Today In History

In 1775 The first American society for the abolition of slavery is organized by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.
In 1828 The first edition of Noah Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language" is published.
In 1865 President Abraham Lincoln is shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC. The president dies the next day.
In 1894 A motion picture "peep show" device invented by Thomas Edison goes on display in New York City.
In 1902 J.C. Penny opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
In 1912 The supposedly unsinkable RMS Titanic runs into an iceberg in the North Atlantic and begins to sink.
In 1931 King Alfonso XIII of Spain goes into exile and the Spanish Republic is proclaimed.
In 1939 The film "Wuthering Heights," starring Laurence Olivier opens.
In 1939 "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck is first published.
In 1945 During World War II, American planes firebomb Tokyo and damage the Imperial Palace.
In 1956 Ampex demonstrates the first commercial video recorder.
In 1960 "Bye Bye Birdie" opens on Broadway.
In 1968 The Matt Crowley play "The Boys in the Band" opens in New York.
In 1981 The first test flight of America's first operational space shuttle, the Columbia, ends successfully as the orbiter lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1982 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher warns Argentina not to go near the Falklands.
In 1985 Jack C. Burcham becomes the fifth person to receive the "Jarvik Seven" permanent artificial heart. He dies 10 days later.
In 1986 Americans get first word of a U.S. air raid on Libya.
In 1986 French feminist author Simone de Beauvoir dies in Paris at age 78.
In 1987 Secretary of State George P. Shultz meets at the Kremlin with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who proposes the elimination of short-range nuclear missiles in East Germany and Czechoslovakia.
In 1988 Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and the Soviet Union sign agreements providing for the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and creation of a non-aligned Afghan state.
In 1988 Former winery worker Ramon Salcido goes on a rampage in Sonoma County, CA, killing seven people, including his wife and daughters; he was later sentenced to death.
In 1991 The final withdrawal of American combat troops from southern Iraq begins, 88 days after the U.S. launched its massive offensive to drive Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait.
In 1992 The World Court rejects Libya's appeal to prevent sanctions against it for refusing to turn over suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
In 1993 A government-funded study says that of 3,321 men surveyed, only 1.1 percent identified themselves as exclusively homosexual, a finding disputed by gay activists.
In 1993 Millions of black workers in South Africa go on strike to protest the slaying of activist Chris Hani.
In 1994 Two American F-15 warplanes inadvertently shoot down two U.S. helicopters in Northern Iraq, killing 26, including 15 Americans, five Kurds, three Turks, two Britons and a Frenchman.
In 1995 Actor/singer Burl Ives dies in Anacortes, WA, at age 85.
In 1997 Attorney General Janet Reno rejects Republican calls to seek an independent counsel to investigate campaign fundraising.
In 1997 James McDougal, who cooperated with Whitewater prosecutors investigating President and Mrs. Clinton, was sentenced to 3 years for 18 felony fraud and conspiracy counts.
In 1998 Virginia ignores requests from the World Court and executes a Paraguayan for the murder of a U.S. woman.
In 2001 The 24 crew members of the U.S. spy plane held in China for 11 days land at their home base in Washington.
In 2002 Tiger Woods becomes only the third player to win back-to-back Masters titles.
In 2003 Assailants armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a handgun open fire at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans, killing one youth and wounding three others.


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