Today In History...

In 1632 The English Crown grants the second Lord Baltimore settlement rights to an area surrounding Chesapeake Bay, most of which would later become the state of Maryland.
In 1756 In India, a group of British soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a suffocating cell that gained notoriety as the "Black Hole of Calcutta." Most of the men died.
In 1782 Congress approves the Great Seal of the United States.
In 1791 King Louis XVI of France attempts to flee the country in the so-called "Flight to Varennes," but was caught.
In 1837 Queen Victoria, age 18, ascends to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.
In 1863 West Virginia becomes the 35th U.S. state.
In 1867 President Andrew Johnson announces the purchase of Alaska.
In 1893 A jury in New Bedford, MA, finds Lizzie Borden innocent of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.
In 1939 The first rocket plane is tested using liquid propellants.
In 1943 Race-related rioting erupts in Detroit. Federal troops were sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.
In 1945 Abbott And Costello's "Who's On First" routine is first seen in the film "Naughty 90s."
In 1947 President Truman vetoes the Taft-Hartley Act, but his veto is overriden by Congress.
In 1947 Reputed gangster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel is shot dead at the Beverly Hills mansion of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, at the order of mob associates.
In 1948 The variety series "Toast of the Town" hosted by Ed Sullivan premieres on CBS-TV.
In 1963 The U.S. and USSR agree to set up a "hot line" communications link between the two superpowers.
In 1966 Georges Lemaitre, originator of "big bang" theory, dies at age 71.
In 1967 Boxer Muhammad Ali is convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. (Ali's conviction is ultimately overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.)
In 1968 Jim Hines runs 100 meters in under 10 seconds.
In 1973 "Playgirl" magazine publishes its first issue.
In 1976 The U.S. closed its last military base in Thailand at the request of the Thai government.
In 1977 Oil begins flowing through the recently completed trans-Alaskan pipeline from Prudhoe Bay.
In 1979 ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart is shot to death in Managua, Nicaragua, by a member of President Anastasio Somoza's national guard.
In 1980 Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard makes $8.5 million losing to Roberto Duran.
In 1984 A sharply divided House of Representatives adopts an immigration bill designed to discourage foreigners from breaching U.S. borders while granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens who met certain criteria.
In 1986 Doctors remove two small benign polyps from President Ronald Reagan's colon.
In 1986 The Guinness record for eating prunes is set when Peter Dowdeswell eats 144 in just under 32 seconds.
In 1987 President Ronald Reagan vetos the "Fairness Doctrine."
In 1989 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev greets the speaker of Iran's parliament, Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was visiting Moscow as part of an attempt to improve Soviet-Iranian relations.
In 1990 South African black nationalist Nelson Mandela arrives in New York City for a ticker-tape parade in his honor as he began an 11-day, 8-city U.S. tour.
In 1991 Boris Yeltsin, the newly elected president of the Russian republic, is welcomed to the White House by President Bush.
In 1991 German lawmakers vote to move the seat of the national government back to Berlin.
In 1992 An angry mob forces South African President F.W. de Klerk to cut short a visit to the black township of Boipatong.
In 1993 The Chicago Bulls win their third NBA title in a row as they defeat the Phoenix Suns in game 6, 99-98.
In 1994 Former airman Dean Mellberg goes on a shooting rampage at his Base in Spokane, WA, killing four and wounding 23 before being shot and killed by a military policeman.
In 1994 O.J. Simpson pleads innocent in Los Angeles to the killings of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman.
In 1995 Royal Dutch Shell abandons its controversial plan to sink an aging oil platform in the North Atlantic.
In 1995 U.S. Air Force Captain Jim Wang, a radar officer, is cleared of wrongdoing in a friendly fire attack on two U.S. helicopters over northern Iraq in 1994 that resulted in 26 deaths.
In 1996 The Clinton Administration announces it will veto re-election of U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
In 1997 The tobacco industry surrenders to new rules that would limit how the product is marketed and advertised in America, costing cigarette makers $360 billion over 25 years.
In 1998 Atlantic Richfield agrees to pay $215 million to settle a 1983 lawsuit over environmental damage from century of copper mining in Montana.
In 1999 NATO declares a formal end to its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.
In 1999 Golfer Payne Stewart wins his second U.S. Open title, by one stroke over Phil Mickelson.
In 2000 The U.S. Senate votes, 57-42, to approve legislation making it easier for federal prosecutors to try hate crimes.
In 2001 Houston resident Andrea Yates drowns her 5 children in the family bathtub, then called police. (She was sentenced to life in prison.)
In 2001 American Lori Berenson is convicted and sentenced to 20 years by a Peruvian court for collaborating with leftist guerrillas.
In 2003 Secretary of State Colin Powell meets separately with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority
In 2003 Wildfires fuel by high winds burned 250 homes in southern Arizona.


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