Today In History...

In 1492Christopher Columbus notes in his journal the use of tobacco among Indians, the first recorded reference to tobacco.
In 1577Sir Frances Drake of England departs on a voyage around the world.
In 1777The Continental Congress approves the Articles of Confederation, a precursor to the Constitution of the United States.
In 1806Explorer Zebulon Pike sights the mountaintop in Colorado now known as "Pikes Peak."
In 1864Confederate General Sherman sets Atlanta, Georgia, on fire.
In 1869Free postal delivery is formally inaugurated.
In 1881The American Federation of Labor (AFL) is founded in Pittsburgh.
In 1889Brazil's King Pedro II abdicates, and Brazil is proclaimes a republic.
In 1901The first electric hearing aid, "the Acousticon," is patented.
In 1920The League of Nations holds its first meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 1926The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) goes on-the-air with a network of 24 radio stations.
In 1937Air conditioning is installed in the House and Senate chambers.
In 1939The Social Security Administration approves the first unemployment check.
In 1939President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.
In 1940The first 75,000 men are called to armed forces duty underpeacetime conscription.
In 1948William Lyon Mackenzie King retires as prime minister of Canada after 21 years; he was succeeded by Louis St. Laurent.
In 1954Regularly scheduled flights over the North Pole begin.
In 1956The United Nations Emergency Force arrives in Egypt.
In 1964Mickey Wright shoots a 62, the lowest golf score for a woman pro.
In 1966The flight of Gemini XII ends successfully when astronuats James A. Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. splash down in the Atlantic.
In 1969500,000 protesters peacefully demonstrate against the Vietnam War in Washington, DC, and other major cities.
In 1976The Syrian army takes full control of Beirut, in effect ending an 18-month civil war in Lebanon.
In 1977President Jimmy Carter greets the Shah of Iran.
In 1977Israel sends a formal invitiation to Egypt's President Anwar Sadat to visit Jerusalem and address Israeli Parliament.
In 1979The British government publicly identifies Sir Anthony Blunt as the "fourth man" of a Soviet spy ring which included Guy Burgess,Donald Maclean and Kim Philby.
In 1980Pope John Paul II begins a 5-day visit to West Germany.
In 1982Funeral services held in Moscow's Red Square for the late Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev.
In 1984Baby Fae, the month-old infant who had received a baboon's heart to replace her own congenitally deformed one, dies at a California medical center almost three weeks after the transplant.
In 1985Britain and Ireland sign an accord giving Dublin an official consultative role in governing the troubled British-ruled province on Northern Ireland.
In 198728 of the 82 people aboard a Continental Airlines DC-9, including the pilot and co-pilot, are killed the the jetliner crashes after takeoff from Denver's Stapleton International Airport.
In 1988At the close of a 4-day conference in Algiers, the PLO proclaimsthe establishment on an independent Palestinian state.
In 1988The Soviet Union launches its first space shuttle, Buran, on an unmanned, three-and-a-half hour flight.
In 1989American lawmakers cheer solidarity leader Lech Walesa as he told a joint meeting of Congress that U.S. aid to Poland "will not be wasted, and will never be forgotten."
In 1990Leningrad decides to ration food due to extreme shortages in the Soviet Union.
In 1990The first major U.S.-Saudi military exercise prior to the Gulf War, "Imminent Thunder" begins.
In 1990The U.S. Senate Ethics Committee begins hearings on the Keating Five, senators accused of going too far in helping failed savings-and-loan owner Charles H. Keating Jr.
In 1990The space shuttle Atlantis is launched on a secret militarymission.
In 1991U.S. Secretary of State Jim Baker arrives in China for talks on trade, human rights and arms proliferation.
In 1991A federal appeals court throws out former National Security Adviser John M. Poindexter's felony convictions in the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1993A judge in Mineola, NY, sentences Joey Buttafuoco to six months in jail for the statutory rape of Amy Fisher, who was serving a prison sentence for shooting and wounding Buttafuoco's wife, Mary Jo.
In 1993The State Department announces that Secretary Warren M. Christopher would travel to the Mideast to try to mediate differences between Israel and the PLO.
In 1994U.S. experts visit North Korea's main nuclear complex for firsttime in line with the accord aimed at opening such sites to outside inspections.
In 1994The 18-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group concludes a 2-day summit in Indonesia.
In 1995A partial government shutdown enters its second day.
In 1996Texaco agrees to pay $176.1 million dollars to settle a 2-year-old race discrimination suit.
In 1998Kwame Ture, the civil rights activist formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, dies in Guinea at age 57.
In 1999U.S. and Chinese negotiators reach a breakthrough agreement to remove trade barriers, clearing the biggest hurdle to China's entry into the World Trade Organization.
In 2000Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore makes a surprise proposal for a statewide hand recount of Florida's 6 million ballots - an idea immediately rejected by George W. Bush.
In 2002Hu Jintao replaces Jiang Zemin as China's Communist Party leader.
In 2003A gangway on the cruise ship Queen Mary II collapses in St. Nazaire, France, killing 15 people.
In 2003Kathleen Blanco (D) is elected the first female governor ofLouisiana.
In 2003Billionaire Laurence Tisch dies at age 80.
In 2004The White House announced that Secretary of State Colin Powell was leaving President George W. Bush's Cabinet.


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