Today In History...
In 1853 The U.S. bought some 45,000 miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase (the southern part of Arizona and New Mexico).
In 1894 Suffragist Amelia Jenks Bloomer dies. She was best known for wearing a short skirt and baggy trousers that became known as "bloomers."
In 1903 602 people died when a fire broke out in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
In 1911 Sun Yat-sen was elected the first president of the Republic of China after the fall of the Chinese dynasties.
In 1916 Grigori Rasputin is assassinated in Russia.
In 1922 Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
In 1924 Astronomer Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other Milky Way systems.
In 1935 Italian bombers destroyed a Swedish Red Cross unit in Ethiopia.
In 1936 A massive sitdown strike erupted at the Fisher Body Plant in Flint, MI, when workers learned 5 employees were fired for wearing union buttons.
In 1938 The electronic television system was patented by V.K. Zworykin.
In 1940 California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena was officially opened.
In 1944 King George II of Greece proclaimed a regency to rule his country, virtually renouncing the throne.
In 1947 King Michael of Romania agreed to surrender but charged he was forced off the throne by Communists.
In 1970 The U.S. ceased putting real silver in silver dollars and 50-cent coins.
In 1972 The U.S. halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1977 President Jimmy Carter held the first news conference by an American president in Eastern Europe.
In 1978 Ohio State University fired Woody Hayes as its football coach one day after Hayes punched Clemson University player Charlie Bauman during the Gator Bowl after Bauman intercepted an Ohio pass.
In 1985 The Reagan administration accused Libya of supporting the Abu Nidal Palestinian faction suspected of carrying out the attacks on the Rome and Vienna airports on December 27 that claimed 20 lives but stopped short of holding Libya responsible for the massacre.
In 1986 The Soviet Union turned down a proposal by the U.S. for an exchange of televised New Year's greetings by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
In 1987 Manufacturers of all-terrain vehicles agreed to withdraw the 3-wheel model from dealers' inventories.
In 1988 President Reagan and President-elect Bush were subpoenaed to testify as defense witnesses in the pending Iran-Contra trial of Oliver North. (The subpoenas were ultimately suppressed.)
In 1988 President Reagan and President-elect Bush were subpoenaed to testify as defense witnesses in the pending Iran-Contra trial of Oliver North. (The subpoenas were subsequently quashed.)
In 1990 Iraq's information minister, Latif Nussayif Jassim, said President Bush "must have been drunk" when he suggested Iraq might withdraw from Kuwait.
In 1991 30 people were killed by a car bomb in Lebanon.
In 1991 The remains of two kidnapped Americans killed by their captors in Lebanon, William Buckley, and Marine Colonel William R. Higgins, arrived in the U.S. for burial.
In 1991 Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States agreed to establish unified command over nuclear weapons while allowing member states to form their own armies.
In 1992 President Bush embarked on the final foreign trip of his term in office, heading to a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
In 1992 President Bush embarked on the final foreign trip of his term in office, heading to a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, with a stopover in Somalia to visit U.S. troops.
In 1993 Israel and the Vatican agreed to recognize one another.
In 1994 U.S. Army helicopter pilot Bobby Hall walked to freedom 13 days after he was captured by North Korea. Co-pilot David Hileman died when the chopper was shot down.
In 1994 A gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees and wounding five other people. (A suspect, John C. Salvi III, was later arrested).
In 1995 A U.S. military policeman, Martin John Begosh, became the first American injured in NATO's Bosnia peace mission when his Humvee hit an anti-tank mine.
In 1996 About 36 people were killed when a bomb exploded on an Indian commuter train; a militant group claimed responsibility.
In 1997 The single deadliest massacre in Algeria's history began in four mountain villages as armed men killed 412 men, women, and children.
In 2000 22 people were killed in five bombings in the Manila area of the Philippines.
In 2000 Hollywood screenwriter Julius J. Epstein, who co-wrote the script for "Casablanca," died at age 91.
In 2002 Suspected extremist Abed Abdul Razak Kamel killed three U.S. missionaries at a Baptist hospital in Yemen. (He was later sentenced to death for the murders.)
In 2003 The Bush administration announced it would ban the sale of ephedra, the herbal stimulant linked to 155 deaths and dozens of heart attacks and strokes.