Today In History...

   In 1821 Spain formally ceded Florida to the United States.
   In 1841 The British humor magazine "Punch" is first published.
   In 1850 Harvard Observatory takes the first photograph of a star (Vega).
   In 1898 During the Spanish-American War, Spain surrenders to the U.S. at
           Santiago, Cuba.
   In 1917 The British royal family adopts the name "Windsor."
   In 1935 Variety publishes its famous headline "Sticks Nix Hick Pix" (which
           might be translated as "rural America dislikes rural-themed
   In 1938 Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan takes off from New York, saying he was
           headed for Los Angeles, but ends up in Ireland the next day.
   In 1944 322 people are killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded in
           Port Chicago, California.
   In 1945 President Truman, Soviet Premier Josef Stalin and British Prime
           Minister Winston Churchill begin meeting at Potsdam in the final
           Allied summit of World War II.
   In 1948 The Republic of Korea is founded.
   In 1948 Southern Democrats opposed to the nomination of President Truman
           meet in Birmingham, Alabama, to endorse South Carolina Governor
           Strom Thurmond for the White House.
   In 1954 Construction begins on Disneyland.
   In 1955 $17 million later, Disneyland opens its doors in Anaheim, CA.
   In 1962 Robert White (X-15) sets altitude record of 108 km (354,300 ft).
   In 1968 A coup in Iraq returns the Baath Party to power, 5 years after it
           was ousted.
   In 1975 An Apollo spaceship docks with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the
           first superpower link-up in space.
   In 1979 Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza resigns and flees into exile
           in Miami, Florida.
   In 1980 Ronald Reagan formally accepts the Republican nomination for
           U.S. president.
   In 1981 114 people are killed when a pair of walkways above the lobby of the
           Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a "tea dance."
   In 1981 The Humbar Estuary Bridge with the world's longest span (1.4 km),
           opens in the United Kingdom.
   In 1984 Soyuz T-12 carries 3 cosmonauts to space station Salyut 7.
   In 1984 The Rev. Jesse Jackson, addressing the Democratic National
           Convention in San Francisco, asked the party to forgive him for any
           error of "temper, taste or tone" during his presidential campaign.
   In 1985 President Reagan, recovering from cancer surgery at Bethesda Naval
           Hospital, received Vice President Bush, who described the
           president's progress as "dramatic."
   In 1986 White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan draws criticism for
           suggesting in an interview that American women would not be prepared
           to "give up all their jewelry" if the U.S. were to impose economic
           sanctions against South Africa.
   In 1987 10 teen-agers are killed when raging floodwaters from the Guadalupe
           River near Comfort, TX, sweep away a church bus and van holding 43
   In 1988 The Democratic National Convention begins in Atlanta and nominates
           Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis 3 days later.
   In 1989 The B-2 Stealth bomber (aka Batplane) makes its first test flight at
           Edwards Air Force Base in California.
   In 1990 The seven nations negotiating German unification reach an agreement
           in Paris on Poland's permanent border, clearing the way for the
           merger of East and West Germany.
   In 1991 Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev make a personal appeal for
           Western aid at the conclusion of the Group of Seven economic summit
           in London.
   In 1991 The U.S. Senate votes, 53-45, to give itself a $23,200 pay raise
           while at the same time banning outside speaking fees.
   In 1992 A historic accord for deep cuts in tanks and other non-nuclear arms
           in Europe goes into effect, nearly 2 years after it was signed by
           NATO and the now-defunct Warsaw Pact.
   In 1994 Brazil defeats Italy with a penalty shootout to win its fourth World
           Cup title.
   In 1994 Fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy Nine continue to smash into
           Jupiter, sending up towering fireballs.
   In 1995 32 people are injured when a Boston Green Line trolley rammed
           another train under Copley Square.
   In 1996 TWA Flight 800, a Paris-bound 747, explodes and crashes off Long
           Island shortly after leaving JFK airport, killing all 230 aboard.
   In 1997 After 117 years, Woolworth Corp. closes its last 400 five-and-dime
           stores, laying off 9,200 employees.
   In 1999 A search begins for the missing plane carrying John F. Kennedy Jr.,
           his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, on a flight from
           New Jersey to Massachusetts.
   In 2000 Bashar Assad, son of Hafez Assad, begins a 7-year term as Syria's
           16th head of state.
   In 2000 A jet crashes into two homes in Patna, India, killing 56 people on
           board and on the ground.
   In 2001 Former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham dies three days
           after suffering a head injury in Sun Valley, Idaho. She was 84.
   In 2004 California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger mockingly used the term
           "girlie men" during a rally as he claimed Democrats were delaying
           the state budget by catering to special interests.
   In 2009 Legendary broadcast journalist, Walter Cronkite, who anchored the
           CBS Evening News from 1962-81, dies at age 92.


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