Today In History...
In 1798 The U.S. Marine Corps was created by an act of Congress.
In 1804 Vice-president Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexandar Hamilton in a pistol duel near Weehawken, New Jersey.
In 1864 General Jubal Early's Confederate troops began the invasion of Washington, DC, but turned back the next day.
In 1921 Mongolia gained its independence from China.
In 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president to travel through the Panama Canal while in office aboard the cruiser Houston.
In 1952 The Republican National Convention, meeting in Chicago, nominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Richard M. Nixon for vice president.
In 1955 The new U.S. Air Force Academy was dedicated at Lowry Air Base in Colorado.
In 1962 Cosmonaut Micolaev set a longevity space flight record of 4 days.
In 1974 The World Football League played its first games.
In 1977 The Medal of Freedom was awarded posthumously to Martin Luther King.
In 1978 216 people were killed when a tanker truck overfilled with propylene gas exploded on a coastal highway south of Tarragona, Spain, setting off a fireball.
In 1979 The abandoned U.S. space station Skylab returned to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.
In 1980 American hostage Richard I. Queen was freed by Iran.
In 1983 An Ecuadorean jetliner crashed into a mountain and exploded, killing all 119 people aboard.
In 1984 Congress passed a law stating that all new cars must have airbags unless two-thirds of the states pass seat belt laws.
In 1984 Two cleaners aboard a jet airliner found an $80,000 ring belonging to the wife of South Africa's Prime Minister P.K. Botha.
In 1985 Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros became the first pitcher in major league baseball to strike out 4000 batters.
In 1986 An Air Force plane crashed in Sequoia National Forest in California. Officials revealed little, but experts speculated the aircraft was a radar-evading stealth fighter, an aircraft whose existence had yet to be officially confirmed.
In 1989 U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack Kemp stated that some $2 billion had been lost due to "fraud and mismanagement."
In 1989 Laurence Olivier, considered by many the finest English-speaking actor of his generation, died at age 82.
In 1990 Leaders of the so-called "Group of Seven" nations concluded their summit in Houston.
In 1991 A solar eclipse cast a blanket of darkness stretching 9,000 miles from Hawaii to South America, lasting nearly seven minutes.
In 1991 A Nigerian Airlines jet carrying Muslim pilgrims crashed at the Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, international airport, killing all 261 people on board.
In 1992 Undeclared presidential hopeful Ross Perot, addressing the NAACP convention in Nashville, TN, startled and offended his listeners by referring to the predominantly black audience as "you people."
In 1993 President Clinton wrapped up his visit to South Korea with a visit to the Demilitarized Zone separating South and North Korea.
In 1993 In Des Moines, Iowa, severe flooding shut down a water system serving 250,000 residents.
In 1994 Haiti's army-backed regime ordered the expulsion of international human rights observers.
In 1994 Shawn Eckardt was sentenced in Portland, OR, to 1 1/2 years in prison for his role in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.
In 1995 The U.S. normalized relations with Vietnam.
In 1996 An Air Force jet trying to make an emergency landing slammed into a house in Pensacola, FL, setting it on fire, killing a 4-year-old boy, and badly burning his mother. (The pilot ejected safely.)
In 1997 Doctors announced the first embryonic cell tissue transplant in the U.S. to slow spinal cord damage in paralyzed men.
In 1997 Fire broke out at the Royal Jomtien Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand,
In 197C, killing 91 tourists.
In 1998 Air Force Lt. Michael Blassie, a casualty of the Vietnam War was laid to rest near his Missouri home after the positive ID of his remains, which had been enshrined at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
In 1999 A U.S. Air Force cargo jet, braving the Antarctic winter, swept down over the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Center to drop off emergency medical supplies for Dr. Jerri Nielsen, a physician at the center who had discovered a lump in her breast.
In 2000 A Middle East Summit, hosted by President Clinton, opened at Camp David between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
In 2000 The African Methodist Episcopal Church, the nation's oldest black church, elected Reverand Vashti McKenzie of Baltimore as its first female bishop.
In 2001 The Democratic-led U.S. Senate voted to bar coal mining and oil and gas drilling on pristine federally protected land in the West.
In 2003 The World Trade Organization ruled that heavy duties on steel imports imposed by the U.S. violated global trade rules.
In 2004 Joe Gold, the founder of the original Gold's Gym in 1965, died at 82.