Today In History...
In 1902 Denmark is the first country to adopt fingerprinting as a way to identify criminals.
In 1906 A devastating earthquake strikes San Francisco, followed by raging fires. About 700 people are killed.
In 1921 Junior Achievement, created to encourage business skills in young people, is incorporated.
In 1923 The first game in Yankee Stadium is played. The Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 4-1.
In 1924 The first crossword puzzle book is published by Simon & Schuster.
In 1934 The first coin-operated laundry, called a "washateria," opens in Fort Worth, Texas.
In 1942 Sixteen American B-25s from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Colonel James H. Doolittle bomb Tokyo and other Japanese cities, four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1942 The first World War II edition of "The Stars And Stripes" is published as a weekly newspaper for U.S. troops in Northern Ireland.
In 1945 War correspondent Ernie Pyle is killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.
In 1946 The League of Nations is dissolved.
In 1949 The Irish republic is proclaimed.
In 1950 Lenny Bruce makes his debut on Arthur Godfrey's "Talent Scouts."
In 1955 Physicist Albert Einstein dies in Princeton, New Jersey.
In 1955 The phrase "Third World" is first used by Indonesia's President Sukarno in a speech about non-white and underdeveloped areas.
In 1956 Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monoco in a civil ceremony. (A church wedding took place the following day.)
In 1977 Alex Haley, author of "Roots," is awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
In 1978 The U.S. Senate votes, 68-32, to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on December 31, 1999.
In 1979 The TV magazine "Real People" debuts on NBC-TV.
In 1980 Rhodesia becomes the independent nation of Zimbabwe as the British flag was lowered at a ceremony in Salisbury.
In 1983 62 people, including 17 Americans, are killed at the U.S. Embassy in west Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.
In 1983 Author Alice Walker wins the Pulitzer Prize for "The Color Purple."
In 1984 Two daredevils parachute off the Eiffel Tower.
In 1984 Two unarmed U.S. Army helicopters, one of them carrying two American senators, make forced landings after coming under fire on a flight over Honduras near the border with El Salvador.
In 1986 Ted Turner announces plans to takeover CBS, but can't pull it off.
In 1986 A Titan rocket carrying a secret military payload explodes seconds after liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
In 1988 An Israeli court convicts John Demjanjuk, a retired auto worker from Cleveland, of committing war crimes at the Treblinka death camp.
In 1989 Closing arguments begin in Oliver North's trial.
In 1989 Thousands of Chinese students demanding democracy try to storm Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.
In 1990 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that states may make it a crime to possess or look at child pornography, even in one's home.
In 1991 The Census Bureau estimates its 1990 census had failed to count up to 6.3 million people.
In 1991 Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev ends his summit in Japan without winning the major aid package he'd been hoping for.
In 1992 Serbia issues a protest to the U.S., accusing Washington of siding with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in the Yugoslav crisis.
In 1994 Former President Nixon suffers a stroke at his home in Park Ridge, NJ, and was taken to New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He died four days later.
In 1995 Former San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana retires from professional football.
In 1995 The Houston Post closes its doors after more than a century.
In 1996 President Clinton addresses the Japanese Parliament.
In 1996 Israeli shells kill 91 Lebanese refugees in a UN camp. Israel called the attack an "unfortunate mistake."
In 1996 Gunmen open fire at a hotel in Egypt, killing 18 Greek tourists.
In 1998 Northern Ireland's main Protestant party, the Ulster Unionists, approves a peace agreement.
In 1998 Former North Carolina governor and U.S. Senator Terry Sanford dies in Durham at age 80.
In 1999 Wayne Gretzky plays his last National Hockey League game as his New York Rangers lost to Pittsburgh, 2-1, in overtime.
In 2000 The worst air crash in Philippine history kills 131 aboard a Philippine Air plane.
In 2000 Robert L. Yates Jr. is arrested in Spokane, WA, in connection with the murder of a teen-age prostitute. (Yates later confessed to killing 13 people, and was sentenced to 408 years in prison.)