Today in 1775, the American Revolution began with fighting in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.
Today in 1897, the Boston Marathon was held for the first time. The 26-mile, 385-yard race began in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ended at Exeter Street in Boston. Winner John J. McDermott ran the course in two-hours, 55-minutes and 10-seconds.
Today in 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising began, with Jews fighting off the Germans for 28 days.
Today in 1951, General Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his command by President Truman, bid farewell to Congress, quoting a line from a ballad – "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."
Today in 1956, Grace Kelly officially became Princess Grace of Monaco. While the civil marriage took place the day before, the actress from Philadelphia married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a storybook religious service with more than 1,500 radio, TV, newspaper and magazine reporters from around the world on hand for the event in Monaco.
Today in 1960, baseball uniforms began displaying player's names on their backs.
Today in 1965, 1010 WINS in New York City became the first all-news station in America.
Today in 1979, the LA Lakers won the coin toss in the first round of the college draft. They chose Michigan State guard Magic Johnson.
Today in 1982, astronaut Sally Ride became the first woman and astronaut Guion S. Bluford, Jr. became the first African-American to be chosen for U.S. Space Missions.
Today in 1987, "The Simpsons" premiered as a cartoon short between skits on the second episode of "Tracey Ullman Show" on FOX. They would get their own series in January 1990.
Today in 1988, Sonny Bono was inaugurated as the Mayor of Palm Springs. He ran the city until 1992, which is when he turned his attention to national politics. That was went Bono ran for Congress. While his first run failed, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1994 to represent California's 44th congressional district. Following his death, his widow was elected to fill the remainder of his congressional term. Mary Bono was then elected in her own right seven more times and was defeated for re-election in 2012.
Today in 1993, David Koresh and nearly all of his followers died in a raging fire at Branch Davidian headquarters in Waco, Texas. Following a 51-day siege, the FBI tried to drive them out with tear gas. President Clinton and Attorney Janet Reno had approved the assault. The FBI called the deaths a “mass suicide” – the cause of the fire is still disputed.
Today in 1994, Rodney King was awarded $3.8-million from the city of Los Angeles for his 1991 beating by the police.
Today in 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was destroyed by a bomb estimated at 5,000 pounds. While it was the worst terrorist attack on American soil until the attacks of 9/11, it remains the worst bombing on U.S. soil. Our nation was in shock and the world cried with us. Timothy McVeigh was later charged with the terrorist murder of 168 people, including 19 children and a nurse injured in rescue efforts and on June 2, 1997, McVeigh was found guilty on 11 different counts, including several first-degree murder convictions for the deaths of federal officers. Terry L. Nichols, an Army buddy of McVeigh, was also convicted for his role. In December 2000, McVeigh asked a federal judge to stop all appeals of his convictions and to set a date for his execution. The request was granted, and on June 11th, 2001, McVeigh was put to death by lethal injection. Nichols remains in prison on 161 consecutive life terms.
Today in 1996, on the first anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, hundreds of mourners paused for 168 seconds of silence at the site where the federal building once stood.
Today in 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that a federal law aimed at limiting e-mail smut doesn’t violate free-speech rights.
Today in 2000, President Clinton knelt among 168 empty chairs memorializing each victim of the Oklahoma City bombing and declared the site "sacred ground" in the soul of America during a fifth-anniversary dedication ceremony.
Today in 2002, the USS Cole returned to duty after being bombed by terrorists in Yemen on October 12, 2000. 17 sailors were killed during the attack, which was blamed on Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.
Today in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI was elected on the second day of the Papal conclave.
Today in 2008, a Russian capsule carrying American astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko and South Korea’s first astronaut, Yi So-yeon, touched down 260-miles off target in northern Kazakhstan after hurtling through the atmosphere in a bone-jarring descent from the international space station.
Today in 2013, “Boston bomber” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured following a 4-day search. On April 8th, 2015, he was found guilty of all 30 charges he faced in the attack, which killed a boy and two young women, and its aftermath, including the fatal shooting of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer and a carjacking.
Today in 2021, NASA successfully flew its drone helicopter Ingenuity on Mars, first powered aircraft to fly on another world.