Today In History...
In 1784 Marie Thible of Lyon, France, becomes the first woman to fly in a free-flight balloon.
In 1812 The Louisiana Territory is renamed the Missouri Territory.
In 1850 Empire Engine Company Number 1 is organized.
In 1878 Turkey turns over Cyprus to the British.
In 1886 Henry Ford drives the first Ford-built car down Bagley Street in Detroit, Michigan.
In 1919 U.S. marines invade Costa Rica.
In 1939 In what became known as the "Voyage of the Damned," the SS St. Louis is turned away from the Florida coast with more than 930 Jewish refugees and heads back to Europe.
In 1940 The Allied military evacuation from Dunkirk, France, ends.
In 1942 Battle of Midway begins, resulting in America's first significant victory over the Japanese during World War II.
In 1944 Rome is liberated from Mussolini's armies by the U.S. 5th Army during World War II.
In 1946 The largest solar prominence (300,000 miles) is observed.
In 1947 The Taft-Hartley Act is approved despite President Truman's veto.
In 1954 French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc initial treaties in Paris according "complete independence" to Vietnam.
In 1956 A speech by Soviet leader Khrushchev blasting Stalin is made public.
In 1957 The first commercial coal pipeline is placed in operation.
In 1972 Black activist Angela Davis is found not guilty of murder charges resulting from the August 7, 1970 shooting of Judge Harold Haley.
In 1983 The Soviet Union announces it had ordered American diplomat Louis Thomas, an attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, to leave the country, accusing him of espionage.
In 1985 The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down an Alabama law providing for a daily minute of silence in public schools for meditation or prayer.
In 1986 Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to spying for Israel. (He is serving a life prison term.)
In 1987 The congressional Iran-Contra committees vote to grant limited immunity to former National Security Council aide Oliver L. North, following an appeal by independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh to reject immunity.
In 1988 U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz flies to Jordan to meet with a reluctant King Hussein regarding peace talks with Israel.
In 1989 Thousands of people die as Chinese Army troops storm Beijing to crush a pro-democracy movement.
In 1989 A gas explosion in the Soviet Union engulfs two passing trains, killing 645.
In 1990 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev closed out his U.S. visit in Northern California, where he held a reunion with former President Reagan and addressed students at Stanford University in Palo Alto.
In 1991 President Bush names former Democratic national chairman Robert S. Strauss to be the new U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union.
In 1991 The government of China announces the death of Jiang Qing, the 77-year-old widow of Mao Tse-tung, saying she had committed suicide on May 14.
In 1993 The UN Security Council agrees to send up to 10,000 more UN peacekeepers to six Bosnian cities to protect Muslim havens.
In 1994 Oliver North captures the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Virginia. In November, he loses to Senator Charles Robb.
In 1994 President Clinton and British Prime Minister John Major pay tribute to the lost airmen of World War II at the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England.
In 1996 The FBI finds fingerprints of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vincent Foster and four law firm aides on the first lady's billing records that were missing for two years, a Senate committee announces.
In 1997 At the Oklahoma City bombing trial, prosecutors urge the jury to sentence Timothy McVeigh to death, calling relatives of victims to testify about agonizing losses.
In 1998 Terry Nichols receives a life sentence for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
In 2000 President Clinton and Russian President Putin end their summit by conceding differences on missile defense.
In 2000 A powerful earthquake strikes the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing at least 100 people.
In 2001 Nepal's King Dipendra dies, 3 days after he shot and killed most members of the royal family before turning the gun on himself. He would be succeeded by his uncle, Prince Gyanendra.
In 2002 President Bush said the CIA and FBI had failed to communicate adequately before the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.