Today In History...

  • In 1840 New Zealand is settled by the British.
  • In 1881 An ancient Egyptian obelisk known as "Cleopatra's Needle" is erected in New York's Central Park.
  • In 1901 England's Queen Victoria dies at age 82.
  • In 1905 Thousands of demonstrating Russian workers are fired on by Imperial army troops in St. Petersburg on what became known as "Red Sunday" or "Bloody Sunday."
  • In 1917 President Wilson pleads for an end to World War I in Europe, saying there had to be "peace without victory."
  • In 1922 Pope Benedict XV dies and is succeeded by Pius XI.
  • In 1930 The U.S. all time low temperature of 85 below zero is set at Mt. Carroll, Illinois.
  • In 1937 Winter floods kill over 250 in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys.
  • In 1938 Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer prize winning play "Our Town" is performed for the first time in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • In 1944 During World War II, Allied Forces begin landing at Anzio, Italy.
  • In 1947 The first commercial TV station west of Mississippi goes on the air in Hollywood, California.
  • In 1953 "The Crucible," Arthur Miller's drama about the Salem witch trials of the 17th century, opens on Broadway.
  • In 1955 The U.S. announces it would develop intercontinental missiles with nuclear warheads.
  • In 1961 A Portuguese ocean liner, the Santa Maria, is hijacked in the Caribbean with some 600 passengers aboard; the drama ended 11 days later when the ship docked in Brazil.
  • In 1968 Apollo V is launched to the moon for unmanned lunar module tests.
  • In 1968 "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," a fast-paced collection of sketches, one-liners and blackouts, premieres on NBC-TV.
  • In 1970 The first commercial flight of the Boeing 747 begins in New York and ends in London 6 1/2 hours later.
  • In 1973 In the case of Roe versus Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down state laws restricting abortions in the first 6 months of pregnancy.
  • In 1973 Former President Lyndon Johnson dies at his Texas ranch at age 64.
  • In 1975 Lansat 2, an Earth Resources Technology Satellite, is launched.
  • In 1979 A car bomb explodes in Beirut, Lebanon, killing terrorist AliHassan Salameh, believed to have masterminded the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
  • In 1980 The Soviet Union sends Andrei Sakharov into internal exile.
  • In 1985 A freeze damages 90% of Florida's citrus crops.
  • In 1986 A judge in New Delhi, India, finds a Sikh defendant guilty of murder and conspiracy and two other Sikhs guilty of conspiracy in the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • In 1987 Pennsylvania's State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer, convicted of defrauding the state, proclaims his innocence at a news conference before shooting himself to death in front of horrified spectators.
  • In 1988 A federal appeals court rules that court appointment of independent counsels to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by high-ranking government officials was unconstitutional. However, the U.S.Supreme Court upheld the law the following June.
  • In 1990 A jury in Syracuse, NY, convicts graduate student Robert T. Morris of federal computer tampering charges.
  • In 1991 During the Gulf War, Iraq fires Scud missiles into Israel striking Tel Aviv, resulting in three deaths.
  • In 1992 President Bush names Andrew H. Card Jr. to be U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
  • In 1992 The space shuttle Discovery blasts off with seven astronauts.
  • In 1993 Attorney general nominee Zoe Baird withdraws in the face of complaints over her hiring of illegal aliens.
  • In 1994 Actor Telly Savalas dies of prostate cancer at age 70.
  • In 1994 "Schindler's List," Steven Spielberg's drama about the Holocaust, wins Golden Globes for best dramatic picture and best director.
  • In 1995 Twenty-one Israelis are killed and 59 others injured in a suicide bombing in central Israel.
  • In 1995 Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy dies at age 104.
  • In 1996 First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is subpoenaed by the Whitewater special prosecutor to testify before a grand jury.
  • In 1996 O.J. Simpson testifies for the first time since the killings of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend, Ronald Goldman, as he gave a videotaped deposition for a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • In 1997 The U.S. Senate confirms Madeleine Albright as the nation's first female secretary of state, and former Republican Senator William Cohen as defense secretary.
  • In 1998 Former top finance official at the Christian Coalition is sentenced to repay $40,000 that was embezzled.
  • In 1998 Theodore Kaczynski, who admitted his role in Unabomber attacks, pleads guilty to federal charges covering five bombings, and agrees to life in prison without parole.
  • In 2000 Food writer Craig Claiborne dies at age 79.
  • In 2001 President Bush signs a memorandum reinstating full abortion restrictions on U.S. overseas aid.
  • In 2001 Four of the seven convicts who had broken out of a Texas prison the previous month are captured southwest of Denver. A fifth inmate had killed himself.
  • In 2002 K-mart Corp. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • In 2002 Gold medal-winning speed skater Jack Shea dies in Lake Placid, NY,of injuries suffered in a car accident. He was 91.
  • In 2010 Conan O'Brien hosted his last "Tonight Show" episode after a big controversy over the Tonight Show time slot.

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