Today In History...

In 1581 Frances Drake completes the circumnavigation of the world.

In 1818 Congress decides the U.S. flag would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with one new star to be added for each new state of the Union.

In 1828 In Amsterdam, Casparus van Wooden patents chocolate milk powder.

In 1841 President William Henry Harrison succumbs to pneumonia, one month after his inaugural, becoming the first president to die in office.

In 1850 Los Angeles is incorporated as a city.

In 1877 The first private telephone is placed in a home in Boston.

In 1887 Susan Salter becomes the first woman elected mayor of an American community: Argonia, Kansas.

In 1902 British financier Cecil Rhodes leaves $10 million in his will to provide scholarships for Americans at Oxford University.

In 1917 America declares war on Germany during World War I.

In 1932 C.G. King isolates Vitamin C at the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1933 Minnesota sets a 24-hour snowfall record when 28 inches falls at Pigeon River Bridge.

In 1945 U.S. forces liberate the Nazi death camp Ohrdruf in Germany.

In 1949 12 nations, including the U.S., sign the North Atlantic Treaty forming NATO.

In 1967 Johnny Carson quits the "Tonight Show," but returned three weeks later when NBC offered a weekly raise of $30,000.

In 1968 Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had gone to support a strike by city sanitation workers. He was 39.

In 1968 An unmanned Apollo XII space capsule is launched atop Saturn V.

In 1969 Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart.

In 1969 The TV series "Star Trek" is canceled.

In 1974 Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves ties Babe Ruth's home-run record by hitting his 714th in Cincinnati.

In 1975 More than 130 people, most of them children, are killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crashes shortly after take-off from Saigon.

In 1979 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the deposed prime minister of Pakistan, is hanged after he was convicted of conspiring to murder a political opponent.

In 1981 Henry Cisneros becomes the first Mexican-American elected mayor of a major U.S. city: San Antonio, Texas.

In 1983 The space shuttle Challenger blasts off on its maiden voyage.

In 1983 The U.S. government grants political asylum to Chinese tennis champion Hu Na.

In 1983 Actress Gloria Swanson dies in New York at age 84.

In 1984 The U.N. condems U.S. covert mining of Nicaraguan harbors.

In 1985 Gary Dotson, who served six years of a prison sentence for rape, was freed from the Joliet Correctional Center in Illinois after his accuser, Cathleen Crowell Webb, testified that the attack had never occurred.

In 1988 The Arizona Senate convicts Governor Evan Mecham of two charges of official misconduct, and removed him from office.

In 1989 In a speech before the Cuban National Assembly, Mikhail Gorbachev said the Soviet Union opposed "the export of revolution."

In 1989 Democrat Richard M. Daley ias elected mayor of Chicago.

In 1990 U.S. Secretary of State James Baker begins three days of talks in Washington with his Soviet counterpart, Eduard Shevardnadze, to discuss the Lithuanian crisis and arms control issues.

In 1991 Senator John Heinz, R-PA, and six other people, including two children, are killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz's plane over a schoolyard in Merion, PA.

In 1993 President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin conclude their two-day summit in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In 1994 On Wall Street, stocks plummet in violent spasms of selling that sent the Dow industrial down more than 40 points to a six-month low.

In 1995 At least 100 people die and 30 more are injured when about 200 Islamic separatists attack a southern Philippine town.

In 1995 Francisco Martin Duran, who fired on the White House with a semiautomatic rifle in October 1994, is convicted of trying to assassinate President Clinton and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

In 1995 Senator Alfonse D'Amato, R-NY, set off a storm of controversy by using a mock Japanese accent to ridicule O.J. Simpson trial judge Lance Ito on a nationally syndicated radio program.

In 1996 President Clinton signs legislation that snaps the link between crop prices and government subsidies.

In 1996 The former general manager of Daiwa Bank's New York branch pleads guilty to aiding a $1.1 billion cover-up.

In 1997 Space shuttle Columbia blasts off from Cape Canaveral on a 16-day mission, but a defective power generator forced the shuttle to return four days later.

In 1998 63 people are killed in an explosion inside a Ukrainian coal mine.

In 1999 The Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres, 8-2, in baseball's first season opener held in Mexico.

In 2000 Falling technology shares send Nasdaq composite index and Dow Jones industrials down more than 500 points.

In 2001 Chinese President Jiang Zemin demanded the U.S. apologize for the collision between a U.S. Navy spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet. The Bush administration offered regrets, but no apology.

In 2001 Hideo Nomo joins Cy Young, Jim Bunning and Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers with no-hitters in both the American and National leagues with Boston's 3-0 victory over Baltimore.

In 2003 Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs becomes the 18th player to hit 500 career homers, in a 10-9 loss to Cincinnati.


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