Today in History
1735 – In London, French surgeon Claudius Amyand peformed the first successful appendectomy at St. George's Hospital. The patient was an 11-year old boy that had swallowed a pin.
1774 – Austria became the first nation to introduce a state education system.
1790 – The U.S. Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.
1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.
1876 – The city of Anaheim was incorporated for a second time.
1877 – Thomas Edison demonstrated the first gramophone, with a recording of himself reciting Mary Had a Little Lamb.
1883 – 'Ladies' Home Journal' was published for the first time.
1884 – The construction of the Washington Monument was completed by Army engineers. The project took 34 years.
1889 – Jefferson Davis died in New Orleans. He was the first and only president of the Confederate States of America.
1907 – In Monongah, WV, 361 people were killed in America's worst mine disaster.
1917 – More than 1,600 people died when two munitions ships collided in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1917 – Finland proclaimed independence from Russia.
1921 – The Catholic Irish Free State was created as a selfgoverning dominion of Britain when an Anglo-Irish treaty was signed.
1923 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge became the first president to give a presidential address that was broadcast on radio.
1926 – In Italy, Benito Mussolini introduced a tax on bachelors.
1947 – Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by U.S. President Truman.
1957 – AFL-CIO members voted to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters were readmitted in 1987.
1957 – America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed when the satellite blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, FL.
1960 – Gene Autry and Bob Reynolds were granted the Los Angeles Angels baseball franchise by the American League.
1973 – Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the vice-president of the United States after vice-president Spiro Agnew resigned.
1982 – 11 soldiers and 6 civilians were killed when a bomb exploded in a pub in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland. The Irish National Liberation Army was responsible for planting the bomb.
1983 – In Jerusalem, a bomb planted on a bus exploded killing six Israelis and wounding 44.
1985 – Congressional negotiators reached an agreement on a deficit-cutting proposal that later became the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law.
1989 – The worst mass shooting in Canadian history occurred when a man gunned down 14 women at the University of Montreal's school of engineering. The man then killed himself.
1989 – Egon Krenz resigned as leader of East Germany.
1990 – Iraq announced that it would release all its 2,000 foreign hostages.
1990 – U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle was enshrined in the Little League Museum's Hall of Excellence.
1992 – Germany's primary political parties agreed to tighten postwar asylum laws.
1992 – In India, thousands of Hindu extremists destroyed a mosque. The following two months of Hindu-Muslim rioting resulted in at least 2,000 people being killed.
1993 – Former priest James R. Porter was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison. Porter had admitted molesting 28 children in the 1960s.
1994 – Orange County, CA, filed for bankruptcy protection due to investment losses of about $2 billion. The county is one of the richest in the U.S. and became the largest municipality to file for bankruptcy.
1997 – ARussian Antonov 124 military transport crashed into a residential area in Irkutsk, Russia, shortly after takeoff. 70 people were killed.
1998 – In Venezuela, former Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chavez was elected president. He had staged a bloody coup attempt against the government six years earlier.
1998 – Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour connected the first two building blocks of the international space station in the shuttle cargo bay.
2002 – Winona Ryder was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 480 hours of community service stemming from her conviction for shoplifting from Saks Fifth Avenue. She was also ordered to pay $10,000 in fines and restitution.
2002 – Officials released the detailed plans for a $4.7 million memorial commemorating Princess Diana. The large oval fountain was planned to be constructed in London's Hyde Park.