Today In History...

In 1820 Antarctica is discovered by U.S. Navy Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer.
In 1865 Using the pen name "Mark Twain," Samuel L. Clemens publishes "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" in the New York Saturday Press.
In 1883 The U.S. and Canada adopt Standard Time Zones to avoid confusion across the continent.
In 1886 Chester A. Arthur, the 21st U.S. president, dies at age 56.
In 1902 Inspired by Teddy Roosevelt, Morris Michtom invents the Teddy Bear.
In 1903 The U.S. and Panama sign the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty giving the U.S. the rights to build the Panama Canal.
In 1909 The U.S. invades Nicaragua and later overthrows President Zelaya.
In 1913 Lincoln Deachey performs the first airplane loop-the-loop.
In 1928 Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse debuts in "Steamboat Willie," the first sound-synchronized animated cartoon at the Colony Theatre in New York.
In 1932 "Flowers and Trees" receives the first Academy Award for a cartoon.
In 1942 "The Skin of Our Teeth," playwright Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy opens on Broadway.
In 1949 Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers is named the National League's Most Valuable Player.
In 1959 "Ben-Hur," the Biblical-era spectacle starring Charlton Heston, premieres at the Loew's State Theatre in New York.
In 1964 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as "the most notorious liar in the country" for accusing FBI agents of failing to act on complaints filed by blacks in Georgia.
In 1966 U.S. Roman Catholic bishops eliminate the rule against eating meat on Fridays.
In 1969 Financier Joseph P. Kennedy dies at age 81 in Hyannis Port, MA.
In 1976 Spain's parliament approves a bill to establish democracy.
In 1978 California Congressman Leo J. Ryan and four other people are killed in Jamestown, Guyana, by members of the People's Temple. The killings are followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by 912 cult members.
In 1983 Argentina announces nuclear weapons capability.
In 1983 William P. Clark is confirmed by the Senate to be the new U.S. Secretary of the Interior replacing James G. Watt.
In 1986 The Internal Revenue Service unveils its new, longer and more complicated W-4 income tax withholding form.
In 1987 The congressional Iran-Contra committees issue their final report, saying President Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing committed by his aides.
In 1987 31 people die in a fire at King's Cross, London's busiest subway station.
In 1988 President Reagan signs major legislation creating a Cabinet-level drug czar and providing the death penalty for drug traffickers who kill.
In 1991 Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon free Anglican Church envoyTerry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture atthe American University of Beirut.
In 1992 Roman Catholic bishops defeat a controversial document on women in the church, with the issue of women's ordination at the center of their disagreement.
In 1993 American Airlines flight attendants go on a 4-day strike.
In 1993 Representatives of 21 South African political parties approve a new constitution.
In 1994 Thirteen people are killed and more than 150 wounded when Palestinian police open fire on rioting worshippers outside amosque in the Gaza Strip.
In 1995 Two freight trains collide in Wyoming, killing an engineer and sparking a fire that causes evacuations nearby.
In 1996 One-time CIA station chief Harold J. Nicholson is charged with selling top secrets to the Russians for more than $120,000.
In 1997 An Iowa seamstress gives birth to septuplets, only the second set known to be born alive.
In 1997 In the biggest banking deal in U.S. history, First Union Corp. buys CoreStates Financial Corp. for $16.1 billion.
In 1998 In the biggest banking deal in U.S. history, First Union Corp. announces the purchase of CoreStates Financial for $16.1 billion.
In 2000 George W. Bush's campaign attacks the hand-recounting of votes in Florida's presidential election; Al Gore's lawyers defended the effort by filing papers with the state Supreme Court.
In 2001 Phillips Petroleum Co. and Conoco Inc. announce a merger to create the third-largest U.S. oil and gas company.
In 2002 Actor James Coburn ("Our Man Flint") dies at age 74.
In 2003 A judge in Modesto, CA, orders Scott Peterson to stand trial for the killing of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son.
In 2003 Barry Bonds wins his record sixth National League MVP award.

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