On This Day in:
1783 – Gen. George Washington said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.
1791 – Britain's Observer newspaper was first published.
1812 – Peter Gaillard patented the power mower.
1867 – The National Grange of Husbandry was founded.
1875 – William Marcy Tweed, the 'Boss' of New York City's Tammany Hall political organization,
1918 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson set sail for France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference. Wilson became the first chief executive to travel to Europe while in office.
1942 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration. The program had been created in order to provide jobs during the Great Depression.
1942 – U.S. bombers attacked the Italian mainland for the first time during World War II.
1943 – Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announced that any club was free to employ black players.
1945 – The U.S. Senate approved American participation in the United Nations.
1965 – The U.S. launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Comdr. James A. Lovell on board.
1973 – Pioneer 10 reached Jupiter.
1977 – Jean-Bedel Bokassa, ruler of the Central African Empire, crowned himself emperor in a ceremony believed to have cost more than $100 million. He was deposed
1978 – Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco's first woman mayor when she was named to replace George Moscone, who had been murdered.
1979 – For the second time, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to urge Iran to free American hostages that had been taken on November 4.
1980 – The bodies of four American nuns slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed. Five national guardsmen were later convicted of the murders.
1983 – U.S. jet fighters struck Syrian antiaircraft positions in Lebanon in retaliation for attacks directed at American reconnaissance planes. Navy Lt. Robert O. Goodman Jr. was shot down and captured by Syria.
1984 – A five-day hijack drama began as four men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran.
Two American passengers were killed by the hijackers.
1986 – Both U.S. houses of Congress moved to establish special committees to conduct their own investigations of the Iran-Contra affair.