Today In History...
In 1588 The English soundly defeat the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines.
In 1858 The first commercial treaty between the U.S. and Japan is signed.
In 1890 Artist Vincent van Gogh dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers, France.
In 1899 The first motorcycle race is held in Manhattan Beach, New York.
In 1900 Italian king Umberto I is assassinated; he is succeeded by his son Victor Emmanuel III.
In 1914 Transcontinental telephone service begins with the first phone conversation between New York and San Francisco.
In 1948 Britain's King George opens the Olympic Games in London.
In 1957 The International Atomic Energy Agency is established by the UN.
In 1957 Jack Paar makes his debut as host of the "Tonight Show" on NBC-TV.
In 1958 President Eisenhower signs the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which creates NASA.
In 1965 Gemini V returns to Earth after 12 days, 7 hours and 11 minutes.
In 1967 Fire sweeps through the USS Forrestal, stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin, killing 134 servicemen.
In 1968 Pope Paul VI reaffirms the Roman Catholic Church's stance against artificial means of birth control.
In 1975 President Ford becomes the first U.S. president to visit the site of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland.
In 1978 Pioneer XI transmits images of Saturn and it's rings.
In 1980 A state funeral is held in Cairo, Egypt, for the deposed Shah of Iran, who had died two days earlier at age 60.
In 1981 Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer in an elaborate wedding ceremony televised worldwide from St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
In 1981 Congress approves President Reagan's multi-year tax-cut proposal.
In 1983 Actor David Niven dies at age 73 in Switzerland.
In 1983 Actor, Raymond Massey dies in Beverly Hills at age 86.
In 1983 "National Lampoon's Vacation" starring Chevy Chase opens in U.S. theaters.
In 1985 The space shuttle Challenger achieves a safe orbit even though one of its engines had shut down prematurely after lift-off.
In 1986 A federal jury in New York finds that the National Football League had committed an antitrust violation against the rival United States Football League and fines the NFL a token $3.00.
In 1987 The Dallas Cowboys become the first NFL team to test for AIDS.
In 1990 Bruno Kreisky, Austria's longest-serving chancellor, dies at age 79.
In 1991 President Bush arrives in Moscow for a superpower summit with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
In 1992 Former East German leader Erich Honecker is arrested on his return to his homeland and charged with manslaughter. He was later permitted to leave after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
In 1992 The U.S. 400-meter freestyle relay team wins the gold medal at the Barcelona Summer Olympics.
In 1994 Anti-abortion activist Paul Hill shoots and kills Dr. John Bayard Britton and Britton's bodyguard, James H. Barrett, outside the Ladies Center clinic in Pensacola, FL. (Hill was later convicted and sentenced to death).
In 1994 U.S. Supreme Court nominee Stephen G. Breyer wins Senate approval.
In 1996 China detonates a nuclear test explosion that it promised would be its last, just hours before international negotiators in Geneva began discussions on a global ban of such testing.
In 1996 At the Atlanta Summer Olympics, Carl Lewis wins the gold medal in the long jump, becoming only the fifth Olympian to win gold medals in four straight games.
In 1997 Minamata Bay, Japan, once a symbol of industrial pollution, is declared free of mercury.
In 2000 A U.S. soldier pleads guilty to killing an ethnic Albanian girl in Kosovo.
In 2001 Former Polish communist ruler Edward Gierek dies at 88.
In 2001 Lance Armstrong wins his third straight Tour de France.
In 2002 An Amtrak train derails outside Washington, DC, injuring more than 100 people.
In 2003 Boston's Bill Mueller became the first player in major league history to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in a game. He hit three homers in a 14-7 win at Texas.