Today In History...

In 1663 King Charles II of England grants a charter to Rhode Island.
In 1776 Colonel John Nixon gives the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Square in Philadelphia.
In 1777 Vermont becomes the first state to abolish slavery.
In 1796 The first American Passport is issued by the U.S. State Department.
In 1853 An expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Yedo Bay, Japan, on a diplomatic and trade mission.
In 1889 John L. Sullivan wins by a knockout in the last bareknuckle bout.
In 1889 The first issue of "The Wall Street Journal" is published.
In 1891 Future president Warren G. Harding marries Florence K. DeWolfe.
In 1896 William Jennings Bryan gives his famous speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago saying, "You shall not crucify mankind upon a gold cross."
In 1907 Florenz Ziegfeld staged his first "Follies" on a New York Theater rooftop.
In 1911 Nan Jane Aspinwall is the first woman to cross the U.S. on horseback.
In 1919 President Wilson receives a tumultuous welcome in New York City after returning from the Versailles Peace Conference in France.
In 1947 Demolition begins in New York for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations building.
In 1950 Leroy Deans receives the first Order of Purple Heart in Korea.
In 1950 General Douglas MacArthur is named commander-in-chief, of United Nations forces in Korea.
In 1959 Major Dale and Master Sargent Ovnand are the first American fatalities in Vietnam.
In 1975 President Gerald Ford announces he'll seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1976.
In 1977 Sabra Starr sets the record for the longest recorded belly dance at at 100 hours.
In 1978 The Pioneer-Venus II multi-probe is launched to Venus.
In 1983 The AT&T breakup plan is tentatively approved.
In 1986 Kurt Waldheim is inaugurated as president of Austria despite controversy over his alleged ties to Nazi war crimes.
In 1986 Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, widely regarded as "father of the nuclear navy," dies in Arlington, Virginia, at age 86.
In 1988 Iran's parliamentary speaker, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said his nation would not seek revenge against the U.S. for shooting down an Iranian jetliner over the Persian Gulf that killed 290 people.
In 1989 Carlos Saul Menem is inaugurated as president of Argentina in the country's first transfer of power in six decades.
In 1990 Sweden's Stefan Edberg beats Boris Becker of West Germany to capture his second men's championship at Wimbledon.
In 1990 West Germany wins the World Cup soccer championship by defeating Argentina, 1-0.
In 1991 Reversing earlier denials, Iraq discloses for the first time that it was carrying out a nuclear weapons program, including the production of enriched uranium.
In 1992 Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Group of Seven leaders holding their economic summit in Munich, Germany.
In 1992 "Melrose Place" airs for the first time on Fox.
In 1993 A jury in Boise, ID, acquits white separatist Randy Weaver and a co-defendant of slaying a federal marshal in a shootout at a remote mountain cabin.
In 1994 "Forrest Gump" is released in U.S. movie theaters.
In 1994 Actor Dick Sargent ("Bewitched") dies of prostate cancer at age 64.
In 1994 Kim Il Sung, the North Korean leader since 1948, dies of a heart attack at age 82.
In 1994 O.J. Simpson is ordered to stand trial for murder.
In 1995 Chinese-American human rights activist Harry Wu is arrested in China and charged with obtaining state secrets. (He was later convicted of espionage and deported last August).
In 1995 A deadly heat wave begins in the midwest claiming more than 800 lives, more than half of them in Illinois.
In 1995 Steffi Graf wins the women's singles title at Wimbledon, defeating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
In 1996 Hurricane Bertha slams into the Virgin Islands with torrential rains and winds that gusted to 103 mph.
In 1997 The U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee opens hearings into fund-raising abuses.
In 1997 NATO offers membership to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
In 1997 The Mayo Clinic and the U.S. government warn the diet-drug known as "fen-phen" could cause serious heart and lung damage.
In 2000 Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-6, for her first Grand Slam title, and becoming the first black women's champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957-58.
In 2001 Venus Williams wins her second consecutive Wimbledon title, beating Belgian Justine Henin.
In 2003 In Senegal, Africa, President Bush calls American slavery one of history's greatest crimes as he stood at the very spot where hundreds of thousands of Africans had been bought and sold.
In 2006 Actress June Allyson died in her home in California.

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