Today In History...

In 1770 John Bartram of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, receives the first shipment of rhubarb sent to America from Benjamin Franklin inLondon.

In 1787 William Herschel discovers 2 moons of Uranus, Titania and Oberon.

In 1805 The Michigan Territory is created.

In 1861 Alabama becomes the 4th state to secede from the Union.

In 1861 Mexico City is captured by Juarez.

In 1913 The first sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, goes on display at the 13th Automobile Show in New York.

In 1935 Aviator Amelia Earhart takes off from Hawaii on the first solo flight by a woman across the Pacific Ocean.

In 1939 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax, the British foreign secretary, meet with Italian leader Benito Mussolini in Rome.

In 1942 Japan declares war against the Netherlands, the same day that Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies.

In 1943 The U.S. and Britain sign treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.

In 1946 "Ziegfeld Follies," Fred Astaire's 19th film opens. It's his first in color and his first with Gene Kelly.

In 1949 3 inches of snow falls on Los Angeles, California.

In 1964 U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issues a report that cigarettes are "a definite health hazard."

In 1973 Owners of American League baseball teams vote to adopt the designated-hitter rule on a trial basis.

In 1975 Soyuz 17 is launched.

In 1977 France sets off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a Palestinian suspected of involvement in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In 1978 Two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz XXVII capsule link up with Salyut VI orbiting space station, where the Soyuz XXVI capsule was already docked.

In 1984 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that states can impose damages for nuclear safety violations.

In 1984 Chief Warrant Office Jeffry C. Schwab, a U.S. Army pilot, is killed by Sandinista fire as his helicopter is shot down along the Nicaraguan-Honduran border.

In 1985 Three American GI's are killed when a Pershing 2 missile caught fire during a training exercise near Heilbronn, West Germany.

In 1986 The first black to be elected lieutenant governor of a state since Reconstruction, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, is sworn into office.

In 1988 Amoco is fined $85 million for an oil spill off France.

In 1988 Vice President George Bush meets with representatives of independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh to answer questions about the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1988 World War II flying ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington dies at age 75.

In 1989 Surgeon General C. Everett Koop announces that lung cancer, not breast cancer, is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women.

In 1989 President Reagan bids the nation farewell in a nationally broadcast address from the Oval Office.

In 1990 Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev visits Lithuania, where he sought to assure supporters of independence that they would have a say in their republic's future.

In 1993 Former presidential candidate Ross Perot begins recruiting Americans for a watchdog group that he said would counter special interests that were preventing government reform and deficit reduction.

In 1995 Fifty-one people are killed when a Colombian airliner explodes as it was preparing to land near the Caribbean resort of Cartagena.

In 1995 Pope John Paul II sets out on tour of four Asian nations.

In 1996 The space shuttle Endeavour blasts off on a 9-day mission.

In 1996 Ryutaro Hashimoto is chosen as the new prime minister of Japan.

In 1996 Funeral services are held for former French president Francois Mitterrand.

In 1997 A 7.3 earthquake shakes Mexico City and the southern part of Mexico, but no deaths were reported.

In 2000 The U.S. Supreme Court rules, 5-4, that state employees cannot go into federal court to sue over age bias.

In 2003 Calling the death penalty process "arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral," Illinois Governor George Ryan commutes the sentences of 167 condemned inmates, two days before leaving office.

In 2008 Explorer Sir Edmund Hillary, the first to scale Mount Everest, dies of a heart attack at age 88.


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