Today in 1790, President George Washington signed the first United States Patent Act.
Today in 1815, Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies experienced a cataclysmic eruption – one of the most powerful in history. Approximately 71-thousand people were killed and it lead to a global volcanic winter.
Today in 1865, General Robert E. Lee issued General Order #9 at Appomattox. It was his last.
Today in 1866, the ASPCA, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was founded.
Today in 1912, the British luxury liner RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England on its maiden voyage. It sank five days later.
Today in 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Today in 1970, Paul McCartney officially announced the split of The Beatles.
Today in 1992, comedian Sam Kinison was killed when a pickup truck slammed into his car on a desert road between L.A. and Las Vegas. He was just 38-years-old. His new wife, Malika, was badly injured, but survived. The teenager driving the truck was later charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Due to his age, he was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and a year’s probation.
Today in 2000, Ken Griffey Jr. became the youngest player in baseball history to reach 400 home runs. He was 30-years, 141-days old…and it was his dad’s birthday. “I haven't really had a chance to think about it," Griffey Jr. said of the achievement. "The biggest thing is, I tell my dad it's a cheap way of not buying him a gift on his birthday. So he'll get this ball. My mom got 399, and he's got 400.
Today in 2006, hundreds of thousands protest H.R. 4437 (aka the "Sensenbrenner Bill") in the United States.
Today in 2008, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names officially renamed Squaw Peak in Phoenix Piestewa [[py-ES’-tuh-wah]] Peak, in honor of Army Spc. Lori Piestewa, who was killed in Iraq in 2003 and posthumously promoted from the rank of Private First Class.
Today in 2013, President Barack Obama proposed a $3.8-trillion budget that would raise taxes on smokers and wealthy Americans and trim Social Security benefits for millions.
Today in 2017, Justice Neil Gorsuch took his place as the newest addition on the bench of the Supreme Court, restoring a narrow conservative majority.
Today in 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg begins testifying before US Congress about data use and security.