Today In History...

In 1644 The first UFO sighting in America was by perplexed Pilgrims in Boston.
In 1778 Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubs the "Sandwich Islands."
In 1788 The first English settlers arrived in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.
In 1862 John Tyler, the 10th U.S. president, died at age 71.
In 1871 William of Prussia was proclaimed the first emperor of Germany.
In 1911 The first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place when pilot Eugene B. Ely brought his plane in for a safe landing on the deck of the U.S.S. Pennsylvania.
In 1912 English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it.
In 1919 The World War I Peace Congress opened in Versailles, France.
In 1936 Author Rudyard Kipling died in Burwash, England.
In 1943 The Soviets announced the end of the Nazi Siege of Leningrad.
In 1943 A wartime ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread in the U.S., aimed at reducing demand for metal replacement parts at bakeries, went into effect.
In 1949 The first U.S. Congressional Standing Committee was headed by a black man - W. Dawson.
In 1951 Mount Lamington volcano began a 4-day eruption killing over 3000 in Papua, New Guinea.
In 1967 Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler," was convicted in Cambridge, MA, of armed robbery, assault, and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo is stabbed to death by a fellow inmate in 1973.)
In 1969 Soyuz 5 returned to Earth.
In 1970 Morman president David McKay died at age 96.
In 1975 "The Jeffersons," a spin-off from the sitcom "All in the Family," premiered on CBS-TV.
In 1983 Jim Thorpe posthumously received his Olympic medals.
In 1984 Malcolm H. Kerr, the ninth president of the American University of Beirut, was shot and killed outside his office by two shooters.
In 1985 The State Department announced it would boycott future deliberations of the World Court on Nicaragua's complaint that the U.S. was an aggressor nation.
In 1986 24th Space Shuttle Mission - Columbia 7, returned to Earth.
In 1988 An airliner crashed in southwestern China, killing all 108 people on board.
In 1989 The Federal Reserve allowed banks to begin bond trading, ending a 50-year-old policy prohibiting banks from raising money for corporations.
In 1989 The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an authoritarian, year-old sentencing system for people convicted of federal crimes.
In 1990 A jury in Los Angeles acquitted former preschool operators Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges.
In 1990 Washington Mayor Marion Barry was arrested in an FBI sting on drug possession charges (he was later convicted of a misdemeanor).
In 1991 Financially strapped Eastern Airlines shut down after 62 years in business.
In 1991 Former New York Congressman Hamilton Fish Sr. died at age 102.
In 1993 The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.
In 1993 Allied warplanes attacked targets in "no-fly" zones in southern and northern Iraq.
In 1994 Retired Admiral Bobby Inman withdrew his nomination as U.S. Defense secretary.
In 1994 Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh released his final report in which he said former President Reagan had acquiesced in a cover-up of the scandal. Reagan called the accusation "baseless."
In 1995 South African President Nelson Mandela's cabinet denied amnesty sought by 3,500 police officers in apartheid's waning days.
In 1995 The death toll climbed past 6,000 in the earthquake in Kobe, Japan.
In 1996 Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced that 82 hostages were freed when his forces wiped out Chechen fighters in Pervomayskaya, ending a weeklong standoff.
In 1997 Former Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas, who rebounded from cancer to briefly become the Democratic front-runner for president in 1992, died in Boston of pneumonia at age 55.
In 1998 Pope John Paul II named 22 new cardinals, including Archbishop Francis Eugene George of Chicago and James Francis Stafford, the former archbishop of Denver.
In 1999 The Yugoslav government ordered the American leader of the Kosovo peace mission to leave and barred a UN investigator.
In 2003 Michelle Kwan won her sixth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championships title and seventh overall, while Michael Weiss won his third U.S. men's title.


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