Today In History...

In 1644 The first UFO sighting in America, by perplexed Pilgrims in Boston.
In 1778 Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands which he dubs the "Sandwich Islands."
In 1788 The first English settlers arrive in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.
In 1862 John Tyler, the 10th U.S. president, dies at age 71.
In 1871 William of Prussia is proclaimed the first emperor of Germany.
In 1911 The first landing of an aircraft on a ship takes place when pilot Eugene B. Ely brings his plane in for a safe landing on the deck of the U.S.S. Pennsylvania.
In 1912 English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reach the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it.
In 1919 The World War I Peace Congress opens in Versailles, France.
In 1936 Author Rudyard Kipling dies in Burwash, England.
In 1943 The Soviets announce the end of the Nazi Siege of Leningrad.
In 1943 A wartime ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread in the U.S., aimed at reducing demand for metal replacement parts at bakeries, goes into effect.
In 1949 The first U.S. Congressional Standing Committee headed by a black man - W. Dawson.
In 1951 Mount Lamington volcano begins a 4-day eruption killing over 3000 in Papua, New Guinea.
In 1967 Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler," is convicted in Cambridge, MA, of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo is stabbed to death by a fellow inmate in 1973.)
In 1969 Soyuz 5 returns to Earth.
In 1970 Morman president David McKay dies at age 96.
In 1975 "The Jeffersons," a spin-off from the sitcom "All in the Family," premieres on CBS-TV.
In 1983 Jim Thorpe posthumously receives his Olympic medals.
In 1984 Malcom H. Kerr, the ninth president of the American University of Beirut, is shot and killed outside his office by two gunmen.
In 1985 The State Department announces it would boycott futuredeliberations of the World Court on Nicaragua's complaint that the U.S. was an aggressor nation.
In 1986 24th Space Shuttle Mission - Columbia 7 returns to Earth.
In 1988 An airliner crashes in southwestern China, killing all 108 peopleon board.
In 1989 The Federal Reserve allows banks to begin bond trading, ending a 50-year-old policy which prohibited banks from raising money for corporations.
In 1989 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a tough, year-old sentencing system for people convicted of federal crimes.
In 1990 A jury in Los Angeles acquits former preschool operators Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges.
In 1990 Washington Mayor Marion Barry is arrested in an FBI sting on drug-possession charges (he was later convicted of a misdemeanor).
In 1991 Financially strapped Eastern Airlines shuts down after 62 years in business.
In 1991 Former New York Congressman Hamilton Fish Sr. dies at age 102.
In 1993 The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday is observed in all 50 states for the first time.
In 1993 Allied warplanes attack targets in "no fly" zones in southern and northern Iraq.
In 1994 Retired Admiral Bobby Inman withdraws his nomination to be U.S. Defense secretary.
In 1994 Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh releases his final report in which he said former President Reagan had acquiesced in a cover-up of the scandal. Reagan called the accusation "baseless."
In 1995 South African President Nelson Mandela's cabinet denies amnesty sought by 3,500 police officers in apartheid's waning days.
In 1995 The death toll climbs past 6,000 in the earthquake in Kobe, Japan.
In 1996 Russian President Boris Yeltsin announces that 82 hostages were freed when his forces wiped out Chechen fighters in Pervomayskaya, ending a weeklong standoff.
In 1997 Former Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas, who rebounded fromcancer to briefly become the Democratic front-runner for president in1992, dies in Boston of pneumonia at age 55.
In 1998 Pope John Paul II names 22 new cardinals, including Archbishop Francis Eugene George of Chicago and James Francis Stafford, the former archbishop of Denver.
In 1999 The Yugoslav government orders the American leader of the Kosovo peace mission to leave and barred a UN investigator.
In 2003 Michelle Kwan wins her sixth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championships title and seventh overall, while Michael Weiss wins his third U.S. men's title.

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