Today In History...
In 1816 The first savings bank in the U.S. opens as the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society.
In 1823 President James Monroe outlines his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1859 Militant abolitionist John Brown is hanged for his raid on Harper's Ferry the previous October.
In 1927 The first Model A Ford is sold for $385.
In 1939 New York's La Guardia Airport begins operations when an airliner from Chicago lands at 12:01am.
In 1942 A nuclear chain reaction is demonstrated for the first time by a group of scientists at the University of Chicago.
In 1943 "Carmen Jones," Oscar Hammerstein II's contemporary reworking of the Bizet opera "Carmen" with an all-black cast, opens on Broadway.
In 1952 The first televised human birth is seen in Denver, Colorado.
In 1954 The U.S. Senate votes to condemn Senator Joseph R. McCarthy for what it called "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor."
In 1957 The first full-scale atomic electric power plant opens.
In 1961 Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and would lead Cuba to Communism.
In 1967 Cardinal Francis Spellman dies in New York at age 78.
In 1969 The Boeing 747 is seen by the public for the first time.
In 1970 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is formed.
In 1971 Soviet Mars 3 is the first spacecraft to soft land on Mars.
In 1974 Soyuz 16 is launched.
In 1980 Four American churchwomen (three nuns and a lay worker) are raped, murdered and buried outside San Salvador. Five national guardsman were convicted in the killings, and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In 1982 The first permanent artificial heart (Jarvik-7) is successfully implanted in Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.
In 1986 President Reagan announces that former CIA official Frank Carlucci would be his new national security adviser, succeeding Vice Admiral John M. Poindexter, who resigned over the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1987 The Chicago City Council elects Eugene Sawyer acting mayor, succeeding the late Harold Washington.
In 1988 Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan.
In 1988 The space shuttle Atlantis is launched on a secret four-day mission.
In 1991 American hostage Joseph Cicippo, held captive in Lebanon for more than five years, is released by his kidnappers.
In 1991 Testimony begins in West Palm Beach, FL, in the trial of William Kennedy Smith, accused of raping Patricia Bowman at his family's estate.
In 1992 Germany's lower house of parliament votes in favor of the Maastricht Treaty on European unity.
In 1992 The space shuttle Discovery blasts off with five astronauts and a spy satellite aboard.
In 1993 Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot to death by security forces in Medellin.
In 1993 The space shuttle Endeavour blasts off on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
In 1994 38 people die when ferry sinks in Manila Bay after colliding with freighter.
In 1995 President Clinton tells 4,000 American troops in Germany who were on their way to Bosnia-Herzegovina for peacekeeping duty to strike "immediately and with decisive force" if threatened.
In 1995 NASA launches a U.S.-European observatory on a $1 billion-dollar mission to study the sun.
In 1996 Financier Charles Keating Jr.'s federal conviction is overturned because jurors learned about his earlier state conviction before they found him guilty of fraud and racketeering.
In 1997 President Clinton signs a $2.3 billion package, giving financially crippled Amtrak new leeway to manage itself competitively.
In 1997 South Korea and the International Monetary Fund agree on a multi-billion-dollar bailout for South Korea's beleaguered economy.
In 1997 Attorney General Janet Reno declines to seek an independent counsel investigation of telephone fund-raising by President Clinton and Vice President Gore, concluding they did not violate election laws.
In 1998 Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy is acquitted on all 30 corruption charges alleging illegal gifts.
In 1998 Microsoft chairman Bill Gates donates $100 million to help immunize children in developing countries.
In 2000 Al Gore continues to seek a recount in south Florida, while George W. Bush continued to claim victory and met with GOP congressional leaders.
In 2001 In one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history, Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection.
In 2001 A bomb goes off aboard a bus in Haifa, killing 15 Israelis, a day after two suicide bombers killed 11 bystanders in Jerusalem.
In 2002 Italian interior designer & architect Achille Castiglioni dies at age 84.
In 2003 The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously that after knocking, police don't have to wait longer than 20 seconds before breaking into the home of a drug suspect.