Today In History...

In 1497 Nicolaus Copernicus records the first astronomical observations.

In 1661 Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the chief minister of France, dies, leaving King Louis XIV in full control.

In 1796 Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais.

In 1822 New York's Charles Graham is granted a patent for artificial teeth.

In 1860 The first Japanese ambassador to the U.S., Niimi Buzennokami, and his staff arrive in San Francisco.

In 1864 General Ulysses S. Grant is named Commander of the Union armies.

In 1862 During the Civil War, the ironclads Monitor and Virginia (formerly Merrimack) clash for five hours to a draw at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

In 1916 Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attack Columbus, New Mexico, killing more than a dozen people.

In 1933 Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, begins enacting the New Deal legislation.

In 1945 American air raids on Tokyo kill 120,000 people during World War II.

In 1954 CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviews Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's anti-communist campaign on the television program "See it Now."

In 1961 Sputnik 9 carries Chernushka, a dog, into orbit.

In 1964 The U.S. Supreme Court issues its New York Times vs. Sullivan decision, which said public officials who charged they had been libeled could not recover damages unless they proved actual malice on the part of the news organization.

In 1969 Despite high ratings, CBS cancels "The Smothers Brothers."

In 1975 Work begins on the Alaskan oil pipeline.

In 1977 About a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invade three buildings in Washington, DC, killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. The siege ends two days later.

In 1979 The first extraterrestrial volcano is discovered on a moon of the planet Jupiter.

In 1981 Dan Rather makes his debut as the principle anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."

In 1984 Riots break out in Miami, Florida, when police kill civilians.

In 1986 NASA announces that divers had located the Challenger space shuttle's crew compartment.

In 1987 Chrysler Corporation announces it had agreed to buy the financially troubled American Motors Corporation for $757 million.

In 1989 The Senate rejects President Bush's nomination of John Tower as U.S. Secretary of Defense, by a vote of 53 to 47.

In 1990 Dr. Antonia Novello is sworn in as surgeon general, becoming the first woman and the first Hispanic to hold the position.

In 1992 Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin dies at age 78.

In 1993 Rodney King testifies at the federal trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused of violating his civil rights, saying he'd been "attacked" by the defendants.

In 1993 Janet Reno sails through her confirmation hearing en route to becoming the nation's first female attorney general.

In 1994 The UN Human Rights Commission condemns anti-Semitism, putting the world body on record for the first time as opposing discrimination against Jews.

In 1995 Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman takes the stand at the O.J. Simpson murder trial, denying ever meeting a woman who had accused him of making racist remarks.

In 1996 Actor/comedian George Burns dies in Beverly Hills, CA, just one week after turning 100.

In 1996 The space shuttle Columbia lands safely a day late at the Kennedy Space Center, ending a 16-day mission.

In 1998 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says first the two months of 1998 were the warmest and wettest on record in the continental U.S.

In 1998 Falling crude oil prices, and a price war among refiners and distributors, sends gasoline prices to an all-time low of $15 per barrel.

In 1999 RJR Nabisco, the food-and-tobacco conglomerate, announces it was getting out of the cigarette business.

In 2000 John McCain suspends his presidential campaign, conceding the Republican nomination to George W. Bush. Additionally, Bill Bradley ends his Democratic presidential campaign.

In 2002 The space shuttle Columbia's astronauts release the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit after five days of repairs.

In 2004 Convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad is sentenced to death in Virginia.


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