Today In History...
In 1816, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the 5th U.S. president, defeating Federalist Rufus King.
In 1839, The Whig party held its first National Convention in Harrisburg, PA, and nominated William Henry Harrison for president.
In 1875, William Marcy Tweed, the "Boss" of New York City's Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country.
In 1918, President Wilson was the first chief executive to travel outside the U.S. while in office when he attended the Versailles Peace Conference in France.
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, created during the Depression, to generate and provide jobs.
1942, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time in World War II.
1945, the Senate approved the U.S.'s participation in the United Nations.
In 1958, Two pilots in a single-engine Cessna 172 began the world's longest flight, staying aloft over Las Vegas for 64 days, 22.3 hours.
1965 Gemini VII was launched with Air Force Lt. Colonel Frank Borman and Navy Commander James A. Lovell.
In 1978, Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco's first female mayor.
In 1979, The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution demanding that Iran free its American hostages.
In 1979, President Carter announced his candidacy for re-election.
In 1980, The bodies of four American churchwomen slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed. (Five national guardsmen are later convicted of murdering the nuns.)
In 1980, A United Nations report estimated one-third of the world's population is illiterate, and India is the most uneducated.
1982, New York City set a December high temperature record at 72 degrees.
In 1982, President Reagan returned home from a 4-nation Latin American tour.
In 1984, Four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran. American passenger Charles Hegna is killed.
1985, President Reagan named Admiral John Poindexter to replace National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane.
In 1986, the House and Senate appointed committees investigating the Iran-Contra affair.
1989 President Bush briefed NATO leaders in Brussels, Belgium, on the just-concluded Malta summit with Soviet President Gorbachev.
In 1990, Iraq promised to release 3,300 Soviet citizens it was holding.
In 1991, Journalist Terry Anderson, the longest-held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity.
In 1991 Patricia Bowman testified at William Kennedy Smith's trial in West Palm Beach that Smith had raped her the previous Easter weekend.
In 1991, Pan American World Airways ceased operations.
In 1994, U.S. House Speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich charged in an NBC interview that as many as one-quarter of the White House staff had used illegal drugs.
In 1994, Bosnian Serbs released 53 of some 400 UN peacekeepers held as insurance against further NATO air strikes.
In 1995, The first NATO troops landed in the Balkans to begin setting up a peace mission involving 20,000 American soldiers.
In 1996, The Mars Pathfinder lifted off and sped toward Mars on a 310 million-mile trip to explore the planet's surface.
1997 The U.N. Security Council agreed to a six-month extension of Iraq's oil-for-food program.
In 1998, The Space shuttle Endeavour and a crew of six blasted off on a mission to begin assembling the first international space station.
In 1999, NASA scientists continued to wait for a signal from the Mars Polar Lander. (It's believed the $165 million NASA probe was destroyed after it plunged toward the Red Planet.)
In 2000, PepsiCo agreed to pay $13.4 billion to acquire Quaker Oats, Gatorade, and Cap'n Crunch & Life cereal makers.
In 2000, A Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush's certified victory in Florida, and the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a ruling allowing manual recounts.
In 2001, Israel fired three missiles that hit Yasser Arafat's office as the Palestinian leader worked inside.
2001 The Olympic flame began a 46-state, 2-month journey from Atlanta, the host city of the 1996 Summer Games, to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games opening ceremony.