Today in 1792,the first recorded cremation in America was conducted. The man, Henry Larens, was a Colonial statesman who’d specified in his will how he wished his body to be disposed of. Laurens asked that his body be burned, and his ashes scattered over his plantation in North Carolina.
Today in 1861,American Civil War: The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War was established by Congress.
Today in 1907,Christmas seals went on sale for the first time, in the Wilmington, Delaware, post office. The proceeds went to fight tuberculosis.
Today in 1960,Domino's Pizza was founded.
Today in 1993,the US Air Force destroyed the first of 500 Minuteman II missile silos that were marked for elimination under an arms control treaty.
Today in 1994,President Clinton fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders after learning that she had told a conference that masturbation should be discussed in school as a part of human sexuality.
Today in 1998,South African researchers discovered almost entire skeleton of an ape-man, estimated to be 3.6-million years old – the oldest such find anywhere in the world.
Today in 1999,the U.S. announced that it was expelling Russian diplomat Stanislav Borisovich Gusev,who had been caught gathering information with an eavesdropping device at the U.S. State Department.
Today in 1999,the six firefighters who had died in a warehouse blaze in Worcester, Massachusetts were honored as fallen heroes by 35-thousand of their brethren from around the world. Officials says it was the largest gathering of firefighters in the 350-year history of the U.S. Fire Service.
Today in 2000,the US Supreme Court ordered a temporary halt in the Florida vote count on which Al Gore pinned his best hopes of winning the White House.
Today in 2002,United Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing $4-billion in the previous two years. The sixth largest bankruptcy filing in history,they soared out of it in February 2006.
Today in 2008,the Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich,was arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the US Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency. Blagojevich was later convicted and sentenced to 14 years in federal prison – he’ll be eligible for early release in May 2024 based on good behavior.
Today in 2013,Mike Ditka’s #89 jersey is retired by the Chicago Bears. The team has said it is the last number they’ll retire.
Today in 2014,aCIA Torture Report was released, detailing the CIA's use of torture on detainees between 2001-2006.