Today In History...
In 1851 Dr. John Farrie received a patent for a "refrigeration machine."
In 1860 "The Olympic Club," the first athletic club in the U.S., was founded.
In 1861 Arkansas seceded from the Union.
In 1882 Congress overrode President Arthur's veto of the Chinese Exclusion Act, barring Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for ten years.
In 1889 The Paris Exposition formally opened, featuring the just completed Eiffel Tower.
In 1910 Britain's King Edward VII died.
In 1915 Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run as a player for the Boston Red Sox.
In 1935 The Works Progress Administration began operating.
In 1937 The hydrogen-filled German airship "Hindenburg" burst into flames and crashed while docking in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 36 out of the 97 on board.
In 1941 Soviet dictator Josef Stalin assumed the premiership, replacing Vyacheslav M. Molotov.
In 1942, during World War II, some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese.
In 1954 Medical student Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3:59:04, setting a world record at a track meet in Oxford, England.
In 1960 Britain's Princess Margaret married commoner Anthony Armstrong-Jones. (The marriage ended in divorce in 1978.)
In 1962 In the first test of its kind, the submerged submarine USS Ethan Allen fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead that detonated above the Pacific Ocean.
In 1981, the Reagan administration announced all Libyan diplomats' expulsion in Washington.
In 1981 Yale architecture student Maya Ying Lin was named the winner of a competition to design a Vietnam Veterans memorial.
In 1983 West German government experts announced tests had proven the purported Hitler diaries to be "obvious fakes."
In 1985 The space shuttle Challenger ended a one-week mission in orbit with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1986 The Soviets revealed that evacuation from the Chornobyl nuclear accident did not begin for 36 hours after the fact.
In 1987 CIA Director William Casey died at age 74.
In 1987 Public Relations man Richard Miller testified that Oliver North had been involved in illegal fundraising for the Contras.
In 1988 In his first comment on the matter, President Reagan said he didn't "look kindly upon" former chief of staff Don Regan's memoirs that painted an unflattering portrait of first lady Nancy Reagan.
In 1990 Freed American hostage Frank Reed told a news conference in Arlington, VA, that he had been savagely beaten by his captors in Lebanon after two unsuccessful escape attempts.
In 1991 President Bush returned to work after spending two nights at Bethesda Naval Hospital because of an irregular heartbeat.
In 1992 Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev delivered a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where Winston Churchill had spoken of the "Iron Curtain."
In 1992 Actress, Marlene Dietrich died at her home in Paris at age 90.
In 1993, the Bosnian Serb parliament rejected a UN peace plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina for a third time.
In 1994 U.N. Security Council unanimously approved an embargo on almost all trade with Haiti to pressure its military rulers to allow the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
In 1994 Former Arkansas state worker Paula Corbin Jones filed suit against President Clinton, alleging he'd sexually harassed her in 1991.
In 1994 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand formally opened the Channel Tunnel.
In 1996 The body of former CIA director William E. Colby was found washed up on a riverbank near his southern Maryland vacation home, eight days after he'd disappeared.
In 1997 Army drill Staff Sgt. Delmar G. Simpson is sentenced to 25 years for raping six trainees.
In 1997 Hemophiliacs who contracted AIDS between 1978 and 1985 from tainted blood products accepted a $600 million settlement from four healthcare companies.
In 1997 World chess champion Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue computer played to a draw in game three of their six-game match.
In 2000 Reformers swept Iran's run-off elections, winning control of the legislature from conservatives for the first time since 1979.
In 2000 Jack Mazzan, who'd spent 20 years on death row for the murder of a judge's son, was released on bail three months after the Nevada Supreme Court reversed his conviction.
In 2001, during his visit to Syria, John Paul II became the first pope to enter a mosque.
In 2001 American businessman Dennis Tito ended the world's first paid space vacation as he returned to Earth aboard a Russian capsule.
In 2003 Kmart emerged from bankruptcy after 15 months in Chapter 11.
In 2004 The series finale of the sitcom Friends aired.
In 2013 Wal-Mart became the largest company by revenue on the Fortune 500 list.