Today In History...
In 1672 Isaac Newton reads the first optics paper before the Royal Society.
In 1693 A charter is granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 1837 For the only time in history, the U.S. Senate chooses the vice president of the United States, selecting Richard Johnson after no one candidate received a majority of electoral votes.
In 1861 The Confederate States of America are organized in Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1883 Louis Waterman begins experiments that invent the fountain pen.
In 1904 The Russo-Japanese War begins as Japan besieges Port Arthur in Manchuria.
In 1910 The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated.
In 1915 D.W. Griffith's silent film classic "The Birth Of A Nation" premieres at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
In 1922 President Warren Harding has radio installed at the White House.
In 1924 The first execution by lethal gas in the U.S. takes place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.
In 1926 Walt Disney Studios is formed.
In 1936 Denver hits 30 below zero, the city's all-time record low.
In 1964 During a congressional debate over the Civil Rights Act, Rep.Martha Griffiths delivers a memorable speech advocating the prohibition of discrimination based on sex.
In 1968 Highway patrolmen shoot and kill 3 black college students during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
In 1969 Meteorite weighing over one ton is recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico.
In 1973 Senate leaders name seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal, including the panel's chairman, Democrat Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina.
In 1974 The three-man crew of Skylab IV return to Earth after a record 84 days in space.
In 1977 An 5.0 earthquake in hits San Francisco, California.
In 1978 The deliberations of the U.S. Senate are broadcast on radio for the first time, as members opened debate on the Panama Canal treaties.
In 1980 President Carter unveils a plan to re-introduce draft registration, a proposal that included women as well as men.
In 1983 An Arizona man with 105 wives is convicted of bigamy.
In 1983 An Israeli commission that investigated the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Beirut, Lebanon, calls for the ouster of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, accusing him of blunders.
In 1984 Soyuz T-10 is launched.
In 1984 The 14th Olympic Winter Games officially open in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
In 1985 South Korean opposition leader Kim Dae-jung is roughed up by authorities upon his return to his homeland after more than two years' exile in the United States.
In 1989 144 people are killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slams into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.
In 1990 CBS News suspends resident humorist Andy Rooney for racial comments he purportedly made to a gay magazine, comments Rooney denied making.
In 1992 The 16th Winter Olympic Games open in Albertville, France.
In 1993 General Motors sues NBC, alleging that the "Dateline NBC" program had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that 1973-to-87 GM pickups were prone to fires in side impact crashes. NBC settled the lawsuit the following day.
In 1995 The U.N. Security Council approves sending 7,000 peacekeepers to Angola to cement an accord ending 19 years of civil war.
In 1995 38 people are killed when an earthquake strikes Colombia.
In 1996 In a ceremony at the Library of Congress, President Clinton signs legislation revamping the telecommunications industry.
In 1999 The U.S. Senate hears closing arguments at President Clinton's impeachment trial.
In 1999 Jordan's King Hussein is laid to rest during a 5-hour funeral in Amman attended by President Clinton and former presidents Bush, Carter and Ford.
In 2000 Internet vandals disrupt access for consumers to popular web sites including eBay, Amazon.com and CNN.com.
In 2003 Tens of thousands of Venezuelans march in support of 9,000 oil workers fired for leading a 2-month strike against PresidentChavez.