Today in 1647,public education was born as the Massachusetts Bay Colony authorities ordered that every township with 50 or more householders assign at least one person to teach children to read and write. The teachers would be paid by the children's parents or the general village population. Towns of 100 or more householders were required to establish schools with headmasters and instruction to prepare children for still higher education. Educating the young has been a growing priority for state and local governments ever since.
Today in 1871,explorer Henry Stanley finally found Scottish missionary David Livingstone in the jungles of Central Africa and uttered his now famous greeting, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
Today in 1908,the first Gideon Bible was presented to the Superior Hotel in Iron Mountain, Montana. They can be found now in almost every hotel room in America.
Today in 1951,the first direct-dia coast-to-coast telephone call was made, as the mayor of Englewood, New Jersey called the mayor of Alameda, California.
Today in 1969, “Sesame Street”officially debuted on PBS.
Today in 1979, the Eagles hit #1 with “Heartache Tonight”– their last #1 before their breakup.
Today in 1982,the newly-finished Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC opened to its first visitors.
Today in 1982,soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev died of a heart attack at the age of 75(interesting when you consider he was heartless).
Today in 1989,workers began punching a hole in the Berlin Wall, a day after East Germany abolished its border restrictions.
Today in 1993, John Wayne Bobbitt was acquitted of marital sexual assault. His wife, Lorena, said she cut off his penis because he’d been trying to force himself on her. Bobbitt was later acquitted of “malicious wounding.”
Today in 1993, the House of Representatives passed the Brady Bill, which called for a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases.
Today in 1995, Jim Carrey's "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls"opened in theaters nationwide. It enjoyed the best non-summer opening in Hollywood history, collecting $37.8-million in its debut weekend.
Today in 1997, in his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays, Roger Clemens won the American League Cy Young Award for an unprecedented fourth time.
Today in 1997,a judge in Cambridge, Massachusetts reduced Louise Woodward's murder conviction to manslaughter and sentenced the English nanny to the 279 days she'd already served in the shaking death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen.
Today in 1999,Ted Danson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Today in 1999,"Pokemon: The First Movie"opened in theaters nationwide.
Today in 2004,Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens)was awarded the “Man for Peace” prize in Rome.
Today in 2010,famous Disney composer Alan Menken received the 2,442nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Today in 2012,the final US presidential election results were declared after Barack Obama won Florida to defeat Mitt Romney 332-206 in Electoral College votes…four days after the election.
Today in 2014, an Italian appeals court overturned the 2012 manslaughter conviction against six scientists for failing to give adequate warning of a deadly earthquake.