000 22 people are killed in five bombings in the Manila area of the

Philippines.

In 2000 Hollywood screenwriter Julius J. Epstein, who co-wrote the script

for "Casablanca," dies at age 91.

In 2002 Suspected extremist Abed Abdul Razak Kamel kills three U.S. 

missionaries at a Baptist hospital in Yemen. (He was later sentenced

to death for the murders.)

In 2003 The Bush administration announced it would ban the sale of ephedra, 

the herbal stimulant linked to 155 deaths and dozens of heart 

attacks and strokes. 

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