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Today in History
Famous Birthdays
 Encyclopaedia Britannica

*1924American actor Charlton Heston, born this day in 1924 and best known for his performances in Ben-Hur (for which he won an Academy Award) and The Ten Commandments, also served as president of the National Rifle Association. 
*1822Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president of the United States (1877–81), who brought post-Civil War Reconstruction to an end in the South, was born. 
2004SpaceShipOne reached an altitude of 368,000 feet. It was the first privately built, manned rocket ship to fly in space twice within a two week window. The ship won the Ansari X Prize of $10 million dollars for their success. 
2001A Russian airliner blew up as it flew over the Black Sea. There were no survivors of the 76 people on the plane. U.S. intelligence sources stated that they likely cause of the accident was a missile strike from a Ukrainian military exercise.  
2001Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants) hit his 70th home run of the season to tie Mark McGwire's major league record. Bonds also moved past Reggie Jackson on the all-time list with his 564th career home run.  
2001In Washington, DC, Reagan National Airport re-opened. The airport had been closed since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.  
2001NATO granted the United States open access to their airfields and seaports and agreed to deploy ships and early-warning radar planes in the war on terrorism.  
2001Rickey Henderson (San Diego Padres) scored his 2,246th career run to break Ty Cobb's major league record.  
2001Shannen Doherty was sentenced to serve five days in a work-release program for a drunken driving arrest on December 28, 2000. The sentence came after Doherty had given lectures to teens about the dangers of driving under the influence.  
1998Davis Gaines performed as the Phantom in the show "Phantom of the Opera" for the 2,000th time.  
1998The Vincent Van Gogh exhibit opened in Washington, DC. The exhibit featured 70 paintings.  
1997Hundreds of thousands of men attended a Promise Keepers rally on the Mall in Washington, DC.  
1994South African President Nelson Mandela was welcomed to the White House by U.S. President Clinton.  
1993Dozens of Somalis dragged an American soldier through the streets of Mogadishu. A videotape showed Michael Durant being taken prisoner by Somali militants.  
1993Russian Vice-President Alexander Rutskoi and Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov surrendered to Boris Yeltsin after a ten-hour tank assault on the Russian White House. The two men had barricaded themselves in after Yeltsin called for general elections and dissolved the legislative body.  
1992The 16-year civil war in Mozambique ended.  
1990The German parliament had its first meeting since reunification.  
1989Fawaz Younis, a Lebanese hijacker, was sentenced in Washington for commandeering a Jordanian jetliner with two Americans aboard in 1985.  
1987NFL owners used replacement personnel to play games despite the player's strike.  
1986Two men mugged Dan Rather in New York City, NY.  
1985The Shiite Muslim group Islamic Jihad announced that they had killed American hostage William Buckley. Later another American hostage said that he believed that Buckley had died four months earlier from torture.  
1981Bruce Jenner and Harry Belafonte debuted in their first dramatic roles in NBC-TV's "Grambling's White Tiger".  
1976Barbara Walters joined Harry Reasoner at the anchor desk of the "ABC Evening News" for the first time.  
1965Pope Paul VI addressed the U.N. General Assembly and became the first reigning pontiff to visit the Western Hemisphere.  
1959The first World Series to be played west of St. Louis began in Los Angeles, CA.  
1958British Overseas Airways Corporation became the first jetliner to offer trans-Atlantic service to passengers with flights between London, England and New York.  
1957"Leave it to Beaver" debuted on CBS-TV.  
1957Sputnik 1 launched by U.S.S.R. On this day in 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, which orbited the Earth until 1958, inaugurated the space age, and heightened Cold War competition between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. 
1956"Playhouse 90" debuted on CBS-TV.  
1954"December Bride" debuted on CBS-TV.  
1953"I Led Three Lives" was first seen in syndication. The TV show was never on network.  
1948The Railroad Hour" debuted on ABC radio.  
1940Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met in the Alps at Brenner Pass. Hitler was seeking help from Italy to fight the British.  
1933"Esquire" magazine was published for the first time.  
1931The comic strip "Dick Tracy" made its debut in the Detroit Daily Mirror. The strip was created by Chester Gould.  
1927The first actual work of carving began on Mount Rushmore.  
1915The Dinosaur National Monument was established. The area covered part of Utah and Colorado.  
1909The first airship race in the U.S. took place in St. Louis, MO.  
1895The first U.S. Open golf tournament took place in Newport, RI. Horace Rawlins, 19 years old, won the tournament.  
1893The first professional football contract was signed by Grant Dibert for the Pittsburgh AC.  
1887The Paris Herald Tribune was published for the first time. It was later known as the International Herald Tribune.  
1881Edward Leveaux received a patent for the player piano.  
1876The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas formally dedicated by Texas Gov. Richard Coke. It was the state's first venture into public higher education. The college opened for classed two days earlier.  
1777At Germantown, PA, Patriot forces and British forces both suffer heavy losses in battle. The battle was seen as British victory, which actually served as a moral boost to the Americans.  
1648The first volunteer fire department was established in New York by Peter Stuyvesant.  
1535The first complete English Bible, the work of Miles Coverdale, came off the press either in Zürich (Switzerland) or in Cologne (Germany). 
1190Richard I (the Lion-Heart), on his way to Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, invaded a hostile Sicily and took the key city of Messina. 
Asterisks (*) denotes birthday

Famous Birthdays
1989 - Kimmie Meisner
1979 - Rachael Leigh Cook
1976 - Alicia Silverstone
1946 - Susan Sarandon
1941 - Anne Rice
1928 - Alvin Toffler
1924 - Charlton Heston
1895 - Buster Keaton
1884 - Damon Runyon
1822 - Rutherford B. Hayes

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