Today In History...
In 1497 The first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place as explorer John Cabot claimed eastern Canada for England.
In 1509 Henry VIII was crowned King of England.
In 1647 Margaret Brent, a niece of Lord Baltimore, is ejected from the Maryland Assembly after demanding to vote in the governing body.
In 1793 The first republican constitution in France was adopted.
In 1901 The Jewish National Fund was started.
In 1908 Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th U.S. president died at age 71.
In 1915 More than 800 were killed when the excursion steamer Eastland capsized at Chicago's Clark Street dock.
In 1916 The first million-dollar movie contract was awarded to Mary Pickford for 2 years.
In 1930 The first radar detection of planes was used in Anacostia, DC.
In 1940 France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.
In 1947 Pilot Ken Arnold reports flying saucers over Mt. Rainer, WA.
In 1948 Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the U.S. to airlift supplies into the city's western sector to counter the blockade.
In 1948 The Republican National Convention in Philadelphia nominated New York governor Thomas E. Dewey for president.
In 1949 U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board licensed the first cargo airline.
In 1949 "Hopalong Cassidy" became the first Western network TV.
In 1963 The home video recorder was demonstrated for the first time at the BBC Studios in London, England.
In 1966 In San Francisco, comic Lenny Bruce performed for the last time.
In 1968 "Resurrection City," a campsite constructed as part of the Poor People's March on Washington, DC, was closed by authorities.
In 1975 113 people were killed when an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at JFK International Airport in New York.
In 1977 The IRS revealed that President Carter paid no taxes in 1976.
In 1981 Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan announced his country had developed the capacity to produce an atomic bomb.
In 1982 The Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went down to defeat.
In 1982 Soyuz T-6 was launched.
In 1983 The Challenger, carrying America's first woman into space, Sally K. Ride, landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base.
In 1985 The space shuttle Discovery returned to Earth.
In 1986 Congress voted to begin Daylight Savings Time on the first Sunday in April.
In 1988 Pope John Paul II, on a visit to Austria, condemned Nazism during a stopover at the Mauthausen death camp where 110,000 World War II prisoners died.
In 1990 South African black nationalist Nelson Mandella arrived in Washington, DC.
In 1991 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the First Amendment did not shield news organizations from being sued when they publish the names of sources who had been promised confidentiality.
In 1992 The U.S. Supreme Court voted, 5-4, to strengthen its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools, prohibiting prayer as a part of graduation ceremonies.
In 1993 Eight Muslim fundamentalists were arrested in New York, accused of plotting a day of bombings of the United Nations, a federal building, and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels.
In 1993 Yale University computer expert David Gelernter was injured in his office by a bomb sent by Uni-bomber Theodore Kaczynski.
In 1996 A jury ordered Philadelphia to pay $1.5 million in damages for the 1985 MOVE bombing that killed 11.
In 1997 In Freehold, NJ, 18-year-old Melissa Drexler, who gave birth during her prom, was charged with murder in the death of her baby.
In 1997 The Air Force released a report on the so-called "Roswell Incident," suggesting the alien bodies witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies.
In 1997 actor Brian Keith ("Family Affair"), 75, was found dead in his Malibu, CA, home of an apparent suicide.
In 1998 U.S. hospitals agreed to eliminate highly toxic mercury from their waste streams over the next seven years.
In 1998 12,000 farmers lost $80 million in crops in the worst Florida wildfires in half a century.
In 2000 President Clinton proposed using $58 billion from the growing budget surplus to help senior citizens pay for prescription drugs in 2002.
In 2001 Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrived in the U.S. for talks with President George W. Bush.
In 2002 President Bush urged the Palestinians to replace Yasser Arafat.
In 2002 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that juries, not judges, must decide whether a convicted killer lives or dies.
In 2003 President Vladimir Putin arrived in London on the first state visit to Britain by a Russian leader since the 19th century.