Today In History...
In 1672 Isaac Newton read the first optics paper before the Royal Society.
In 1693 A charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 1837 For the only time in history, the U.S. Senate chose the vice president of the United States, selecting Richard Johnson after no one candidate received a majority of electoral votes.
In 1861 The Confederate States of America was organized in Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1883 Louis Waterman began experiments that invented the fountain pen.
In 1904 The Russo-Japanese War began as Japan besieged Port Arthur in Manchuria.
In 1910 The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.
In 1915 D.W. Griffith's silent film classic "The Birth Of A Nation" premieres at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
In 1922 President Warren Harding had a radio installed at the White House.
In 1924 The first execution by lethal gas in the U.S. occurred at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.
In 1926 Walt Disney Studios is formed.
In 1936 Denver hit 30 below zero, the city's all-time record low.
In 1964 During a congressional debate over the Civil Rights Act, Rep.Martha Griffiths delivered a memorable speech advocating the prohibition of discrimination based on sex.
In 1968 Highway patrolmen shot and killed 3 black college students during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
In 1969 Meteorite weighing over one ton was recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico.
In 1973 Senate leaders named seven select committee members to investigate the Watergate scandal, including the panel's chairman, Democrat Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina.
In 1974 The three-person crew of Skylab IV returned to Earth after a record 84 days in space.
In 1977 An 5.0 earthquake hit San Francisco, California.
In 1978 The deliberations of the U.S. Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time, as members opened debate on the Panama Canal treaties.
In 1980 President Carter unveiled a plan to re-introduce draft registration, a proposal that included women and men.
In 1983 An Arizona man with 105 wives was convicted of bigamy.
In 1983 An Israeli commission that investigated the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Beirut, Lebanon, called for the ouster of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, accusing him of blunders.
In 1984 Soyuz T-10 was launched.
In 1984 The 14th Olympic Winter Games officially opened in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
In 1985 South Korean opposition leader Kim Dae-Jung was roughed up by authorities upon his return to his homeland after more than two years of exile in the United States.
In 1989 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.
In 1990 CBS News suspended resident humorist Andy Rooney for racial comments he purportedly made to a gay magazine, comments Rooney denied making.
In 1992 The 16th Winter Olympic Games opened in Albertville, France.
In 1993 General Motors sued NBC, alleging that the "Dateline NBC" program had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that 1973-to-87 GM pickups were prone to fires in side impact crashes. NBC settled the lawsuit the following day.
In 1995 The U.N. Security Council approved sending 7,000 peacekeepers to Angola to cement an accord ending 19 years of civil war.
In 1995 38 people were killed when an earthquake struck Colombia.
In 1996 In a ceremony at the Library of Congress, President Clinton signed legislation revamping the telecommunications industry.
In 1999 The U.S. Senate heard closing arguments at President Clinton's impeachment trial.
In 1999 Jordan's King Hussein was laid to rest during a 5-hour funeral in Amman attended by President Clinton and former presidents Bush, Carter, and Ford.
In 2000 Internet vandals disrupted access for consumers to popular websites, including eBay, Amazon.com, and CNN.com.
In 2003 Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched in support of 9,000 oil workers fired for leading a 2-month strike against President Chavez.