Today In History...

In 1694 Queen Mary II of England died after five years of joint rule with her husband, King William III.
In 1832 John Calhoun became the first U.S. vice president to resign, stepping down after differences with President Andrew Jackson.
In 1846 Iowa became the 29th U.S. state.
In 1869 A patent for chewing gum was granted to William Findley Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio.
In 1902 Trans-Pacific cable linked Hawaii to the mainland.
In 1906 The NCAA was formed as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
In 1908 80,000 died when an earthquake struck Messina, Italy.
In 1917 The New York Evening Mail published a fictitious essay by H.L. Mencken on the history of bathtubs in America.
In 1939 The first B-24 bomber prototype (Liberator) was test flown.
In 1945 The Pledge of Allegiance was officially recognized by the U.S. Congress.
In 1945 Author, Theodore Dreiser died in Hollywood, California.
In 1950 Chinese troops crossed the 38th Parallel into South Korea.
In 1954 Kansas' 24-hour snowfall record was set at 26 inches at Fort Scott.
In 1973 Alexander Solzhenitsyn published the "Gulag Archipelago," an expose of the Soviet prison system that led to his expulsion from the Soviet Union.
In 1974 A 6.8 earthquake killed 5200 in Pakistan.
In 1981 Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American "test-tube" baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.
In 1982 Nevell Johnson, Jr., a black man, was killed by a police officer in a Miami video arcade, setting off three days of racial disturbances that left another man dead.
In 1985 The American government tested a vital piece of the "Star Wars" defense plan by setting off a hydrogen bomb in the Nevada desert.
In 1985 One of South Africa's most prominent white dissidents, Molly Blackburn, was killed in a car crash outside Port Elizabeth along with liberal politician Brian Bishop.
In 1987 The bodies of 14 relatives of R. Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, Arkansas, after Simmons went on a shooting spree in Russellville that claimed 2 other lives. (Simmons is later executed.)
In 1988 British authorities investigating the explosion that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, concluded that the blast was caused by a bomb aboard the jumbo jet.
In 1989 Alexander Dubcek, the former Czechoslovak Communist leader who was deposed in a Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968, was named chairman of the country's parliament.
In 1991 Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered state land privatized as he pushed ahead with his reforms.
In 1992 Somalia's two prominent warlords, Mohamed Farrah Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, promised an end to their hostilities.
In 1993 Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary told CNN that people wrongfully exposed to radiation through federally funded experiments more than 40 years ago deserved compensation.
In 1993 Journalist William Shirer, author of "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," died in Boston at age 89.
In 1994 CIA Director R. James Woolsey resigned, ending a tenure shadowed by the Aldrich Ames spy scandal.
In 1996 Leftist rebels in Peru released 20 more hostages, including two ambassadors, from Japan's embassy residence, following talks between guerrillas and the government's negotiator.
In 1997 One woman was killed, and more than 100 others were hurt when a United Airlines jumbo jet en route from Tokyo to Honolulu encountered severe turbulence over the Pacific.
In 1998 American warplanes exchanged missile fire with Iraqi air defenses.
In 1998 Four people were killed, two missing and presumed dead when fierce gales struck during an Australian yacht race.
In 1999 Taking last-minute Y2K precautions, the U.S. Defense Department shut down its website to keep it safe from hackers.
In 2002 The U.N. nuclear watchdog decided to pull its inspectors out of North Korea by New Year's Eve, a step demanded by the North.
In 2003 Libya, for the first time, allowed UN nuclear officials to inspect four sites related to its nuclear weapons program.
In 2016 Actress, Debbie Reynolds died of a stroke at age 84, one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, passed away from a heart attack.

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