Today In History...
In 1782 The Great Seal of the United States is used for first time.
In 1810 Mexico declares independence from Spain.
In 1857 A patent is issued for the typesetting machine.
In 1893 Hundreds of thousands of settlers swarm onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the Cherokee Strip.
In 1908 William Crapo Durant incorporates General Motors in New Jersey.
In 1919 The American Legion is incorporated by an act of Congress.
In 1940 President Franklin Roosevelt signs into law the Selective Training and Service Act, the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history.
In 1940 Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas is elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1949 Wile E. Coyote debuts in the Warner Bros. cartoon "Fast & Furryous."
In 1963 The science fiction series "The Outer Limits" premieres on ABC-TV.
In 1953 "The Robe," the first movie filmed in the widescreen process CinemaScope, premieres at the Roxy Theater in New York.
In 1965 The TV variety show "The Dean Martin Show" debuts on NBC.
In 1968 Richard Nixon appears on "Laugh-In."
In 1968 The sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show" ends its 8-year-run on CBS.
In 1972 "Bridget Loves Bernie" is the first TV series about mixed marriage.
In 1974 President Ford announces a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.
In 1976 The Episcopal Church approves ordination of women as priests.
In 1978 A 7.7 earthquake kills 25,000 people in Iran.
In 1981 Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard unifies the world welterweight title with a 14th-round technical knockout of Thomas Hearns in Las Vegas.
In 1982 Hundreds of Palestinians are massacred by Lebanese Christian militiamen in west Beirut refugee camps.
In 1984 The police drama "Miami Vice" premieres on NBC-TV.
In 1985 The U.S. slips to the status of "debtor nation."
In 1985 China's Communist Party announces sweeping changes in its leadership designed to bring younger officials into power.
In 1986 Former Delaware Governor Pete Du Pont becomes the first major candidate to announce publicly his bid for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.
In 1987 Two dozen countries sign the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth's ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.
In 1988 Hurricane Gilbert slams into the Mexico coast for the second time in three days.
In 1990 Iraqi television broadcasts an 8-minute videotaped address by President Bush, who warned the Iraqi people that Saddam Hussein's brinkmanship could plunge them into war "against the world."
In 1991 A federal judge in Washington dismisses all Iran-Contra charges against Oliver North.
In 1991 Confirmation hearings begin on the nomination of Robert Gates to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
In 1991 U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas concludes five days of testimony at his confirmation hearing.
In 1992 Former U.S. Representative Millicent Fenwick, R-NJ, dies at age 82.
In 1992 A proposed debate between President Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton is canceled after the Bush campaign's refusal to negotiate with a bipartisan commission.
In 1993 A judge in Berlin convicts three elderly former Communist leaders in the shooting deaths of East Germans who had tried to scale the Berlin Wall.
In 1994 Exxon Corp. is ordered to pay $5 billion in punitive damages to commercial fisherman, Alaskan natives, property owners and others harmed in the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
In 1994 Two astronauts from the space shuttle Discovery go on the first untethered spacewalk in 10 years.
In 1995 Shawntel Smith of Oklahoma is crowned Miss America at the pageant in Atlantic City, NJ.
In 1996 Space shuttle Atlantis blasts off more than six weeks late on a mission to pick up NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid from the Russian space station Mir.
In 1996 Former national security adviser McGeorge Bundy dies at age 77.
In 1997 Attorney General Janet Reno names Charles La Bella the Justice Department's new lead prosecutor in the campaign fund-raising investigation.
In 2000 American Nancy Johnson captures the first gold medal of the Sydney Olympics, winning the women's 10-meter air rifle.
In 2001 8 cross-country runners from the University of Wyoming are killed in a head-on collision with a pickup truck.
In 2001 President George W. Bush says there was "no question" Osama bin Laden was the "prime suspect" in the September 11 attacks.
In 2003 North Carolina Senator John Edwards formally launches his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.