Today In History...

In 1593 France's King Henry IV converts from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

In 1814 The Americans defeat the British in the Battle of Niagara Falls.

In 1866 Ulysses S. Grant is named General of the Army, the first officer to hold the rank.

In 1868 The Wyoming Territory is created by the U.S. Congress.

In 1909 French aviator Louis Bleriot flies across the English Channel in a monoplane, traveling from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.

In 1940 John Sigmund begins a 292-mile, 3-day swim down the Mississippi.

In 1943 Benito Mussolini is dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest. Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and re-asserted his authority.

In 1945 Allied leaders, meeting in Potsdam during World War II, call on Japan to surrender unconditionally or face "prompt and utter destruction."

In 1946 The U.S. detonates an atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, the first underwater test of the device.

In 1952 Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing commonwealth of the U.S.

In 1956 The Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria and the Swedish ship Stockholm collide off the coast of New England killing 51.

In 1963 U.S., Russia and England sign a nuclear test ban treaty, prohibiting testing in the atmosphere, space or underwater.

In 1966 New York Yankee manager Casey Stengel is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 1968 Pope Paul VI issues a ban on all artificial birth contrl methods for Roman Catholics.

In 1969 A week after the Chappaquiddick accident that claimed the life of Mary Jo Kopechne, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) pleads guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

In 1971 The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution becomes law lowering the federal voting age to 18.

In 1973 USSR launches Mars 5.

In 1973 A Federal judge rules that the U.S. government must halt the bombing of Cambodia on the grounds it is "unauthorized and unlawful."

In 1978 The first "test tube baby" is born in Oldham, England. Louise Joy Brown had been conceived through the technique of in-vitro fertilization pioneered by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards.

In 1981 Voyager II encounters Saturn.

In 1984 Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to walk in space as she carried out more than three hours of experiments outside the orbiting space station Salyut 7.

In 1985 Actor Rock Hudson quietly checks into a Paris Hospital, while a spokeswoman confirmed that the actor was suffering from "AIDS." (Hudson died the following October.)

In 1986 Movie director Vincente Minnelli ("Gigi," An American In Paris") dies in Los Angeles at age 76.

In 1986 Masked Sikh extremists shoot and kill 15 people, 14 of them Hindus, in an ambush on a bus in India's Punjab State.

In 1987 The USSR launches Kosmos 1870, a 15-ton earth-study satellite.

In 1987 U.S. Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldbridge dies in a rodeo accident.

In 1990 The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, meets with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to discuss Iraq's economic dispute with Kuwait.

In 1990 Comedian Roseanne Barr sparks controversy with an off-key rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during a double-header at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.

In 1991 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev tells Communist Party leaders that communism is an "outdated ideological dogma."

In 1992 The Italian government sends 700 soldiers to Sicily to crackdown on that country's Mafia.

In 1992 Opening ceremonies are held in Barcelona, Spain, for the 1992 Summer Olympics.

In 1994 Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Jordan's King Hussein sign declaration in Washington to end the two countries' 46-year formal state of war.

In 1995 A bomb explodes on a Paris subway, killing seven people and injuring at least 60.

In 1995 A UN war crimes tribunal indicts Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, army commander General Ratko Mladic, and 22 other Serbs for war crimes.

In 1996 Divers searching the wreckage of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island recover the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

In 1997 Autumn Jackson, the young woman who claimed to be Bill Cosby's out-of-wedlock daughter, was convicted by a federal jury in New York of trying to extort $40 million dollars from the entertainer.

In 1997 Golfer Ben Hogan dies in Fort Worth, TX, at age 84.

In 1998 Two government officials reveal that special prosecutor Kenneth Starr had subpoenaed President Clinton to testify before a federal grand jury about the Monica Lewinsky case.

In 1999 Morocco holds a funeral for King Hassan II.

In 2000 A New York-bound Air France Concorde crashes outside Paris, killing 105 people. It was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.

In 2001 Three masked men gunned down Phoolan Devi, India's onetime "Bandit Queen," killing the outlaw-turned-legislator.

In 2003 President Bush receives Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas at the White House.

In 2004 Lance Armstrong wins a record sixth Tour de France.


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