Today In History...

In 410 Rome was overrun by the Visigoths, an event that symbolized the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
In 1572 The slaughter of French Protestants at the hands of the Catholics began in Paris. The killings, which lasted until October, claimed some 13,000 victims.
In 1814 The British invaded Washington, DC, during the War of 1812, setting fire to the Capitol and the White House.
In 1869 The waffle iron is invented.
In 1909 Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.
In 1932 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to make a non-stop flight across the U.S., traveling from Los Angeles to Newark, NJ, in just over 19 hours.
In 1939 A German-Heinkel 178 becomes the first working jet plane.
In 1949 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established, with all parties agreeing that an armed attack against one would be considered "an attack against them all."
In 1950 E.S. Sampson is the first U.S. black delegate to United Nations.
In 1954 The Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the U.S., goes into effect.
In 1959 3 days after Hawaiian statehood, Hiram L. Fong is sworn in as the first Chinese-American U.S. Senator while Daniel K. Inouye is sworn in as the first Japanese-American U.S. Representative.
In 1960 The temperature drops to minus 88 degrees (minus 127 degrees Fahrenheit) at Vostok, Antarctica.
In 1968 France becomes the world's fifth thermonuclear power when it explodes a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.
In 1970 A bomb planted by anti-war extremists explodes at the University of Wisconsin's Army Math Research Center in Madison, killing researcher Robert Fassnacht.
In 1976 Soyuz 21 returns to Earth.
In 1981 John W. Hinckley Jr. is indicted in Washington, DC, on charges of trying to assassinate President Reagan.
In 1982 Archbishop Joseph L. Bernardin is installed as head of Chicago's Roman Catholic archdiocese.
In 1986 Toxic gas from an African volcano kills 1200 in Cameroon.
In 1986 Financially troubled Frontier Airlines shuts down.
In 1987 A military jury in Quantico, VA, sentences Marine Sgt. Clayton Lonetree to 30 years in prison for disclosing U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union.
In 1989 Voyager II flies past Neptune after a 12-year trip.
In 1989 Communist rule in Poland ends when Parliment shifts power to Solidarity trade union leader Tadeusz Mazowiecki.
In 1989 Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti bans Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose from the game for gambling.
In 1990 Irish hostage Brian Keenan is released by his captors in Lebanon after being held for more than 4 years.
In 1992 Hurricane Andrew smashes into Florida, causing record damage.
In 1992 China and South Korea establish diplomatic ties.
In 1992 Hurricane Andrew hits Florida, causing record damage; 55 deaths in Florida, Louisiana and the Bahamas were blamed on the storm.
In 1992 China and South Korea establish diplomatic ties.
In 1994 Israeli and PLO negotiators agree on an accord to give the Palestinians control of health care, taxation, education and other services in West Bank areas still controlled by Israel.
In 1995 China finds American Harry Wu guilty of spying and says it will expel him.
In 1995 Microsoft begins selling its highly publicized Windows 95 personal computer software.
In 1996 Destruction of the nation's largest stockpile of chemical weapons is halted after 3 days when traces of nerve gas leak in sealed area of the incinerator at remote western Utah desert site.
In 1996 4 women begin two days of academic orientation at The Citadel; they were the first female cadets admitted to the South Carolina military school since Shannon Faulkner.
In 1997 Pope John Paul II addresses more than 1 million attending Mass during closing World Youth Day ceremonies in Paris.
In 1998 A federal court panel says the 2000 census cannot use statistical sampling.
In 1998 The U.S. and Britain agree on the Netherlands as the site for the trial of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
In 1998 Actor E.G. Marshall ("Chicago Hope") dies at age 84.
In 2002 In Oregon City, OR, the FBI uncovers the remains of 12-year-old Ashley Pond and 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis behind the house of Ward Weaver III, a suspect who lived across the street.
In 2003 The Justice Department reports that the U.S. crime rate in 2002 was the lowest since studies began in 1973.

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