Today In History...

In 1608 John Smith is elected president of the Jamestown colony council in Virginia.
In 1794 America's first non-denominational college, Blount College (later the University of Tennessee) is chartered.
In 1813 Commodore Oliver H. Perry sends the message, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours," after an American naval force defeats the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
In 1846 Elias Howe receives a patent for his sewing machine.
In 1913 Lincoln Highway opens as the first paved coast-to-coast highway.
In 1919 New York City welcomes home General John J. Pershing and 25,000 soldiers who served during World War I.
In 1939 Canada declares war on Germany at the outset of World War II.
In 1945 Vidkun Quisling is sentenced to death in Norway for collaborating with the Nazis.
In 1948 Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio broadcaster "Axis Sally," is indicted in Washington, DC, for treason.
In 1953 Swanson sells it's first frozen "TV Dinner."
In 1955 "Gunsmoke" premieres on CBS-TV.
In 1960 Central Florida records wind gusts of 180mph from Hurricane Donna.
In 1963 20 black students enter public schools in Alabama following a standoff between federal authorities and Governor George Wallace.
In 1965 "The Jack Benny Program" airs for the last time on NBC-TV.
In 1969 Alaska opens $900 million in oil company bids for North Slope oil among speculation of future riches from the Alaskan pipeline.
In 1976 2 airliners collide over Yugoslavia killing 176 people.
In 1977 Convicted murderer Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant, becomes the last person to be executed by the guillotine in France.
In 1979 3 Puerto Rican nationalists involved in a 1954 attack on the U.S. House of Representatives are freed from prison under a clemency granted by President Carter.
In 1983 John Vorster, prime minister of white-ruled South Africa from 1966 to 1978, dies in Cape Town at age 67.
In 1985 In El Salvador, Ines Guadelupe Duarte Duran, the eldest daughter of President Jose Napoleon Duarte, is kidnapped by leftist rebels. She was freed the following month as part of a prisoner exchange.
In 1986 CBS inc. announces that its embattled chairman and chief executive, Thomas H. Wyman, would step down.
In 1987 Pope John Paul II arrives in Miami to begin a 10-day visit of the U.S.
In 1988 Steffi Graf achieves the first Grand Slam in tennis since Margaret Court in 1970 by winning the U.S. Open women's final.
In 1990 Iran agrees to resume full diplomatic ties with onetime enemy Iraq.
In 1991 The Senate Judiciary Committee opens hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1993 The TV series "The X-Files" premieres on Fox.
In 1994 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario defeats Steffi Graf to win the U.S. Open women's championship.
In 1995 A plane carrying members of a skydivers club crashes in Shacklefords, VA, killing 10 parachutists, the plane's pilot and a man on the ground.
In 1996 Ross Perot picks economist Pat Choate to share the Reform Party's presidential ticket.
In 1996 The U.S. Senate votes to reject a law supporting same-sex marriages.
In 1996 Hurricane Hortense pounds Puerto Rico, causing at least 21 deaths and destroying thousands of homes.
In 1997 Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy pleads innocent to charges of accepting $35,000 in sports tickets, travel and lodging from companies regulated by the Agriculture Department.
In 1999 The U.S. government frees 14 Puerto Rican nationalists granted clemency by President Clinton.
In 1999 A federal judge orders an end to busing schoolchildren in Charlotte.
In 2000 Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight is fired after ongoing complaints about his temper and reported physical abuse to his players.
In 2000 Marat Safin beats Pete Sampras (6-4, 6-3, 6-3) to become the first Russian to win the U.S. Open.
In 2000 NBC's "The West Wing" wins a record-setting nine Emmy awards.
In 2001 A Marxist militant suicide bomber blows himself up in Istanbul, killing himself and three others.
In 2001 Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives in Lima, Peru, for the Organization of American States foreign ministers meeting.
In 2002 Switzerland becomes the 190th member of the United Nations.

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