Today In History...
In 1870 Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina becomes the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1871 Jules Janssen discovers dark lines in the solar corona spectrum.
In 1899 George F. Grant patents the golf tee.
In 1901 The first radio signal to cross the Atlantic is picked up near St. John's, Newfoundland, by inventor Guglielmo Marconi. (The signal was transmitted from a point some 2,000 miles away.)
In 1913 Authorities in Florence, Italy, announce that the "Mona Lisa" stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911 had been recovered.
In 1917 Father Edward Flanagan founded "Boys Town" outside Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1925 The first motel, the "Motel Inn," opens in San Luis Obispo, CA.
In 1937 Japanese aircraft sink the U.S. gunboat "Panay" on China's Yangtze River. (Japan apologized for the attack and paid $2.2 million.)
In 1946 A United Nations committee accepts a gift of land from John D. Rockefeller Jr. in Manhattan as the site for the U.N. headquarters.
In 1947 The United Mine Workers union withdraws from the American Federal of Labor (AFL).
In 1953 Chuck Yeager flies the X-1 two and a half times the speed of sound.
In 1955 The hovercraft is patented.
In 1963 Kenya gains independence from Britain.
In 1964 Russia launches Voshkod I, the first multi-crew in space (3 men).
In 1975 Sara Jane Moore pleads guilty to a charge of trying to kill President Ford in San Francisco the previous September.
In 1979 In response to the Iran hostage crisis, President Carter orders the removal of most Iranian diplomats from the U.S.
In 1980 A Leonardo DaVinci notebook is sold for $5 million.
In 1983 A truck bomb explodes at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.
In 1985 248 American soldiers and eight crew members are killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.
In 1986 In a speech, President Ronald Reagan vows not to let the controversy over the Iran-Contra affair prevent him from "getting on with the business of governing."
In 1988 35 people are killed in a triple train collision during morning rush-hour in south London.
In 1989 Six environmental groups announced that so-called biodegradable plastic trash bags are "rip-offs" and urged consumer boycotts.
In 1989 "Hotel Queen" Leona Helmsley is sentenced to 4 years for tax evasion totaling $1.2 million. (Helmsley served 18 months behind bars, plus a month at a halfway house and two months of house arrest.)
In 1990 Lauro Cavazos resigned as U.S. Secretary of Education.
In 1991 Russian President Boris Yeltsin wins a landslide approval in the Russian legislature for his new commonwealth.
In 1992 2,200 people are killed in an earthquake that struck the Flores Island region of Indonesia.
In 1993 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief Yasser Arafat fail to resolve disputes over a plan to start withdrawing Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and Jericho before a deadline.
In 1994 The Brazilian Supreme Court acquits former President Fernando Collor de Mello of corruption charges that forced him to resign in 1992.
In 1995 By only 3 votes, the Senate kills a constitutional amendment giving Congress authority to outlaw flag burning.
In 1995 Two French airmen shot down over Bosnia arrive home after nearly four months as captives of the Bosnian Serbs.
In 1996 An European Union agrees to join the U.S. in landmark global pact aimed at making computers and related products less expensive.
In 1998 The House Judiciary Committee rejects censure, and approves the final article of impeachment against President Clinton, submitting the case to full House for verdict.
In 1998 Florida Governor Lawton Chiles dies in Tallahassee at age 68.
In 1999 Author Joseph Heller ("Catch-22") dies at age 76.
In 2000 The Marine Corps ground all eight of its V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft following a crash in North Carolina that killed 4 Marines.
In 2000 General Motors announces it would phase out its Oldsmobile division over the next few years.
In 2001 A bus ambush kills 10 Jewish settlers, prompting Israeli warplanes to strike back.
In 2001 Gerardo Hernandez, the leader of a Cuban spy ring, receives a life sentence in federal court in Miami.
In 2003 Paul Martin succeeds Jean Chretien as Canada's prime minister.
In 2019 Poinsettia Day honoring John Poinsett.