Today In History...

In 1822 Boston was granted a charter to incorporate as a city.

In 1836 The siege of "The Alamo" began in San Antonio, Texas.

In 1847 U.S. troops under General Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico.

In 1848, the sixth U.S. president, John Quincy Adams, died of a stroke at 80.

In 1861 President Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington, DC, to take office.

In 1870 Mississippi was readmitted to the union.

In 1886 The aluminum manufacturing process was discovered.

In 1887 America banned the import of opium from China.

In 1904 The U.S. bought control of the Panama Canal Zone Panama for $10 million.

In 1905 The Rotary Club was founded.

In 1917 The Smith Hughes Act provided funds to states to begin Vocational Education activities for trade and agriculture.

In 1917 The Russian Revolution began in St. Petersburg (Leningrad).

In 1927 President Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, now the Federal Communications Commission.

In 1936 Russian scientists sent an unmanned balloon to a height of 25 miles, a world record.

In 1942 The first shelling of the U.S. mainland during World War II occurred when a Japanese submarine fired on an oil refinery in Ellwood, CA.

In 1945, Joe Rosenthal took a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo as the Marines raised the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima.

In 1954 The first mass vaccination of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1965 Actor Stan Laurel of the Laurel and Hardy comedy team died in Santa Monica, CA, at age 74.

In 1977 President Carter held a news conference to promote his plan to cut $2.75 billion from the Pentagon's budget.

In 1980 Eric Heiden received his fifth Olympic gold medal, a Winter record.

In 1981 An attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invaded the Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. (The attempt collapses after 18 hours.)

In 1983 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker signed with the USFL's New Jersey Generals in football's most lucrative offer, $8 million-plus.

In 1985 The U.S. Senate confirmed Edwin Meese III to be Attorney General by 63-31.

In 1985 Former Salvadoran President Jose Napoleon Duarte died at age 64.

In 1987 Missouri congressman Richard A. Gephardt announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In 1988 President Reagan named William L. Ball III to succeed James H. Webb Jr. as U.S. Secretary of the Navy.

In 1989 The Senate Armed Services Committee voted to reject John Tower's nomination as U.S. Secretary of Defense.

In 1991 After an air campaign lasting slightly over a month, Allied forces launched a ground offensive against Iraq, beginning the much anticipated "Mother of All Battles" during the Gulf War.

In 1992 The XVI Winter Olympic Games ended in Albertville, France.

In 1992, thousands of pro-communist demonstrators shouted, "Down with the Russian government!" clashed with police in Moscow.

In 1993 President Clinton won UN support for a plan to airdrop relief supplies to starving Bosnians during an Oval Office meeting with Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

In 1994 Nancy Kerrigan led the women's figure skating short program at the Winter Olympics in Norway, while Tonya Harding placed 10th.

In 1995 The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 4,000 mark, ending at 4,003.33.

In 1996 Iraqi defectors Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel al-Majid and his brother Saddam Kamel al-Majid were killed by clan members after returning to Iraq.

In 1996 Dutch tourist Tosca Dieperink, 39, was killed by a gunman at a Miami service station.

In 1997 Iraq agreed to turn over missile parts to United Nations, ending a dispute with UN weapons inspectors.

In 1997 Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a Palestinian teacher, opened fire on the 86th-floor observation deck of New York City's Empire State Building, killing one person and wounding six others before shooting himself to death.

In 1997 British scientists announced the first successful cloning of an adult mammal, Dolly's lamb.

In 1997, nearly 200 people were killed in eastern India when fire swept through a tent erected for a religious festival.

In 1998 Florida's deadliest tornadoes in 50 years killed at least 42 people and damaged some 2600 homes near Orlando.

In 1998 A federal judge ordered $9.7 million paid for whistle-blowers fired after exposing Medicare fraud.

In 2002 Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped by a rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

In 2002 Penn State pole vaulter Kevin Dare died after landing on his head during the Big 10 indoor championships in Minneapolis.

In 2004 The Army canceled its Comanche helicopter program after sinking $6.9 billion into it over 21 years.

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