Today In History...

In 1565 The Spanish establish the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Florida.

In 1664 The Dutch surrender New Amsterdam to the English, who rename it New York.

In 1858 Abraham Lincoln makes his famous speech about "when you can fool people."

In 1883 Northern Pacific Railroad's last spike is driven at Independence Creek, Montana.

In 1892 An early version of "The Pledge of Allegiance" appears in "The Youth's Companion."

In 1900 A hurricane hits Galveston, Texas, killing 6000 people.

In 1920 The first U.S. Air Mail service begins (New York to San Francisco).

In 1921 Margaret Gorman of Washington, DC, is crowned the first Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

In 1930 The comic strip "Blondie" makes its debut.

In 1934 134 are killed in a fire aboard the liner Morro Castle off the New Jersey coast.

In 1935 Senator Huey P. Long, the "Kingfish" of Louisiana politics, is shot and mortally wounded inside the state Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He dies 2 days later.

In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt declares a "limited national emergency" in response to the outbreak of war in Europe.

In 1943 During World War II, General Dwight E. Eisenhower publicly announces Italy's surrender, a decision denounced by Nazi Germany as a cowardly act.

In 1944 Nazi Germany fires the first of its V-2 rockets, which were faster and more powerful than the V-1, into London during World War II.

In 1945 The U.S. invades Japanese-held Korea.

In 1951 A peace treaty with Japan is signed by 48 other nations in San Francisco, California.

In 1952 The Ernest Hemingway novel "The Old Man and the Sea" is first published.

In 1966 The television series "Star Trek" premieres on NBC-TV.

In 1966 The sitcom "That Girl" starring Marlo Thomas premieres on ABC-TV.

In 1971 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opens in Washington, DC.

In 1972 The tree sitting record is set at 431 days.

In 1974 President Gerald Ford grants an unconditional pardon to former president Richard Nixon for any federal crimes committed during his term in office.

In 1975 Boston's public schools begin their court-ordered citywide busing program amid scattered incidents of violence.

In 1981 Civil rights activist Roy Wilkens, former head of the NAACP, dies in New York at age 80.

In 1984 Martina Navratilova battles from behind to defeat Chris Evert Lloyd and defend her women's singles crown at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.

In 1987 Former Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart admits during an interview on ABC's "Nightline" that he had committed adultery and said he had no plans to resume his White House bid.

In 1988 2 nuclear-missile rocket motors are destroyed an at Army ammunition plant in Karnack, TX, the first U.S. Weapons to be eliminated under an arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union.

In 1988 National League president A. Bartlett Giamatti is named to succeed Peter Ueberroth as Baseball Commissioner.

In 1989 Former President Reagan undergoes surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to relieve a build-up of fluid in his brain that was apparently caused by a horse-riding accident.

In 1990 Gabriela Sabatini wins the U.S. Open women's championship and her first grand slam title as she defeats Steffi Graf.

In 1992 President Bush asks Congress to provide more than $7.6 billion to help victims of Hurricane Andrew.

In 1992 In a case that prompted federal laws against carjacking, Pam Basu of Savage, MD, is dragged to death after being forced from her car.

In 1993 German tourist Uwe-Wilhelm Rakebrand is killed by someone firing from a van as he and his wife were driving away from the Miami airport.

In 1993 Black gunmen in South Africa launch a series of attacks on black commuters, killing 24.

In 1994 USAir Flight 427 nose-dives into a ravine while trying to land near Pittsburgh, killing all 132 people on board.

In 1995 Monsoon rains blanket northern India, raising the death toll in a week of flooding to more than 400 people.

In 1996 Okinawans vote more than 10-to-1 in favor of a reduction of U.S. military bases on their islands, in a referendum aimed at pressuring Washington to pull out its troops.

In 1996 At the U.S. Open, Pete Sampras defeats Michael Chang and Steffi Graf beat Monica Seles to win the top prizes.

In 1997 A strike against the Bay Area's commuter rail system causes monumental traffic jams in and around San Francisco.

In 1997 A crowded Haitian ferry capsizes killing over 150.

In 1998 Mark McGwire hits his 62nd home run of the season breaking Roger Maris' 37-year-old record, hitting #62 off Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel.

In 2001 Venus Williams wins her second consecutive U.S. Open title by beating her sister Serena in the first prime-time women's Grand Slam final.

In 2002 Pete Sampras beats Andre Agassi to win his 14th Grand Slam title and the U.S. Open for the fifth time.

In 2004 The Genesis space capsule, which had orbited the sun for three years, crashes to Earth when its parachutes failed to deploy.


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