Today In History...

In 1609 The Venetian senate examines Galileo Galilei's telescope.

In 1709 The first known ascent in a hot-air balloon is made by by Father Bartolomeu de Gusmao of Portugal, indoors!

In 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte sets sail for St. Helena to spend the remainder of his days in exile.

In 1844 Brigham Young is chosen to lead the Mormons following the killing of Joseph Smith.

In 1876 Thomas A. Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph, a "method of preparing autographic stencils for printing."

In 1888 The revolving door is patented.

In 1900 The first Davis Cup tennis matches are held in Boston.

In 1929 The Graf Zepplin flies around the world in 21 days.

In 1940 The Battle of Britain begins as Germany launches air attacks during World War II.

In 1942 Six convicted Nazi saboteurs, who landed in the U.S., are executed in Washington, DC. Two others received life imprisonment.

In 1945 President Truman signs the United Nations Charter.

In 1945 The Soviet Union declares war against Japan during World War II.

In 1953 The U.S. and South Korea initialed a mutual security pact.

In 1963 Britain's so-called Great Train Robbery takes place as thieves ambush a mail train near Cheddington, England, making off with 2.6 million pounds in banknotes.

In 1968 Richard M. Nixon is nominated for president at the Republican National Convention in Miami. Later that day, Nixon selected Maryland Governor Spiro T. Agnew as his running mate.

In 1973 Vice President Spiro T. Agnew brands as "damned lies" reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland and vowed not to resign. He eventually did.

In 1974 Faced with further eroding support because of the Watergate scandal, President Nixon announces his resignation effective the following day.

In 1978 The U.S. launches the Pioneer Venus probe.

In 1978 Odie The Dog first appears in the "Garfield" comic strip.

In 1983 A jury in Kansas City, MO, awards TV anchorwoman Christine Craft $500,000 in her sex discrimination suit against the former owner of KMBC-TV. The award was later overturned.

In 1984 Carl Lewis wins his third gold medal of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, winning the 200 meters race in a time of 19.80 seconds.

In 1985 A bomb explodes outside the Rhein-Main U.S. air base near Frankfurt, killing two Americans, in an attack blamed on the Red Army Faction.

In 1986 John Joyce sets the world record for hammock swinging at 240 hours.

In 1986 17 people are killed when a car bomb exploded in a shopping district in west Beirut.

In 1988 U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar announces a cease-fire agreement between Iran and Iraq.

In 1989 The space shuttle Columbia blasts off from Cape Canaveral, FL, on a secret five-day military mission that reportedly included the deployment of a spy satellite.

In 1990 Iraq announces it had annexed Kuwait. President Bush warned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that "a line has been drawn in the sand."

In 1991 Lebanese kidnappers free British TV producer John McCarthy, held hostage for more than five years.

In 1991 The slain bodies of former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar and his chief of staff are found in Bakhtiar's residence outside Paris.

In 1992 The U.S. basketball "Dream Team" clinches the gold at the Barcelona Summer Olympics, defeating Croatia, 117-85.

In 1992 AIDS activist Alison Gertz dies in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, New York, at age 26.

In 1993 In Somalia, four U.S. soldiers are killed when a land mine was detonated underneath their vehicle, prompting President Clinton to order the capture of Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

In 1994 Israel and Jordan open the first road link between the two once-warring countries. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin became the first Israeli government head to set foot on Jordanian soil.

In 1995 President Clinton orders all companies doing business with the federal government to report the pollution they cause.

In 1997 The Teamsters and UPS complete a second day of federally mediated talks with no progress toward ending a strike.

In 2000 A bomb explodes at an underground walkway in central Moscow, killing at least 13 people.

In 2000 Chile's Supreme Court strips General Augusto Pinochet's immunity, clearing the way for the former dictator to be tried on human rights charges.

In 2001 Former President Reagan's daughter, Maureen, dies at age 60.

In 2003 The Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese offers $55 million to settle lawsuits stemming from sex abuse by priests.

In 2004 Actress Fay Wray, the damsel held atop the Empire State Building by King Kong in the 1933 film classic, died in New York at age 96.


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