Today In History...

In 1513 Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon lands in Florida.
In 1792 Congress authorizes the U.S. mint and establishes coin denominations.
In 1819 The first successful agricultural journal, The American Farmer, begins publication.
In 1827 Lead pencils are manufactured by Joseph Dixon for the first time.
In 1845 H.L. Fizeau and J. Leon Foucault take the first photo of the sun.
In 1860 The first Italian Parliament meets at Turin.
In 1865 Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his cabinet flee the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
In 1870 The first woman to ever be nominated for U.S. president is Victoria Woodhull representing the National Radical Reformers party.
In 1872 The gasoline powered engine is patented by George B. Brayton.
In 1872 Samuel F.B. Morse, developer of the electric telegraph, dies.
In 1877 The first Easter Egg Roll is held on the White House lawn. Rutherford B. Hayes was president at the time.
In 1902 The first movie house opens in Los Angeles featuring "The Capture of The Biddie Brothers." Admission is 10 cents.
In 1917 President Woodrow Wilson summons a special session of Congress to declare war against Germany.
In 1932 Aviator Charles Lindbergh turns over $50,000 to an unidentified man in a Bronx, NY, cemetery as a ransom for his kidnapped son.
In 1935 Watson Watt receives a patent for RADAR.
In 1954 Plans to build Disneyland are announced.
In 1956 "As the World Turns" and "The Edge of Night" premiere on CBS-TV.
In 1958 NACA is renamed NASA.
In 1958 Record wind speeds reach 450 kph in a Wichita Falls, TX, tornado.
In 1961 Yuri A. Gagarin becomes the first man in orbit.
In 1963 The USSR launches Luna 4, but it misses the moon by 8,500 km.
In 1964 The USSR launches Zond 1 to Venus, but no data is ever returned.
In 1966 USSR Luna 10 is the first to orbit the moon.
In 1968 "2001: A Space Odyssey" opens in movie theaters.
In 1971 The daytime soap "Dark Shadows" airs for the last time on ABC-TV.
In 1972 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin visits Cairo, Egypt.
In 1974 French president Georges Pompidou dies in Paris.
In 1974 While actor David Niven is speaking at the Academy Awards, a man named Robert Opel streaked (naked) across the stage.
In 1977 The primetime soap "Dallas" premieres on CBS-TV.
In 1982 Several thousand troops from Argentina seize the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)
In 1983 Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko rejects President Reagan's proposal for reducing medium-range missiles in Europe.
In 1984 A record is set when 16 men simultaneously ride the same bicycle.
In 1984 Soyuz T-11 is launched.
In 1985 President Reagan announces the nomination of Clayton Yeutter, president and chief executive of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, to become the U.S. trade representative.
In 1986 A terrorist bomb rips a hole in a TWA jetliner over southern Greece, killing four American passengers.
In 1986 Alabama Governor George C. Wallace announces he was retiring from public life.
In 1986 The NCAA adopts the three point field goal in basketball.
In 1988 Secretary of State George P. Shultz briefs Pope John Paul II on his Middle East peace proposals during at the Vatican.
In 1989 Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev visits Ireland.
In 1990 Iraqi President Saddam Hussein says he would use nerve gas against Israel if attacked.
In 1990 The University of Nevada at Las Vegas wins the NCAA college basketball championship, defeating Duke 103-73.
In 1991 Iraqi state media reports that only a few more days were needed to stamp out fighting with Kurdish rebels, who reported renewed skirmishes around the strategic oil center of Kirkuk.
In 1992 Mob boss John Gotti is convicted in New York of murder and racketeering. He would later be sentenced to life in prison.
In 1992 French Premier Edith Cresson, France's first female prime minister, resigned after 10 months.
In 1993 The Bosnian Serb parliament rejects a peace plan drafted by UN and European mediators and already approved by Bosnian Muslims and Croats.
In 1993 President Clinton presides at a daylong conference in Portland, Oregon, on how much logging should be allowed on federal land.
In 1994 Consumer reporter Betty Furness dies in Hartsdale, NY, at age 78.
In 1995 Baseball owners accept the players' union offer to play without a contract, ending the longest and costliest strike in the history of professional sports.
In 1995 Members of the extremist group Hamas accidentally set off a bomb that tore through their hideout in the Gaza Strip, killing six.
In 1996 A federal appeals court rules that doctors in New York state can prescribe life-ending drugs to mentally competent patients who are terminally ill.
In 1997 Word that more than a million pounds of frozen strawberries shipped to school lunch programs might contain hepatitis A starts a scramble to inoculate children.
In 1997 Russia and Belarus sign a treaty in a first step toward reuniting the two former Soviet republics.
In 1999 The U.S. unemployment rate falls to a 29-year low of 4.2 percent in March.
In 2000 More than 600 people set out on a 5-day, 120-mile protest march to Columbia, SC, to urge state lawmakers to move the Confederate flag from the Statehouse dome.
In 2001 President Bush demands that China promptly return a U.S. spy plane and its crew members. (The plane had made an emergency landing in China after colliding with a Chinese fighter.)
In 2002 Israel seizes control of Bethlehem; Palestinian gunmen forced their way into the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, where they began a 39-day standoff.
In 2005 Pope John Paul II dies at age 84.
In 2019 International Children's Book Day.

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