Today In History...
In 1798 The U.S. Department of the Navy is established.
In 1803 The U.S. purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million.
In 1808 The first practical typewriter is finished by Italian Pellegrini Turri. He built it for a blind friend.
In 1812 Louisiana becomes the 18th U.S. state.
In 1900 Engineer John Luther "Casey" Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad rides to his death on the Cannonball Express near Vaughn, MS, after staying at the controls in an attempt to save the passengers.
In 1900 Hawaii becomes a U.S. territory.
In 1904 The ice cream cone makes its debut.
In 1939 The New York World's Fair, billed as a look at "The World of Tomorrow," opens.
In 1939 NBC makes the first U.S. demonstration of television at the opening of the New York World's Fair.
In 1945 As Russian troops approach his Berlin bunker, Adolph Hitler commits suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun. One week later, Germany surrendered unconditionally, ending Hitler's Third Reich.
In 1945 "Arthur Godfrey Time" debuts on the CBS radio network.
In 1947 President Truman signs a measure officially changing the name of Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam.
In 1948 The Organization of American States holds its first meeting, in Bogota, Colombia.
In 1952 Mr. Potato Head is the first toy to be advertised on TV.
In 1962 Willie Mays hits four straight home runs.
In 1968 Police end a week-long occupation of several buildings at New York's Columbia University by student demonstrators.
In 1970 President Nixon announces he will send U.S. troops into Cambodia.
In 1970 Actress, Inger Stevens dies at age 35.
In 1972 Muhammad Ali is stripped of his world heavyweight boxing title when he refuses induction into the U.S. army.
In 1973 President Nixon announces the resignation of his aides H.R. Hadleman and John Ehrlichman along with Attorney General Richard Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean.
In 1975 The South Vietnamese capital of Saigon falls to communist forces as President Duong Van Minh announces an unconditional surrender.
In 1980 Three gunmen take 20 hostages inside Iran's London embassy. British commandos retake the building 5 days later.
In 1980 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands abdicates the throne. She is succeeded by her daughter, Princess Beatrix.
In 1983 Ballet choreographer George Balanchine dies at age 79.
In 1985 President Reagan sets out on a trip to Europe and an economic summit which was already overshadowed by his planned visit to a German military cemetery where Nazi SS troops were buried.
In 1986 The Soviet Union releases a photograph of the damaged Chernobyl nuclear plant, and accused Western news organizations of spreading false rumors of thousands of deaths, saying only 2 people had died.
In 1987 Pope John Paul II begins a five-day visit to West Germany.
In 1987 President Reagan welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone to the White House.
In 1988 "Molloko," the first California condor chick to be conceived in captivity, is hatched at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
In 1988 The record for the longest banana split is set at 4.55 miles in Pennsylvania.
In 1988 General Manuel Noriega vows at a rally to keep fighting U.S. efforts to oust him as Panama's military ruler.
In 1990 Hostage Frank Reed is released by his captives in Lebanon. He was the second American to be released in eight days.
In 1991 An estimated 125,000 people die when a cyclone strikes the South Asian country of Bangladesh.
In 1992 As rioting in Los Angeles enters its second day, President Bush condemns the violence, and said the Justice Department would intensify its investigation of police conduct in the beating of Rodney King.
In 1992 "The Cosby Show" finale airs on NBC-TV.
In 1993 Top-ranked women's tennis player Monica Seles is stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg, Germany, by a man who called himself a fan of second-ranked German player Steffi Graf.
In 1994 The counting of ballots begins in South Africa's first all-race elections.
In 1994 Some 100,000 men, women and children fleeing ethnic slaughter in Rwanda cross into neighboring Tanzania.
In 1995 President Clinton said he would end U.S. trade and investment with Iran, denouncing the Tehran government as "inspiration and paymaster to terrorists."
In 1996 President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres sign an accord in Washington extending U.S. help to Israel in countering terrorism.
In 1997 President Clinton reopens the Library of Congress, renovated for its 100th anniversary.
In 1997 The coming out episode of the TV sitcom "Ellen" airs on ABC.
In 1997 The U.S. Senate approves the nomination of Alexis Herman to be labor secretary.
In 1998 United and Delta airlines form an alliance that would control one-third of all U.S. passenger seats.
In 1998 Federal regulators fine a contractor $2.25 million for improper handling of oxygen canisters on ValuJet that crashed in the Florida Everglades in 1996.
In 1999 A bomb explodes at a gay pub in London, killing three people and injuring more than 70.
In 1999 The Rev. Jesse Jackson meets with three U.S. soldiers being held prisoner by Yugoslavia.
In 2000 Hundreds of thousands participate in gay-rights rally in Washington.
In 2001 California businessman Dennis Tito arrives at the international space station aboard a Russian spacecraft.