Today In History...
In 1841 The British humor magazine "Punch" is first published.
In 1850 Harvard Observatory takes the first photograph of a star (Vega).
In 1898 During the Spanish-American War, Spain surrenders to the U.S. at Santiago, Cuba.
In 1917 The British royal family adopts the name "Windsor."
In 1935 Variety publishes its famous headline "Sticks Nix Hick Pix" (which might be translated as "rural America dislikes rural-themed movies").
In 1938 Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan takes off from New York, saying he was headed for Los Angeles, but ends up in Ireland the next day.
In 1944 322 people are killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded in Port Chicago, California.
In 1945 President Truman, Soviet Premier Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill begin meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II.
In 1948 The Republic of Korea is founded.
In 1948 Southern Democrats opposed to the nomination of President Truman meet in Birmingham, Alabama, to endorse South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond for the White House.
In 1954 Construction begins on Disneyland.
In 1955 $17 million later, Disneyland opens its doors in Anaheim, CA.
In 1962 Robert White (X-15) sets altitude record of 108 km (354,300 ft).
In 1968 A coup in Iraq returns the Baath Party to power, 5 years after it was ousted.
In 1975 An Apollo spaceship docks with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up in space.
In 1979 Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza resigns and flees into exile in Miami, Florida.
In 1980 Ronald Reagan formally accepts the Republican nomination for U.S. president.
In 1981 114 people are killed when a pair of walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a "tea dance."
In 1981 The Humbar Estuary Bridge with the world's longest span (1.4 km), opens in the United Kingdom.
In 1984 Soyuz T-12 carries 3 cosmonauts to space station Salyut 7.
In 1984 The Rev. Jesse Jackson, addressing the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, asked the party to forgive him for any error of "temper, taste or tone" during his presidential campaign.
In 1985 President Reagan, recovering from cancer surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital, received Vice President Bush, who described the president's progress as "dramatic."
In 1986 White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan draws criticism for suggesting in an interview that American women would not be prepared to "give up all their jewelry" if the U.S. were to impose economic sanctions against South Africa.
In 1987 10 teen-agers are killed when raging floodwaters from the Guadalupe River near Comfort, TX, sweep away a church bus and van holding 43 people.
In 1988 The Democratic National Convention begins in Atlanta and nominates Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis 3 days later.
In 1989 The B-2 Stealth bomber (aka Batplane) makes its first test flight at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1990 The seven nations negotiating German unification reach an agreement in Paris on Poland's permanent border, clearing the way for the merger of East and West Germany.
In 1991 Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev make a personal appeal for Western aid at the conclusion of the Group of Seven economic summit in London.
In 1991 The U.S. Senate votes, 53-45, to give itself a $23,200 pay raise while at the same time banning outside speaking fees.
In 1992 A historic accord for deep cuts in tanks and other non-nuclear arms in Europe goes into effect, nearly 2 years after it was signed by NATO and the now-defunct Warsaw Pact.
In 1994 Brazil defeats Italy with a penalty shootout to win its fourth World Cup title.
In 1994 Fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy Nine continue to smash into Jupiter, sending up towering fireballs.
In 1995 32 people are injured when a Boston Green Line trolley rammed another train under Copley Square.
In 1996 TWA Flight 800, a Paris-bound 747, explodes and crashes off Long Island shortly after leaving JFK airport, killing all 230 aboard.
In 1997 After 117 years, Woolworth Corp. closes its last 400 five-and-dime stores, laying off 9,200 employees.
In 1999 A search begins for the missing plane carrying John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, on a flight from New Jersey to Massachusetts.
In 2000 Bashar Assad, son of Hafez Assad, begins a 7-year term as Syria's 16th head of state.
In 2000 A jet crashes into two homes in Patna, India, killing 56 people on board and on the ground.
In 2001 Former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham dies three days after suffering a head injury in Sun Valley, Idaho. She was 84.
In 2004 California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger mockingly used the term "girlie men" during a rally as he claimed Democrats were delaying the state budget by catering to special interests.
In 2009 Legendary broadcast journalist, Walter Cronkite, who anchored the CBS Evening News from 1962-81, dies at age 92.