Today In History...

In 1540 King Henry VIII's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, is executed, the same day Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

In 1586 Sir Thomas Harriot introduces potatoes to Europe.

In 1588 The Spanish Armada, which had sailed to England in hopes of overthrowing Queen Elizabeth I, comes under attack off Calais by the English navy.

In 1655 French dramatist and novelist Cyrano de Bergerac dies in Paris.

In 1794 Maximilien Robespierre, a leading figure of the French Revolution who was the principal spokesman for the Reign of Terror, is sent to the guillotine, a day after he was overthrown and arrested.

In 1821 Peru declares its independence from Spain.

In 1830 Revolution in France replaces Charles X with Louis Philippe.

In 1851 A total solar eclipse is captured on a daguerreotype photograph.

In 1866 The metric system becomes a legal measurement system in the U.S.

In 1868 The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing due process of law, is declared in effect.

In 1896 The city of Miami, Florida, is incorporated.

In 1900 The hamburger is created by Louis Lassing in Connecticut.

In 1914 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.

In 1931 Congress makes "The Star-Spangled Banner" the National Anthem.

In 1932 Federal troops dispersed the so-called "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans who had gathered in Washington, DC, demanding money they were suppose to receive in 1945.

In 1933 The first singing telegram is delivered to Rudy Vallee in New York.

In 1943 President Franklin Roosevelt announces the end of coffee rationing.

In 1945 The U.S. Senate ratifies the United Nations charter, by a vote of 89-2.

In 1945 A U.S. Army bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building killing 14 people.

In 1951 Walt Disney's animated film "Alice In Wonderland" is released.

In 1959 Hawaiians participate in their first election since statehood, voting on their first U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator.

In 1964 Ranger VII is launched toward the moon and sends back 4308 pictures.

In 1965 President Johnson announces he was increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.

In 1973 Skylab 3's astronauts are launched.

In 1976 242,000 are killed in a Tientsin-Tangshan, China, earthquake.

In 1976 An Air Force SR-71 sets the world air speed record of 2193 mph.

In 1977 Roy Wilkins turns over the leadership of the NAACP to his successor, Benjamin L. Hooks.

In 1983 American League President Lee MacPhail throws out an umpire's decision to disallow a two-run home run by George Brett on July 24th because of too much pine tar on Brett's bat. The game was completed August 19th with the Royals beating the Yankees, 5-4.

In 1984 The 1984 Summer Olympics open with a flag-waving ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, minus 15 nations that had stayed away in a Soviet-led withdrawal.

In 1985 Alain Garcia Perez is sworn in as the new president of Peru, succeeding Fernando Belaunde Terry.

In 1986 NASA releases a transcript of a recording from the doomed space shuttle Challenger in which pilot Michael J. Smith could be heard saying, "Uh-oh!" as the spacecraft exploded.

In 1988 Both houses of Congress overwhelmingly approve $6 billion in aid for drought-stricken farmers.

In 1989 Israeli commandos abduct a pro-Iranian Shiite Moslem cleric, Sheik Abdul-Karim Obeid from his home in south Lebanon.

In 1991 President Bush warns Iraq it would be making "an enormous mistake" if it failed to disclose its nuclear weapons program to United Nations inspectors.

In 1991 Dennis Martinez pitches the 15th perfect game in major-league baseball history as the Expos beat the Dodgers, 2-0.

In 1992 Iraq opens its Agricultural Ministry to UN weapons experts after a three-week standoff.

In 1992 At the Barcelona Olympics, the U.S. women's 400-meter freestyle relay team wins the gold medal.

In 1992 At the Olympics in Barcelona, the U.S. women's 400-meter freestyle relay team wins the gold medal.

In 1993 President Clinton said he was ready to provide air power to protect peacekeepers in Bosnia if he received a request from the UN.

In 1994 A Pensacola, Florida, abortion doctor and bodyguard are fatally shot as they enter clinic parking lot. Militant anti-abortion activist Paul Hill arrested shortly afterwords.

In 1995 A jury in Union, SC, rejects the death penalty for Susan Smith, sentencing her instead to life in prison for drowning her two young sons (Smith will be eligible for parole after 30 years).

In 1996 Federal investigators report "very good leads" in the hunt for the Olympic bomber, a day after the explosion in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

In 1997 Five people are killed in a flash flood in Fort Collins, CO.

In 1998 Bell Atlantic and GTE announce a $52 billion deal to create second-biggest phone company.

In 1998 Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky receives immunity from prosecution in order to testify before a grand jury.

In 2001 Joan Finney, the first woman governor of Kansas, dies at 76.

In 2002 Nine coal miners trapped in the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset, Pennsylvania, are rescued after 77 hours underground.

In 2002 Cycling champion Lance Armstrong wins his 4th straight Tour de France.

In 2004 Francis Crick, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who co-discovered the "double-helix" structure of DNA, dies at age 88.

In 2004 The voice of “Bluto” from Popeye cartoons die at age 92. Jackson was also the voice who narrated Superman on the radio.


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