Today In History...

In 1644, The first UFO sighting in America was by perplexed Pilgrims in Boston.
In 1778, Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubs the "Sandwich Islands."
In 1788, The first English settlers arrived in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.
In 1862, the 10th U.S. president, John Tyler, died at age 71.
In 1871, William of Prussia was proclaimed the first emperor of Germany.
In 1911, The first landing of an aircraft on a ship occurred when pilot Eugene B. Ely brought his plane in for a safe landing on the deck of the U.S.S. Pennsylvania.
In 1912, English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it.
1919 The World War I Peace Congress opened in Versailles, France.
In 1936, author Rudyard Kipling died in Burwash, England.
In 1943 The Soviets announced the end of the Nazi Siege of Leningrad.
In 1943, a wartime ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread in the U.S., aimed at reducing demand for metal replacement parts at bakeries, went into effect.
In 1949, The first U.S. Congressional Standing Committee was headed by a black man - W. Dawson.
In 1951, Mount Lamington volcano began a 4-day eruption, killing over 3000 in Papua, New Guinea.
In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler," was convicted in Cambridge, MA, of armed robbery, assault, and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo is stabbed to death by a fellow inmate in 1973.)
In 1969, Soyuz 5 returned to Earth.
In 1970, Morman president David McKay died at age 96.
In 1975, "The Jeffersons," a spin-off from the sitcom "All in the Family," premiered on CBS-TV.
In 1983, Jim Thorpe posthumously received his Olympic medals.
In 1984, Malcolm H. Kerr, the ninth president of the American University of Beirut, was shot and killed outside his office by two gunmen.
In 1985, The State Department announced it would boycott future deliberations of the World Court on Nicaragua's complaint that the U.S. was an aggressor nation.
In 1986, the 24th Space Shuttle Mission - Columbia 7, returned to Earth.
In 1988, An airliner crashed in southwestern China, killing all 108 people on board.
1989 The Federal Reserve allowed banks to begin bond trading, ending a 50-year-old policy prohibiting banks from raising corporations' money.
In 1989, The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an authoritarian, year-old sentencing system for people convicted of federal crimes.
In 1990, A jury in Los Angeles acquitted former preschool operator Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges.
In 1990, Washington Mayor Marion Barry was arrested in an FBI sting on drug possession charges (he was later convicted of a misdemeanor).
In 1991, Financially strapped Eastern Airlines shut down after 62 years in business.
1991 Former New York Congressman Hamilton Fish Sr. died at age 102.
In 1993, The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.
In 1993, Allied warplanes attacked targets in "no-fly" zones in southern and northern Iraq.
1994 Retired Admiral Bobby Inman withdraws his nomination to be U.S. Defense Secretary.
In 1994, Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh released his final report in which he said former President Reagan had acquiesced in a cover-up of the scandal. Reagan called the accusation "baseless."
In 1995, South African President Nelson Mandela's cabinet denied amnesty sought by 3,500 police officers in apartheid's waning days.
In 1995, The death toll climbed past 6,000 in the earthquake in Kobe, Japan.
In 1996, Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced that 82 hostages were freed when his forces wiped out Chechen fighters in Pervomayskaya, ending a weeklong standoff.
In 1997, Former Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas, who rebounded from cancer to briefly become the Democratic front-runner for president in 1992, died in Boston of pneumonia at age 55.
In 1998, Pope John Paul II named 22 new cardinals, including Archbishop Francis Eugene George of Chicago and James Francis Stafford, the former archbishop of Denver.
In 1999, The Yugoslav government ordered the American leader of the Kosovo peace mission to leave and barred a UN investigator.
In 2003, Michelle Kwan won her sixth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championships title and seventh overall, while Michael Weiss won his third U.S. men's title.


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