Today In History...
In 1784 A U.S. clipper, the "Empress of China," left New York City for the Far East.
In 1819 Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
In 1856 The first national meeting of the Republican Party took place in Pittsburgh.
In 1865 Tennessee adopted a new constitution abolishing slavery.
In 1879 F.W. Woolworth opened his five-cent store in Utica, New York.
In 1889 President Cleveland signed a bill to admit South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Washington state to the Union.
In 1892 The Oscar Wilde play "Lady Windermere's Fan" was first performed at London's St. James Theatre.
In 1900 Hawaii became a U.S. Territory.
In 1902 Major Walter Reed showed that mosquitoes carry yellow fever.
In 1920 The Emeryville, California, dog track introduced the first mechanical rabbit.
In 1924 Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential radio broadcast from the White House.
In 1934 The romantic comedy "It Happened One Night," starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, opened at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
In 1935 It became illegal for airplanes to fly over the White House.
In 1936 Sioux Center, Iowa, received 42 inches of snow, a state record.
In 1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt vetoed a proposed tax reduction bill.
In 1951 The Air Force announced it would build a nuclear-powered plane.
In 1955 Prototypes of IRBM and A-Bomb were successfully tested in the Nevada desert.
In 1963 Rene Lacoste patented his revolutionary metal tennis racquet.
In 1967 More than 25,000 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Junction City, an offensive aimed at smashing a Viet Cong stronghold near the Cambodian border.
In 1973 The U.S. and Communist China agreed to establish liaison offices in Beijing and Washington.
In 1977 The Boy Scouts changed their name to "Scouting/USA."
In 1980 In a stunning upset, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets at Lake Placid, NY, 4-3. (The U.S. went on to win the gold medal.)
In 1983 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a monopoly on the word "Monopoly" by the Parker Brothers was unfair trade after trying to stop the use of "Anti-Monopoly."
In 1983 Illinois Congressman Harold Washington won Chicago's Democratic mayoral primary on his way to becoming the city's first black mayor.
In 1984 David, a 12-year-old who spent most of his life in a plastic bubble because of no immunity to disease, died 15 days after leaving the bow for a bone-marrow transplant.
In 1985 Secretary of State George P. Shultz, speaking in San Francisco called for renewed assistance to the Nicaraguan Contras.
In 1986 The Philippine Army's top officials resigned and urged President Marcos to do the same.
In 1987 A weeklong series of storms hit the West Coast with record amounts of rain and snow, causing 20 deaths.
In 1987 Pop artist Andy Warhol died at the age of 58.
In 1988 In Lebanon, the kidnappers of U.S. Marine Lt. Col. William R. Higgins released a videotape in which Higgins asked the U.S. to meet his abductor's demands.
In 1988 Bonnie Blair of the U.S. won the women's 500-meter speed-skating event at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada.
In 1990 In a taped deposition for the trial of former national security advisor John Poindexter, former President Reagan said he never had "any inkling" his aides were secretly arming the Nicaraguan contras.
In 1991 President George Bush and America's Gulf War allies gave Iraq 24 hours to withdraw from Kuwait or face a final all-out attack.
In 1992, American speedskater Cathy Turner won the women's 500-meter race in Albertville, France, at the Winter Olympics.
In 1993 A jury was seated in Los Angeles in the federal trial of four police officers accused of violating Rodney King's civil rights.
In 1994 The U.S. Justice Department charged Aldrich Hazen Ames, a 31-year CIA veteran, former senior Soviet counterintelligence officer, and his wife, Rosario, with conspiracy to commit espionage for selling U.S. national security secrets to Moscow.
In 1995 France accused four American diplomats and a fifth U.S. citizen of spying and asked them to leave the country.
In 1996 Alan Greenspan was renominated as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
In 1996 The space shuttle Columbia blasted into orbit on a mission to unreel a satellite on the end of a 12.8-mile cord.
In 1997 Cutbacks begin under the new welfare law limiting childless adults under age 50 and able to work to three months of food stamps in any three years.
In 1998 Abraham A. Ribicoff, President Kennedy's secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, died in Riverdale, NY, at 87.
In 1998 The Czech Republic defeated Russia, 1-0, to win men's hockey as the Nagano Winter Olympics ended.
In 1999 Levi Strauss announced it would close 11 of its plants.
In 2000 Cyclone Eline drenched central Mozambique, already suffering its worst flooding in a half-century.
In 2003 Jesica Santillan, the teenager who'd survived a botched heart-lung transplant long enough to get a second set of donated organs, died 2 days after the double transplant at Duke University MedicalCenter.
In 2004 Consumer advocate Ralph Nader enters the presidential race as an independent.