Today In History...
In 1642 The English civil war begins with King Charles I branding Parliament and its soldiers as traitors.
In 1654 Jacob Barsimson, said to be the first Jewish immigrant to America, lands at New Amsterdam.
In 1692 Eight accused "witches" are executed in Salem, Massachusetts.
In 1762 Ann Franklin becomes the first female editor of an American newspaper, the Newport, RI, Mercury.
In 1775 England's King George III proclaims the American colonies in a state of open rebellion.
In 1787 Inventor John Fitch demonstrates his steamboat on the Delaware River to delegates of the Continental Congress.
In 1846 The U.S. annexes New Mexico.
In 1851 Gold fields are discovered in Australia.
In 1851 The schooner America outraces the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy that came to be known as the America's Cup.
In 1864 The Geneva Convention is signed by 12 nations.
In 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. chief executive to ride in an automobile, in Hartford, CT.
In 1906 The mechanical Victrola phonograph is patented.
In 1910 Japan formally annexes Korea.
In 1941 Nazi troops reach the outskirts of the Soviet city of Leningrad during World War II.
In 1956 President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon are nominated for second terms in office by the Republican national convention in San Francisco.
In 1963 NASA's X-15 attains an altitude of 67 miles.
In 1965 Romania becomes a Soviet Socialist Republic under the virtual dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu.
In 1968 Pope Paul VI arrives in Bogota, Colombia, for the start of the first papal visit to Latin America.
In 1972 Rhodesia is asked to withdraw from the 20th Olympic Summer Games because of its racial policies.
In 1980 The record for coconut tree climbing is set when 17-year-old Fuatai Solo ascended a 29.5 foot tree barefoot in 4.88 seconds.
In 1984 President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush are renominated at the Republican national convention.
In 1985 21 workers at a Mount Vernon, NY, printing plant win a whopping $41 million in the lottery.
In 1986 Kerr-McGee Corp. agrees to pay the estate of the late Karen Silkwood $1.38 million, settling a 10-year-old nuclear contamination lawsuit.
In 1987 Federal judges rule that parents in Tennessee can not keep children out of public school over object-able text book material.
In 1988 "Later with Bob Costas" debuts on NBC-TV.
In 1989 Colombia's foreign minister discourages any military intervention by the U.S. in the struggle against that country's drug barons.
In 1989 Black Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton is shot to death on a street in Oakland, CA. The gunman, Tyrone Robinson, was later sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.
In 1990 Scores of angry smokers block the street near Moscow's Red Square for hours in protest of a summer-long cigarette shortage.
In 1990 President Bush signs an order calling up reservists to bolster the U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf.
In 1991 Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev returns to Moscow following the collapse of the hard-liners' coup.
In 1992 Canadian leaders agree on a package of constitutional reforms for the most fundamental overhaul in the Confederation's history.
In 1993 NASA engineers continue trying, without success, to re-establish contact with the Mars Observer, a day after losing contact.
In 1994 Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico's ruling party declares his victory as president, a day after his leading opponents charged the election was unfair.
In 1995 Congressman Mel Reynolds is convicted on charges of criminal sexual assault, sexual abuse, child pornography and obstruction of justice for having sex with a former campaign worker while she was underage. (Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison.)
In 1996 President Clinton signs a welfare reform bill ending guaranteed cash payments to the poor and demanding work from recipients.
In 1997 A federal official throws out the Teamsters election over alleged campaign fundraising abuses, forcing union President Ron Carey into another race against James P. Hoffa.
In 1998 President Clinton signs an executive order putting Osama bin Laden's Islamic Army on a list of terrorist groups.
In 1999 Hurricane "Bret" hits the Texas Gulf Coast with winds over 100 mph.
In 1999 A China Airlines jet burst into flames at Hong Kong's new airport, killing three and injuring more than 200.
In 2000 Publishers Clearing House agrees to pay $18 million to 24 states to settle allegations it used deceptive promotions in its mailings.
In 2001 Republican North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms announces he would not seek re-election the following year.
In 2001 Space shuttle Discovery lands, returning three who had spent nearly six months aboard the international space station.
In 2003 Alabama's chief justice, Roy Moore, is suspended for his refusal to obey a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of his courthouse.
In 2003 In Brazil, a rocket explodes on its launch pad during tests just days before liftoff, killing 21 people.
In 2004 As shocked spectators watched, armed thieves stole one of four versions of the Edvard Munch masterpiece "The Scream" and a second Munch painting, "Madonna," from the Munch museum in Oslo, Norway.