Today In History...
In 1862 During the Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate troops surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, Tennessee.
In 1868 The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized in New York City.
In 1883 Ladies Home Journal begins publication.
In 1878 The silver dollar becomes legal U.S. tender.
In 1903 Porcelain inlays become available to restore teeth.
In 1918 Lithuania proclaims its independence.
In 1923 The burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (King Tut) recently unearthed tomb is unsealed in Egypt.
In 1923 The first radio newscast is broadcast.
In 1937 Dr. Wallace Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont who invented nylon, receives a patent for the synthetic fiber.
In 1945 During World War II, more than 2,000 American troops drop onto the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.
In 1948 NBC-TV begins airing its first nightly newscast, "The CamelNewsreel Theatre," which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels.
In 1950 The longest-running prime-time game show, "What's My Line," premieres on CBS-TV.
In 1952 Ten members of the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan are arrested by the FBI.
In 1959 Fidel Castro becomes president of Cuba after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
In 1961 The U.S. launches the Explorer IX satellite.
In 1965 NASA launches the first "Pegasus" research satellite.
In 1968 The nation's first 911 emergency telephone system is inaugurated in Haleyville, Alabama.
In 1977 Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men are killed, several hours after the three had been accused of plotting against the government of Idi Amin.
In 1978 H.R. Haldeman accuses former President Richard Nixon of initiating Watergate.
In 1982 Senator Williams receives a $50,000 fine and is sentenced to 3years in prison for his part in the ABSCAM scandal.
In 1984 Skier Bill Johnson of the U.S. wins the men's downhill and Scott Hamilton wins the gold medal for men's figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
In 1985 Israeli troops complete the first step of a three-stage withdrawal from South Lebanon, two days earlier than planned.
In 1987 The American Bar Association votes to oppose any ban on tobacco advertising.
In 1987 John Demjanjuk, retired car worker, goes on trial on charges of of being "Ivan the Terrible," killer, at the Nazi Treblinka camp.
In 1988 Seven people are shot to death in an office rampage in Sunnyvale, CA. The gunman, Richard Farley, was later sentenced to death.
In 1989 Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, announce that a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player caused the explosion that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 the previous December.
In 1990 Former President Reagan begins two days of giving a videotaped deposition in a Los Angeles courtroom for the Iran-Contra trial of his former national security adviser, John Poinndexter.
In 1992 Israeli helicopters attack a convoy in Sidon, Lebanon, killingSheik Abbas Musawi, leader of the pro-Iranian group Hezbollah.
In 1993 Prices fall as Wall Street reacts unfavorably to PresidentClinton's economic austerity plan outlined in an address the night before.
In 1994 A powerful earthquake hits the island of Sumatra, killing at least 217 people.
In 1995 Four people are killed when tornadoes tore through north Alabama.
In 1996 An Amtrak passenger train and Maryland Rail Commuter train collide just north of the nation's capital during heavy snowstorm, killing 11 people and injuring at least three dozen.
In 1996 Former California Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown dies at age 90.
In 1997 U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), the chairman of a House committee investigating campaign fund-raising activities, says that his probe would be far broader than originally anticipated.
In 1998 A China Airlines Airbus A300-600R trying to land in fog nearTaipei, Taiwan, crashes, killing all 196 people on board and six people on the ground.
In 1999 Enraged Kurds seize embassies and hold hostages across Europe following Turkey's arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.
In 1999 Testimony begins in the Jasper, TX, trial of John William King, charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James ByrdJr. (King was later convicted and sentenced to death.)
In 2002 Authorities in Noble, Georgia, arrest Ray Brent Marsh, who'd been operating a crematory where dozens of decomposing corpses were found stacked in storage sheds and scattered in the woods behind it.
In 2003 Michael Waltrip races past leader Jimmie Johnson to win the rain-shortened Daytona 500 for the second time in three years.
In 2003 Eleanor "Sis" Daley, the matriarch of Chicago's Daley political clan, dies at age 95.