Today In History...
In 1742 English astronomer Edmond Halley, who first observed the comet which bears his name, dies at age 85.
In 1784 The Revolutionary War ends when Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris.
In 1858 French Emperor Napoleon III escapes an attempt on his life by Felice Orsini, an Italian patriot who later later executed.
In 1898 The Reverend Charles L. Dodgson, better known as author Lewis Carroll, dies at age 65.
In 1914 Ford Motor Company greatly improves its assembly-line operation by employing a chain to pull each chassis along.
In 1943 During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill begin a conference in Casablanca.
In 1952 NBC's "Today" show premieres with host Dave Garroway and newscaster Jim Fleming.
In 1953 Josip Broz Tito is elected president of Yugoslavia by the Yugoslav Parliament.
In 1954 Marilyn Monroe becomes Mrs. Joe DiMaggio.
In 1963 George C. Wallace is sworn in as governor of Alabama with the pledge "segregation now; segregation tomorrow; segregation forever!"
In 1964 In her first public statement since the death of JFK, Jacqueline Kennedy goes on TV to thank the 800,000 people that sent her sympathy messages.
In 1969 25 crew members of the U.S. aircraft carrier "Enterprise" are killed when an explosion rips through the ship on maneuvers in Hawaii.
In 1981 The FDA approved the extended wear contact lenses.
In 1983 The final episode of "M*A*S*H" is filmed in on Stage 9 in Century City, California.
In 1986 Vinicio Cerezo is inaugurated as Guatemala's first civilian president in 16 years in a ceremony attended by U.S. Vice President George Bush.
In 1987 Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance calls the Reagan administration's decision to secretly sell arms to Iran an expensive blunder.
In 1988 The UN Security Council votes, 14-0, in favor of a resolution calling on Israel to stop deporting Palestinians.
In 1989 President Reagan delivers his 331st and last weekly radio address.
In 1991 Shortly before a United Nations deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, Iraq's National Assembly votes to give President Saddam Hussein full authority over the Persian Gulf crisis.
In 1992 Historic Mideast peace talks continue in Washington, with Israel and Jordan holding their first-ever formal negotiations, and the Israelis continuing exchanges with Palestinian representatives.
In 1993 President-elect Clinton says he will continue President Bush's policy of forcibly returning Haitian boat people to Haiti.
In 1993 Talk show host David Letterman announces he would move from NBC to CBS.
In 1995 Russian troops in the breakaway republic of Chechnya capture the Council of Ministers building, a key rebel position in the capital Grozny.
In 1995 Pope John Paul II addresses a huge rally in Manila, urging young people to reject cynicism.
In 1996 Several thousand government, Serb and Croat troops withdraw from their front-line trenches and bunkers across central and northeastern Bosnia, beating a deadline to create buffer zones.
In 1997 The House Ethics Committee's ranking Democrat, Jim McDermott of Washington, removes himself from the investigation of Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In 1998 Dallas researchers report on an enzyme "cellular fountain of youth" to slow aging process and cell death.
In 1998 NBC agrees to pay $13 million per episode to Warner Bros. to retain top-rated TV show, "ER."
In 2000 Masked gunmen open fire in a hotel lobby in Belgrade, killing Serbian warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, who had been indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal for alleged atrocities in Bosnia and Croatia.
In 2002 The World Trade Organization decides the European Union could ask for punitive tariffs on U.S. imports.
In 2003 K-mart Corporation said it would close 326 more stores and eliminate 37,000 more jobs in hopes of getting out of bankruptcy.