Today In History...
In 1767 The Mason-Dixon Line, the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, is established.
In 1867 U.S. takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia ($7.2 million).
In 1870 The sand-blasting machine is patented.
In 1873 The Ivy League (Columbia, Princton, Rutgers and Yale) draws up the first rules for college football.
In 1892 The first long-distance telephone line between Chicago and New York is formally opened as Chicago Mayor Hempstead Washburne greeted New York Mayor Hugh J. Grant.
In 1898 The American flag is raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control of the island to the U.S.
In 1910 40 ships were grounded when hurricane winds partially emptied Tampa Bay.
In 1917 Mata Hari is shot as a spy by a French firing squad.
In 1922 The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is established.
In 1931 Inventor Thomas Alva Edison dies in West Orange, NJ, at age 84.
In 1944 Soviet troops invade Czechoslovakia during World War II.
In 1950 Connie Mack, the "Grand Old Man" of major league baseball, announces he would retire as manager of the Philadelphia Athletics.
In 1953 Willie Thrower becomes the first black NFL quarterback.
In 1962 Dr. Watson of the U.S. and Doctors Crick and Wilkins of Britain win a Nobel prize for work in determining structure of DNA.
In 1967 Walt Disney's animated feature "Jungle Book" is released.
In 1967 Soviet Venera 4 is the first probe to send data from Venus.
In 1968 Black U.S. Olympic team members Tommie Smith and John Carlos are suspended from the Mexico City games for giving a "black-power" salute as a protest during a victory ceremony.
In 1969 The U.S. government bans the use of artificial sweetners known as cyclamates because evidence revealed they caused cancer in laboratory rats.
In 1969 Soyuz 8 returns to Earth.
In 1977 Reggie Jackson of the New York Yankees ties Babe Ruth's record of three home runs in one world series game.
In 1982 Former first lady, Bess Truman dies at her home in Independence, Missouri, at the age of 97.
In 1983 General Motors agrees to hire more women and minorities for the next five years as part of a settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In 1984 Air Force II carrying VP George Bush has a near miss over Seattle.
In 1985 Despite international appeals for clemency, South African authorities hang black activist Benjamin Moloise, who had been convicted of murdering a police officer.
In 1988 South Korean President Roh Tae-woo calls for a summit with North Korea's president to sign a non-aggression pact.
In 1989 Americans set the one-day calling record of 140 million long distance calls after the San Francisco earthquake.
In 1989 After 18 years in power, Erich Honecker is ousted as East Germany's leader by the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
In 1989 The space shuttle Atlantis is launched on a five-day mission that included deployment of the Galileo space probe on a course for Jupiter.
In 1990 Huffamn Prairie in Dayton, Ohio, where the Wright Brothers first learned to control their airplanes is dedicated as a national historical landmark.
In 1991 Following a long confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas swears to uphold the Constitution during an oath-taking ceremony at the White House.
In 1992 In the opening ceremony of game 2 of the World Series, featuring the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves, a U.S. Marine Corps color guard presents the Canadian flag upside-down, prompting baseball officials, the Marines and even President Bush to apologize.
In 1993 Two defendants are acquitted of most of the felony charges in the beating of trucker Reginald Denny and other motorists at the start of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
In 1994 U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, nearing the end of a four-day visit to China, said Beijing had agreed to brief the Pentagon on its overall military strategy and defense spending plans.
In 1996 Democratic Party fundraiser John Huang is ousted following days of attacks by the Republicans over what they called improper and possibly illegal contributions.
In 1997 A monument honoring American servicewomen is dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1997 Coca-Cola Co. chairman Roberto Goizueta dies at age 65, and broadcast journalist Nancy Dickerson dies at age 70.
In 1998 Pope John Paul II celebrates mass at the Vatican marking the 20th anniversary of his election to the papacy.
In 1999 Career prosecutor Robert Ray is sworn in to replace Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and wrap up the wide-ranging investigation of President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In 1999 The New York Yankees win a record 36th pennant, beating the Boston Red Sox 6-1 in game 5 of the American League Championship Series.
In 2000 President Clinton honors the 17 sailors killed in a suicide bomb attack against the USS Cole at the Norfolk Naval Station in VA.
In 2000 Singer-actress Julie London dies in Los Angeles at age 74.
In 2002 The Vatican demands that America's Roman Catholic bishops revise their hard-line crackdown policy on sexually abusive priests.