Today In History...

In 1776 Members of the Continental Congress begin attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

In 1819 Charles Guille made the first parachute jump in America from a balloon 8000 feet above Long Island, New York.

In 1830 Charles X, the last Bourbon king of France, abdicates.

In 1858 Street mailboxes are first seen in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1876 Frontiersman "Wild" Bill Hickok is shot from behind and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota.

In 1909 The first Lincoln head pennies are minted.

In 1921 A jury in Chicago acquits several former members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team of conspiring to defraud the public in the notorious "Black Sox" scandal.

In 1923 The 29th U.S. president, Warren G. Harding, dies at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

In 1927 President Coolidge issues a statement to reporters: "I do not choose to run for president in 1928."

In 1931 The world's worst flood kills an estimated 3.7 million along China's Yellow River.

In 1934 Adolph Hitler takes Germany's presidency when Paul Von Hindenburg dies at age 86.

In 1939 Albert Einstein signs a letter to President Roosevelt urging the U.S. to begin an atomic weapons program.

In 1939 The Hatch Act is passed, forbidding civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.

In 1943 Navy Lt. John F. Kennedy becomes a war hero by rescuing members of his crew after their PT boat (PT-109) was sheared in two by a Japanese destroyer.

In 1945 President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and the new British prime minister, Clement Attlee, conclude the Allied conference at Potsdam.

In 1964 The Pentagon reports the first of two attacks on U.S. destroyers by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

In 1965 Morley Safer sends the first Vietnam television report.

In 1980 85 people are killed when a bomb explodes at a train station in Bologna, Italy.

In 1981 Kieran Doherty becomes the eighth Irish nationalist hunger striker since Bobby Sands to die at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland.

In 1983 The U.S. House of Representatives votes to designate the third Monday in January a federal holiday in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1984 The U.S. swim team wins three more gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics through the efforts of Mary T. Meagher, George DiCarlo and the men's 400-meter medley relay team.

In 1985 A Delta jumbo jet crashes on final approach to Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport killing 137, with 30 survivors.

In 1988 Chicago hits 100 degrees for the 7th time in one year, the city's record.

In 1989 The U.S. House of Representatives votes against including abortion curbs in a spending bill for the District of Columbia.

In 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait, installs a military government and annexes Kuwait on the claim that it was part of historical Iraq. The Iraqis are later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.

In 1991 Secretary of State James A. Baker III meets in Jerusalem with a group of Palestinians, but failed to line up their immediate support for a Middle East peace conference.

In 1992 Jackie Joyner-Kersee of the U.S. repeats as the heptathlon champion at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

In 1993 In a dramatic scene shown on national television, Jessica, a 2 1/2-year-old girl at the center of a custody battle, was removed from the Michigan home of Jan and Roberta DeBoer and turned over to her biological parents, Dan and Cara Schmidt of Iowa.

In 1994 Serbia threatens to cut all aid to the Bosnian Serbs if they didn't approve an international peace plan.

In 1995 Hurricane Erin comes ashore in Vero Beach, FL, killing two people on land and five at sea.

In 1995 China orders the expulsion of two U.S. Air Force officers it said were caught spying on military sites.

In 1997 "Naked Lunch" author William S. Burroughs, dies at age 83.

In 1998 Ventriloquist Shari Lewis, 65, dies in Los Angeles.

In 1999 A train collision in India claims 286 lives.

In 2000 Scientists announce development of cholera's genetic blueprint, a step toward better vaccines or treatments.

In 2000 Republicans officially nominate Texas Governor George W. Bush for president at the party's convention in Philadelphia.

In 2000 Former President Gerald Ford is hospitalized after suffering one, possibly two, small strokes.

In 2002 Pope John Paul II returns to Rome after ending an 11-day pilgrimage to Canada, Guatemala and Mexico.

In 2003 Liberian President Charles Taylor agrees to cede power.


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