Today In History...

In 1556 A deadly earthquake killed 830,000 in Shensi Province, China.

In 1742 Charles VII, king of Germany, was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire during the War of the Austrian Succession.

In 1848 James W. Marshall found a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of 1849.

In 1861 The arsenal at Augusta, Georgia, was seized by the Confederacy.

In 1899 The rubber heel was patented by Humphrey O'Sullivan.

In 1908 The first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Sir Robert Baden-Powell.

In 1916 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal income tax is constitutional.

In 1922 Christian K. Nelson of Onawa, Iowa, patented the Eskimo Pie.

In 1924 The Soviet Union renamed the city of Petrograd to Leningrad.

In 1935 Beer is first sold in cans in Richmond, Virginia.

In 1942 A special court of inquiry into America's lack of preparedness for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor placed much of the blame on the Navy's Rear Admiral, Husband E. Kimmel, and the Army's General Walter C. Short.

In 1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

In 1945 The New York Yankees were sold for $3 million.

In 1965 Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.

In 1972 The U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year.

In 1978 A crippled, nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.

In 1982 San Francisco 49'ers won their first Super Bowl, 26-21, over the Cincinnati Bengals.

In 1983, a jury in Italy sentenced 32 members to life imprisonment for the kidnapping and murder of former prime minister Aldo Moro.

In 1984 The personal Apple Macintosh computer was introduced.

In 1985 The space shuttle Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, on the first secret, all-military shuttle mission.

In 1985 A federal jury in New York decided that Time magazine did not libel former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon by linking him to a 1982 massacre of Palestinians.

In 1986 The Voyager II space probe made the first flyby of Uranus and discovered new moons.

In 1987 20,000 civil rights demonstrators marched through nearly all-white Forsyth County, Georgia, a week after Ku Klux Klan members disrupted a smaller march.

In 1987 Gunmen kidnapped 3 American teachers and an Indian educator from Beirut University College in Lebanon. (All were later released.)

In 1988 The government of Haiti declared Leslie Manigat, the winner of that country's presidential election.

In 1989 After ten years on death row, Ted Bundy was executed in Florida for murdering two college co-eds and a 12-year-old girl.

In 1990 The U.S. House of Representatives voted, 390-25, to override President Bush's veto of legislation protecting Chinese students from being deported. (Bush prevails the next day in a Senate vote).

In 1992 The state of Arkansas executed convicted cop-killer Ricky RayRector by lethal injection.

In 1992, a judge in El Salvador sentenced an army colonel and a lieutenant to 30 years in prison in the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter.

In 1993 Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall died at age84. President Clinton picks William Perry to succeed Les Aspin as U.S. Defense Secretary.

In 1994 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that protesters who block access to abortion clinics may be sued under federal anti-racketeering laws.

In 1995 Opening statements began in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

In 1995 President Clinton froze Mideast terrorists' assets held in American banks.

In 1996 The FDA approved Olestra, a zero-calorie artificial fat.

In 1996 Michael New was discharged from the U.S. Army after a court-martial jury convicted him for refusing to wear a U.N. beret for a peacekeeping mission in the former Yugoslavia.

In 1997 Publix Super Markets agreed to pay $81.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit.

In 1998 Pope John Paul II called for the release of "prisoners of conscience" and respect for freedom of expression, initiative, and association during his visit to Cuba.

In 1999 Olympic leaders recommended the expulsion of six International Olympic Committee members in response to allegations of payoffs.

In 2001 The last two of seven escaped convicts from Texas were captured in Colorado after 42 days on the run.

In 2003 The new Department of Homeland Security officially opened as its head, Tom Ridge, was sworn in.

In 2003 Connecticut became the first state to inoculate 500,000 health care workers against smallpox.
 

In 2004 NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars.

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