Today In History...
In 1861 President Lincoln establishes America's first air force, the Balloon Corps.
In 1885 Special delivery mail service begins in the United States.
In 1890 Congress passes the McKinley Tariff Act, which raises tariffs to a record level.
In 1896 The U.S. Post Office establishes Rural Free Delivery, with the first routes in West Virginia.
In 1896 Yosemite becomes a National Park.
In 1903 The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Boston Pilgrims (Red Sox), 7-3, in the first World Series game. Boston goes on to win the series.
In 1908 Henry Ford introduces the Model T at the cost of $825 per car.
In 1936 General Francisco Franco is proclaimed the head of an insurgent Spanish state.
In 1940 The first section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, 160 miles in length, is opened to the public.
In 1942 The first American jet plane (Bell XP-59) is flown.
In 1943 Allied forces capture Naples during World War II.
In 1949 Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung raises the first flag of the People's Republic of China in a ceremony at Beijing.
In 1951 First treaty signed by woman ambassador - Eugenie Anderson.
In 1952 The first UHF station signs on in Portland, Oregon.
In 1960 Nigeria gains independence from Britain.
In 1961 Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hits his 61st home run during a 162-game season, compared to Babe Ruth's 60 home runs during a 154-game season.
In 1962 Johnny Carson succeeds Jack Paar as the host of "The Tonight Show."
In 1962 "The Lucy Show" premieres on CBS-TV.
In 1964 Japan opens the first 100mph passenger rail line.
In 1964 The Free Speech Movement is launched at the University of California at Berkeley as students demand the right to engage in political activities on campus.
In 1968 The cult horror film "Night of the Living Dead" premieres.
In 1971 Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida.
In 1979 The U.S. returns the Canal Zone to Panama after 75 years, but not the canal.
In 1979 Pope John Paul II arrives in Boston for the start of a 7-day, 6-city tour of the U.S.
In 1981 In a news conference, President Reagan says that the U.S. would defend the oilfields of Saudi Arabia against anyone who threatened the flow of oil to the West.
In 1982 EPCOT Center opens in Orlando, Florida.
In 1985 Israeli planes fly 1500 miles to bomb PLO headquarters in Tunis.
In 1985 U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler agrees to leave her Cabinet post to become U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.
In 1986 Former President Jimmy Carter's presidential library and museum is dedicated in Atlanta.
In 1987 Eight people are killed when an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 5.9 and an aftershock measuring 5.3 struck the Los Angeles area.
In 1988 The Supreme Soviet elects Mikhail Gorbachev as President succeeding Gromyko.
In 1989 More than 6000 East Germans crowd aboard "Freedom Trains" to West Germany.
In 1990 Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay dies at age 83.
In 1991 President Bush condemns the military coup in Haiti, suspending U.S. economic and military aid and demanding the immediate return to power of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
In 1992 The U.S. Senate votes, 93-6, to approve the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
In 1992 Texas billionaire Ross Perot jumps back into the presidential race.
In 1993 12-year-old Polly Klaas is abducted from her Petaluma, CA, home; her body was found more than two months later. Richard Allen Davis was later convicted for her murder and sentenced to death.
In 1994 The U.S. and Japan reach a series of trade agreements averting a threatened trade war.
In 1994 The National Hockey League team owners begin a 103-day lockout of their players.
In 1995 An earthquake in southwestern Turkey kills at least 55 people, injures about 200, destroys 1,000 homes and damages 4,000 others.
In 1995 Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and 9 other defendants are convicted in New York of conspiring to attack the U.S. through bombings, assassinations and kidnappings.
In 1995 An earthquake in southwestern Turkey kills about 90 people.
In 1996 A federal grand jury indicts Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski in 1994 mail bomb slaying of ad executive.
In 1996 The minimum wage increases 50 cents to $4.75 an hour.
In 1996 NASA begins turning over day-to-day shuttle operations to private industry.
In 1996 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat meet at the White House.
In 1997 WorldCom Inc. moves to block the merger of MCI and British Telecom, offering its own $29.4 billion bid in the biggest proposed merger in U.S. history.
In 1997 In Pearl, MS, 16-year-old Luke Woodham stabs his mother to death, then went to school with a rifle and opened fire, killing his former girlfriend and another student and wounding six others.
In 1998 Boeing agrees to pay $10 million to settle allegations it disclosed secrets to foreign companies on a rocket project.
In 1998 A federal judge allows a libel case by Richard Jewell, once a suspect in the Olympic Park bombing, to proceed against the New York Post.
In 2000 Pope John Paul II names Philadelphia heiress Katharine Drexel as the second U.S.-born saint.
In 2000 On the last day of the Sydney Olympics, the U.S. men's basketball team beat France for the gold medal.
In 2001 The U.S. Supreme Court suspends former President Clinton from practicing before the high court.
In 2001 A Pakistan-based militant group attacks the state legislature in Indian-ruled Kashmir, killing 38 people.
In 2002 Iraq agrees to a plan for the return of U.N. weapons inspectors for the first time in nearly four years.