Today In History...
In 1862 Telescope maker Alvin Clark discovers the dwarf companion ofSirius.
In 1865 General Robert E. Lee is named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.
In 1917 Germany serves notice that it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
In 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt devalues the dollar in relation to gold.
In 1944 During World War II, U.S. forces begin invading Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
In 1945 U.S. Army Private Eddie Slovik is shot by an American firing squad in France during World War II, becoming the only American soldier executed for desertion since the Civil War.
In 1948 The magnetic tape wire recorder is developed by Wireway.
In 1949 "These Are My Children," TV's first soap opera begins on NBC.
In 1950 President Harry Truman announces he had ordered the development of the hydrogen bomb.
In 1955 RCA demonstrates the first music synthesizer.
In 1958 Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite, is launched.
In 1958 James Van Allen discovers the radiation belt.
In 1961 Ham is the first primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury.
In 1962 Cuba is voted out of the Organization of American States.
In 1966 Luna IX is launched for the moon.
In 1968 A record high barometric pressure (1083.8 mb, 32") is measured at Agata, USSR.
In 1971 Astronauts Alan B. Shepard, Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blast-off aboard Apollo XIV, the first U.S. moon mission since the ill-fated mission of Apollo XIII.
In 1983 Independent truckers begin a nationwide strike to protest high fuel prices.
In 1984 The Vatican names Bishop John J. O'Connor of Scranton, PA, to head the Archdiocese of New York, succeeding the late Cardinal Terence Cooke.
In 1985 Pope John Paul II greets tens of thousands of Indians in Ecuador, urging them to fight the modern problems of unemployment, malnutrition, illiteracy and alcoholism.
In 1986 "Baby Doc" Duvalier declares a state of siege in Haiti.
In 1986 A memorial service is held for the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded on takeoff four days earlier.
In 1988 The Washington Redskins defeat the Denver Broncos, 42-10, in Super Bowl XXII at San Diego.
In 1989 Jury selection begins in the trial of former National Security Council aide Oliver North, charged in connection with the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1990 McDonald's opens its first fast-food restaurant in the SovietUnion, in Moscow's Pushkin Square.
In 1991 Army Spc. Melissa Rathbun-Nealy and Army Spc. David Lockett are captured by Iraqi forces near the Kuwaiti-Saudi border; both were eventually released.
In 1993 The Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills, 52-17, in Super Bowl XXVII at Pasadena, California.
In 1994 A convoy of U.S. soldiers opens fire on hundreds of Somali civilians outside food distribution center in Mogadishu, killing at least eight and wounding several others.
In 1994 Gerry Adams, president of the pro-IRA Sinn Fein party, arrives in New York after being granted a 48-hour visa so that he could take part in a conference on the violence in Northern Ireland.
In 1995 President Clinton scraps a $40 billion rescue plan for Mexico.
In 1995 Legendary Broadway producer-director George Abbott dies at age 107.
In 1996 In one of the worst attacks in Sri Lanka's 12-year civil war, a truck packed with explosives rams into central bank killing at least 73 people and wounding 1,400.
In 1996 The last Cubans held in refugee camps at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base board a plane for Florida.
In 1998 Astronaut David Wolf returns to Earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour after four months on the Russian space station Mir.
In 1999 The Denver Broncos repeated as NFL champions, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19, in Super Bowl XXXIII.
In 1999 Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented evidence that the AIDS virus originated in chimpanzees and spread to people in Africa.
In 2000 Alaska Airlines Flight 261 plummets into the ocean, killing all 88 aboard.
In 2003 President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair meet at the White House to discuss a second UN resolution on Iraq.
In 2004 John Elway and Barry Sanders are elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on their first attempt.