Today In History...

  • In 1521 Martin Luther, founder of the protestant church, is excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • In 1777 General George Washington defeats the British at the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey.
  • In 1833 Britain seizes control of the Falkland Islands in the South
  • In 1868 The Meiji Restoration re-establishes the authority of Japan's emperor and spelled the end of military rulers known as "shoguns."
  • In 1870 Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins.
  • In 1871 Henry W. Bradley receives a patent for oleomargarine.
  • In 1888 The first drinking straw is patented.
  • In 1929 27-year-old William S. Paley becomes president of CBS.
  • In 1938 The March Of Dimes is organized to fight polio.
  • In 1943 The first missing persons report is telecast in New York City.
  • In 1946 William Joyce, known as "Lord Haw Haw" for his pro-Nazi radio broadcasts from Germany, is hanged in London.
  • In 1947 The opening session of the U.S. House of Representatives is televised for the first time.
  • In 1957 The first electric watch is introduced in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • In 1959 Alaska becomes the 49th U.S. state.
  • In 1961 The U.S. breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba.
  • In 1967 Jack Ruby, who shot and killed accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald live on TV, dies of cancer in a Dallas hospital.
  • In 1973 George Steinbrenner III buys the Yankees from CBS for $12 million.
  • In 1980 Conservationist Joy Adamson, author of the best-selling book "Born Free," is killed by a servant in Kenya over a wage dispute.
  • In 1984 Navy Lt. Robert O. Goodman Jr., shot down during a U.S. raid against Syrian anti-aircraft positions in Lebanon, is freed by Syria after an appeal from the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
  • In 1985 White House Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Deaver resigns.
  • In 1986 President Reagan meets with Mexican President Miguel de la Madridin Mexicali to discuss trade and Mexico's foreign debt.
  • In 1990 Ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrenders to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission following the U.S. invasion of his country.
  • In 1991 The 102nd Congress convenes, plunging immediately into acrimonious debate over the Persian Gulf crisis.
  • In 1992 The Dow Jones industrial average closes above 3,200 for the first time, ending the day at 3,201.48
  • In 1992 In California, police pursued a driver who had killed another motorist along I-5 for more than 300 miles until the car ran out of gas. The driver was shot and killed after officers said he pointed a shotgun at them.
  • In 1993 President George Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign a historic nuclear missile-reduction treaty in Moscow.
  • In 1994 120 are killed when a Russian passenger jet crashes after takeoff from Irkutsk.
  • In 1994 A deadly prison riot breaks out in Maracaibo, Venezuela, claiming over 100 lives.
  • In 1995 Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo announces an emergency plan for wage and price controls and budget cuts to stabilize the peso and combat spiraling inflation.
  • In 1995 The U.S. Postal Service raises the price of a first-class stamp to 32 cents.
  • In 1996 The Angolan government and UNITA rebels agree to halt military action and set up commission to restart peace talks.
  • In 1997 President Clinton declares northern Nevada a major disaster area following several days of rain that sent rivers over their banks in the Reno and Carson City area.
  • In 1997 Bryant Gumbel leaves NBC's "Today" show.
  • In 1998 China says it will spend $27.7 billion to fight erosion, pollution in the Yangtze and Yellow river valleys.
  • In 1999 Chicago residents dig out from their biggest snowstorm in more than 30 years.
  • In 2000 The last new daily "Peanuts" strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers.
  • In 2001 Eleven people die in a house fire in Delaware.
  • In 2001 Oklahoma defeats Florida State, 13-2, to win the Orange Bowl and a national championship.
  • In 2003 David Westerfield, the man who'd kidnapped and murdered 7-year-old neighbor Danielle van Dam, is sentenced to death.
  • In 2004 NASA's Mars rover, Spirit, touches down on Mars.
  • In 2005 President Bush enlists his father, former President Bush, and former President Clinton to help raise tsunami relief funds.
  • In 2020 Congress assembles, according to 20th amendment to constitution.


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