Today In History...
In 1779 John Adams is named to negotiate the Revolutionary War's peace terms with Britain.
In 1825 The first locomotive to haul a passenger train is operated by George Stephenson in England.
In 1854 The first great disaster involving an Atlantic Ocean liner occurs when the steamship "Arctic" sank with 300 people aboard.
In 1892 Book matches are patented.
In 1919 The Democratic National Committee votes to admit women.
In 1923 Yankee great Lou Gehrig hits his first homerun.
In 1928 The U.S. announces that it will recognize the Nationalist Chinese government.
In 1938 The ocean liner "Queen Elizabeth" is launched at Glasgow.
In 1939 Warsaw, Poland, surrenders after weeks of resistance to invading forces from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II.
In 1954 "Tonight!" (The Tonight Show) with Steve Allen premieres on NBC-TV.
In 1959 A typhoon batters the main Japanese island of Honshu, killing nearly 5000 people.
In 1959 Soviet leader Kikita Khrushchev concludes his U.S. visit.
In 1962 The U.S. sells Israel the Hawk anti-aircraft missiles.
In 1964 The Warren Commission issues a report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assasination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.
In 1973 Soyuz 12 is launched.
In 1979 Congress gives final approval to forming the Department of Education, the 13th Cabinet agency in U.S. history.
In 1985 Hurricane Gloria, having come ashore at North Carolina with winds of 130 mph, proceeds up the Atlantic Coast hitting Long Island and Connecticut, killing six.
In 1986 In Cleveland, 1,429,643 toy ballons are released simultaneously setting a Guinness Record.
In 1986 The U.S. Senate joins the House of Representatives in approving the most sweeping changes in the federal tax code since World War II.
In 1988 3 days after he had finished first in the men's 100-meter dash at the Seoul Olympics, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson went home in disgrace, stripped of his gold medal for using anabolic steroids.
In 1989 Jeffrey Petkovich and Peter Debernardi go over Niagara Falls in one barrell in the first 2-man plunge to make an anti-drug statement.
In 1989 Columbia Pictures agrees to a $3.4 billion cash buyout by Sony.
In 1990 The Senate Judiciary Committee approves the Supreme Court nomination of David H. Souter.
In 1990 Former NBA commissioner and Democratic national chairman Lawrence F. O'Brien dies in New York at age 73.
In 1991 President Bush announces that he would eliminate all U.S. battlefield nuclear weapons, and called on the Soviet Union to match the gesture.
In 1991 The Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocks, 7-7, on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1993 U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) is indicted on charges that as Texas state treasurer, she'd misused state facilities and employees. (Hutchison was acquitted in February, 1994.)
In 1993 Retired General James H. Doolittle dies at age 96.
In 1994 More than 350 Republican Congressional candidates gather on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to sign the "Contract with America," a 10-point platform they pledged to enact if voters sent a GOP majority to the House.
In 1995 The U.S. government unveils its redesigned $100 bill, featuring a larger, off-center portrait of Benjamin Franklin.
In 1996 In Afghanistan, the Taliban, a band of former seminary students, drive the government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani out of Kabul, capture the capital and execute former leader Najibullah.
In 1997 The space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian Mir station to drop off American David Wolf and pick up Michael Foale.
In 1998 Gerhard Schroeder and his Social Democrats win national elections in Germany, following 16 years of conservative rule under Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
In 1998 St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire's record-breaking season ends with his 69th and 70th home runs.
In 1999 Tiger Stadium closes in grand fashion after 87 years as the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-2.
In 2000 In Sydney, Australia, the U.S. Olympic baseball team beat Cuba, 4-0, to capture its first baseball gold medal.
In 2000 Venus Williams becomes only the second player to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Olympics in the same year with her 6-2, 6-4 victory over Elena Dementieva.
In 2003 Actor, Donald O'Connor ("Singin' in the Rain") dies at age 78.
In 2004 President Bush asks Congress for more than $7.1 billion to help Florida and other Southeastern states recover from the destruction left by four hurricanes.