Today in 1607, English colonists established the first permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown. Unknown to them they have landed amidst the worst drought in 800 years.
Today in 1846, the United States officially declared war on Mexico, two months after fighting began.
Today in 1897, Guglielmo Marconi made the first communication by wireless telegraph.
Today in 1917, the first recorded appearance of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children took place in Fatima, Portugal.
Today in 1918, the first airmail postage stamps were issued in six, 16 and 24-cent denominations.
Today in 1938, Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra recorded the song “When The Saints Go Marching In.” Although the song was originally written to be very spiritual, many jazz and folk artists adopted it and popularized the song throughout the years.
Today in 1940, in his first speech as prime minister of Britain, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
Today in 1961, actor Gary Cooper, who won Oscars for his roles in “Sergeant York'' and “High Noon,'' died at the age of 60.
Today in 1981, Pope John Paul II survived an assassination attempt. He was shot in St. Peter’s Square in Rome in front of 20,000 worshippers. After the shooting, police took in Turkish citizen Mehmet Ali Agca.
Today in 1985, a confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped an explosive onto the group's headquarters. The bomb contained C-4 and Tovex from a helicopter onto Osage Avenue. 53 houses burned and 240 people were left homeless. 11 people died including four children, all who were living in the MOVE Cult Home died in the fire. MOVE was a dominate black group whose members adopted the surname Africa and advocated a “back-to-nature” lifestyle who were opposed to technology.
Today in 1985, Tony Perez became the oldest major league baseball player to hit a grand slam home run at the age of 42 and 11 months.
Today in 1992, a trio of astronauts from the space shuttle, "Endeavour," captured a wayward Intelsat-Six communications satellite during the first-ever three-person space walk.
Today in 1993, in suburban Paris, a masked man armed with dynamite took a roomful of nursery school children hostage, demanding $18.5-million. The man was shot to death by police two-days later.
Today in 1993, a spin off of the soap, “Dallas” called “Knots Landing” went off air after running from December 27, 1979 on CBS for over 13 years. The show lasted 14 seasons and ended with the 334th show in Netherlands.
Today in 1996, recovery workers in the Florida Everglades retrieved the flight data recorder from ValuJet Flight 592. The Mothers Day flight had crashed dropped off radar and into the Everglades, killing all 110 people aboard instantly. It was among the worst air disasters in Florida’s history.
Today in 2001, Alex Rodriguez became the fifth-youngest (25 years, 289 days) player to hit his 200th career homer. Mel Ott accomplish the feat in 1934 at the youngest age (25 years, 144 days) followed by Eddie Mathews (25 years, 243 days), Jimmie Foxx (25 years, 267 days) and Mickey Mantle (25 years, 280 days). Of course, later we found out that he didn’t do it naturally.
Today in 2003, the U.S. government unveiled a new color designed $20 bill, it was the first time bills were colorized as an effort to stop counterfeiters.
Today in 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield departed the International Space Station to return to Earth.
Today in 2014, Christopher Columbus’ flagship, the Santa María, was discovered off the northern coast of Haiti.
Today in 2017, Donald Trump used his first commencement address as president to urge graduates of Liberty University, a Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia, to follow their convictions, prepare to face criticism and relish the opportunity to be an “outsider,” saying, “It’s the outsiders who change the world Donald Trump used his first commencement address as president to urge graduates of Liberty University, a Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia, to follow their convictions, prepare to face criticism and relish the opportunity to be an “outsider,” saying, “It’s the outsiders who change the world.”
Today in 2017, a 22-year-old UK blogger halted spread of global ransomware cyber-attack by accidentally identifying "kill switch."