Today In History...

In 1788 Connecticut becomes the 5th U.S. state.

In 1793 Jean Pierre Blanchard makes first hot-air balloon flight in North America between Philadelphia and Woodbury, New Jersey.
In 1799 The first income tax is imposed in England.
In 1839 Thomas Henderson measures the first stellar parallax AlphaCentauri.
In 1854 The Astor Library opens in New York.
In 1861 Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union.
In 1861 The Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, SC, during the Civil War retreats after being fired upon by a battery in the harbor.
In 1875 Cheyenne, Wyoming, records its all-time low temperature of 38 degrees below zero.
In 1912 The U.S. marines invade Honduras.
In 1931 The film "Little Caesar" opens starring Edward G. Robinson.
In 1936 Semi-automatic rifles are adopted by the U.S. army.
In 1941 Color television is first demonstrated.
In 1942 The U.S. Joint Chiefs Of Staff is created.
In 1945 American soldiers led by General Douglas MacArthur invade Luzon in the Philippines during World War II.
In 1957 Anthony Eden resigns as British prime minister, citing his health.
In 1964 3 Americans and 21 Panamanians die in anti-U.S. riots in the Panama Canal Zone.
In 1968 The Surveyor VII space probe makes a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.
In 1972 Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported biography ofhim by Clifford Irving is a fake.
In 1980 Saudi Arabia beheads 63 people for their involvement in theNovember 1979 raid on the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
In 1981 The Soviets launch Oscar Class subs, twice the size of U.S. subs.
In 1982 A 5.9 earthquake shakes New England and Canada; first since 1855.
In 1983 Residents of the Falkland Islands cheer British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as she toured the reclaimed South Atlantic colony.
In 1984 A federal judge sentences former E.P.A. official Rita M. Lavelle to six months in prison for lying to Congress.
In 1985 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that if you're late filing your taxes, you can't blame it on your accountant or anyone else.
In 1987 The White House releases a memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan in January 1986 that showed a definite link between U.S.arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
In 1988 George Bush denied charges of involvement in the Iran/Contra affair made by rival presidential candidate Robert Dole.
In 1990 The space shuttle Columbia is launched on a 10-day mission that included the retrieval of a drifting scientific satellite.
In 1991 U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz meet for six hours in Geneva, but failed to resolve the Persian Gulf crisis.
In 1993 Seven people are found shot to death at a restaurant in Palatine, Illinois.
In 1994 President Clinton begins the first European trip of his administration in Brussels, Belgium.
In 1995 In New York, the trial of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and 11 other defendants accused of conspiring to wage a holy war against the U.S. begins.
In 1995 Severe flooding forces people to flee resort communities in the hills north of San Francisco.
In 1996 President Clinton vetos a Republican welfare overhaul bill.
In 1996 Chechen rebels seize a hospital in the southern Russian city of Kizlyar and took up to 3,000 hostages.
In 1997 A Comair commuter plane crashes 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 people on board.
In 1999 Presidential advisers prepare a public and legal defense in President Clinton's impeachment trial on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
In 2000 Park Tae-joon, the leader of the United Liberal Democrats, is appointed South Korea's prime minister.
In 2001 Linda Chavez withdraws her bid to become secretary of labor over controversy of an illegal immigrant who once lived with her.
In 2002 A U.S. military tanker plane crashes in western Pakistan, killing all seven Marines on board.
In 2002 Two Islamic militants attack an Israeli army post near the Gaza Strip, killing four soldiers before being shot dead in a gun battle.
In 2004 Officials say Pentagon lawyers had determined that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was a prisoner of war since his capture.

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