Today In History
In 1776 The first vote was taken on the Declaration of Independence.
In 1847 The first adhesive U.S. postage stamps went on sale.
In 1862 Congress outlaws polygamy (multiple marriages).
In 1863 The Civil War Battle of Gettysburg began.
In 1867 Canada became a self-governing dominion of Britain as the British North America Act took effect.
In 1874 The Philadelphia Zoological Society, the first U.S. zoo, opened.
In 1893 President Cleveland underwent a secret operation to remove a cancerous growth from the roof of his mouth. The procedure was successful.
In 1898 During the Spanish-American War, Theodore Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders" wage a victorious assault on San Juan Hill in Cuba.
In 1915 Actress Annette Kellerman did the first movie nude scene in the movie "Daughter Of The Gods."
In 1916 Dwight D. Eisenhower married Mary "Mamie" Geneva Doud in Denver, CO.
In 1919 First class postage dropped to 2 cents from 3 cents.
In 1928 John Logie Baird transmitted the first crude color TV pictures.
In 1929 U.S. cartoonist Elzie Segar creates "Popeye."
In 1932 New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for president by the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1935 The Warner Brothers cartoon character Porky Pig debuts in "I Haven't Got A Hat."
In 1941 The Bulova Watch Company paid $9.00 for the first ever network TV commercial on WNBT in New York City.
In 1943 "Pay-as-you-go" income tax withholding began for American wage and salary earners.
In 1946 The U.S. exploded a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, using dozens of surplus ships as targets.
In 1963 The U.S. Post Office inaugurated its five-digit ZIP codes.
In 1966 Medicare federal insurance program goes into effect.
In 1968, the U.S., Britain, the Soviet Union, and 58 other nations signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
In 1969 Britain's Prince Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Caernarvon Castle.
In 1971 The U.S. Post Office was renamed the U.S. Postal Service.
In 1972 The TV sitcom "Bewitched" ended an eight-year run on ABC-TV.
In 1972 "Ms." magazine was published for the first time.
In 1979 The Sony Walkman was introduced.
In 1980 "O Canada" was proclaimed the national anthem of Canada.
In 1982 Kosmos 1383, the first search and rescue satellite, launched.
In 1982 More than 2000 couples and members of the Unification Church were married in a mass ceremony at New York's Madison Square Garden by the church's founder Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
In 1983 Inventor and philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller died at age 87.
In 1984 The first broadcast of children's network Nickelodeon's "Nick At Nite" with classic TV episodes.
In 1985 488 days was the record set for sitting on a flagpole.
In 1985 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public school teachers may not conduct classes in religiously affiliated schools.
In 1987 WFAN-AM/New York became the first 24-hour all-sports radio station.
In 1987 President Reagan nominated federal appeals court judge Robert H. Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate rejects Bork.
In 1988 A 4-day national conference of Soviet Communist Party members ended in Moscow, with Mikhail Gorbachev winning approval for sweeping changes.
In 1990 A state treaty unifying the monetary and economic systems of East and West Germany went into effect.
In 1991 President Bush nominated federal appeals court judge Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, beginning a confirmation process marked by allegations of sexual harassment; Thomas won confirmation.
In 1991 Actor Michael Landon dies of cancer at the age of 54.
In 1992 California issued its first state IOUs since the Great Depression as a budget standoff left the state cashless on the first day of its fiscal year.
In 1993 A gunman opened fire in a San Francisco law office, killing eight people and wounding six before killing himself.
In 1994 PLO chairman Yasser Arafat returned to Palestinian land after 27 years in exile as he drove from Egypt into Gaza, where he kissed the ground and prayed.
In 1995 Russian President Boris Yeltsin's government survived a critical no-confidence vote.
In 1996 12 Arizona anti-government group "Viper Militia" members were charged with plotting to blow up government buildings.
In 1996 President Clinton declared an emergency in drought-stricken parts of the Southwest.
In 1996 Actress Margaux Hemingway, 41, was found dead in her Santa Monica, California, apartment.
In 1997 Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule after 156 years under the British colonial government.
In 1997 Actor Robert Mitchum died at age 79.
In 2000 The Confederate flag was removed from South Carolina's Statehouse, and a smaller version flew in front of a Confederate soldier's monument on Statehouse grounds.
In 2000 Vermont's civil unions' law, which gave homosexual couples most of the rights and benefits of marriage, went into effect.
In 2000 Actor Walter Matthau dies in Santa Monica, CA, at age 79.
In 2002 A Russian passenger jet collided with a cargo plane over southern Germany, killing all 69 people on the Russian aircraft and the two cargo jet pilots.
In 2002 The world's first permanent war crimes tribunal came into existence.
In 2004 Actor Marlon Brando ("The Godfather," "Superman") died at age 80.
In 2007 Smoking in England was banned in all public indoor spaces.