Today In History...

In 1833 Britain abolishes slavery in the colonies; 700,000 slaves freed.

In 1838 One of the first colleges for women, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, MA, graduates its first students.

In 1889 The first ship-to-shore wireless message is received.

In 1914 Japan declares war on Germany during World War I.

In 1919 The comic strip, "Gasoline Alley" premieres in the Chicago Tribune.

In 1926 Silent film star Rudolph Valentino dies in New York at age 31.

In 1927 Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 payroll robbery in a case that had drawn widespread controversy.

In 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression treaty.

In 1942 Some 600 Luftwaffe bombers kill 40,000 at Stalingrad during World War II.

In 1944 Romanian Prime Minister Ion Antonescu is overthrown, paving the way for his country to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.

In 1955 The first one-day round-trip between New York and London is made.

In 1960 Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein II dies in Doylestown, PA.

In 1966 Lunar Orbiter I takes the first photograph of planet Earth from the moon.

In 1972 Vice President Spiro T. Agnew is nominated for a second term at the Republican national convention in Miami, Florida.

In 1973 The Intelsat communications satellite is launched.

In 1977 The first man-powered airplane, the Gossamer Condor, makes its historic 1.4 mile flight.

In 1979 Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defects in New York.

In 1982 Lebanon's parliament elects Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. (Gemayel was assassinated 3 weeks later.)

In 1984 President Reagan accepts the nomination of the Republican national convention in Dallas.

In 1985 The head of West German counter-espionage, Hans Joachim Tiedge, defects to East Germany.

In 1986 Sylvia Brett, 80, at the time, becomes the world's oldest parachute jumper.

In 1986 Gennadiy Zakharov, a physicist assigned to the United Nations, is arrested by the FBI and charged with espionage.

In 1988 Striking workers in Poland end a walkout that had begun a week earlier. However, about 125 miners barricaded themselves in an underground shaft, vowing to stay until they'd won their demands.

In 1989 In a case that raised racial tensions, Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old black youth, is shot to death after he and his friends were confronted by a gang of white youths in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1990 Iraqi state television shows President Saddam Hussein meeting with a group of about 20 Western detainees, telling them that they were being held "to prevent the scourge of war."

In 1991 In the wake of the failed hard-liners coup, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin acts to strip the Communist Party of its power.

In 1992 Hurricane Andrew slams into the Bahamas with 120 mph winds.

In 1992 Secretary of State James A. Baker III resigns to become White House chief of staff.

In 1993 Former Detroit police officers Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn are convicted of second-degree murder in the fatal beating of black motorist Malice Green; both received prison terms.

In 1995 Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt dies at age 96.

In 1996 New FDA regulations declare nicotine an addictive drug. That same day, an Indianapolis jury found cigarette companies were not responsible for the lung cancer death of a 52-year-old lawyer who began smoking at age 5.

In 1998 Boris Yeltsin again dismisses the Russian government, replacing his prime minister, Sergei Kiriyenko, with Viktor Chernomyrdin, the Soviet-style leader he'd fired 5 months earlier.

In 1999 The Dow Jones industrial average soared 199.15 to a new record of 11,209.84.

In 1999 50 years after the German government moved to the capital of Bonn, Berlin reclaims its role as a center of power in Germany with the arrival of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

In 2000 A Gulf Air Airbus crashes into Persian Gulf near Bahrain, killing all 143 people aboard.

In 2000 Verizon and more than 35,000 telephone workers reach a tentative agreement, ending an 18-day strike.

In 2002 North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made his second visit to Russia in a year, meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

In 2002 New York publicist Lizzie Grubman pleads guilty in a hit-and-run crash that injured 16 people outside a Hamptons nightclub.

In 2003 Former priest John Geoghan, the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church, dies after another inmate attacked him in prison.

In 2004 In Athens, Jeremy Wariner becomes the sixth consecutive American to win the Olympic title in the 400 meters, leading a U.S. sweep of the medals.


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