Today In History...
In 1862 Telescope maker Alvin Clark discovered the dwarf companion of Sirius.
In 1865 General Robert E. Lee is named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.
In 1917 Germany serves noticed that it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
In 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt devalued the dollar about gold.
In 1944 During World War II, U.S. forces began invading Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
In 1945 U.S. Army Private Eddie Slovik was shot by an American firing squad in France during World War II, becoming the only American soldier executed for desertion since the Civil War.
In 1948 The magnetic tape wire recorder was developed by Wireway.
In 1949 "These Are My Children," TV's first soap opera, began on NBC.
In 1950 President Harry Truman announced he had ordered the development of the hydrogen bomb.
In 1955 RCA demonstrated the first music synthesizer.
In 1958 Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite, is launched.
In 1958 James Van Allen discovered the radiation belt.
In 1961 Ham was the first primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury.
In 1962 Cuba was voted out of the Organization of American States.
In 1966 Luna IX was launched onto the moon.
In 1968 A record-high barometric pressure (1083.8 mb, 32") was measured at Agata, USSR.
In 1971 Astronauts Alan B. Shepard, Edgar D. Mitchell, and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo XIV, the first U.S. moon mission since the ill-fated mission of Apollo XIII.
In 1983 Independent truckers began a nationwide strike to protest high fuel prices.
In 1984 The Vatican named Bishop John J. O'Connor of Scranton, PA, to head the Archdiocese of New York, succeeding the late Cardinal Terence Cooke.
In 1985 Pope John Paul II greeted tens of thousands of Indians in Ecuador, urging them to fight the modern problems of unemployment, malnutrition, illiteracy, and alcoholism.
In 1986 "Baby Doc" Duvalier declared a state of siege in Haiti.
In 1986 A memorial service was held for the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded on takeoff four days earlier.
In 1988 The Washington Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos, 42-10, in Super Bowl XXII in San Diego.
In 1989 Jury selection began in the trial of former National Security Council aide Oliver North, charged with the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1990 McDonald's opened its first fast-food restaurant in the Soviet Union, in Moscow's Pushkin Square.
In 1991 Army Spc. Melissa Rathbun-Nealy and Army Spc. David Lockett was captured by Iraqi forces near the Kuwaiti-Saudi border; both were eventually released.
In 1993 The Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills, 52-17, in Super Bowl XXVII in Pasadena, California.
In 1994 A convoy of U.S. soldiers opened fire on hundreds of Somali civilians outside a food distribution center in Mogadishu, killing at least eight and wounding several others.
In 1994 Gerry Adams, president of the pro-IRA Sinn Fein party, arrived in New York after being granted a 48-hour visa to participate in a conference on the violence in Northern Ireland.
In 1995 President Clinton scrapped a $40 billion rescue plan for Mexico.
In 1995 Legendary Broadway producer-director George Abbott died at age 107.
In 1996 In one of the worst attacks in Sri Lanka's 12-year civil war, a truck packed with explosives rams into the central bank killing at least 73 people and wounding 1,400.
In 1996 The last Cubans in refugee camps at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base boarded a plane for Florida.
In 1998 Astronaut David Wolf returned to Earth aboard the space shuttle Endeavour after four months on the Russian space station Mir.
In 1999 The Denver Broncos repeated as NFL champions, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19, in Super Bowl XXXIII.
In 1999 Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented evidence that the AIDS virus originated in chimpanzees and spread to people in Africa.
In 2000 Alaska Airlines Flight 261 plummeted into the ocean, killing all 88 aboard.
In 2003 President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair met at the White House to discuss a second UN resolution on Iraq.
In 2004 John Elway and Barry Sanders were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on their first attempt.