Today In History...

In 1790 Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II dies.

In 1792 President Washington signs an act creating the U.S. postal service.

In 1809 The U.S. Supreme Court rules the power of the Federal government is greater than that of any individual state.

In 1839 Congress prohibits dueling in the District of Columbia.

In 1872 The Metropolitan Museum Of Art officially opens in New York City.

In 1895 American abolitionist Frederick Douglass dies in Washington.

In 1905 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that states may require vaccinations.

In 1907 America passes the "Immigration Act" allowing the President to keep out people from other countries.

In 1933 The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (to repeal Prohibition) goes to the states for ratification.

In 1938 Anthony Eden resigns as British foreign secretary in a dispute with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

In 1944 During World War II, U.S. bombers begin raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers in a series of attacks that became known as "Big Week."

In 1944 The "Batman & Robin" comic strip debuts in newspapers.

In 1945 The minimum wage for textile workers is set at 55 cents per hour.

In 1952 Emmett Ashford becomes the first black major league umpire.

In 1959 The FCC applies "equal time" rule to TV newscasts of political candidates.

In 1962 Astronaut John Glenn is the first American to orbit the Earth aboard the Friendship VII Mercury capsule.

In 1965 The Ranger VIII spacecraft crashes on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of the lunar surface.

In 1971 The National Emergency Warning Center in Colorado erroneously ordered radio and TV stations across the U.S. to go off the air.

In 1977 The U.S. government begins testing windmills for power at Rocky Flats, Colorado.

In 1981 The space shuttle Columbia clears the final major hurdle to its maiden launch as the spacecraft fired its three engines in a 20-second test.

In 1985 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher addresses a joint meeting of U.S. Congress.

In 1986 The Soviets launch the space station "Mir."

In 1986 Britain and France firm up a deal to construct a rail tunnel under the English Channel.

In 1986 President Reagan visits Grenada, scene of the 1983 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Caribbean island's Marxist government.

In 1987 Joseph Begun, a Jewish activist, is released by the Soviet Union.

In 1987 A bomb blamed on the Unabomber explodes behind a computer store in Salt Lake City, seriously injuring a store executive.

In 1988 U.S. figure skater Brian Boitano wins the gold medal in the men's competition at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada.

In 1989 Members of the European Economic Community decide to withdraw their top diplomats from Iran to protest Ayatollah Khomeini's order for Muslims to kill author Salman Rushdie.

In 1990 President Bush welcomes Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel to the White House.

In 1992 Ross Perot states on "Larry King Live" that he would run for president if supporters put him on the ballot in all 50 states.

In 1995 An American Marine, Justin A. Harris, dies in a helicopter crash during the evacuation of United Nations forces from Somalia.

In 1997 Deng Xiaoping, the last of China's major Communist revolutionaries, dies.

In 1997 Detroit's daily newspapers accept a back-to-work offer from striking employees, ending 19-month walkout.

In 1998 A Brown & Williamson executive says the tobacco giant adds genetically altered, high-nicotine tobacco to export cigarettes.

In 1998 Two are charged with attempting to sell transplant organs harvested from prisoners executed in China.

In 1998 Tara Lipinski wins the world women's figure skating title, the youngest gold medalist in Winter Olympics history.

In 1999 Movie reviewer Gene Siskel dies at age 53.

In 2001 Space shuttle Atlantis lands in the Mojave Desert after 3 straight days of bad weather prevented it from touching down in Florida.

In 2002 President Bush, on the final leg of an Asian trip, arrives in China,where he urged President Jiang Zemin to respect religious freedoms.

In 2002 A Cairo-to-Luxor passenger train catches fire, killing 360 people.

In 2004 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger orders the state attorney general to take immediate legal steps to stop gay weddings in San Francisco.

In 2010 Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, a retired four-star Army general who advised three presidents, dies at age 85.


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