Today In History...
In 1844 U.S. Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer and several others are killed when a 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton explodes.
In 1849 The ship California arrives in San Francisco with the first of the gold seekers.
In 1854 Some 50 opponents to slavery meet at a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin, to call for a new political group. The organization would later become known as the Republican Party.
In 1861 The Territory of Colorado is organized.
In 1883 The first vaudeville theater opens.
In 1902 A Colorado mine disaster kills over a thousand.
In 1933 Leftist playwright Bertolt Brecht leaves Germany.
In 1934 "Palooka" opens and introduces Jimmy Durante and "Inka Dinka Do."
In 1940 The British ship "Queen Elizabeth" is launched.
In 1940 The first college basketball game is televised on W2XBS/New York, as Pittsburgh defeated Fordham, 57-37, and New York University beat Georgetown, 50-27, at Madison Square Garden.
In 1950 Cadillac introduces the first one-piece automobile windshield.
In 1951 The Senate crime investigating committee issues a preliminary report stating at least 2 major crime syndicates were operating in theU.S.
In 1958 First Class Mail goes from three to six cents per ounce.
In 1966 The scheduled crew of Gemini IX is killed in a jet aircraft crash.
In 1969 Senator Robert Kennedy assassin, Sirhan Sirhan is spared from the California gas chamber.
In 1972 President Nixon ends his historic visit to China.
In 1974 The U.S. and Egypt re-establish diplomatic relations after a 7-year break.
In 1975 More than 40 are killed when a London subway crashes into the end of a tunnel.
In 1983 The final episode of "M*A*S*H" airs after 11 seasons on CBS, with a special 2 1/2 hour finale that was watched by an estimated 121.6 million people.
In 1984 Gary Hart wins the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire upsetting front-runner Walter Mondale.
In 1985 Irish Republican Army kills nine Ulster police in a mortar attack.
In 1986 Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme is assassinated in central Stockholm.
In 1987 A major arms control announcement is made when Soviet leader Gorbachev says his nation would remove all medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe if America would.
In 1988 Todd Seeley sets the world record for a ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jump at 82 yards.
In 1988 The XV Olympic Winter Games holds its closing ceremony in Calgary, Canada; the U.S. won six medals, two of them gold, in its weakest Winter Games in 52 years.
In 1989 In Chicago, Richard M. Daley, son of Mayor Richard J. Daley, defeats acting Mayor Eugene Sawyer in a Democratic primary election.
In 1989 Humorist-poet Richard Armour dies in Claremont, CA, at age 82.
In 1990 The space shuttle Atlantis blasts off from Cape Canaveral on a secret mission to space to place a spy satellite in orbit.
In 1991 Allied and Iraqi forces suspend their attacks as Iraq pledged to accept all United Nations resolutions concerning Kuwait.
In 1992 28 people are injured when an IRA bomb explodes at London Bridge train station.
In 1993 A gun battle erupts at a compound near Waco, Texas, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms agents tried to serve warrants on the Branch Davidians. Four agents and six Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began.
In 1994 U.S. and Vietnamese negotiators begin financial and political talks, the first major political negotiations since the Paris Peace Agreement of 1973.
In 1994 Two U.S. F-16 fighters shoot down four Bosnian Serb aircraft that violated a U.N. no-fly zone over Bosnia, the first NATO military action in the organization's 44-year history.
In 1994 Lorena Bobbitt is released from a state mental hospital inVirginia, five weeks after she was acquitted by reason of insanity of mutilating her husband, John, by cutting of his penis.
In 1995 Denver International Airport opens after 16 months of delays and $3.2 billion in budget overruns.
In 1995 U.S. Marines land in Somalia to protect retreating U.N. peacekeepers.
In 1996 Princess Diana agrees to a divorce from Prince Charles.
In 1997 An earthquake damages 83 villages in Iran killing an estimated 3,000.
In 1999 Guerrillas detonate two bombs beside a military convoy in southern Lebanon, killing a brigadier general and three other Israelis.
In 2000 Right-wing Austrian leader Joerg Haider resigned as head of the Freedom Party.
In 2001 A powerful earthquake shakes the Northwest, shattering windows and showering bricks onto sidewalks in Seattle and Portland.
In 2001 A train collision in northeast England kills 10 people and injured more than 70.
In 2003 NASA releases video taken aboard Columbia that had miraculously survived the fiery destruction of the space shuttle with the loss of all seven astronauts.