Today In History...
In 1789 The Third Estate in France declares itself a national assembly, and begins framing a constitution.
In 1856 The first Republican Party convention is held in Philadelphia, PA.
In 1885 The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City aboard the French ship Isere.
In 1928 Amelia Earhart embarks on a trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales, the first by a woman.
In 1940 France asks Germany for terms of surrender during World War II.
In 1944 The Republic of Iceland is proclaimed at Thingvallir, Iceland.
In 1953 U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stayed the execution of convicted atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, originally scheduled for the next day, their 14th wedding anniversary. (They were put to death on June 19.)
In 1961 Russian ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev defects to west in Frankfurt.
In 1963 The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down rules requiring the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or the reading of bible verses in public schools.
In 1971 The U.S. returns control of the island of Okinawa to Japan.
In 1972 The eventual downfall of Richard Nixon's presidency begins with the arrest of seven burglars at the Democratic national headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex.
In 1974 Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton divorce.
In 1976 The skateboard speed record is set at 71.9 mph.
In 1983 During a visit to Poland, Pope John Paul II bluntly tells the country's military leadership that the banned Solidarity labor federation should be reinstated.
In 1984 Swale, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, collapses and dies outside his stable at Belmont Park.
In 1985 On day four of the hijacking of TWA Flight 847, Amal militia leader Nabih Berri said the hostages had been scattered to thwart a possible rescue.
In 1985 The space shuttle Discovery is launched on a seven-day mission that included the deployment of three satellites.
In 1986 U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger resigns.
In 1987 Baseball manager Dick Howser, who'd led the Kansas City Royals to a World Series championship, dies at age 51 of brain cancer.
In 1988 Leaders of the world's seven biggest industrial democracies arrive in Toronto for their annual economic summit, hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
In 1990 South African black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, arrive in Ottawa, Canada, en-route to an 11-day tour of the U.S.
In 1991 The Parliament of South Africa repeals the Population Registration Act, removing the law that was the basis of apartheid.
In 1991 The remains of President Taylor are briefly exhumed in Louisville, KY, to test a theory that Taylor had died from arsenic poisoning (the results showed death had been from natural causes).
In 1992 President Bush and Russian President Yeltsin sign a breakthrough arms-reduction agreement.
In 1992 Two German relief workers, the last of the Western hostages held in Lebanon, are released.
In 1993 The FDA could not confirm reports of tampering with Diet Pepsi-Cola cans at the manufacturing level, despite reports of foreign objects turning up in containers.
In 1994 O.J. Simpson is charged with two counts of murder in the slayings of his ex-wife and her male friend Ron Goldman. Simpson, who failed to turn himself in as scheduled, then led police on a slow-speed chase over Southern California freeways that was telecast live to the nation before he surrendered at his estate.
In 1995 Russian commandos storm a hospital where Chechen rebels were holding more than 1,000 hostages, but the Chechens beat the Russians back.
In 1996 ValuJet Airlines suspends its flight schedule indefinitely after a
Federal inspection found "several serious deficiencies" in the discount carrier's operations. (Operations resumed 15 weeks later.)
In 1997 Taliban religious police crack down in Afghanistan's capital, by punishing 48 people for defying strict Islamic codes.
In 1997 Mir Aimal Kasi, suspected in the shooting deaths of 2 CIA employees in January 1993, is brought back to face trial after being arrested in Pakistan. (He was later convicted and sentenced to death.)
In 1998 Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto welcomes rare U.S. intervention in currency markets to support Japan's sinking yen.
In 2000 In Cuba, more than 300,000 protest the continued stay of Elian Gonzalez in the U.S.
In 2001 Texas Governor Rick Perry vetos a bill to ban the execution of mentally retarded death row inmates, saying the state already had numerous safeguards in place to protect them.
In 2002 The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down an Ohio village's law that required door-to-door solicitors to register and carry a permit.
In 2003 A federal appeals court rules the government properly withheld names and other details about hundreds of foreigners who were detained in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks.
In 2008 First day of legal same-sex marriage in California.