Today In History...

In 1498 Christopher Columbus discovers the island of Trinidad.

In 1556 St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order of Catholic priests and brothers) dies in Rome.

In 1776 Francis Salvador is the first Jew to die in the American Revolution.

In 1777 Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, is made a major-general of the Continental Army. Lafayette later played a role in the British defeat at Yorktown.

In 1790 The first U.S. patent is granted to Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

In 1875 Andrew Johnson, the 17 U.S. president, dies in Tennessee at age 66.

In 1919 Germany's Weimar Constitution is adopted.

In 1945 Pierre Laval, premier of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, surrenders

to U.S. authorities in Austria; he was turned over to France, which later tried and executed him.

In 1948 President Truman dedicates New York International Airport at Idlewild Field, New York. (Later renamed JFK International)

In 1953 Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, known as "Mr. Republican," for his conservative philosophy, dies in New York at age 63.

In 1961 President John Kennedy agrees during talks with General Chen Cheng to support Nationalist China in its bid for UN membership.

In 1964 The American space probe Ranger VII sends home 4,316 pictures of the moon's surface.

In 1970 Chet Huntley retires from NBC, ending the "Huntley-Brinkley Report."

In 1972 Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Engleton withdraws from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.

In 1980 Soyuz 37 crew returns to Earth aboard Soyuz 36.

In 1981 The leader of Panama, General Omar Torrijos dies in a plane crash.

In 1981 A 7-week-old Major League Baseball strike ends.

In 1984 The U.S. men's gymnastics team wins a team gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

In 1984 Leeza Gibbons makes her first appearance on "Entertainment Tonight."

In 1985 House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on legislation to impose economic sanctions against South Africa, in the wake of that country's growing unrest and state of emergency.

In 1986 President Reagan, citing executive privilege, refuses to allow senators to see Justice Department memos written between 1969 to 1971 by William H. Rehnquist, who was facing confirmation hearings to become chief justice of the United States.

In 1987 Some 400 people die as Iranian pilgrims clash with riot police in the Moslem holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

In 1988 The last of the 22 Playboy clubs closes in Lansing, Michigan.

In 1989 A pro-Iranian group in Lebanon releases a grisly videotape showing the body of American hostage William R. Higgans dangling from a rope, a day after kidnappers threatened to kill him.

In 1990 Pitcher Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers becomes the 20th major leaguer to win 300 games.

In 1990 Shoal Creek, a private club in Birmingham, AL, that drew criticism for being all-white, announced it had accepted a black businessman as an honorary member.

In 1991 President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.

In 1991 Seven people are killed when an Amtrak passenger train derailed near Camden, SC.

In 1991 Seven people are killed when a bus carrying Girl Scouts crashed in Palm Springs, CA.

In 1992 The space shuttle Atlantis blasts off from Cape Canaveral on what became a problem-plagued scientific mission.

In 1992 Summer Sanders becomes the first American athlete to win four medals at the Barcelona Olympics as she won the gold in the women's 200-meter butterfly.

In 1993 Belgium's King Baudouin I dies at age 62; he is succeeded by his brother, Prince Albert.

In 1994 The U.N. Security Council authorizes member states to use "all necessary means" to oust military leadership in Haiti.

In 1995 In the second-largest takeover in U.S. corporate history, Walt Disney Co. acquires Capital Cities-ABC Inc. in a $19 billion deal.

In 1996 After President Clinton announces that he would sign it, 98 Democrats join House's Republican majority to pass historic welfare overhaul bill.

In 1997 Brooklyn, NY, police seize five bombs they believed would be used for terrorist attacks on the subways in New York City.

In 1999 Chicago authorities announce that as many as 46 residents had died as a result of a relentless heat wave.

In 2000 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak survives a no-confidence vote, beating back challenge by those opposed to conceding land to the Palestinians in exchange for peace.

In 2001 A landslide buries part of a village on a remote Indonesian island amid heavy rains, killing at least 35.


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