Today In History...
In 1825 President John Adams suggests establishment of a U.S. observatory.
In 1886 Montgomery, Alabama, sets a 1-day snowfall record of 11 inches.
In 1884 Army engineers complete construction on the Washington Monument, 36 years after the cornerstone was laid.
In 1889 Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States Of America, dies in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In 1907 Coal mine explosions in Monongah, West Virginia, kill 361.
In 1917 Finland declares independence from Russia.
In 1917 Two munition ships collide in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia, killing 1,600.
In 1921 An Anglo-Iris treaty is signed in London, providing for the creation of the Irish Free State.
In 1923 The first broadcast of a Presidential speech on radio is made when Calvin Coolidge addresses Congress.
In 1939 Cole Porter's "Du Barry Was A Lady" opens on Broadway.
In 1957 AFL-CIO members vote to expel the Teamsters. (They were readmitted to the federation in October 1987.)
In 1957 A Vanguard rocket blows up on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral during America's first attempt to launch a satellite.
In 1973 House minority leader Gerald R. Ford becomes the first unelected vice-president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew.
In 1982 11 soldiers and six civilians are killed when a bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army explodes in a Northern Ireland pub.
In 1983 A bomb planted on a bus in Jerusalem explodes killing six Israelis and wounding 44.
In 1984 Hijackers aboard a Kuwaiti jetliner on the ground in Tehran kill a second hostage, U.S. official William L. Stanford.
In 1985 Congressional negotiators reach a tentative agreement on a deficit-cutting proposal that later became known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law.
In 1988 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in New York for his second visit to the U.S. to address the U.N. General Assembly.
In 1989 Barge traffic on the Mississippi is stalled when the river drops to the lowest level in 25 years.
In 1989 The worst mass shooting in Canadian history takes place as 14 women are gunned down at the University of Montreal's school of engineering by a man who took his own life.
In 1989 Egon Krenz resigns as the leader of East Germany.
In 1990 Iraq announces that it would release all its hostages, saying foreigners could begin leaving in two days.
In 1991 U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, testifying at the trial of his nephew, William Kennedy Smith, denied hearing screams on the night Patricia Bowman said she was raped by Smith at the Kennedy estate in West Palm Beach, Florida.
In 1992 In India, thousands of Hindu extremists destroy a mosque, setting off two months of Hindu-Muslim rioting in which at least 2,000 people are killed.
In 1993 Actor Don Ameche dies of prostate cancer at age 85.
In 1993 A judge in New Bedford, MA, sentences former priest James R. Porter, who'd admitted molesting 28 children in the 1960s, to 18 to 20 years in prison for sexual assault.
In 1994 Webster Hubbell, confidant to President Clinton and once the nation's third-highest law enforcement official, pleads guilty to defrauding his former law partners and clients of nearly $400,000.
In 1994 U.S. Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen announces his resignation.
In 1994 Orange County, California, files for bankruptcy protection due to investment losses of about $2 billion.
In 1995 President Clinton vetoes the Republican balanced-budget plan with the same pen used 30 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the legislation that created Medicare and Medicaid.
In 1995 New York Times columnist James Reston dies in Washington at age 86.
In 1996 Former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle dies at age 70.
In 1997 At least 69 people are killed when a Russian military cargo plane crashes in the Siberian city of Irkutsk seconds after takeoff.
In 1998 In Venezuela, former Lt. Colonel Hugo Chavez, who staged a bloody coup attempt against the government 6 years earlier, is elected president.
In 1998 Endeavour's astronauts connect the first two building blocks of the international space station in the shuttle cargo bay.
In 1999 SabreTech, an aircraft maintenance company, is convicted of mishandling the oxygen canisters blamed for the cargo hold fire that caused the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Everglades that killed 110.
In 2000 U.S. businessman Edmond Pope is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by a Moscow court for espionage. Pope was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin and released 8 days after his sentencing.
In 2000 Actor Werner Klemperer ("Hogan's Heroes") died at age 80.
In 2002 Actress Winona Ryder is sentenced to community service as part of a probationary term for stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills, CA.
In 2002 Anti-war activist Philip Berrigan dies at age 79.
In 2003 Army becomes the first team to finish 0-13 in major college history after a 34-6 loss to Navy.