Today in 1664, New Jersey became an English colony.
Today in 1791, Samuel Mulliken became the first person to receive more than one patent from the US Patent Office.
Today in 1847, John Chapman – better known as ‘Johnny Appleseed’ – died in Allen County, Indiana. This day later became known as “Johnny Appleseed Day.”
Today in 1888, the “Blizzard of `88,” also known as the “Great White Hurricane,” began inundating the northeastern United States – ultimately resulting in some 400 deaths.
Today in 1918, what are believed to be the first confirmed U.S. cases of a deadly global flu pandemic were reported among U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. In the end, 46 would die (this as the worldwide outbreak of influenza claimed an estimated 20- to 40-million lives.)
Today in 1927, the Flatheads Gang stole $104,250 in the first-ever armored car robbery near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Today in 1930, William Howard Taft became the first American President to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Taft weighed over 300 pounds at his death.
Today in 1948, Reginald Weir became the first Black tennis player to participate in a U.S. Indoor Lawn Tennis Association
Today in 1961, Barbie got her eternal boyfriend when Mattel introduced the “Ken” doll. They “broke up” in 2004, but Ken “won her back” in 2011. Who could blame her? The campaign to win her back included billboard messages including, “Barbie, we may be plastic but our love is real."
Today in 1977, more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims were freed after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined the negotiations.
Today in 1993, Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to become the first female attorney general.
Today in 1998, the International Astronomical Union issued an alert saying that a mile-wide asteroid could come very close to, and possibly hit, Earth on Oct. 26th, 2028. The next day NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that there was no chance the asteroid would hit Earth.
Today in 2002, at Ground Zero, two columns of light were projected upwards as a temporary memorial to those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001.
Today in 2004, terrorists exploded simultaneous bombs on Madrid's rail network ripping through a commuter train and rocking three stations, killing 191 and injuring nearly two-thousand.
Today in 2009, President Barack Obama signed a $410-billion spending package to keep the government running through September 2009, even as he called it “imperfect” because of the number of earmarks it contained.
Today in 2011, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake in Japan triggered a tsunami killing thousands of people, and the second largest nuclear accident in history.
Today in 2012, an American soldier killed 16 civilians – nine of them children – in Afghanistan. It became known as the Kandahar Massacre. In order to avoid the death penalty, the man plead guilty to 16 counts of murder and six counts of assault and attempted murder in a plea deal – and in August 2013 was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Today in 2014, Russia officially annexed the Crimean region of Ukraine.
Today in 2014, in an extraordinary public accusation, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) declared the CIA had interfered with and then tried to intimidate a congressional investigation into the agency’s possible use of torture in terror probes during the Bush administration.
Today in 2018, the White House pledged to help states pay for firearms training for teachers, and renewed its call for an improved background check system, as part of a new plan to prevent school shootings like the one that left 17 people dead at a Florida high school four weeks earlier.
Today in 2020, Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for a criminal sex act and rape in New York.
Today in 2020, “Nature” reported the smallest dinosaur ever discovered - skull preserved in piece of amber smaller than a fingertip from a mine in Myanmar.