Today In History...
In 1737 An earthquake kills 300,000 at Calcutta, India.
In 1776 The first naval battle of Lake Champlain is fought during the American Revolution. American forces led by General Benedict Arnold suffered heavy losses, but managed to stall the British.
In 1779 Polish nobleman Casimir Pulaski is killed while fighting for American independence during the Revolutionary War Battle of Savannah, Georgia.
In 1811 The first steam-powered ferryboat, the Juliana, is put into operation by inventor John Stevens in New York City.
In 1868 Thomas Edison filed for his first patent, for the Vote Recorder.
In 1890 The Daughters of the American Revolution is founded in Washington, DC.
In 1910 Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to fly.
In 1919 The first in-flight meals are served aboard a Handley Page Transport flight from London to Paris.
In 1932 The first political telecast in the U.S. takes place, as the Democratic National Committee sponsored a program from a CBS-TV studio in New York.
In 1936 The first radio quiz program, "Professor Quiz," premieres on CBS.
In 1938 Fiberglass is patented under the name "Glass Wool."
In 1942 The World War II Battle of Cape Esperance begins in the Solomons, resulting in American victory over the Japanese.
In 1943 The New York Yankees win the World Series, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in game five, 2-0.
In 1958 Pioneer I is the first spacecraft launched by NASA. (It failed to go as far out as planned, fell back to Earth, and burned up in the atmosphere.)
In 1962 Pope John XXIII convenes the first session of the Roman Catholic Church's 21st Ecumenical Council, also known as Vatican II.
In 1968 Apollo VII, the first manned Apollo mission, is launched with Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham.
In 1975 The comedy-variety series "Saturday Night Live" premieres on NBC with George Carlin guest-hosting.
In 1977 Soyuz 25 returns to Earth.
In 1979 Allan McLeod Cormack and Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield are named co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for medicine for their work in developing the CAT scan X-ray.
In 1980 Cosmonauts Popov and Ryumin set the space endurance record at 184 days.
In 1983 The last hand-cranked telephones in the U.S. go out of service as 440 telephone customers in Bryant Pond, Maine, switch to direct-dial service.
In 1984 Kathy Sullivan, aboard the space shuttle Challenger, becomes the first American woman to walk in space.
In 1984 Vice President George Bush and Democratic nominee Geraldine Ferraro meet in their only debate of the 1984 campaign.
In 1985 Arab-American activist Alex Odeh is killed by a bomb blast in Santa Ana, California.
In 1986 President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev open two days of talks concerning arms control and human rights in Reykjavik, Iceland.
In 1987 200,000 gays march for civil rights in Washington, DC.
In 1988 Violence subsides in Algeria, where rioting by youths had broken out a week earlier, prompting the government to declare a state of siege.
In 1989 The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly votes to add an amendment to an appropriations bill restoring Medicaid funding for abortions in cases of rape or incest.
In 1990 Octavio Paz is named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for literature, the first Mexican writer to be honored.
In 1990 About 60,000 people rally in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in support of a government proposal to seize all Communist Party property without compensation.
In 1991 Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, law professor Anita Hill accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of having sexually harassed her.
In 1992 President Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton and independent candidate Ross Perot clash for 90 minutes in St. Louis over character and the economy in the first presidential debate of the 1992 campaign.
In 1993 Yasser Arafat wins endorsement for his peace accord with Israel from the Palestine Central Council.
In 1993 Army-backed toughs prevent American troops from landing In Haiti, as part of a UN peace mission.
In 1994 U.S. troops take over Haiti's National Palace.
In 1994 The Colorado Supreme Court declares the state's anti-gay rights measure unconstitutional.
In 1995 Israeli troops begin their West Bank pullback and release 881 of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners slated to be freed.
In 1995 Americans Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland and Dutch scientist Paul Crutzen win the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their controversial work warning that certain gases were detroying Earth's ozone layer.
In 1997 Authorities report no survivors from the overnight crash of an Argentine jetliner in Uruguay, which killed all 74 people on board.
In 1998 The Pope canonizes the first Jewish-born saint of modern era: Edith Stein, a Catholic nun killed at Auschwitz.
In 2000 A state judge orders the recall of as many as 1.7 million Ford cars and trucks in California.
In 2002 The Senate joins the House in approving, 77-23, the use of America's military might against Iraq.
In 2002 Former President Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2003 Ivan A. Getting, a Cold War scientist who conceived the Global Positioning Satellite system, dies at age 91.