Today In History...
In 1776 The Virginia state constitution is adopted, and Patrick Henry is made governor.
In 1854 The Gadsden Purchase (parts of Arizona, New Mexico) from Mexico for $10 million.
In 1863 The very first First National Bank opens in Davenport, Iowa.
In 1916 A Boeing aircraft flies for the first time.
In 1940 In the spring issue of "Batman Comics," mobsters rubbed out a circus high wire team known as the 'Flying Graysons,' leaving their son an orphan. Bruce Wayne took in Dick Grayson as his ward and he became Batman's sidekick Robin.
In 1941 Polish statesman, pianist and composer Ignace Paderewski dies in New York at age 80.
In 1946 British authorities arrest more than 2700 Jews in Palestine in an attempt to stamp out alleged terrorism.
In 1949 South Africa enacts a ban against racially-mixed marriages, and suspends the automatic granting of citizenship to immigrants.
In 1953 Congress passes the "Highway Act of 1953," to build 42,500 miles of Interstate Highways.
In 1954 The Atomic Energy Commission votes against re-instating Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer's access to classified information.
In 1956 Charles Dumas is the first to high jump over 7 feet.
In 1965 Joe Engle climbs to 85km in the X-15.
In 1966 The citizens of Humberside, England, create a 3124-foot hot dog.
In 1966 The U.S. bombs fuel storage facilities near the North Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Haiphong.
In 1967 Jerusalem is re-unified as Israel removes barricades separating the Old City from the Israeli sector.
In 1967 Jayne Mansfield dies in an auto accident at age 34.
In 1970 The U.S. ends a 2-month military offensive in Cambodia.
In 1971 Soyuz 11 docks with Salyut 1 for 22 days, but the 3 cosmonauts aboard perish when the craft malfunctions during re-entry.
In 1972 The U.S. Supreme Court rules the way the death penalty was usually enforced constituted "cruel and unusual punishment." The ruling prompted states to revise their capital punishment laws.
In 1977 The U.S. Supreme Court rules out the death penalty for rapists of adults.
In 1981 Hu Yaobang, a protege of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, is elected Communist Party chairman, replacing Mao Tse-tung's handpicked successor, Hua Guofeng.
In 1982 President Reagan signs into law an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In 1984 The Soviet Union formally offers to open direct bilateral talks with the U.S. on banning anti-satellite weapons in space.
In 1986 Senator John P. East (R-NC) is found dead in his garage at his home in Greenville, of an apparent suicide.
In 1987 In a surprise move, the chairman of South Korea's ruling party, Roh Tae-woo, demands democratic reforms from President Chun Doo-hwan, following weeks of violent protests that had racked the country. Chun agreed two days later.
In 1988 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the power of independent counsels to prosecute illegal acts by high-ranking government officials.
In 1989 The U.S. House of Representatives votes unanimously in favor of new sanctions against China because of its crackdown on the pro-democracy movement.
In 1990 Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dave Stewart of the Oakland A's become the first pitchers to hurl no-hitters in both the National and American League on the same day.
In 1992 A divided U.S. Supreme Court rules that women have a constitutional right to abortion, but the justices also weakened the right as defined by the Roe vs. Wade decision.
In 1994 In a British TV documentary, Prince Charles said he was faithful in his marriage to Princess Diana "until it became irretrievably broken down."
In 1995 A department store in Seoul, South Korea, collapses, killing at least 135 people and injuring 900.
In 1995 The shuttle Atlantis and the space station Mir dock, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.
In 1996 U.S. allies back President Clinton's demand that Bosnian Serb leaders indicted for war crimes be forced "out of power and out of influence."
In 1997 In Albania, gunmen burn ballots and pressure polling officials marring parliamentary elections meant to steer the country toward recovery after months of chaos.
In 1998 With negotiations on a new labor agreement at a standstill, the NBA announces that a lockout would be imposed at midnight.
In 2002 President Bush transfers presidential powers to V.P. Dick Cheney during a routine colon screening that revealed no problems.
In 2003 Thirteen people are killed when a third-floor porch collapsed during a party in Chicago.
In 2003 Actress Katharine Hepburn dies at age 96.
In 2004 A UN helicopter crashes in Sierra Leone, killing all 24 peacekeepers, aid workers and others on board. T
In 2004 Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks is the fourth pitcher to record 4000 career strikeouts.