Today In History...

In 1752 The first American hospital opens in Philadelphia, PA.

In 1812 The Massachusetts Legislature, at the bidding of Governor Elbridge Gerry, passes a re-districting law that favored Gerry's party, a political maneuver that resulted in the term "gerrymandering."

In 1858 A French girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claims for the first time to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary near Lourdes.

In 1861 President-elect Abraham Lincoln departs Springfield, IL, for Washington, DC.

In 1929 The Lateran Treaty is signed with Italy recognizing the independence and sovereignty of Vatican City.

In 1937 A 44-day sit down strike at General Motors in Flint, MI, ends with the company agreeing to recognize the United Auto Workers.

In 1942 The first "Archie" comic book debuts.

In 1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin sign the Yalta Agreement during World War II.

In 1958 R.C. Taylor is the first black stewardess.

In 1960 Jack Paar walks off his television show.

In 1970 Japan becomes the 4th nation to put a satellite (Osumi) in orbit.

In 1972 McGraw-Hill and Life Magazine cancel plans to publish what turns out to be a fake autobiography of billionaire Howard Hughes.

In 1978 President Carter is the first chief executive to fly aboard the military version of the Boeing 747.

In 1979 Followers of Ayatollah Khomeini seize power in Iran, 9 days after the religious leader returned home after 15 years of exile.

In 1983 Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon resigns.

In 1984 The 10th Space Shuttle Mission - Challenger 4 returns to Earth.

In 1986 President Reagan sends Phillip Habib to the Philippines to protect interests 15 days before Ferdinand Marcos flees the country.

In 1986 After 9 years of captivity, Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky is released by the Soviet Union as part of an East-West prisoner exchange.

In 1987 President Reagan meets in the Oval Office with members of the Tower Commission, who asked him questions about the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1988 President Reagan's onetime political director, Lyn Nofziger, is convicted of illegally lobbying top White House aides. (The conviction is later overturned.)

In 1989 Rev. Barbara C. Harris become the first woman consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

In 1990 Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is knocked out in the 10th round of his fight with Buster Douglas in Tokyo.

In 1990 South African black activist Nelson Mandela is freed after spending 27 years in prison.

In 1992 Secretary of State James A. Baker III, on a tour of six former Soviet republics, visits Armenia.

In 1993 President Clinton announces his choice of Miami prosecutor Janet Reno to be the nation's first female attorney general.

In 1994 President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, meeting at the White House, failed to resolve key differences on trade.

In 1984 Actor William Conrad ("Conrad") dies in Los Angeles at age 73.

In 1995 The space shuttle Discovery lands at Cape Canaveral, FL, ending a historic rendezvous mission with Russia's Mir space station.

In 1996 A day after losing to an IBM computer dubbed "Deep Blue," world chess champion Garry Kasparov defeats the machine and evens their six-game series in Philadelphia at one victory apiece.

In 1997 The space shuttle Discovery is launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

In 1998 Attorney General Janet Reno asks for an independent prosecutor to investigate whether Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt had misled Congress in connection with an Indian casino controversy.

In 1998 Skier Jonny Moseley wins the first U.S. gold medal at Nagano, in men's moguls freestyle; Picabo Street won the women's super-G.

In 2000 The space shuttle Endeavor blasts off from Cape Canaveral on a mission to map the world.

In 2000 Britain strips Northern Ireland's Protestant-Catholic government of power to prevent its collapse over the IRA's refusal to disarm.

In 2000 French movie director Roger Vadim dies in Paris at age 72.

In 2001 Two space commanders open the door to Destiny, the American-made science laboratory attached the day before to the international space station.

In 2001 Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh is torn down to clear the way for new separate baseball and football stadiums nearby.

In 2002 Controversy erupts at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games as Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze are crowned the champions of pairs figure skating, although many observers felt the best duo was Jamie Sale and David Pelletier of Canada.

In 2003 Al-Jazeera broadcasts what was believed to be a new audio statement from Osama bin Laden urging Iraqis to carry out suicide attacks on Americans.

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