Today In History...

In 1775 Benjamin Franklin becomes the first Postmaster General.

In 1788 New York becomes the 11th state to ratify the constitution.

In 1908 U.S. Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte issues an order creating an investigative agency within the Department of Justice that was a forerunner of the F.B.I.

In 1945 Winston Churchill resigns as Britain's prime minister after his Conservatives were soundly defeated in elections by the Labor Party.

In 1947 President Truman signs the National Security Act, which created the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In 1948 The first black host of a network show - CBS's Bob Howard Show.

In 1952 King Farouk I of Egypt abdicates in the wake of a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser.

In 1952 Argentina's first lady, Eva Peron dies in Buenos Aires at age 33.

In 1952 Mickey Mantle hits his first grand slam homerun.

In 1953 Fidel Castro begins his revolt against the regime of Fulgencio Batista with an unsuccessful attack on an army barracks in eastern Cuba. (Castro finally ousts Batista in 1959.)

In 1956 Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser seizes control of the Suez Canal from the French and the British.

In 1956 William Rankin sets the record for the World's Longest Parachute Jump when thermals caught his chute and kept him up in the for 40 minutes.

In 1957 The USSR launches the first intercontinental multi-stage ballistic missile.

In 1964 Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa and six others are convicted of fraud and conspiracy in the handling of a union pension fund.

In 1969 The bed-pushing record is set at 3233 miles.

In 1971 The U.S. launches Apollo XV to the moon from Cape Kennedy.

In 1977 Fire destroyed 216 homes at Montecito, California.

In 1980 Joe Bowen sets the stilt endurance record by walking 3008 miles.

In 1981 President Reagan flys a group of Democratic congressmen to a barbecue at Camp David, MD, where he lobbied them to support his tax-cut program.

In 1982 Canada's Anik D1 comsat is launched by a U.S. delta rocket.

In 1982 The government forges a record $4.5 billion bailout of Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company, which was plagued by bad loans and loss of depositor confidence.

In 1985 The U.N. Security Council approves a resolution condemning South Africa's declaration of a state of emergency and calling for limited, voluntary sanctions against the Pretoria government.

In 1986 Shortest televised fight in history, Mike Tyson knocks out Joe Frazier in 30 seconds.

In 1986 Kidnappers in Lebanon release the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco, an American hostage held for nearly 19 months.

In 1988 UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar meets with Iran's foreign minister in the first formal talks about a cease-fire for the 8-year war between Iran and Iraq.

In 1989 Mark Wellman, a 29-year-old paraplegic, reaches the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park after hauling himself up the granite cliff six inches at a time over nine days.

In 1990 The U.S. House of Representatives reprimand Congressman Barney Frank, D-MA, for ethics violations.

In 1990 President Bush signs into law the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In 1990 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that an unidentified young woman, later identified as Kimberly Bergalis, had been infected with the AIDS virus, apparently by her dentist.

In 1991 Secretary of State James A. Baker III addresses Mongolia's first legislature chosen in multi-party elections.

In 1992 Iraq agrees to permit weapons inspectors to search the Agriculture Ministry in Baghdad.

In 1993 Retired General Matthew B. Ridgway dies at age 98.

In 1994 A car bomb heavily damages the Israeli Embassy in London, injuring fourteen.

In 1994 The House Banking Committee opens limited hearings on the Whitewater controversy.

In 1995 The U.S. Senate votes, 69-29, to unilaterally lift the U.N. embargo on arms shipments to Bosnia.

In 1996 Amy Van Dyken becomes the first American woman to win four gold medals at a single Olympics, when she won the 50-meter freestyle in Atlanta, GA.

In 1997 President Clinton visits Lake Tahoe, bringing with him $26 million worth of postal trucks and sewage pipes to help preserve the lake.

In 1998 AT&T and British Telecommunications said they were forming a joint venture to combine international operations.

In 1999 Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, announce a second Washington-Moscow hotline would be installed to help avoid misunderstandings like those that had developed over Kosovo.

In 2000 A federal judge approves $1.25 billion settlement between Swiss banks and more than a half-million plaintiffs who alleged the banks hoarded money deposited by Holocaust victims.

In 2002 The U.S. House votes, 295 to 132, to create an enormous Homeland Security Dept., the biggest government reorganization in decades.

In 2003 Cuba celebrates the 50th anniversary of the start of Fidel Castro's revolution against Fulgencio Batista.


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