Today In History

In 1839 The first Opium War between China and Britain erupted as two British frigates and a fleet of war junks clashed off the Chinese coast.

In 1868 Republican Ulysses S. Grant won the presidential election over Democrat Horatio Seymour.

In 1896 Idaho became the first U.S. state to grant voting rights to women.

In 1896 Republican William McKinley defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan for the presidency.

In 1900 The first auto show was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City under the auspices of the Automobile Club of America.

In 1903 Panama proclaimed its independence from Columbia.

In 1908 Republican William Taft was elected the 27th U.S. President defeating William Jennings Bryan.

In 1917 First Class Mail now cost 3 cents.

In 1918 Poland proclaimed independence from Russia after World War I.

In 1930 The Detroit-Windsor tunnel was the first auto tunnel to a foreign country.

In 1936 President Franklin D. Roosevelt won a landslide victory over Republican challenger Alfred M. "Alf" Landon.

In 1952 Charles Birdseye introduced his frozen peas.

In 1953 The first live color coast-to-coast telecast originated from New York City.

In 1956 "The Wizard Of Oz" was shown on television for the first time.

In 1957 The USSR launched Sputnik II, the second man-made satellite, into orbit with a dog named Laika on board.

In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson soundly defeated Barry Goldwater to win his first elected term.

In 1970 Salvado Allende was inaugurated as president of Chili.

In 1979 Five radicals were killed when gunfire erupted during an anti-Ku Klux Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina.

In 1981 Secretary of State Alexander Haig charged that an unidentified senior White House aide was waging a "guerrilla campaign" to undermine his authority.

In 1983 Reverend Jesse Jackson launched his first campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, urging supporters in Washington to "come together and form the rainbow coalition."

In 1984 The body of assassinated Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was cremated during an outdoor ceremony attended by 400,000 mourners.

In 1986 Ash-Shiraa, a pro-Syrian magazine, first broke the story of U.S.arm sales to Iran, which escalated into the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1988 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir began meeting with religious and rightist parties, seeking support for a coalition government.

In 1989 East German leader Egon Krenz delivered a nationally broadcast speech in which he promised sweeping economic and political reforms and called on East Germans to stay.

In 1990 Broadway musical actress Mary Martin died at age 76.

In 1991 Israeli and Palestinian representatives held their first-ever face-to-face talks in Madrid, Spain.

In 1991 Syria opened its first one-on-one meeting with Israel in 43 years.

In 1992 Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd U.S. President defeating President George Bush.

In 1992 In Illinois, Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

In 1994 The jury was seated in the O.J Simpson murder trial.

In 1994 Susan Smith of Union, SC, was arrested for drowning her two young sons nine days after claiming a black carjacker had abducted the children.

In 1994 The space shuttle Atlantis blasted into orbit on a mission to survey Earth's ozone layer.

In 1995 President Clinton dedicated a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to the 270 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing victims.

In 1995 Typhoon Angela hit the Philippines, killing more than 880 people.

In 1996 American entrepreneur Paul Tatum was shot to death on the steps of a Moscow subway station in what his relatives suspect was a contract slaying by the Russian mafia.

In 1997 The U.S. Supreme Court let stood California's groundbreaking Proposition 209, a ban on race and gender preference in hiring and school admission.

In 1997 Chinese President Jiang Zemin left the U.S. after an 8-day visit.

In 1997 Opening statements were presented in the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Terry Nichols.

In 1998 Former pro wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura is elected as Minnesota governor.

In 1998 Hurricane Mitch's death toll swelled to 9,000 dead in Honduras.

In 2001 Arkansas beat Mississippi, 58-56, in seven overtimes in the longest NCAA college football game in history, one that lasted four hours and 14 minutes.

In 2002 Actor Jonathan Harris (Dr. Smith-"Lost in Space") died at age 87.


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