Today In History...
In 1862 A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia becomes law.
In 1879 St. Bernadette, who had described seeing visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, dies in Nevers, France.
In 1912 Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly across the English channel, using a Bleriot monoplane to travel from Dover, England, to Hardelot, France.
In 1917 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returns to Russia after years of exile.
In 1922 Annie Oakley hits 100 clay targets in a row at Pinehurst, NC.
In 1929 The New York Yankees become the first major league team to add permanent numbers to their uniforms.
In 1935 "Fibber McGee and Molly," starring Jim and Marian Jordan, premieres on the NBC blue radio network.
In 1940 The Cleveland Indians' Bob Feller pitches a no-hitter on opening day of the American League season, beating the Chicago White Sox, 1-0.
In 1945 U.S. troops enter Nuremberg, Germany, during World War II.
In 1945 In his first speech to Congress, President Truman pledges to carry out the war and peace policies of his predecessor, President Roosevelt.
In 1947 Explosions and fire kill at least 500 in Texas City, Texas, when a French freighter blows up in the harbor.
In 1947 A lens to provide zoom effects is demonstrated in New York.
In 1956 Solar powered radios go on sale.
In 1962 Walter Cronkite makes his debut as anchorman of "The CBS Evening News," succeeding Douglas Edwards.
In 1972 Apollo XVI is launched on a voyage to the moon.
In 1972 Two giant pandas, Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling, arrive at in the U.S. at the National Zoo from China.
In 1983 One week after completing its successful maiden flight, the space shuttle Challenger returns to its launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida, to prepare for a June mission.
In 1985 The White House announces that President Reagan would visit the site of a Nazi concentration camp, but would also still go ahead with plans to visit a German military cemetery.
In 1986 Dispelling rumors he was dead, Libyan leader Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi appears on TV to condemn the U.S. raid on his country and to say that Libyans were "ready to die" defending their country.
In 1987 The FCC puts U.S. broadcasters on notice it would impose a broader definition of indecency over the airwaves.
In 1988 The Palestine Liberation Organization accuses Israel of assassinating Khalil al-Wazir, a top PLO military figure in Tunisia.
In 1990 The U.S. Supreme Court rejects two appeals by Dalton Prejean, a nearly retarded man condemned to die for the 1977 murder of a Louisiana state trooper. (Prejean was executed the following month).
In 1991 President Bush announces that U.S. forces would be sent into northern Iraq to assist Kurdish refugees.
In 1991 Sir David Lean, director of the movies "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago," die at age 83.
In 1992 The House ethics committee lists 303 current and former lawmakers who had overdrawn their House bank accounts.
In 1993 At the White House, President Clinton presses Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa to help ease Japan's persistent trade surplus with the U.S.
In 1995 Ralph Ellison, author of "Invisible Man," dies at age 80.
In 1996 President Clinton arrives in Japan for a 3-day visit.
In 1996 Britain's Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announce they were in the process of getting a divorce.
In 1997 Police in Israel recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for breach of trust in an influence-trading scandal.
In 1998 Tornadoes and storms kill more than 100 people in nine southern states.
In 1999 Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from hockey.
In 2000 The International Monetary Fund concludes a protest-marred opening session in Washington, DC.
In 2001 Israel launches an air strike against a strategic Syrian radar station in Lebanon, killing three Syrian soldiers.
In 2002 The U.S. Supreme Court overturns two major provisions of the Child Pornography Prevention Act.
In 2002 Actor Robert Urich (Vega$) dies at age 55.