Today In History...
In 1803 The U.S. Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1820 Spain sells (east) Florida to the U.S. for $5 million.
In 1892 The city of Chicago dedicates the World's Columbian Exposition.
In 1903 A joint commission rules in favor of the U.S. in a boundary dispute between Alaska and Canada.
In 1906 Dr. Lee DeForest gives a demonstration of his radio tube.
In 1944 During World War II, General MacArthur steps ashore at Leyte in the Philippines, 2 1/2 years after he said, "I shall return," declaring, "I have returned."
In 1944 The Yugoslav cities of Belgrade and Dubrovnik were liberated during World War II.
In 1947 The House Un-American Activities Committee opens hearings into alleged Communist influence in the Hollywood movie industry.
In 1960 The first fully mechanized post office opens in Providence, RI.
In 1960 A Soviet General and 100 scientists are killed when a Mars rocket explodes on the launch pad.
In 1964 Herbert Hoover, the 31st U.S. president, dies in New York at age 90.
In 1967 Seven men including a Ku Klux Klan leader and a sheriff's deputy are convicted in Meridian, MS, on charges of violating the civil rights of three murdered civil rights workers.
In 1968 Former first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy marries Aristotle Onassis on his privately owned island of Scorpio in the Ionian Sea.
In 1973 In the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre," President Nixon fires special Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned.
In 1973 The Syndey Opera House in Australia is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1976 70 die as Norwegian tanker "Frosta" collides with the "George Prince" on the Mississippi River 20 miles north of New Orleans.
In 1977 The civilian government in Thailand is ousted in a bloodless coup.
In 1979 The John F. Kennedy Library is dedicated in Boston.
In 1984 The State Department announces the U.S. would further reduce the number of Americans assigned to the embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
In 1986 Mozambique's President Sahora Machel dies in a plane crash in eastern South Africa.
In 1986 The government of Nicaragua formally charges American mercenary Eugene Hasenfus with several crimes, including terrorism.
In 1987 Bernhard Goetz sentenced to six months in jail for shooting and wounding 4 teenage boys on a New York subway, after one of them approached him for five dollars.
In 1987 10 are killed when an Air Force jet crashes into a Ramada Inn hotel near Indianapolis International Airport.
In 1988 The Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series, defeating the Oakland A's in game five, 5-2.
In 1989 The Hungarian parliament disbands the Communist Party's armed guard, known as the "Worker's Militia."
In 1989 The U.S. Senate convicted U.S. District Judge Alcee L. Hastings of perjury and conspiracy, and removed him from office.
In 1989 Former President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, begin a visit to Japan sponsored by a media conglomerate.
In 1991 Fire breaks out in the hills above Oakland, California, killing 25 people and destroying more than 3,000 homes.
In 1992 The Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Atlanta Braves, 3-2, in game three of the World Series, the first World Series game to be played outside the U.S.
In 1993 A Los Angeles jury acquits Damian Williams of attempted murder in the beating of trucker Reginald Denny.
In 1993 Attorney General Janet Reno warns the TV industry to limit violence in programs.
In 1994 Actor Burt Lancaster dies in Los Angeles at age 80.
In 1995 France, the U.S. and Britain announce a treaty banning atomic blasts in the South Pacific.
In 1995 Christopher Lynn Johnson, a black protest leader's son, is acquitted of burning down a Wedowee, Alabama, high school whose white principal had condemned interracial prom dates.
In 1995 NATO Secretary General Willy Claes resigns to face corruption charges in his native Belgium.
In 1995 The space shuttle Columbia is launched on a research flight that had been delayed six times.
In 1996 Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's party wins a parliamentary election.
In 1997 Because spacesuits were needed for the task, Mir cosmonauts perform history's first "internal spacewalk" to restore power to the damaged Spektr module of the space station.
In 1998 Jordan's King Hussein joins Mideast peace talks in Maryland at the invitation of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
In 2001 During a visit to Shanghai, China, President Bush challenges Asian leaders to help "save the civilized world" by joining his war against terrorism.
In 2002 With a U.S. invasion looming, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein issues an amnesty decree releasing everyone from pickpockets to political prisoners from prison.
In 2003 A judge in Eagle, CO, orders Kobe Bryant to stand trial for sexual assault. The criminal case was later dropped.
In 2004 ABC announced it would drop the Miss America beauty pageant (it was later picked up by CMT).