Today In History...

In 1720 Edmund Halley is appointed Second Astronomer Royal of England.
In 1763 France cedes Canada to England under the Treaty of Paris, which ended the French and Indian War.
In 1840 Britain's Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert.
In 1846 Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons, begin an exodus to the west from Illinois.
In 1863 P.T. Barnum stages a wedding between General Tom Thumb and Mercy Lavina Warren (both of them midgets) in New York City.
In 1879 The first electric arc light is used, in a California theater.
In 1887 Nathaniel Carr is the first actor to perform in two cities on the same day (11:30am matinee in Boston/8pm performance in NYC).
In 1897 The familiar slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print" appears on page one of the The New York Times for the first time.
In 1933 The first singing telegram is delivered by the Postal Telegram Company in New York.
In 1942 The former French liner "Normandie" capsizes in New York Harbor, a day after it caught fire while being refitted for the U.S. Navy.
In 1949 Arthur Miller's "Death Of A Salesman" opens on Broadway.
In 1962 The Soviet Union exchanges captured U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for U.S. held Soviet spy Rudolph Ivanovich Abel.
In 1967 The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, dealing with presidential disability and succession, goes in effect.
In 1981 Eight people are killed, 198 injured, when fire breaks out at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino.
In 1983 U.S. independent truckers call a halt to an 11-day strike.
In 1986 The largest mafia trial ever begins in Sicily, Italy.
In 1986 The head of Haiti's new interim government, Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, pledges free elections and a new constitution following the ouster of President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier.
In 1987 The surgeon general endorses condom ads to help fight AIDS.
In 1987 The Soviet Union releases 140 imprisoned for political subversion.
In 1987 The FAA hits Eastern Airlines with a $9.5 million fine.
In 1988 A 3-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco strikes down the Army's ban on homosexuals. (The ruling is later set aside in full appeals court.)
In 1988 A 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in SanFrancisco strikes down the Army's ban on homosexuals, saying gays were entitled to the same protection against discrimination as racial minorities. (The ruling was later set aside by a full appeals court)
In 1989 Ron Brown is elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first black to head a major U.S. political party.
In 1990 South African President F.W. de Klerk announces that black activist Nelson Mandela would be released the next day after 27 years in prison.
In 1991 Peru's Health Ministry reports 51 deaths from cholera, in the early stages of an epidemic that later spread across South America and into North America.
In 1992 Boxer Mike Tyson is convicted in Indianapolis of raping Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America contestant.
In 1992 Author Alex Haley, best known for "Roots," dies at age 70.
In 1992 Bonnie Blair of the U.S. wins the women's 500-meter speed skating competition at the Albertville Olympics.
In 1993 The Clinton administration announces that U.S. troops could be sent to enforce peace in former Yugoslavia provided warring factions there negotiated a settlement.
In 1995 The U.S. House of Representatives passes a GOP crime bill boosting funding for state prisons but requiring states to get tougher on violent criminals before they could receive any money.
In 1996 A giant slab of rock crashes through mountain tunnel roof near Furubira, Japan, trapping about 20 people.
In 1996 World chess champion Garry Kasparov loses the first game of a match in Philadelphia against an IBM computer dubbed Deep Blue.
In 1997 Jurors in O.J. Simpson civil suit add $25 million in punitive damages to the $8.5 million in compensatory damages after finding him liable in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, 6 days earlier.
In 1997 The Los Angeles school board rejects use of ebonics in the nation's second-largest school district after blacks and Hispanics label it racist.
In 1997 The Army suspends its top-ranking enlisted soldier, Army Sgt. Major Gene McKinney, following sexual misconduct allegations.
In 1998 Dr. David Satcher, head of Atlanta's Centers for Disease Control, is confirmed as U.S. Surgeon General.
In 1998 Voters in Maine become the first to repeal a state gay rights law.
In 2001 The space shuttle Atlantis' astronauts install the $1.4 billion Destiny laboratory on the international space station.
In 2001 Former New York City Mayor Abraham D. Beame dies at age 94.
In 2002 Snowboarder Kelly Clark wins America's first gold at the Salt Lake City Olympics in women's halfpipe.
In 2002 Former UN ambassador Vernon A. Walters dies at age 85.
In 2003 A Chinese court convicts U.S.-based dissident Wang Bingzhang on spying and terrorism charges and sentenced him to life in prison.
In 2010 The New Orleans Saints win Super Bowl XLIV in Florida. Saints 31,Colts 17.
In 2014 Shirley Temple, one of the most iconic child stars of the 20th century, passed away. She was 85.


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