Today In History...

In 1788 Connecticut became the 5th U.S. state.
In 1793 Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first hot-air balloon flight in North America between Philadelphia and Woodbury, New Jersey.
In 1799 The first income tax was imposed in England.
In 1839 Thomas Henderson measured the first stellar parallax AlphaCentauri.
In 1854 The Astor Library opened in New York.
In 1861 Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union.
In 1861 The Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, SC, during the Civil War, retreats after being fired upon by a battery in the harbor.
In 1875 Cheyenne, Wyoming, records its all-time low temperature of 38 degrees below zero.
In 1912 The U.S. marines invaded Honduras.
In 1931 The film "Little Caesar" opens starring Edward G. Robinson.
In 1936 Semi-automatic rifles were adopted by the U.S. army.
In 1941 Color television is first demonstrated.
In 1942 The U.S. Joint Chiefs Of Staff was created.
In 1945 American soldiers led by General Douglas MacArthur invaded Luzon in the Philippines during World War II.
In 1957 Anthony Eden resigned as British prime minister, citing his health.
In 1964 3 Americans and 21 Panamanians died in anti-U.S. riots in the Panama Canal Zone.
In 1968 The Surveyor VII space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned lunar surface explorations.
In 1972 Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported biography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake.
In 1980 Saudi Arabia beheaded 63 people for their involvement in the November 1979 raid on the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
In 1981 The Soviets launched Oscar Class subs, twice the size of U.S. subs.
In 1982 A 5.9 earthquake shook New England and Canada, the first since 1855.
In 1983 Residents of the Falkland Islands cheered British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as she toured the reclaimed South Atlantic colony.
In 1984 A federal judge sentenced former E.P.A. official Rita M. Lavelle to six months in prison for lying to Congress.
In 1985 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that if you're late filing your taxes, you can't blame it on your accountant or anyone else.
In 1987 The White House released a memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan in January 1986 that showed a definite link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
In 1988 George Bush denied charges of involvement in the Iran/Contra affair made by rival presidential candidate Robert Dole.
In 1990 The space shuttle Columbia was launched on a 10-day mission that included retrieving a drifting scientific satellite.
In 1991 U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz met for six hours in Geneva but failed to resolve the Persian Gulf crisis.
In 1993 Seven people were found shot to death at a restaurant in Palatine, Illinois.
In 1994 President Clinton began the first European trip of his administration in Brussels, Belgium.
In 1995 In New York, the trial of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and 11 other defendants accused of conspiring to wage a holy war against the U.S. began.
In 1995 Severe flooding forced people to flee resort communities in the hills north of San Francisco.
In 1996 President Clinton vetos a Republican welfare overhaul bill.
In 1996 Chechen rebels seized a hospital in the southern Russian city of Kizlyar and took up to 3,000 hostages.
In 1997 A Comair commuter plane crashed 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 people on board.
In 1999 Presidential advisers prepared a public and legal defense in President Clinton's impeachment trial on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
In 2000 Park Tae-Joon, the leader of the United Liberal Democrats is, appointed South Korea's prime minister.
In 2001 Linda Chavez withdrew her bid to become secretary of labor over the controversy over an illegal immigrant who once lived with her.
In 2002, a U.S. military tanker plane crashed in western Pakistan, killing all seven Marines.
In 2002 Two Islamic militants attacked an Israeli army post near the Gaza Strip, killing four soldiers before being shot dead in a gun battle.
In 2004 Officials say Pentagon lawyers had determined that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had been a prisoner of war since his capture.

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