Today In History...

In 1519 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan begins what becomes the first successful circumnavigation of the world.

In 1797 The U.S. "Constitution" (Old Ironsides) is launched in Boston.

In 1859 A patent is granted for the electric range.

In 1870 Italian troops take control of the Papal States, leading to the unification of Italy.

In 1873 Panic sweeps through the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures.

In 1881 Chester A. Arthur is sworn in as the 21st U.S. president, succeeding James A. Garfield, who had been assassinated.

In 1884 The Equal Rights Party in San Francisco nominates Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood of Washington for president.

In 1945 German rocket engineers begin work in America.

In 1947 Former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia dies.

In 1951 The first North Pole jet crossing.

In 1958 Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is seriously wounded at a New York City department store when a deranged black woman stabbed him in the chest.

In 1962 Black student James Meredith is blocked from enrolling in the University of Mississippi by Governor Ross R. Barnett.

In 1963 In a United Nations speech, President Kennedy proposes that the U.S. and the Soviet Union go to the moon together, rather than a contest.

In 1970 Luna XVI lands on the Moon's Mare Fecunditatis, drills core sample.

In 1973 Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, in their so-called "Tennis Battle of the Sexes" at the Houston Astrodome.

In 1976 Playboy Magazine releases an interview in which Democratic presidential nominee Jimmy Carter admitted he'd "looked on a lot of women with lust."

In 1977 The first wave of Southeast Asian "boat people" arrive in San Francisco under a new U.S. resettlement program.

In 1978 John Vorster, prime minister of white-ruled South Africa since 1966, announces his resignation.

In 1979 Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the self-styled head of the Central African Empire, is overthrown in a French-supported coup.

In 1983 The NCAC certified August 1983 as the hottest in U.S. history.

In 1983 President Reagan and congressional leaders reach a compromise authorizing the 1,200 U.S. Marines in Lebanon to remain on their peacekeeping mission for 18 more months. Beirut, killing a dozen people.

In 1984 Pope John Paul II wraps up his 12-day tour of Canada in Ottawa.

In 1984 "The Cosby Show" premieres on NBC-TV.

In 1985 A second major earthquake strikes the Mexico City area, one day after a devastating temblor.

In 1988 Former Texas Tech president Lauro Cavazos becomes Secretary of Education, the first-ever Hispanic Cabinet member.

In 1988 Greg Louganis of the U.S. wins the gold medal in springboard diving at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

In 1989 Former Texan Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker" who terrorized Southern California in 1985, is convicted of 13 murders.

In 1989 F.W. de Klerk is sworn in as president of South Africa.

In 1990 Demanding equal time, Iraq asked U.S. networks to broadcast a message by President Saddam Hussein in response to President Bush's videotaped address to the Iraqi people.

In 1991 UN weapons inspectors left Bahrain for Iraq to renew their search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

In 1992 The space shuttle Endeavour lands at the Kennedy Space Center.

In 1992 Leanza Cornett of Florida is crowned Miss America in Atlantic City.

In 1994 The space shuttle Discovery and its six astronauts land at Edwards Air Force Base in California after an 11-day mission.

In 1994 Broadway composer Jule Styne dies in New York at age 88.

In 1995 In a move that stunned Wall Street, AT&T Corp. announces it was splitting into three companies.

In 1996 President Clinton announced his signing of a bill outlawing homosexual marriages, but said it should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays.

In 1998 After 2,632 consecutive games, Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles sat out a game against the New York Yankees, ending a 16-year run.

In 1998 Muriel Humphrey Brown, widow of Vice President Hubert Humphrey and his brief successor in the U.S. Senate, dies at age 86.

In 1999 Lawrence Russell Brewer becomes the second white supremacist to be convicted in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, TX.

In 1999 Raisa Gorbachev, wife of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, dies after a battle with leukemia at age 67.

In 2000 The U.S. Senate votes to permanently normalize trade with China.

In 2000 Independent Counsel Robert Ray announces the end of the Whitewater investigation, saying there is insufficient evidence to warrant charges against the Clintons.

In 2000 Former Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov dies at age 65.

In 2002 William Rosenberg, founder of the Dunkin' Donuts chain, dies at 86.

In 2003 A sightseeing helicopter crashes in the Grand Canyon, killing all seven on board.

In 2004 CBS News apologizes for its story questioning President Bush's National Guard service, saying it could not vouch for the authenticity of documents featured in the report.


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