Today In History...
In 1790 Thomas Jefferson reports to President George Washington in New York as the new secretary of state.
In 1791 Hopley Yeaton is commissioned as the first U.S. naval officer.
In 1804 The French civil code, the "Code Napoleon," is adopted.
In 1859 The first Zoological Society is incorporated in Philadelphia.
In 1871 Journalist Henry M. Stanley begins his famous expedition to Africa to locate the missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone.
In 1890 Ellen Shannon is burned to death when a lamp explodes that was filled with R.E. Danford's non-explosive burning fluid.
In 1881 The famous 20-year-long Hatfield and McCoy feud ends.
In 1918 During World War I, Germany launched the Somme Offensive, hoping to break through the Allied line before American reinforcements could arrive.
In 1924 The Massachusetts Investors Trust is the first mutual fund set up in the U.S. in Boston.
In 1932 Tornados kill 232 people in Alabama.
In 1940 A new government is formed in France by Paul Reynaud, who became prime minister, succeeding Edouard Daladier.
In 1944 Actor/comedian Charlie Chaplin goes on trial in Los Angeles, accused of transporting former protegee Joan Barry across state lines for immoral purposes. Chaplin was acquitted, but he lost a paternity suit despite tests showing he wasn't the father of Barry's child.
In 1945 During World War II, Allied bombers begin four days of raids over Germany.
In 1946 The United Nations sets up temporary headquarters at Hunter College in New York.
In 1951 Julius & Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of passing U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
In 1952 Tornados kill 208 in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee.
In 1960 Some 70 people are killed in Sharpeville, South Africa, when police fired on demonstrators.
In 1963 By the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Alcatraz federal penitentiary in San Francisco Bay closes.
In 1965 More than 3000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. begin their march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1965 U.S. Ranger IX is launched and takes 5,814 pictures before finally impacting on the moon.
In 1966 The TV medical drama "Ben Casey" airs for the last time on ABC-TV.
In 1972 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that states may not require one-year residency in order to vote.
In 1979 The Egyptian Parliament unanimously approves a peace treaty with Israel.
In 1983 President Reagan chooses former EPA administrator William D. Ruckelshaus to again head the Environmental Protection Agency.
In 1985 Police in Langa, South Africa, open fire on blacks marching to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sharpeville shootings, killing at least 21 demonstrators.
In 1986 The presidential commission investigating the Challenger disaster viewed footage of the space shuttle's fatal launch the previous January; the film revealed a flame from a booster rocket leak triggered the explosion.
In 1987 Televangelist Oral Roberts announces he must raise 8 million dollars or God would "call him home."
In 1989 A Trident 2 missile explodes seconds after being test-fired from a submarine for the first time.
In 1990 Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev increases pressure on the breakaway republic of Lithuania, ordering its citizens to turn in their guns.
In 1990 U.S. Secretary of State James Baker meets black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela in Namibia.
In 1991 A UN Security Council panel lifts the food embargo on Iraq.
In 1991 Test results released in Los Angeles showed that Rodney King, the motorist whose beating by police was videotaped by a bystander, had marijuana and alcohol in his system following his arrest.
In 1992 President George Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl meet at Camp David, Maryland.
In 1994 "Schindler's List" wins the Oscar for Best Picture, Tom Hanks wins Best Actor for "Philadelphia," Holly Hunter wins Best Actress and Steven Spielberg is named Best Director for "Schindler's List."
In 1994 Actor Macdonald Carey dies in Beverly Hills, CA, at age 81.
In 1995 Thousands of police in gas masks raid offices of a secretive religious group across Japan in connection with nerve-gas attack on Tokyos' subways that killed 12 people and sickened thousands.
In 1996 General Motors Corp. and United Auto Workers reach settlement in 17-day brake-factory strike that idled more than 177,000 employees.
In 1997 President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrap up their summit in Helsinki, Finland, still deadlocked over NATO expansion.
In 1997 A suicide bomber blows himself up in Tel Aviv, killing three Israeli women.
In 1998 Pope John Paul II begins a visit to Nigeria with the Vatican pressing the African nation's military regime to release dozens of prisoners, including prominent opposition figures and journalists.
In 1999 Israel's Supreme Court rejects a final effort to have American teen-ager Samuel Sheinbein returned to the U.S. to face murder charges.
In 1999 "Shakespeare in Love" wins seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow; Roberto Benigni wins Best Actor for "Life is Beautiful," while Steven Spielberg won Best Director for "Saving Private Ryan."
In 2000 A divided U.S. Supreme Court rules the government lacked authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug, throwing out the Clinton administration's main anti-smoking initiative.
In 2001 The space shuttle Discovery touches down, bringing home the first residents of the international space station.
In 2001 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that hospitals cannot test pregnant women for drug use without their consent.
In 2003 The U.S. launches a ferocious, around-the-clock aerial assault on military targets in Baghdad and other cities.
In 2004 Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid wins the prestigious 2004 Pritzker Architecture Prize, becoming the first woman to receive the profession's highest honor.
In 2019 National Agriculture Day.