Today In History...
In 1870 Virginia is readmitted to the U.S. after the Civil War.
In 1883 The Pendleton Act creates the basis of federal Civil Service Commission.
In 1919 Nebraska, Wyoming and Missouri become the 36th, 37th and 38th states to ratify Prohibition, which went into effect the following year.
In 1920 America goes "dry" as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution takes effect, and Prohibition becomes the law of the land. It is later repealed by the 21st Amendment.
In 1939 DuPont first markets nylon fishing leader.
In 1939 The comic book character "Superman" premieres in "Action Comics."
In 1942 Actress Carole Lombard, her mother and 20 other people are killed in a plane crash near Las Vegas, Nevada, as they were returning from a U.S. war bonds promotion tour.
In 1944 General Dwight Eisenhower takes command of the Allied InvasionForce in London during World War II.
In 1956 Egyptian President Nassar pledges to reconquer Palestine.
In 1957 Three B-52's take off from Castle Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop round-the-world flight, which lasted 45 hours and 19 minutes.
In 1967 Alan S. Boyd is sworn in as the first secretary of transportation.
In 1969 Soviet Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 become the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.
In 1973 "Bonanza" ends it's 14-year television run.
In 1973 USSR's Lunakhod begins radio-controlled exploration of the moon.
In 1974 "Jaws" by Peter Benchley is published.
In 1978 NASA names 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, America's first woman in space.
In 1979 The Iranian revolution overthrows Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi.
In 1981 In Northern Ireland, Protestant gunmen shoot and wound Irish nationalist leader Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and her husband.
In 1983 Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko arrives in Bonn for talks with West German leaders about deployment of missiles in Europe.
In 1985 Reuben V. Anderson is sworn in as Mississippi's first black justice on the state Supreme Court.
In 1985 Playboy announces its 30-year tradition of stapling centerfold models would end as the magazine decided to switch to binding.
In 1986 President Reagan, responding to Gorbachev's proposal to eliminate all nuclear weapons by the year 2000, said it was being studied "with great care."
In 1987 Hu Yaobang resigns as head of China's Communist Party, declaring he'd made mistakes in dealing with student turmoil and intellectual challenges to the system.
In 1987 Broadway columnist Earl Wilson dies at age 79.
In 1988 Jimmy "The Greek" Synder is fired by CBS for racist remarks against black athletes.
In 1989 3 days of rioting begin in Miami's Overtown district following the shooting of a black man by a Hispanic police officer.
In 1990 The Soviet Union sends more than 11,000 reinforcements to the Caucasus to halt a civil war between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
In 1991 President Bush announces the start of Operation Desert Storm, a massive air-strike in conjunction with 28 allied countries to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
In 1992 Officials of the government of El Salvador and rebel leaders sign a pact in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war.
In 1992 Officials of the government of El Salvador and rebel leaders sign a pact in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war that had left at least 75,000 people dead.
In 1993 Attorney General-designate Zoe Baird and her husband pay a $2,900 fine for employing illegal aliens in their home.
In 1994 President Clinton holds marathon talks in Geneva with Syrian President Hafez Assad, who offered Israel "normal, peaceful relations" in exchange for land.
In 1994 Yegor Gaidar, first deputy prime minister and architect of Russia's market reforms, announced his resignation.
In 1995 In Union, SC, a prosecutor announces he would seek the death penalty for Susan Smith, the woman accused of drowning her two young sons, 3-year-old Michael and 14-month-old Alex. (Smith was convicted of murder, but was sentenced to life in prison.)
In 1996 Gunmen in Trabzon, Turkey, hijack a Black Sea ferry, and demand that Russian troops stop fighting Chechen rebels. (The hostages were released three days later).
In 1997 Haiti's largest anti-government strikes shuts down Port-au-Prince.
In 1997 Actor/comedian Bill Cosby's only son, Ennis, is shot to death in apparent roadside robbery attempt.
In 1997 Two bombs explode injuring six people at an Atlanta building with an abortion clinic.
In 1998 The first woman to enroll at Virginia Military Institute withdraws from school.
In 1999 45 Albanians are found slain near the southern Kosovo village of Racak.
In 2000 Ricardo Lagos is elected Chile's first socialist president since Salvador Allende.
In 2001 Laurent Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo is shot and killed at his home.
In 2001 Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.
In 2001 .S. President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.
In 2002 Richard Reid is indicted in Boston on federal charges alleging he he'd tried to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner with explosives hidden in his shoes.
In 2003 The space shuttle Columbia blasted off with Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, on board. (The shuttle broke up during its return on February 1, killing all seven crew members.)
In 2004 NASA announces that the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope would be allowed to degrade and eventually become useless.
In 2014 Russell Johnson, The Professor on Gilligan's Island, dies at 89.
In 2014 Dave Madden, who played "The Partridge Family's" aggravated band manager on the 1970s TV show, dies after a long illness at age 82.
In 2020 National Nothing Day.