Today In History...

In 1859 British naturalist Charles Darwin publishes "On The Origin of Species," a paper explaining his theory of evolution.
In 1863 The Civil War battle for Lookout Mountain begins in Tennessee.Union forces succeeded in taking the mountain two days later.
In 1871 The National Rifle Association (NRA) is incorporated.
In 1874 A patent is granted to Joseph Glidden for barbed wire.
In 1944 U.S. bombers stationed in Saipan attack Tokyo in the first land based raid on Japan's capital city during World War II.
In 1947 A group of writers, producers and directors known as the "Hollywood Ten" are cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions on alleged Communist influence.
In 1947 John Steinback's novel "The Pearl" is first published.
In 1960 Wilt Chamberlain sets an NBA record when he pulls down 55 rebounds in one game.
In 1963 In a scene captured live on network television, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shoots and kills Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy.
In 1969 Apollo XII returns to Earth, ending the second manned mission to the moon.
In 1971 A middle-aged man whose plane ticket was made out to "D.B. Cooper" parachutes from a Northwest Airlines 727 jet with $200,000 in ransom money, pulling off the first airline hijacking for ransom.
In 1980 The non-stop whistling record is set at 30 hours, ten minutes.
In 1982 Hurricane Iwa hits Hawaii, causing serious damage but no deaths.
In 1983 The PLO releases six Israeli prisoners in exchange for the release of 4,500 Palestinians and Lebanese held by the Israelis.
In 1987 The U.S. and the USSR agree to scrap shorter and medium-range missiles in the first superpower treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.
In 1988 South Africa announces that black leader Nelson Mandela would not be returned to prison after recovering from tuberculosis, but would instead remain in custody in another location.
In 1991 The space shuttle "Atlantis" blasts off from Cape Canaveral with six astronauts and a military satellite.
In 1992 Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger pleads innocent to making a false statement in the Iran-Contra Affair. (President Bush pardons him before the case could come to trial.)
In 1992 In China, a domestic jetliner crashes killing 141 people.
In 1993 Congress approves to the Brady handgun control bill.
In 1993 President Clinton meets at the White House with Salman Rushdie, the British author condemned to death by Iran for writing "The Satanic Verses."
In 1993 Two 11-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, are convicted of killing 2-year-old James Bulger of Liverpool, England.
In 1995 Irish voters approve a constitutional amendment legalizing divorce.
In 1996 On the eve of an Asia-Pacific trade conference in the Philippines, President Clinton met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
In 1997 Japan's Yamaichi Securities closes its doors, becoming the third Japanese financial company to collapse in a month.
In 1998 America Online announces plans to buy Netscape for $4.21 billion.
In 2001 British actress Rachel Gurney, who played Lady Marjorie Bellamy on the popular TV series "Upstairs Downstairs," dies at age 81.
In 2003 Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn dies at age 82.
In 2003 A jury in Virginia Beach, VA, sentences John Allen Muhammad to death for the Washington-area sniper shootings.
In 2004 Author Arthur Hailey ("Hotel," "Airport") dies at age 84.

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