Today In History...
In 1785 Benjamin Franklin invented the first bifocals.
In 1807 Former vice president Aaron Burr was imprisoned for treason in Richmond, VA, but was acquitted in September.
In 1819 The first steamship to cross the Atlantic, the Savannah, departed from Savannah, Georgia, and arrived in Liverpool 29 days later.
In 1843 The first wagon train left Independence, MO, for the Oregon Trail.
In 1856 Violence erupted in Congress when Rep. Preston S. Brooks whacked Senator Charles Sumner with a cane.
In 1868 The "Great Train Robbery" takes place in Indiana when seven men hold up the crew, detach the locomotive, and seize $96,000 in cash, gold, and bonds.
In 1888 Leroy Buffington patented 1939, Adolph Hitler, and Benito Mussolini signed the "Pact of Steel," committing Germany and Italy to a military alliance.
In 1947, Congress enacted The "Truman Doctrine" with economic aid for Greece and Turkey.
In196In 1961, The Top Of The Needle restaurant at the Space Needle in Seattle opened as the first revolving restaurant.
In196In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the term "The Great Society."
In 1967 Egyptian President Nassar closes the Straits of Tiran to Israel.
In 1967 The TV children's series "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" debuted on PBS.
In 1969 While the astronauts aboard Apollo X orbited the moon, the spacecraft's lunar module separated and flew within 9 miles of the lunar surface.
In 1970 Arab terrorists killed 9 children and 3 adults on a school bus.
In 1972 President Nixon and Soviet leader Brezhnev opened a summit in Moscow which resulted in the first agreement limiting the production of atomic weapons.
In 1972 The island nation of Ceylon became the Republic of Sri Lanka.
In 1979 Canadians voted to put Progressive Conservatives in power, ending the 11-year tenure of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
In 1981 Soyuz 40 returned to Earth.
In 1983 The death toll climbed to 33 as floods ravaged the Gulf Coast.
In 1985 U.S. sailor Michael L. Walker was arrested aboard the aircraft carrier Nimitz and charged with spying for the Soviet Union.
In 1986 The House of Representatives approved legislation calling for major import restraints. (The bill never made it out of the Senate.)
In 1987 A deadly tornado devastated the small West Texas town of Saragosa, killing 30 people and injuring 162.
In 1988 Janos Kadar, head of Hungary's Communist Party since 1956, was replaced by Prime Minister Karoly Grosz.
In 1990 After years of conflict, Pro-Western North Yemen and pro-Soviet South Yemen merged into the Republic of Yemen.
In 1990 Boxer Rocky Graziano died in New York at age 71.
In 1991 Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born wife of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was designated to lead his Congress Party through national elections one day after his assassination. (Mrs. Gandhi turned down the position.)
In 1992 After 30 years as host of "The Tonight Show," Johnny Carson departed and was succeeded by Jay Leno the following week.
In 1994 A worldwide trade embargo against Haiti took effect to punish Haiti's military rulers for not reinstating the country's ousted elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
In 1995 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a contentious 5-4 decision that states cannot limit service in Congress without amending the Constitution.
In 1995 Astronomers Amanda S. Bosh and Andrew S. Rivkin spot two new moons in Saturn's orbit in photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
In 1995 "The CBS Evening News" resumed a single-anchor format with Dan Rather after Connie Chung was dropped from the broadcast.
In 1997 Kelly Flinn, the Air Force's first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge, avoiding court-martial on charges of adultery, lying, and disobeying an order.
In 1998 Rejecting special privilege, a federal judge said that Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury in the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
In 2000 The last Israeli troops and tanks left the buffer zone in south Lebanon that Israel had occupied for nearly two decades.
In 2000 The U.S. Supreme Court struck down, 5-4, a federal law that shielded children from sex-oriented cable TV channels.
In 2001 Ford said it planned to spend more than $2 billion to replace up to 13 million Firestone tires over safety concerns.
In 2004 Samuel Johnson, who'd built the family's SC Johnson wax company into a consumer products giant, died at age 76.
In 2011 A deadly tornado ripped through Joplin, MO, resulting in 161 deaths, injuring more than 1,100 with $2.8 billion in damages.
In 2014 "All My Children" actor Matthew Cowles, who played villain Billy Clyde Tuggle, died at age 69.