Today In History...
In 1831 Former slave Nat Turner leads a violent insurrection against slavery in Virginia. (He is later executed.)
In 1841 John Hampson patents the venetian blind.
In 1858 The famous debates between Senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas begin.
In 1878 A group of lawyers, judges and law professors establish the American Bar Association at the Saratoga, New York, town hall.
In 1911 The Leonardo da Vinci painting "Mona Lisa" is stolen from Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
In 1931 Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees hits his 600th home run.
In 1940 The first contingent of English children arrive in the U.S. to escape German air attacks in London during World War II.
In 1940 Exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky dies in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assailant.
In 1944 The U.S., Britain, the Soviet Union and China open talks at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington that helped pave the way for establishment of the United Nations.
In 1945 President Truman ends the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50 billion in aid to American allies during World War II.
In 1959 Hawaii becomes the 50th U.S. state.
In 1963 Martial law is declared in South Vietnam as police and army troops begin a crackdown on Buddhist anti-government protesters.
In 1965 Gemini V is launched into earth orbit with 2 astronauts.
In 1968 William Dana reaches 80 km in the last high-altitude X-15 flight.
In 1972 The U.S. orbiting astronomy observatory Copernicus is launched.
In 1981 Convicted spy Christopher Boyce, who had escaped from prison in 1980 is recaptured in Port Angeles, WA. (Boyce, convicted of selling secrets to the Soviets, was the subject of the book "The Falcon and the Snowman."
In 1982 Palestinian terrorists are dispersed from Beirut, Lebanon.
In 1983 Philippines political opposition leader, Benigno S. Aquino, ending a self-imposed exile in the U.S., is shot and killed moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport.
In 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro appears before reporters in Queens, New York, to field questions about her family's finances.
In 1986 A volcanic eruption in Cameroon releases poisonous gas, killing 2000.
In 1987 Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, the first Marine ever court-martialed for spying, is convicted in Quantico, VA, of passing secrets to the KGB after becoming romantically involved with a Soviet woman while serving as a U.S. Embassy guard in Moscow.
In 1989 The U.S. space probe Voyager II fires its thrusters to bring it closer to Neptune's mysterious moon Triton.
In 1991 The hard-line coup against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev collapses in the face of a popular uprising led by Russian federation President Boris N. Yeltsin.
In 1993 In a serious setback for NASA, engineers lose contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft as it was about to reach the Red Planet on a $980 million mission. Its fate remains unknown.
In 1995 ABC News settles a $10 billion libel suit by apologizing to Philip Morris Cos. for reporting the tobacco giant had manipulated the amount of nicotine in its cigarettes.
In 1995 A suicide bomber sets off an explosion that tore through two crowded Israeli commuter buses, killing five others.
In 1995 A commuter plane crashes near Carrollton, GA, killing nine people.
In 1996 President Clinton signs the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, aimed at making health insurance easier to obtain and keep.
In 1997 The Hudson Foods Co. plant in Nebraska closes and agrees to destroy some 25 million pounds of hamburger after largest meat recall in U.S. history.
In 1997 Philip Morris Chairman/CEO Geoffrey Bible of says cigarettes "might have" killed 100,000 Americans, company's first such acknowledgement of possible link between smoking and death.
In 1998 Former South Africa president P.W. Botha is fined for failing to testify about apartheid atrocities.
In 2000 Rescue efforts to reach a sunken Russian nuclear submarine end with divers announcing none of the 118 sailors survived.
In 2001 Federal authorities working with McDonald's break up a crime ring that allegedly rigged their "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" games.