Today In History...

In 1804 The first self-propelled locomotive on rails was demonstrated in Wales.
In 1846 Sarah G. Bagley became the first female telegrapher in Lowell, MA.
In 1857 Congress outlawed using foreign currency as legal tender in the U.S.
In 1858 The first electric burglar alarm was installed in Boston, MA.
In 1866 Lucy B. Hobbs became the first woman to graduate from dental school at the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati.
In 1878, the District Telephone Company of New Haven, Connecticut, issued the first telephone directory. It contained 50 names.
In 1885 The Washington Monument was dedicated to the nation's capital.
In 1887 Oregon became the first U.S. state to make Labor Day a holiday.
In 1902 The first U.S. brain surgery was performed by Dr. Harvey Cushing.
In 1916 The Battle of Verdun, the longest and bloodiest battle of World War I, began in France.
In 1925 The New Yorker magazine made its debut.
In 1947 Edwin H. Land demonstrated his first Polaroid camera, which used a self-developing film that produced a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds.
In 1953 Sixty people were killed in a Mexico City trolley car crash.
In 1956 An Alabama Grand Jury indicted 115 blacks for conspiracy to boycott the Montgomery bus lines.
In 1961 The French "Veronique" rocket sent a rat up 95 miles.
In 1965 Black activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death by assassins identified as Black Muslims in the Audubon Ballroom in New York.
In 1967 Ford recalled 217,000 cars to check the brakes and steering.
In 1972 President Nixon started his historic visit to mainland China.
In 1973 Israeli fighter planes shot down a Libyan Airlines jet over the Sinai Desert, killing over 100 people.
In 1975 Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to prison for their part in the Watergate coverup.
In 1983 Former Vice President Walter Mondale launched his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In 1985 President Reagan held a news conference in which he accused Nicaragua's leaders of running a cruel and brutal regime "without a decent leg to stand on."
In 1986 Larry Wu-Tai Chin, the first American found guilty of spying for China, committed suicide in a Virginia jail cell.
In 1986 AIDS patient Ryan White returned to classes at Western Middle School in Kokomo, IN, but a judge issued a temporary order to keep him from continuing to attend.
In 1987 The Guinness record for brick-laying was set at 914 in one hour.
In 1988 Evangelist Jimmy Swaggert tearfully confessed to an unspecified sin and left the pulpit temporarily.
In 1989 The first Iran/Contra trial began with an opening statement from Oliver North's attorney describing him "as a patriot."
In 1989 President Bush called Ayatollah Khomeini's death warrant against "Satanic Verses" author Salman Rushdie "deeply offensive to the norms of civilized behavior."
In 1990 In a speech to the U.S. Congress, Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel said his nation welcomed American help after decades of Soviet domination.
In 1991 The Soviet Union announced that Iraq had agreed to a proposal for ending the Persian Gulf War; however, the Bush administration called the plan unacceptable.
In 1991 Ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn dies at age 71.
In 1992 Kristi Yamaguchi of the U.S. won the gold medal in women's figure skating at the Albertville Olympics, Midori Ito of Japan won the Silver, and Nancy Kerrigan of the U.S. won the Bronze.
In 1994 Jury selection began in Pensacola, FL, in the trial of Michael F. Griffin, an anti-abortion activist accused of killing Dr. David Gunn outside a women's clinic. (Griffin was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.)
In 1995 Chicago stockbroker Steve Fosset became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
In 1995 The U.S. and Mexico signed an agreement to unlock $20 billion in U.S. support to stabilize the peso under harsh conditions.
In 1996 Photographs from Hubble Space Telescope confirmed the existence of a black hole equal to the mass of 2 billion suns.
In 1997 The space shuttle Discovery returned to earth after a mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.
In 1997 A bomb exploded at a gay and lesbian nightclub in Atlanta, injuring five people.
In 1998 UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan began formal talks with Iraqi officials in the standoff over weapons inspections.
In 2001 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state workers cannot use federal disability-rights law to win money for on-the-job discrimination.
In 2003 Michael Jordan became the first 40-year-old in NBA history to score 40 or more points, getting 43 in the Washington Wizards' 89-86 win over the New Jersey Nets.
In 2004 The International Red Cross visited former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was in U.S. custody.


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