Today In History...
In 1863 Federal batteries and ships bombard Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War.
In 1877 Asaph Hall discovers the Mars' moon Phobos.
In 1896 Gold is discovered at Bonanza Creek in the Yukon.
In 1915 In Cobb County, GA, a mob chanting anti-Semitic slogans hangs Jewish businessman Leo Frank, whose death sentence for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan had been commuted to life imprisonment. Frank was pardoned by the state of Georgia in 1986.
In 1940 President Franklin Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William Mackenzie King meet in Ogdensburg, NY, where they agreed to set up a joint defense commission.
In 1942 During World War II U.S. bombers stage the first independent raid on Europe at Rouen, France.
In 1943 Allied forces gain complete control of Sicily during World War II.
In 1945 Indonesia declares independence from the Netherlands.
In 1948 Former State Department official Alger Hiss denies ever being a Communist agent during a meeting of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
In 1960 The U-2 spy trial of Francis Gary Powers begins in Moscow.
In 1961 The Alliance for Progress is established.
In 1962 East German border guards shoot and kill Peter Fechter, 18, who attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector.
In 1969 Hurricane Camille hits Mississippi claiming more than 250 lives.
In 1978 The first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ends as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman land their Double Eagle II in a wheat field outside Paris.
In 1981 President Reagan lifts a 10-week-old suspension of deliveries of F-15 and F-16 fighters to Israel that was imposed after the Israelis bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor.
In 1985 More than 1,400 meatpackers walk off the job at the Hormel Plant in Austin, Minnesota, in a bitter strike that lasts over a year.
In 1987 Rudolph Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler's inner circle, dies at age 93 of apparent suicide, after 46 years in Spandau Prison.
In 1988 The first verified joint nuclear test takes place with Soviet observers joining Americans at a Nevada site.
In 1988 Vice President George Bush is nominated for president at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans.
In 1988 Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a mysterious plane crash.
In 1990 Iraq said it would "play host" to all foreign citizens in the country who were from "aggressive nations," and place them in military and civilian targets until the threat of war was over.
In 1992 President Bush arrives in Houston for the opening of the Republican National Convention.
In 1992 Actor-director Woody Allen admits being linked romantically with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Allen's longtime companion, actress Mia Farrow.
In 1993 A prosecutor in Wayne County, MI, charges Dr. Jack Kevorkian under Michigan's six-month-old law against assisted suicide for aiding in the death of Thomas Hyde, who was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. A jury later acquitted Kevorkian.
In 1994 U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman resigns under pressure over the Whitewater controversy.
In 1995 James B. McDougal, McDougal's ex-wife, Susan H. McDougal, and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker are indicted by the Whitewater grand jury on fraud and conspiracy charges.
In 1996 A military cargo plane carrying gear for President Clinton crashes and explodes in flames shortly after taking off from Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming.
In 1998 The $57 billion merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica, creating the largest U.S. bank, is approved by the Federal Reserve Board.
In 1998 President Clinton gives grand jury testimony via closed-circuit TV from the White House regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
In 2000 Al Gore accepts the Democratic presidential nomination.
In 2002 An ailing Pope John Paul II visits Krakow, Poland, beginning the ninth visit to his native country during his papacy.
In 2003 Federal investigators join industry teams searching for clues into what triggered the country's worst power blackout in the Midwest and Northeast.
In 2004 At the Athens games, Romania wins its second straight Olympic gold medal in women's gymnastics; the U.S. took silver while Russia won the bronze.