Today In History...
In 1783 Spain recognizes U.S. independence.
In 1809 The territory of Illinois is organized.
In 1865 A conference aimed at ending the Civil War, that included President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, is held on the River Queen off the coast of Virginia.
In 1869 The Booth theater at 23rd and 6th opens in New York City.
In 1881 P.T. Barnum introduces "Jumbo," an African elephant to America.
In 1913 The 16th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, is ratified.
In 1916 Canada's original Parliament buildings in Ottawa burn down.
In 1917 The U.S. breaks diplomatic relations with Germany after the Germans announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
In 1924 Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. president, dies at age 68.
In 1930 The chief justice of the U.S., William Howard Taft resigns for health reasons.
In 1945 Walt Disney's "The Three Caballeros," the first motion picture to combine live action and animation, is released.
In 1966 Soviet Luna 9 is the first spacecraft to soft-land on the moon.
In 1984 The space shuttle Challenger blasts off from Cape Canaveral, FL, on a mission that included the faulty deployment of two satellites and a target balloon.
In 1986 President Reagan appoints a 12-member commission to investigate the Challenger disaster that killed the entire crew.
In 1987 The San Diego Yacht Club celebrates the victory of skipper Dennis Conner and the Stars and Stripes over Australia's Kookaburra III to sweep the America's Cup series.
In 1988 The Senate votes unanimously to confirm Anthony M. Kennedy to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1988 The U.S. House of Representatives hand President Reagan a major defeat, rejecting his request for at least $36.25 million in aid to the Nicaraguan Contras.
In 1989 Alfredo Stroessner, president of Paraguay for more than 3 decades, is overthrown by a military coup.
In 1990 The Bulgarian parliament elects economist Andrei Lukanov to replace a hardline communist as Premier.
In 1992 Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa sparks controversy by saying American workers were losing the drive "to live by the sweat of their brow."
In 1993 Marge Schott is suspended as Cincinnati Reds owner for one year for her repeated use of racial and ethnic slurs.
In 1993 The federal trial of four police officers charged with civil rights violations in the videotaped beating of Rodney King begins in Los Angeles.
In 1994 The U.S lifts the 19-year-old trade embargo against Vietnam.
In 1994 The space shuttle Discovery carries the first Russian cosmonaut into orbit aboard a U.S spacecraft.
In 1994 Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan dismisses his aide, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, for making anti-Semitic remarks.
In 1995 The Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off with a woman in the pilot's seat for the first time in NASA history, bound for an unprecedented rendezvous with the Russian space station.
In 1996 Sgt. First Class Donald A. Dugan, 38, is killed in northern Bosnia after a piece of ammunition exploded in his hands, becoming the first U.S. soldier killed there while on duty.
In 1996 Actress Audrey Meadows (Alice-"The Honeymooners") dies at age 71.
In 1997 Baker & Taylor Inc., the nation's largest book distributor, faces government accusations of overcharging schools and libraries by up to $200 million.
In 1997 The Army says a retired female sergeant major had accused Sgt. Maj. Gene McKinney of sexual assault and harassment.
In 1998 Texas executes the first woman since the Civil War, Karla Faye Tucker for the pickax killings of two people in 1983.
In 1998 An U.S. military plane slices a cable in Italy, killing 20 skiers on a ski-lift.
In 2001 Terry McAuliffe is elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
In 2001 The XFL, a football league founded by the World WrestlingFederation and jointly owned by NBC, held its first two games. The XFL folded after just one season.
In 2002 More than 40 people are killed in an earthquake in Turkey.
In 2002 The New England Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI, defeating the St. Louis Rams, 20-17.
In 2008 The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII.
In 2013 The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, at Super Bowl XLVII.