Today In History...
1800 Congress held its first session in Washington, DC, in the partially completed Capitol building.
1869 The Suez Canal opened in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
In 1889, The Union Pacific Railroad Company began daily direct service between Chicago, Portland, and Chicago and San Francisco.
In 1917, Sculptor August Rodin died in Meudon, France.
1934 Lyndon B. Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor, aka "Lady Bird."
In 1940, The Green Bay Packers became the first NFL team to travel by plane.
1948, Britain's House of Commons voted to nationalize the steel industry.
In 1959, Synthetic diamonds were made for the first time.
1962, President Kennedy dedicated Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.
In 1968, NBC upset football fans by cutting away from the final minutes of a Jets-Raiders game to begin the telefilm "Heidi" on schedule. Viewers missed seeing the Raiders come from behind to beat the Jets 43-32.
In 1970, The Soviet Union landed Lunokhod One, an uncrewed, remote-controlled vehicle on the moon.
1973 President Nixon told the Associated Press, "...people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook."
In 1977, Egyptian President Sadat accepted an invitation to visit Israel.
In 1979, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black American hostages held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
In 1982, South Korean boxer Duk Koo Kim was legally declared dead by a judge in Las Vegas, NV, four days after he was left in a comma from a boxing match against Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini.
In 1983, Greyhound Bus Lines, struck by more than 12,000 employees two weeks earlier, resumed limited service with non-union drivers.
In 1987 A federal jury in Denver, CO, convicted two neo-Nazis and acquitted two others of civil rights violations in the 1984 slaying of radio talk show host Alan Berg.
In 1987, Retiring Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger received an elaborate send-off on the grounds of the Pentagon.
1988 President-elect Bush announced that New Hampshire Governor John Sununu would be his White House chief of staff.
In 1988, Hollywood gossip columnist Sheilah Graham died at age 84.
In 1989, The Senate Ethics Committee hired an outside counsel to investigate allegations of improprieties against six senators.
1991 Secretary of State James Baker concluded a 3-day visit to China.
In 1992, Senators John Kerry (MA), Tom Daschle (SD), and Hank Brown (CO) made an unprecedented tour of Vietnam's military headquarters. Still, they found nothing to substantiate reports of American prisoners sighted there after the Vietnam War.
In 1993, The House of Representatives voted 234-200 to approve legislation implementing the North American Free Trade Agreement.
In 1994, Francisco Martin Duran, the Colorado man accused of an assault rifle attack on the White House, was charged with trying to assassinate President Clinton.
In 1995 Admiral Richard C. Macke called the rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl "absolutely stupid" and said in Washington the incident could have been avoided if the servicemen had simply paid for sex.
In 1996, A Russian space probe launched toward Mars hurtled back to Earth.
In 1996, The World Food Summit concluded a 5-day meeting in Rome.
In 1997, Islamic militants dressed as police sprayed gunfire on foreign tourists outside one of Egypt's most renowned temples, killing 62.
In 1997, The FBI officially pulled out of the probe into TWA Flight 800, saying a criminal act did not cause the explosion.
In 1998, The House Judiciary Committee released 22 hours of telephone tape recordings secretly made of Monica Lewinsky by Linda Tripp.
In 1998, actress Esther Rolle died in Culver City, CA, at 78.
In 2001, Lennox Lewis knocked out Hasim Rahman in the fourth round to win back his WBC and IBF heavyweight titles.
In 2002, Abba Eban, the statesman who helped persuade the world to approve the creation of Israel, died near Tel Aviv; he was 87.
In 2003, John Allen Muhammad was convicted of two counts of capital murder in the Washington-area sniper shootings.
In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the 38th governor of California.
2004, Kmart said it would acquire Sears in an $11 billion deal.