Today In History...

In 1648 Peter Stuyvesant establishes America's first volunteer fire department.
In 1777 During the Revolutionary War, George Washington's troops launch an assault on the British at Germantown, PA. The British take Philadelphia and occupy it for a year.
In 1824 Mexico becomes a republic.
In 1887 The first issue of the International Herald Tribune is published as the Paris Herald Tribune.
In 1895 The first U.S. Open golf tournament is held, at the Newport Country Club in Rhode Island.
In 1931 Chester Gould's "Dick Tracy" comic strip debuts.
In 1940 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps, where the Nazi leader sought Italy's help in fighting the British.
In 1957 "Leave It to Beaver" debuts on CBS-TV.
In 1957 The Space Age begins when the Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first manmade satellite into orbit.
In 1958 The first trans-Atlantic passenger jet service begins with flights by British Overseas Airways from London to New York.
In 1965 Pope Paul VI becomes the first reigning pontiff to visit the Western Hemisphere as he appealed for world peace in an address to the U.N. General Assembly.
In 1976 U.S. Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz resigns in the wake of a controversy over a joke he made about blacks.
In 1978 Funeral services are held at the Vatican for Pope John Paul I, who was found dead September 29th.
In 1980 Earthquakes kill over 4000 in Algeria.
In 1980 Some 520 people are forced to abandon the cruise ship Prisendam in the Gulf of Alaska after the Dutch luxury liner caught fire.
In 1983 The Thrust-2 jet car sets a land speed record of 633 mph.
In 1985 The Shiite Muslim group Islamic Jihad issues a statement claiming it had killed American hostage William Buckley in retaliation for Israel's raid on PLO headquarters in Tunisia.
In 1986 The Soviet Union informs the U.S. that a fire had broken out aboard a Soviet nuclear submarine in the Atlantic Ocean, but that there was no danger of an explosion or radiation leakage.
In 1987 North Springfield, Vermont, receives 21 inches of snow, the area's earliest heavy snowfall on record.
In 1989 Fawaz Younis, a Lebanese hijacker convicted of commandeering a Jordanian jetliner with two Americans aboard in 1985, is sentenced in Washington to 30 years in prison.
In 1989 Monty Python's Flying Circus co-founder Graham Chapman dies.
In 1990 For the first time in nearly six decades, German lawmakers meet in the Reichstag for the first meeting of reunified Germany's parliament.
In 1992 43 people are killed when an Israeli El Al 747 cargo jet crashes into a suburban apartment complex after taking off from Amsterdam.
In 1993 Dozens of cheering, dancing Somalis drag the body of an American soldier through the streets of Mogadishu, while a videotape showed Michael Durant, an American soldier taken prisoner by Somali militants.
In 1994 Exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide vows in an address to the U.N. General Assembly to return to Haiti in 11 days.
In 1994 President Clinton welcomes South African President Nelson Mandela to the White House.
In 1994 An undersea earthquake off the Japanese island of Hokkaido kills at eight people and injured 300.
In 1995 Pope John Paul II proclaims himself "a pilgrim of peace" as he arrives in the U.S. for a 5-day visit.
In 1997 Hundreds of thousands of men attend a Promise Keepers rally at the Mall in Washington, DC, in one of the largest religious gatherings in U.S. history.
In 1998 Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso wins re-election.
In 1999 An Illinois jury orders State Farm to pay $456 million to 4.7 million customers in a lawsuit accusing the nation's largest car insurer of using inferior parts for auto body repairs.
In 2000 Yugoslavia's highest court invalidates parts of the presidential election after thousands of opposition supporters force police to back off from seizing a strikebound mine.
In 2003 A Palestinian woman blows herself up inside a restaurant in Haifa, Israel, killing 21 bystanders.
In 2004 The SpaceShipOne rocket plane breaks through Earth's atmosphere to the edge of space for the second time in five days, capturing the $10 million Ansari X prize.

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