Today In History...
In 1633 Italian astronomer Galileo goes on trial before the Inquisition for contradicting the idea that the sun goes around the earth.
In 1635 America's first public school, the Boston Latin School, opens.
In 1741 Andrew Bradford of Pennsylvania publishes the first magazine in the U.S. entitled The American Magazine.
In 1784 Ice jams the Mississippi River in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In 1795 The University of North Carolina becomes the first U.S. state university to open its doors to students.
In 1866 Outlaws Jesse James and Cole Younger pull their first bank job.
In 1920 The League of Nations recognizes the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.
In 1933 Comic strip characters Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead are married.
In 1935 Bruno Hauptmann is convicted of first-degree murder in the kidnap-death of the infant son of aviator Charles Lindbergh. (Hauptmann is later executed.)
In 1936 The first Social Security checks are mailed.
In 1937 "Prince Valiant" comic strip appears for the first time.
In 1945 During World War II, the Soviets capture Budapest, Hungary, from the Germans after a 50-day siege.
In 1945 2-days of non-stop Allied bombing raids on Dresden, Germany, begin killing 130,000 and destroying priceless, centuries-old artworks.
In 1955 Israel acquires 4 of the 7 dead sea scrolls.
In 1958 Florida's capital city of Tallahassee set its all-time snowfall record of 2.8 inches.
In 1960 France tests a its first atomic bomb in the Sahara Desert.
In 1970 General Motors begins design of unleaded fuel automobiles.
In 1971 Vice President Spiro Agnew hits three spectators with golf balls at the Bob Hope Classic and leaves in a huff.
In 1980 Opening ceremonies are held in Lake Placid, New York, for the XIII Winter Olympics.
In 1980 Actor, David Janssen dies at age 49.
In 1983 Fire inside a Turin, Italy, movie theatre kills sixty-four.
In 1984 Konstantin Chernenko is chosen to be general secretary of theSoviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov.
In 1984 Debbie Armstrong wins the first U.S. gold medal of the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, in the women's giant slalom.
In 1985 A federal study reveals that obesity is "a major killer" in theU.S.
In 1985 President Reagan and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia conclude two days of meetings.
In 1986 The commission investigating the Challenger shuttle disaster review videotape and still photographs that showed a black puff of smoke from the right rocket booster as the spacecraft left the pad.
In 1988 The Boy Scouts of America announced that women would be allowed to hold leadership positions.
In 1988 The XV Winter Olympic Games open in Calgary, Canada.
In 1990 The U.S. and its European allies forge an agreement with the Soviet Union and East Germany during a conference in Ottawa on a two-stage formula to reunite Germany.
In 1991 Hundreds of Iraqi civilians are killed when a pair of laser-guided U.S. bombs destroy an underground facility in Baghdad identified by U.S. officials as a military installation, but which Iraqi officials said was a bomb shelter.
In 1992 Donna Weinbrecht of the U.S. wins the gold medal in women's freestyle skiing moguls at the Olympic games in Albertville, France.
In 1994 At the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, American Tommy Moe wins the men's downhill, defeating local hero Kjetil Andre Aamodt by four one-hundredths of a second.
In 1995 A tribunal in the Netherlands indicts 21 Serbs for atrocities against Croats and Muslims interned in a Bosnian prison camp.
In 1997 Discovery's astronauts bring the Hubble Space Telescope aboard the shuttle for a 1-billion-mile tuneup.
In 1999 President Clinton announces as many as 4,000 American troops would go to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping force if warring Serbs and ethnic Albanians reached a political settlement.
In 1999 A federal judge holds American Airlines' pilots' union and two top board members in contempt for not encouraging pilots to return to work after a court order.
In 2000 Charles Schulz's final "Peanuts" strip runs in Sunday newspapers, the day after the cartoonist died in his sleep at age 77.
In 2001 A 6.6 earthquake shakes El Salvador, killing at least 402 people one month to the day after another quake killed more than 800 people.
In 2002 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II makes former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani an honorary knight.
In 2002 At the Salt Lake City winter games, the head of the French Olympic team said the French figure skating judge had been pressured to"act in a certain way" before she voted to give the gold medal to the Russians in pairs.
In 2004 Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the Daytona 500 on the same track where his father was killed three years earlier.
In 2005 YouTube, the popular Internet site on which videos may be shared and viewed by others, is launched in the U.S.
In 2013 In a stunning coincidence, on the same day that a huge meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, the asteroid 2012 DA14 passed
In 2013 Earth at a distance less than 18,000 miles.
In 2014 Mary Grace Canfield, a veteran character actress who played handy woman Ralph Monroe on the television show "Green Acres," dies at 89.