Senate Opens Watergate Hearings This Date in 1973

Today in 1792, twenty-five local retailers and brokers founded the New York Stock Exchange.

Today in 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run – the winner was "Aristides."

Today in 1881, Frederick Douglass was appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.

Today in 1932, the U.S. Congress changed the name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico."

Today in 1938, Congress approved Vinson Naval Act, which funded a “two-ocean navy.”

Today in 1973, the Senate opened its hearings into the Watergate scandal.

Today in 1978, Philips announced the coming of the compact disc.

Today in 1993, the first computers using Intel's new microprocessors, the Pentium, were unveiled.

Today in 1996, President Clinton signed “Megan's Law,” a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. The law was named for 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed in 1994.

Today in 1998, New York Yankees pitcher David Wells became the 13th player in modern major league baseball history to throw a perfect game when he retired all 27 batters he faced in a 4-to-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Today in 2000, two former Ku Klux Klansmen were arrested on murder charges in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four black girls on a Sunday morning – a crime that shocked the nation and galvanized the civil rights movement. Thomas E. Blanton Jr. of Birmingham, and Bobby Frank Cherry of Mabank, Texas, surrendered on the state charges and were jailed without bail. Thomas Blanton Junior was convicted and sentenced to life in prison (he remains housed at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Alabama. Last denied parole in 2016, he can apply again in 2021). Bobby Frank Cherry was indicted in 2000, but his trial was delayed after evaluations raised questions about his mental competency. He was eventually declared competent and in May 2002 he was convicted of first-degree murder charges. He was automatically sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. He died in prison at the age of 74.

Today in 2004, Massachusetts became the first of the United States to legalize same-sex marriage.

Today in 2017, Chelsea Manning, the soldier who was sentenced to 35-years in a military prison for giving classified materials to WikiLeaks, walked free after serving seven years behind bars, her sentence having been commuted by President Barack Obama.

Today in 2017, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Today in 2020, Michael Jordan's autographed Air Nike 1s shoes from 1985 sold for a record $560-thousand in an online auction.

Today in 2020, former President Barack Obama criticized the US government's handling of the pandemic during an online address.

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