Today In History...
In 1787 The sailing ship Columbia leaves Boston on the first voyage around the world by an American vessel.
In 1777 The Congress of the United States, forced to flee in the face of advancing British forces, moves to York, Pennsylvania.
In 1846 Dr. William Morton of Charleston, MA, uses an experimental anesthetic, known as ether, for the first time on one of his patients.
In 1880 Henry Draper takes the first photograph of the Orion Nebula.
In 1902 The patent for Rayon is issued.
In 1927 Babe Ruth hits his 60th home run of the season to break his own major-league record.
In 1935 "Porgy & Bess" premieres in Boston.
In 1938 British, French, German and Italian leaders end the Munich Conference with a decision to appease Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland.
In 1939 The first manned rocket flight is made by auto maker Fritz von Opel.
In 1939 The first televised college football game - Fordham vs Waynesburg.
In 1946 An international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, finds 22 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes.
In 1949 The Berlin Airlift comes to an end.
In 1954 The first atomic-powered vessel, the submarine Nautilus, is commissioned by the Navy at Groton, CT.
In 1955 Actor James Dean is killed when his sports car collides with another automobile near Cholame, California.
In 1958 The Soviet Union resumes nuclear testing.
In 1960 On the last "Howdy Doody Show," Clarabelle finally talks and says, "Goodbye Kids."
In 1960 The animated series "The Flintstones" premieres on ABC-TV.
In 1962 Black student James Meredith succeeds on his fourth try in registering for classes at the University of Mississippi.
In 1967 USSR's Kosmos 186 and 188 complete the first automatic docking.
In 1971 The U.S. and the Soviet Union sign a pact designed to avoid accidental nuclear war.
In 1981 The Postal Service announces it will raise the cost of a first class stamp from 18 to 20 cents.
In 1985 Four Soviet diplomats are kidnapped in west Beirut; one is killed and the other three are later released.
In 1986 The U.S. releases accused Soviet spy Gennadiy Zakharov, one day after the Soviets released Nicholas Daniloff.
In 1987 Two top campaign aides to Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis resign after one of them, campaign manager John Sasso, admitted leaking an attack videotape that helped bring down the presidential candidacy of Delaware Senator Joseph Biden.
In 1988 Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev retires President Andrei A. Gromyko from the Politburo and fires other old-guard leaders in a Kremlin shake-up.
In 1991 The military in Haiti overthrows Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the country's first freely elected president. (He was later returned to power.)
In 1992 Moscow banks begin distribution of privation vouchers as part of the government's economic reform to turn millions of Russians into capitalists.
In 1992 George Brett of the Kansas City Royals reaches 3,000 career hits during a game against the California Angels.
In 1993 An estimated 10,000 people are killed when an 6.4 earthquake struck southern India.
In 1993 Colin Powell steps down as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a retirement ceremony at Fort Myer, VA.
In 1995 Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine other defendants are convicted in a seditious conspiracy plot to attack the U.S. through bombings, assassinations and kidnappings.
In 1997 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu frees Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin, in a goodwill gesture to the Palestinians.
In 1997 France's Roman Catholic Church apologizes for its silence during the systematic persecution and deportation of Jews by the pro-Nazi Vichy regime.
In 1998 The U.S. government posts a budget surplus of some $70 billion, the first since 1969.
In 2000 A Catholic priest smashes his car into an abortion clinic in Rockford, IL, then chops at the building with an ax until the owner fires shotgun blasts to stop him. (The Rev. John Earl later pleaded guilty to damaging property, and was sentenced to 30 months' probation and two days in county jail.)
In 2000 In Sydney, Australia, Marion Jones wins Olympic gold in the U.S. women's 1600-meter relay and bronze with the 400-meter squad. She became the only woman to win 5 track medals at one Olympics.
In 2003 The FBI begins a full-scale criminal investigation into whether White House officials had illegally leaked the identity of an undercover CIA officer.