Today In History...
In 1861 The Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America, meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, elect Jefferson Davis as president.
In 1863 The fire extinguisher is patented by Alanson Crane.
In 1877 The U.S. Weather Service is founded.
In 1933 The temperature at Yellowstone National Park drops to 66 belowzero.
In 1942 The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff holds its first formal meeting to coordinate American military strategy during World War II.
In 1942 Daylight-savings "War Time" goes into effect in the U.S. with clocks turned one hour foward.
In 1943 The U.S. wins a major strategic battle during World War II when Japan evacuates Guadalcanal.
In 1943 In her first address to the House, U.S. Rep. Clare Boothe Lucederides Vice President Henry A. Wallace's "global thinking" as "globaloney."
In 1949 Actor Robert Mitchum is sentenced to 60 days for possession of marijuana.
In 1950 In a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy charges the State Department was riddled with Communists.
In 1953 "The Adventures of Superman" premieres on television.
In 1962 An agreement is signed to make Jamaica an independent nation within the British Commonwealth later in the year.
In 1964 The action figure "GI Joe" is introduced.
In 1967 This date begins 768 consecutive days of sunshine in St.Petersburg, Florida that ended on March 17, 1969.
In 1968 "Planet of the Apes" opens in movie theaters.
In 1969 The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes it's first commercial flight.
In 1969 Actor George "Gabby" Hayes dies at age 67.
In 1971 An earthquake kills 65 people in the San Fernando Valley.
In 1971 Apollo XIV returns to Earth after man's third landing on the moon.
In 1975 Soyuz 17 returns to Earth.
In 1977 Queen Alia of Jordon, the third wife of King Hussein, is killed in the crash of a military helicopter.
In 1978 William Webster is confirmed as the FBI's new director.
In 1984 Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov dies at age 69, less than 15 months after succeeding Leonid Brezhnev. He was succeeded by Konstantin U. Chernenko.
In 1985 In his Saturday radio address, President Reagan accuses Congress of thwarting his administration's efforts to run the government more economically.
In 1986 Halley's Comet reaches perihelion (closest approach to sun).
In 1987 Former national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane, who was facing tough questions about his role in the Iran-Contra affair, attempts suicide by swallowing Valium, but survived.
In 1988 Actress Robin Givens and boxer Mike Tyson are married.
In 1989 In his first major speech to Congress, President Bush proposes a $1.16 trillion "common sense" budget for fiscal 1990.
In 1990 The Perrier Group of America announces it would voluntarily recall its inventory of Perrier mineral water in the U.S. after tests find benzene in a small number of bottles.
In 1992 Magic Johnson returned to professional basketball by playing in the NBA All-Star game.
In 1992 The government of Algeria declares a state of emergency to quell spreading Muslim fundamentalist unrest.
In 1994 Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization reach agreement on implementing plan for Palestinian self-rule on the West Bank and in Gaza.
In 1995 Former Senator J. William Fulbright, 89, dies in Washington.
In 1996 A former member of Fort Lauderdale, FL, beach detail shoots and kills five former co-workers before killing himself.
In 1996 A collision of rush-hour commuter trains in Secaucus, NJ, claims the lives of both engineers and a passenger.
In 1996 The Irish Republican Army ends its cease-fire with a truck bombing in London that killed two and injured 37.
In 1997 Richmond-based Best Products closes its 180 stores in 23 states, the largest U.S. retailer to date to go under.
In 1998 North Koreans working in the former Soviet Union defect to South Korea.
In 1998 At the Nagano Games, German Georg Hackl wins the men's luge for the third consecutive Olympics.
In 1999 The U.S. Senate begins closed-door deliberations in President Clinton's impeachment trial.
In 2001 A U.S. Navy submarine collides with a Japanese fishing boat off the Hawaiian coast, killing nine men and boys aboard the boat.
In 2002 Britain's Princess Margaret, the unconventional sister of Queen Elizabeth II, dies in London at age 71.
In 2003 The West beats the East, 155-145, in the first double overtime game in NBA All-Star history.