Today In History...

In 1492 Columbus sets sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships -- the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria -- on a voyage that would take him to present-day America.

In 1678 Robert LaSalle builds the first ship in America, the "Griffon."

In 1894 Workers at the Pullman Palace Car Co., their strike broken, end their walkout.

In 1914 Germany declares war on France.

In 1921 Baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis refuses to reinstate the former Chicago White Sox players implicated in the "Black Sox" scandal, even though they were acquitted by a jury.

In 1923 Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th U.S. president following the death of Warren G. Harding.

In 1936 The U.S. State Department urges Americans in Spain to leave because of that country's civil war.

In 1943 During World War II, General George S. Patton slaps a soldier at an Army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. Patton was later ordered to apologize by General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1948 Whittaker Chambers, a former Communist, publicly accuses former State Department official Alger Hiss of having been a part of a Communist underground, a charge Hiss denied.

In 1949 The National Basketball Association is formed by a merger of the Basketball Association of America and National Basketball League.

In 1958 The U.S.S. Nautilus becomes the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.

In 1966 Comedian Lenny Bruce dies of a morphine overdose.

In 1970 Hurricane Celia produces wind gusts of 180mph near Corpus Christi, Texas, killing eleven.

In 1975 The New Orleans Superdome officially opens.

In 1980 Closing ceremonies are held in Moscow for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, which were boycotted by dozens of countries, including the United States.

In 1981 Air traffic controllers go on strike, despite a warning from President Reagan that they would be fired.

In 1983 John Sain of South Bend, Indiana, builds 3.91m house out of cards.

In 1983 President Reagan apologizes in person to a professional women's group for a canceled White House tour.

In 1984 365.7 million shares are traded in the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1984 At the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, Mary Lou Retton wins the gold medal in the individual all-around event in women's gymnastics by scoring a perfect 10 on the vault in her final routine.

In 1987 A record heat wave causes 100 deaths in the Midwest and East.

In 1987 The Iran-Contra hearings end, with none of the 29 witnesses tying President Reagan directly to the diversion of arms-sales profits to Nicaraguan rebels.

In 1988 The Soviet Union releases Mathias Rust, the young West German pilot who landed a light plane in Moscow's Red Square.

In 1989 Hashemi Rafsanjani is sworn in as president of Iran.

In 1989 Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon suspend their threat to execute another American hostage, 3 days after the hanging of Lt. Col. William R. Higgins.

In 1990 A day after Iraq invaded Kuwait, thousands of Iraqi soldiers push within a few miles of the border of Saudi Arabia.

In 1992 The U.S. Senate votes to sharply restrict, and eventually end, U.S. testing of nuclear weapons.

In 1993 The Senate votes, 96-3, to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In 1993 The body of basketball star Michael Jordan's father, James Jordan, is found in a South Carolina creek, 11 days after he was slain; his remains weren't identified until August 13.

In 1994 Arkansas carries out nation's first triple execution in 32 years.

In 1994 Stephen G. Breyer is sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court's newest justice.

In 1995 Palestinian Eyad Ismoil is flown to the U.S. from Jordan to face charges he'd driven a bomb-laden van into New York's World Trade Center. (Ismoil is now serving a life sentence.)

In 1996 At the Atlanta Olympics, the U.S. men's 400-meter relay, without Carl Lewis, failed to win the gold medal, finishing behind Canada.

The American women's 400 and 1,600 relay teams, and the men's 1,600, all won gold.

In 1997 The Teamsters strike against UPS after talks break down with nation's largest package delivery service.

In 1999 Arbitrators rule the government had to pay the heirs of Dallas dressmaker Abraham Zapruder $16 million for his movie film that captured the assassination of President Kennedy.

In 2000 George W. Bush accepts the presidential nomination at the Republican convention.

In 2002 Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian declares that Taiwan was an independent country separate from China.

In 2003 Annika Sorenstam completes a career Grand Slam at the Women's British Open, beating Se Ri Pak.

In 2004 The Statue of Liberty pedestal in New York City reopens to the public for the first time since the September 11 attacks.


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