Today In History...
In 1836 The siege of "The Alamo" begins in San Antonio, Texas.
In 1847 U.S. troops under General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico.
In 1848 The sixth U.S. president, John Quincy Adams, dies of a stroke at the age of 80.
In 1861 President Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, DC, to take office.
In 1870 Mississippi is readmitted to the union.
In 1886 The aluminum manufacturing process is discovered.
In 1887 America bans the import of opium from China.
In 1904 The U.S. buys control of the Panama Canal Zone from Panama for $10 million.
In 1905 The Rotary Club is founded.
In 1917 The Smith-Hughes Act provides funds to states to begin Vocational Education activities for trade and agriculture.
In 1917 The Russian Revolution begins in St. Petersburg (Leningrad).
In 1927 President Coolidge signs a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, now the Federal Communications Commission.
In 1936 Russian scientists send an unmanned balloon to a height of 25 miles, a world record.
In 1942 The first shelling of the U.S. mainland during World War II occurs when a Japanese submarine fired on an oil refinery in Ellwood, CA.
In 1945 A Pulitzer Prize-winning photo is taken by Joe Rosenthal as the Marines raise the U.S. Flag over Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima.
In 1954 The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
In 1965 Actor Stan Laurel, of the Laurel and Hardy comedy team, dies in Santa Monica, CA, at age 74.
In 1977 President Carter holds a news conference to promote his plan to cut $2.75 billion from the Pentagon's budget.
In 1980 Eric Heiden receives his fifth Olympic gold medal, a Winter record.
In 1981 An attempted coup begins in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invade the Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. (The attempt collapses after 18 hours.)
In 1983 Heisman Trophy winner, Herschel Walker signs with the USFL's New Jersey Generals in football's most lucrative offer, $8 million plus.
In 1985 The U.S. Senate confirms Edwin Meese III to be Attorney General, by a vote of 63-31.
In 1985 Former Salvadoran President Jose Napoleon Duarte dies at age 64.
In 1987 Missouri congressman Richard A. Gephardt announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In 1988 President Reagan names William L. Ball III to succeed James H. Webb Jr. as U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
In 1989 The Senate Armed Services Committee votes to reject John Tower's nomination as U.S. Secretary of Defense.
In 1991 After an air campaign lasting slightly over a month, Allied forces launch a ground offensive against Iraq beginning the much anticipated "Mother of All Battles" during the Gulf War.
In 1992 The XVI Winter Olympic Games end in Albertville, France.
In 1992 In Moscow, thousands of pro-communist demonstrators, some shouting, "Down with the Russian government!" clash with police.
In 1993 President Clinton wins UN support for a plan to airdrop relief supplies to starving Bosnians during an Oval Office meeting with Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
In 1994 Nancy Kerrigan leads the women's figure skating short program at the Winter Olympics in Norway, while Tonya Harding placed 10th.
In 1995 The Dow Jones industrial average closes above the 4,000 mark, ending at 4,003.33.
In 1996 Iraqi defectors Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel al-Majid and his brother Saddam Kamel al-Majid are killed by clan members after returning to Iraq.
In 1996 Dutch tourist Tosca Dieperink, 39, is killed by a gunman at a Miami service station.
In 1997 Iraq agrees to turn over missile parts to United Nations, ending dispute with UN weapons inspectors.
In 1997 Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a Palestinian teacher, opens fire on the 86th-floor observation deck of New York City's Empire State Building, killing one person and wounding six others before shooting himself to death.
In 1997 British scientists announce first successful cloning of an adult mammal, a lamb named Dolly.
In 1997 In eastern India, nearly 200 people are killed when fire swept through a tent erected for a religious festival.
In 1998 Florida's deadliest tornadoes in 50 years kill at least 42 people and damage some 2600 homes near Orlando.
In 1998 A federal judge orders $9.7 million paid for whistle-blowers fired after exposing Medicare fraud.
In 2002 Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt is kidnapped by a rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
In 2002 Penn State pole vaulter Kevin Dare dies after landing on his head during the Big 10 indoor championships in Minneapolis.
In 2004 The Army cancels its Comanche helicopter program after sinking $6.9 billion into it over 21 years.