Today In History...
In 1850 The first stagecoach company, American Express, is formed by Henry Wells and William Fargo. The name is later changed to Wells Fargo.
In 1881 Barnum & Bailey's "Greatest Show on Earth" opens at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In 1909 Einar Dessau of Denmark used a shortwave transmitter to converse with a government radio post in what's believed to be the first "ham" radio broadcast.
In 1911 North Dakota enacts a hail insurance law.
In 1922 Mohandas K. Gandhi is sentenced in India to six years imprisonment for civil disobedience. He is released 2 years later.
In 1931 Schick markets the first electric razor.
In 1937 400 people, mostly children, are killed in a gas explosion at a school in New London, Texas.
In 1940 In a meeting with Adolph Hitler, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini agrees to join in Germany's war against France and Britain.
In 1952 The first plastic lens for cataract patients are fitted.
In 1954 Howard Hughes buys RKO Pictures for $23 million.
In 1959 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Hawaii statehood bill.
In 1961 The Poppin' Fresh Pillsbury Dough Boy is first introduced.
In 1962 France and Algerian rebels agree to a truce.
In 1963 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that every defendant must have fair representation by an attorney.
In 1965 Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov makes the first spacewalk from Voskhod II, remaining outside for 20 minutes secured only by a tether.
In 1974 Most Arab oil producing nations end the U.S. embargo.
In 1979 Iranian authorities detain American feminist Kate Millett, one day before deporting her for what were termed "provocations."
In 1983 Jordon's King Hussein, leading an Arab League delegation in London, expressed pessimism about the possibility of joining Middle East peace talks, as suggested by President Reagan.
In 1985 Capital Cities Inc. purchases ABC for $3.3 billion.
In 1986 President Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney agree during a two-day summit in Washington on action to combat acid rain.
In 1986 Author Bernard Malamud dies at age 71.
In 1986 The Treasury Department announces plans to alter paper money.
In 1988 The government of Panama, controlled by General Manuel Antonio Noriega, declares a "state of urgency" to force the reopening of banks that closed during Panama's economic and political crisis.
In 1990 East Germany holds its first free elections.
In 1990 Thieves make off with 11 paintings worth millions from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
In 1991 Results from a non-binding Soviet referendum show overwhelming support for preserving the union.
In 1992 NFL owners vote to drop the use of instant videotape replays to settle disputed calls during football games. (The NFL brought back instant replay in 1999).
In 1992 Hotel magnate Leona Helmsley is sentenced to four years for tax evasion.
In 1993 The House approves President Clinton's deficit-reduction blueprint on a virtual party-line 243-183 vote.
In 1994 Muslim and Croat leaders sign agreements to create a Bosnian federation.
In 1995 Spain's Princess Elena marries a banker, Jaime de Marichalar y Saenz de Tejada. It was Spain's first royal wedding in 89 years.
In 1996 Rejecting an insanity plea, a jury convicts John C. Salvi III of murder in the December, 1994, attacks on two Boston-area abortion clinics. (In November, 1996 he committed suicide in his cell.)
In 1997 Israel begins construction on a Jewish neighborhood in a disputed portion of east Jerusalem.
In 2000 Taiwan ends more than a half century of Nationalist Party rule, electing an opposition leader, Chen Shui-bian, whose party favored Taiwan's formal independence from the rest of China.
In 2001 The Socialists conquer Paris in municipal elections, ending a century of nearly unbroken rule by the right.
In 2002 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil dies 2 days after being hit in the head by a puck at a game between the host Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames. It was the first such fan fatality in NHL history.
In 2003 In Salt Lake City, Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee are charged with aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault and burglary in the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, who was found with them six days earlier.
In 2003 Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes wins the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.
In 2005 Terri Schiavo's feeding tube is removed at the request of her husband on a court order.
In 2009 Actress Natasha Richardson dies after a fall while skiing in Quebec at age 45. Husband Liam Nisson was filming a movie in Canada.