Today in 1864, the United States Congress mandated that all coins minted as U.S. currency bear the inscription "In God We Trust.”
Today in 1876, eight baseball teams began the inaugural season of the National League (NL) and the first official NL game took place. Boston defeated Philadelphia six to five.
Today in 1889, at “high noon,” the Oklahoma land rush officially began as thousands of Americans raced to grab new, unclaimed land for themselves. The claim could be up to 160 acres in size and included mostly in Oklahoma counties, Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, and Payne. The land was previously occupied by the Indians.
Today in 1952, an atomic test in Nevada became the first nuclear explosion shown on live network television as a 31-kiloton bomb was dropped from a B-50 Superfortress.
Today in 1954, the U.S. Senate Army-McCarthy televised hearings began.
Today in 1961, President Kennedy accepted “sole responsibility” following the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. During the invasion, almost 1,200 members of Brigade 2056, which was the Cuban-exile invasion force, surrendered to the Cuban troops and more than 100 were killed when the planes arrived an hour late and were shot down by the Cubans.
Today in 1964, President Johnson opened the New York World's Fair. The most prominent structure, the towers reached fame when they were seen in “Men in Black” with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The structures are now abandoned.
Today in 1969, British lone yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnston arrived at Falmouth after completing the first solo nonstop circumnavigation of the Earth in just 312 days.
Today in 1969, the first human eye transplant was performed.
Today in 1970, the first "Earth Day" was observed in an effort to promote the preservation of the environment. Now over 100 countries celebrate the special day to make the world a better place!
Today in 1970, Tom Seaver of the New York Mets struck out 19 batters to tie a National League baseball record. He also set a record by striking out 10 batters consecutively, as the “Amazin’” Mets defeated the San Diego Padres at Shea Stadium.
Today in 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke walked and rode on the surface of the moon for seven hours, 23 minutes.
Today in 1976, Barbara Walters accepted an offer to co-anchor the ABC Evening News with Harry Reasoner, becoming network television’s first female anchor. Her salary was a reported $1-million a year.
Today in 1993, Governor Guy Hunt, Alabama's first Republican governor since the Reconstruction, was removed from office after being convicted of felony ethics
Today in 1993, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, D.C. to honor victims of Nazi extermination.
Today in 1994, disgraced former President Richard Nixon died following a stroke.
Today in 1998, teenager Amy Grossberg and her high school sweetheart, Brian Peterson, pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter for murdering their newborn baby at a Delaware motel. Grossberg was later sentenced to two and a-half years in prison – Peterson received a lesser sentence of two years because he'd cooperated with authorities.
Today in 2000,armed immigration agents seized Elian Gonzalez from the safety of his relatives' home in Miami during a pre-dawn raid. The frightened child was reunited with his father at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.
Today in 2005, Zacarias Moussaoui plead guilty to conspiring with al-Qaeda members as part of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He was sentenced to life in prison and is now serving his sentence at the Federal ADX Supermax Prison in Florence, Colorado.
Today in 2013, a seriously wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev [[joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv]] was charged in his hospital room with bombing the Boston Marathon in a plot with his older brother, Tamerlan (TAM’-ehr-luhn), who died after a fierce gunbattle with police.
Today in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled six to two in favor of a Michigan ban on affirmative action. The ban didn’t allow public universities to use race as a factor when making acceptance decisions.