Today In History...
In 1803 Spain completes the process of ceding Louisiana to France.
In 1804 The first U.S. Supreme Court justice to be impeached, Samuel Chase, goes on trial. (He was acquitted.)
In 1900 Irish author Oscar Wilde dies in Paris, France.
In 1922 Japan launches the Hosho, the first aircraft carrier.
In 1936 London's famed Crystal Palace is destroyed by fire.
In 1939 The Russo-Finnish War begins as Soviet troops invades Finland overa border dispute.
In 1949 Chinese communists capture Chungking.
In 1954 Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama, is injured when an 8 1/2 pound meteorite crashed through the roof of her house.
In 1957 Honolulu has record wind gusts of 82mph and beaches on Kauai report 35-foot waves.
In 1958 The first guided missile destroyer is launched, at Bath, Maine.
In 1962 U Thant of Burma is elected Secretary-General of the UnitedNations, succeeding the late Dag Hammarskjold.
In 1964 The Soviet Union launches Zond 2 towards Mars.
In 1966 Barbados gains independence from Britain.
In 1967 Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower announce their engagement.
In 1981 The U.S. and the Soviet Union begin negotiations in Geneva aimed at reducing nuclear weapons in Europe.
In 1981 President Reagan arrives in Brasilia, Brazil, to begin a 4-nation tour of Latin America.
In 1981 The motion picture "Gandhi" premieres in New Delhi.
In 1983 Kidnapped brewery businessman Alfred H. Heineken is set free.
In 1983 Robert Sullivan, convicted of the 1973 robbery and murder of restaurant manager Donald Schmidt, is executed by the state of Florida despite an appeal from Pope John Paul II to spare him.
In 1984 West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl visits President Reagan at the White House to discuss arms control issues.
In 1987 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev acknowledges that his country was engaged in "Star Wars"-related research.
In 1987 Author James Baldwin dies in St. Paul de Vence, France, at age 63.
In 1986 President Reagan calls Oliver North "a national hero."
In 1987 Author James Baldwin dies in France at age 63.
In 1988 Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. acquires RJR Nabisco Inc. for $24.53 billion.
In 1989 President Bush leaves Washington for his first summit with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, aboard ships off the Mediterranean island of Malta.
In 1989 Alfred Herrhausen, chairman of West Germany's largest bank, is killed in a bombing in Bad Homburg.
In 1990 President Bush names outgoing Florida Governor Bob Martinez to head the nation's war on drugs.
In 1990 Author Norman Cousins dies in Los Angeles at age 75.
In 1992 The U.S. Supreme Court sustains women's basic right to abortion, voting 6-3 against reviving a 1990 Guam law that would prohibited nearly all such procedures.
In 1992 The U.S. Supreme Court sustains a woman's basic right to abortion, voting, 6-3, against reviving a 1990 Guam law that would have prohibited nearly all such procedures.
In 1993 President Clinton signs into law the Brady bill, which requires a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.
In 1993 Authorities in California arrest Richard Allen Davis, who confessed to abducting and slaying 12-year-old Polly Klaas of Petaluma.
In 1994 Two passengers die and nearly 1,000 others and crew members fleethe cruise ship Achille Lauro when it catches fire off the coast of Somalia. It sinks two days later.
In 1995 President Clinton becomes the first U.S. chief executive to visit Northern Ireland.
In 1996 Some 150,000 people fill the streets of Belgrade to protest against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.
In 1997 Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus formally hands in his government's resignation in the wake of a campaign financing scandal.
In 1997 In Tajikistan, French hostage Karine Mane is killed with five suspected kidnappers when a grenade exploded during a failed rescue operation.
In 1998 Quebec's separatist premier, Lucien Bouchard, is returned to power, but with only 43 percent of the vote, setting back the Parti Quebecois' goal of seeking independence from Canada.
In 1999 The opening of a 135-nation trade gathering in Seattle is disrupted by at least 40,000 demonstrators, some of whom clashed with police.
In 2002 A nightclub fire in Caracas, Venezuela, kills 50 people.
In 2003 Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, dies in Wyckoff, NJ, at age 98.
In 2004 Ken Jennings ends his 74-game winning streak on "Jeopardy!" as he lost to real estate agent Nancy Zerg.
In 2007 Hard-living motorcycle daredevil, Evel Knievel, whosebone-breaking, rocket-powered jumps and stunts made him an icon, dies at age 69.