Today In History

In 1653 Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

In 1773 The Boston Tea Party took place when American colonists disguised as Indians boarded a British ship and dumped tea into Boston harbor.

In 1809 Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate.

In 1811 A 12.0 earthquake on the Richter scale shook America in Missouri.

In 1905 Entertainment trade magazine "Variety" publishes its first issue.

In 1907 The Great White Fleet sailed from Hampton Downs on its World Cruise.

In 1916 Gregory Rasputin, the monk who had decisive influence over the Russian court, was murdered by a group of noblemen.

In 1944 The Battle of the Bulge began in Belgium as German forces launched a surprise counter-attack against Allied forces during World War II.

In 1945 The Cleveland Rams won the National Football League championship at home by defeating the Washington Redskins, 15-14.

In 1950 President Truman declared a national emergency to fight "Communist Imperialism."

In 1960 134 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City.

In 1965 Gemini VI returned to Earth.

In 1976 The government stopped its swine flu vaccinations following reports of paralysis linked to the vaccine.

In 1982 EPA agency head Anne M. Gorsuch became the first cabinet-level officer cited for contempt of Congress.

In 1983 A judge in Riverside, CA, denied a request from a person with cerebral palsy, Elizabeth Bouvia, to starve herself to death in a county hospital.

In 1985 The Mafia boss of bosses, "Big Paul" Castellano, is shot to death outside a New York City restaurant.

In 1985 At services in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, President Reagan offered condolences to the families of 248 soldiers killed in the crash of a chartered plane in Newfoundland.

In 1987 Former White House aide Michael K. Deaver was convicted of lying to a House subcommittee investigating ethics violations.

In 1987 South Korea held its first direct presidential election in 16 years, choosing Roh Tae-woo.

In 1988 President-elect Bush chose former Texas Senator John Tower as his secretary of defense, a nomination that went down to defeat in the U.S. Senate.

In 1990 Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president of Haiti in the country's first democratic elections.

In 1991 The U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.

In 1992 Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger said Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic had to answer for atrocities committed in former Yugoslavia.

In 1993 President Clinton announced the nomination of Bobby Ray Inman to succeed Les Aspin as defense secretary. However, Inman later withdrew.

In 1994 White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers announced she would leave her job at the end of the year.

In 1995, a budget impasse led to the federal government's second shutdown.

In 1996 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states must let parents appeal orders terminating such rights even when they cannot afford court fees.

In 1996 Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, condemned to death for a 1979 coup and a deadly military crackdown the following year, had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment.

In 1997 U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler leaves Iraq after failing to persuade President Saddam Hussein to open his palaces to inspections.

In 1997 A Pentagon-appointed panel concluded that the Army, Navy, and Air Force should segregate male and female recruits in their earliest phases of basic training.

In 2000 President-elect Bush selected Colin Powell to become the first African-American secretary of state.

In 2000 Deadly tornados hit Alabama, killing 12 people.

In 2001 The first U.S. commercial food shipments since 1963 arrived in Cuba.

In 2002 President Bush named former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean to replace Henry Kissinger as head of the panel investigating the September 11 terror attacks.
In 2003 President Bush signed several measures into law, including legislation meant to stem the flood of junk spam e-mail.

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