Today In History...
In 1493 Christopher Columbus returns to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
In 1820 Maine becomes the 23rd U.S. state.
In 1875 The Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, John McCloskey, is named the first American cardinal, by Pope Pius IX.
In 1892 New York introduces the voting machine, known as the Automatic Ballot Cabinet.
In 1892 The first escalator is patented by inventor Jesse W. Reno.
In 1906 Britten Rolls and Royce Johnson found Rolls Royce Ltd.
In 1913 President Woodrow Wilson holds the first open presidential press conference.
In 1913 The first small claims court is established in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1916 U.S. troops invade Mexico chasing General Pancho Villa.
In 1919 The American Legion is founded in Paris, France.
In 1937 The first blood bank is established in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1937 The first state contraceptive clinic opens in Raleigh, North Carolina.
In 1941 A 2-day blizzard creates 12-foot snowdrifts in North Dakota and Minnesota, causing 71 deaths.
In 1944 During World War II, the German-held Italian town of Cassino is devastated by Allied Bombs.
In 1945 "Going My Way" wins the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1944, and its star, Bing Crosby, was named Best Actor. Ingrid Bergman was named Best Actress for "Gaslight."
In 1952 The greatest 24-hour rainfall, 74 inches, is recorded at La Reunion, Indian Ocean.
In 1964 Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are married (her 5th, his 2nd).
In 1965 Before a joint session of Congress, President Lyndon Johnson calls for new legislation to guarantee every person's right to vote.
In 1968 The U.S. Mint stops buying and selling gold.
In 1972 "The Godfather" opens in movie theaters.
In 1975 Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis dies near Paris at age 69.
In 1977 The U.S. House of Representatives begin a 90-day test to determine the feasibility of showing its sessions on television.
In 1977 The sitcom "Three's Company" debuts on ABC-TV.
In 1984 A jury in Miami acquitted Officer Luis Alvarez of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Nevell Johnson Jr., a black man whose 1982 death triggered three days of riots.
In 1985 Ohio closes 71 Savings and Loans to prevent runs.
In 1985 The U.S. Catholic Conference, representing 285 Roman Catholic bishops, sends letters to all members of Congress, urging them to oppose funding for the MX missile.
In 1986 The A.M.A. decides mercy killing is ethical in certain coma cases.
In 1986 Funeral services are held in Stockholm, Sweden, for slain Prime Minister Olof Palme, who had been shot to death by an unidentified gunman.
In 1989 Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev announces that Soviet agriculture policies had been failing for 60 years, and should be thrown out.
In 1990 The Israeli government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir loses a vote of confidence in the Knesset, after Shamir refused to accept a U.S. plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
In 1990 Iraq executes London-based journalist Farzad Bazoft, whom it accused of spying.
In 1991 Four police officers are charged with beating black motorist Rodney King in Los Angeles.
In 1991 Soviet pole vaulter Sergei Bubka clears a record 20-feet during an international meet in San Sebastian, Spain.
In 1992 The United Nations officially embarks on its largest peacekeeping operation with the arrival of a diplomat in Cambodia.
In 1993 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin meets at the White House with President Clinton, then offered to negotiate the return of part of the Golan Heights to Syria.
In 1993 Searchers find the body of the sixth and last missing victim of the World Trade Center bombing in New York.
In 1995 President Clinton formally blocks a $1 billion contract between Conoco and Iran to develop a huge offshore oil tract in the Persian Gulf.
In 1996 The Liggett Group agrees to repay more than $10 million in Medicaid bills for treatment of smokers, settling lawsuits with five states.
In 1997 President Clinton spends a second day at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, recuperating from surgery for a partially torn knee tendon.
In 1997 Greek frogmen and U.S. Marines evacuate hundreds of foreigners trapped in Albania after that country's descent into anarchy.
In 1998 More than 15,000 ethnic Albanians march in Yugoslavia to press demands for Kosovo independence.
In 1998 Dr. Benjamin Spock, whose child care guidance spanned half-century, dies at age 94.
In 1999 An Amtrak train slams into a steel-filled truck at a crossing in Bourbonnais, IL, killing 11.
In 2000 TV co-host ("Candid Camera") Durward Kirby dies at age 88.
In 2003 Hu Jintao replaces Jiang Zemin as the president of China.
In 2004 Ten days after being convicted in a stock scandal, Martha Stewart resigns from the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.