Today In History...
In 1792 Sweden's King Gustav III dies, nearly two days after he was mortally wounded during a masquerade party.
In 1798 The Republic of Switzerland is formed.
In 1812 The first White House wedding takes place as Lucy Payne Washington, sister-in-law of President James Madison, marries U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.
In 1848 Broken ice creates a dam that stops Niagara Falls.
In 1867 The British Parliament passes the North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada, effective the following July.
In 1871 Royal Hall is opened in London by Queen Victoria.
In 1882 The Knights of Columbus is chartered in Connecticut.
In 1886 Coca-Cola is created by John Pemberton in Atlanta, GA, as a hangover cure and a stomach ache/headache remedy. Cocaine was an ingredient of Coke until 1904 when Congress banned it.
In 1920 Actress Mary Pickford and actor Douglas Fairbanks are married.
In 1932 A vaudeville comedian makes his radio debut with the words, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is Jack Benny talking. There will be a slight pause while you say: 'Who cares?'"
In 1937 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the principle of a minimum wage for women.
In 1943 World War II rationing of meat, butter and cheese begins.
In 1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of espionage charges. (They were executed in June 1953.)
In 1959 "Some Like it Hot" with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon premieres in theaters.
In 1961 The 23rd Amendment is ratified allowing Washington, DC, residents the right to vote for president.
In 1962 Jack Paar hosts NBC's "Tonight Show" for the last time, paving the way for Johnny Carson's arrival the following October.
In 1971 Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. is convicted of murdering at least 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My-Lai massacre. Calley spent three years under house arrest.
In 1971 A jury in Los Angeles recommends the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. (The sentences were eventually commuted to life.)
In 1973 The last U.S. troops leave South Vietnam, ending America's direct involvement in the Vietnam War. That same day, President Nixon announced "all of our American POW's are on their way home."
In 1974 Mariner X's makes its first fly-by of Mercury and returns photos.
In 1974 Eight Ohio National Guardsmen are indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. (The guardsmen were acquitted the following November.)
In 1978 The last first-run episode of the "Carol Burnett Show," after 11 seasons, airs on CBS-TV.
In 1983 Two top Justice Department officials resign over Attorney General Edwin Messe's legal problems.
In 1985 The record for the world's longest shower is set at 340 hours.
In 1985 The body of Army Major Arthur D. Nicholson, who'd been slain by a Soviet sentry in East Germany on March 24, arrives at Andrews Air Force Base for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1988 Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert is ordered by his church not to preach for a year, following his confession of encounters with a prostitute.
In 1988 Two top Justice Department officials resign over Attorney General Edwin Meese's legal problems.
In 1989 The movie "Rain Man" wins Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director Barry Levinson and Best Actor Dustin Hoffman; Jodie Foster is named Best Actress for "The Accused."
In 1990 President Bush, addressing the National Leadership Coalition on AIDS, declares his administration "on a wartime footing" against the disease.
In 1991 General Norman Schwarzkopf publicly apologizes to President Bush for questioning his judgment about calling a cease-fire in the Gulf War.
In 1991 Political strategist Lee Atwater, who'd helped elect President Bush in 1988, dies at age 40.
In 1992 Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton acknowledges experimenting with marijuana "a time or two" while attending Oxford University, adding, "I didn't inhale and I didn't try it again."
In 1993 "Unforgiven" wins the Academy Award for Best Picture as well as Best Director for Clint Eastwood; Emma Thompson won Best Actress for "Howards End" and Al Pacino won Best Actor for "Scent of a Woman."
In 1994 Mexico's ruling party picks Ernesto Zedillo to be its new presidential candidate, replacing the assassinated Luis Donaldo Colosio.
In 1995 The House of Representatives rejects a term limit amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In 1997 Vice President Gore ends his tour of Asia, saying that talks in Beijing had created "new momentum" in relations between the U.S. and China.
In 1998 22 people are killed when a Russian-made Antonov military plane crashed into a Peruvian shantytown outside the northern city of Piura.
In 1999 The Dow Jones industrial average closes above 10,000 for the first time, at 10,006.78.
In 2000 A federal judge rules that President Clinton "committed a criminal violation of the Privacy Act" by releasing personal letters to undermine the credibility of Kathleen Willey, one of his accusers.
In 2003 Michelle Kwan becomes only the third American to win five World Figure Skating Championships, after Dick Button and Carol Heiss.