Today In History...
In 1842 The U.S. Naval Observatory is authorized by an act of Congress.
In 1881 The first U.S. tennis championships are played at Newport, RI.
In 1886 The first major earthquake recorded in the eastern U.S. occurs at Charleston, South Carolina, killing up to 110 people.
In 1886 Crocker-Woolworth National Bank is organized.
In 1887 Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, a device which produced moving pictures.
In 1888 Mary Ann Nicholls is found murdered in London's East End in what is generally regarded as the first slaying of Jack The Ripper.
In 1895 The first professional football game takes place in Latrobe, PA.
In 1903 A Packard completes America's first transcontinental car trip, driving from San Francisco to New York in 52 days.
In 1935 President Franklin Roosevelt signs an act prohibiting the export of U.S. arms to belligerents.
In 1941 The radio program "The Great Gildersleeve," a spin-off of "Fiber McGee and Molly," makes its debut on NBC.
In 1954 Hurricane Carol hits the northeastern U.S. resulting in nearly 70 deaths and millions of dollars in damage.
In 1954 The U.S. Census Bureau is established.
In 1955 The first solar-powered automobile is demonstrated in Chicago, IL.
In 1955 KTRE, Channel 9 in Lufkin, Texas, becomes the first microwave operated television station.
In 1957 Malaysia gains its independence from Britain.
In 1960 The Agricultural Hall Of Fame is established.
In 1962 The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago become independent within the British Commonwealth.
In 1964 California replaces New York as the most populous state.
In 1965 The U.S. House of Representatives joins the Senate in voting to establish the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 1969 Boxer Rocky Mariciano dies in the crash of a small airplane in Iowa, the day before his 46th birthday.
In 1971 Astronaut Dave Scott is the first person to drive on the moon.
In 1973 The first heavyweight championship fight held in Japan (Forman beats Roman).
In 1977 Aleksandr Fedotov sets world aircraft altitude record of 38.26 km (125,524 feet) in a Mikoyan E-266M turbojet.
In 1978 Emily and William Harris plead guilty to the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst.
In 1980 Poland's Solidarity labor union is organized with an agreement signed in Gdansk that ended a 17-day-old strike.
In 1983 Slain Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Junior is buried in his homeland, 10 days after he was shot dead as he ended a self-imposed political exile.
In 1984 Pinlin Thomas defeats Tim Witherspoon for the WBC heavyweight title.
In 1985 The Pentagon announces that prospective recruits will be tested for AIDS.
In 1985 Richard Ramirez, convicted in the "Night Stalker" killings in California, is captured by residents in East Los Angeles.
In 1986 An Aeromexico DC-9 and a small private plane collide in mid-air near Los Angeles killing all 64 aboard and 18 on the ground.
In 1986 The Soviet passenger ship Admiral Nakhimov collides with a merchant ship in the Black Sea causing both to sink, killing 448.
In 1986 The motorcycle long jump record is set at 241 feet.
In 1987 Curtis Strange sets golf's earning for a year record at $697,395.
In 1987 The U.S. Justice Department challenges the constitutionality of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act, which provided for the appointment of independent counsels. The Supreme Court upheld the law.
In 1988 Fourteen people are killed when a Delta Boeing 727 crashes during takeoff from the Dallas-Forth Worth Airport.
In 1989 The fraud and conspiracy trial of PTL founder Jim Bakker in Charlotte, NC, is interrupted after the former TV evangelist suffered an apparent breakdown in his attorney's office.
In 1989 Britain's Princess Anne and husband Mark Phillips announce they were separating.
In 1990 UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar meets twice with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Amman, Jordan, trying to negotiate a solution to the Persian Gulf crisis.
In 1992 A dynamite explosion kills 500 in a Philippines mine.
In 1992 White separatist Randy Weaver surrenders to authorities in Naples, Idaho, ending an 11-day siege at his cabin in which his wife, son and a deputy U.S. marshal were killed.
In 1993 Hurricane Emily hits North Carolina's Outer Banks, killing three people.
In 1993 Russia withdraws its last soldier from Lithuania, the first Baltic nation to eject all former Soviet troops.
In 1994 The Irish Republican Army declares a cease-fire after 25 years of bloodshed.
In 1997 7 people drown when their vehicle rolled into John D. Long Lake in Union, SC. They had gone to see a monument to the sons of Susan Smith, who had drowned the two boys in October 1994.
In 1998 The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets a near-record 512 points amid news of political chaos in Russia.
In 1999 Detroit's teachers went on strike, wiping out the first day of class for 172,000 students in one of the largest teachers' strikes in years. (The walkout lasted nine days.)
In 1999 An LAPA Boeing 737-200 crashes on takeoff from Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 72 people, including five on the ground.
In 2000 President Clinton vetoes a bill that would have gradually repealed inheritance taxes.
In 2004 First lady Laura Bush and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Republican National Convention in New York, NY.