Today In History...
In 1620 The Pilgrims leave England on the "Mayflower."
In 1846 Oregon country is divided between the United States and Britain at the 49th parallel.
In 1858 The first transatlantic telegraph cable is completed.
In 1861 The U.S. levies it's first income tax (3% of incomes over $800).
In 1864 During the Civil War, Union Admiral David G. Farragut is said to have given his famous order, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" as he led his fleet against Mobile Bay, Alabama.
In 1884 The cornerstone is laid for the Statue of Liberty on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor.
In 1914 The first traffic light goes into operation in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1914 Nicaragua signs a treaty granting canal rights to the U.S.
In 1921 The first radio baseball broadcast is heard on KDKA/Pittsburgh. The Pirates beat the Phillies, 8-5.
In 1924 The comic strip "Little Orphan Annie," by Harold Gray debuts.
In 1926 Escape artist Harry Houdini stays in a coffin under water for one and a half hours.
In 1952 The first transatlantic helicopter flight is made.
In 1953 Operation Big Switch begins as prisoners taken during the Korean conflict are exchanged at Panmunjom.
In 1954 24 boxers, including Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and John L. Sullivan, are the first inductees into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
In 1962 Marilyn Monroe is found dead in the bed of her Los Angeles home. Her death is ruled a "probable suicide" caused by an overdose of sleeping pills. Monroe was 36.
In 1963 The U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union sign a treaty in Moscow banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in space and underwater.
In 1964 The U.S. begins bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1964 Actress Anne Bancroft and comedian Mel Brooks are married.
In 1969 The U.S. space probe Mariner VII flies past Mars sending back photographs and scientific data.
In 1973 The Soviet Union launches Mars 6.
In 1980 Hurricane Allen batters the southern peninsula of Haiti, leaving more than 200 dead.
In 1981 The U.S. federal government begins firing air traffic controllers who had gone out on strike.
In 1984 Joan Benoit wins the first Olympic marathon for women.
In 1984 Actor Richard Burton dies at a hospital in Geneva at age 58.
In 1985 President Reagan reveals to reporters that a growth removed from his nose several days earlier was basal cell carcinoma, a highly curable form of cancer.
In 1986 It is revealed that artist Andrew Wyeth had secretly created 240 drawings and paintings of a woman named Helga Testorf, a neighbor in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
In 1987 President Reagan announces he had reached a "general agreement" with leaders of Congress on a new Central America peace plan.
In 1988 Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III announces he was resigning to take over the presidential election campaign of Vice President George Bush.
In 1990 President Bush denounces the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, telling reporters, "This will not stand. This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait."
In 1991 Democratic congressional leaders formally launch an investigation into whether the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign had secretly conspired with Iran to delay release of American hostages until after the presidential election.
In 1992 Federal civil rights charges are filed against four Los Angeles police officers acquitted of California state charges in the videotaped beating of Rodney King.
In 1993 The U.S. House of Representatives passes President Clinton's budget plan, voting 218-216.
In 1994 Angered by riots, Cuban President Fidel Castro threatens to let Cubans leave without restriction for the first time since the 1980 Mariel refugee exodus.
In 1995 Secretary of State Warren Christopher arrives in Hanoi, Vietnam, to "build a bridge of cooperation." (Christopher was the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Vietnam since the war and the first ever to go to Hanoi.)
In 1996 Richard Allen Davis, murderer of 12-year-old Polly Klaas, is sentenced to death.
In 1997 Montserrat's deadly volcano erupts for a second day, forcing hundreds to flee the Caribbean island.
In 1997 President Clinton signs the budget-balancing and tax-cutting bills into law.
In 1997 A 2-man Russian crew blasts off for the space station Mir.
In 1998 Iraqi President Saddam Hussein pulls the welcome mat from UN weapons inspectors.
In 2000 Actor Sir Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars") dies at a southern England hospital at age 86.
In 2001 A van driven by a drunken off-duty New York City policeman strikes and kills a pregnant woman, her young son and teen-age sister. Joseph Gray was sentenced to 5-15 years in prison.
In 2001 Afghanistan's ruling Taliban jail 8 foreign aid workers, including two Americans, for allegedly preaching Christianity. The workers were rescued the following November.
In 2002 The coral-encrusted gun turret of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor was raised from the floor of the Atlantic, nearly 140 years after the historic warship sank during a storm.
In 2003 A car bombing at the Marriott in Jakarta, Indonesia, kills 12 people.