Today In History...

In 1880 Thomas Edison is granted a patent for an electric incandescent lamp.
In 1888 The National Geographical Society is formed.
In 1926 John Logie Baird makes the first public TV demonstration.
In 1943 The first all-American air raid takes place against Germany during World War II, as some 50 bombers struck Wilhelmshaven.
In 1944 During World War II, the Soviet Union announces the end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted more than two years.
In 1945 During World War II, Soviet troops liberate the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
In 1948 The first tape recorder is sold.
In 1951 The U.S. Air Force drops a one-kiloton atomic bomb on Frenchman Flats in the Nevada desert.
In 1964 Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine tries for the Republican presidential bid.
In 1967 A flash fire aboard the spacecraft Apollo I kills astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee.
In 1967 Representatives from more than 60 nations sign a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons.
In 1973 The U.S. and Vietnam sign a cease-fire agreement, ending the longest U.S. foreign war and military draft.
In 1977 President Carter pardons over 10,000 Vietnam War draft evaders.
In 1977 The Vatican reaffirms its position against women as priests.
In 1981 President Reagan greets 52 former American hostages released by Iran, telling them during a White House visit: "Welcome Home."
In 1985 A secret 3-day military-satellite mission of the space shuttle Discovery ends with a smooth landing in Florida.
In 1986 Scientology founder Ron Hubbard dies at age 74.
In 1986 Fierce winds and a stubborn hatch bolt force NASA to again scrub the launch of the space shuttle Challenger. (The shuttle was launched the next day -- with catastrophic results.)
In 1988 The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves the nomination of Judge Anthony M. Kennedy to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1990 In Romania, four top associates of executed dictator Nicolae Ceausecu go on trial, charged with abetting genocide.
In 1991 The New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV,20-19.
In 1992 Aileen Wuornos, a Florida highway prostitute, is convicted in the slaying of the first of seven men she admitted killing, claiming self-defense.
In 1992 Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers accuse each other of lying in a renewed dispute over her assertion that they'd had a 12-year affair.
In 1993 The Commerce Department imposes temporary tariffs on steel imports from 19 countries.
In 1994 Figure skater Tonya Harding appears before reporters in Portland, OR, to say that while she'd had no prior knowledge of the attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, she had failed to report what she'd learned afterward.
In 1995 The U.S. and Vietnam agree to permit the opening of liaison offices in each other's capitals.
In 1996 Soldiers seize control of Niger's government.
In 1996 A man invades a convent in Waterville, ME, stabbing and beating four nuns, killing two of them (Mark Bechard was later found not criminally responsible because of mental illness).
In 1997 Switzerland's ambassador to the U.S., Carlo Jagmetti, resigns after outraging Jewish groups by likening his country's Nazi gold crisis to a war that had to be won.
In 1998 Britain speeds up a program to destroy a stockpile of 1 million land mines.
In 2001 Dartmouth College professors, Half and Susanne Zantop, are murdered at their Hanover, NH, home in what prosecutors said was a robbery committed by two teenagers.
In 2001 Ten are killed when a plane bringing people home from OklahomaState University's basketball game against Colorado crashed in a field outside Denver.
In 2001 Lynn Swann & Ron Yary are elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 2002 Wafa Idris, a Palestinian paramedic, becomes the first female suicide bomber against Israel, killing an 81-year-old man.
In 2004 Former "Tonight Show" host Jack Paar dies at age 85.


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