Today in 1911, the first criminal conviction based on a fingerprint match in the United States occurred in New York. Our first convict? Thomas Jennings, who was convicted of murder. Jennings appealed his conviction to the Illinois Supreme Court on the basis of a questionable new scientific technique. The Illinois Supreme Court cited the historical research and use of fingerprints as a means of reliable identification in upholding the conviction, and thus establishing the use of fingerprints as a reliable means of identification. Jennings was executed in 1912.
Today in 1964, the State Department disclosed that 40 hidden microphones had been found in the US embassy in Moscow.
Today in 1965, Patricia R Harris was named first US Black female ambassador (to Luxembourg).
Today in 1967, American planes were bombing Hanoi.
Today in 1991, Willy T. Ribbs became the first Black driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
Today in 1992, in Massapequa, New York, Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot in the face and seriously wounded by her husband Joey's teen lover, Amy “Long Island Lolita” Fisher. Mary Jo survived and initially supported her husband steadfastly throughout the ordeal that followed, but the couple later divorced. Mary Jo took a chance on love again, however – and in 2012, remarried. Joey did four months for statutory rape because he had slept with Fisher when she was only 16. As for Amy, after completing her prison term, she became a columnist for a Long Island newspaper. Fast forward to 2017, and Mary Jo finally got her smile back through corrective surgery.
Today in 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle, while campaigning in San Francisco, talked about the lack of family values, and used the fictional character of “Murphy Brown” as an example of an unwed mother. The day before, 38-million viewers had tuned in to see Murphy give birth to a son.
Today in 1993, the White House set off a political storm by abruptly firing the entire staff of its travel office; five of the seven staffers were later reinstated and assigned to other duties.
Today in 1994, the FDA approved the first genetically engineered tomato.
Today in 1994, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma at the age of 64. Even after her death, she ranks as one of the most popular and recognizable First Ladies and in 1999, was listed as one of
Today in 1998, millions of pagers (remember those!?) nationwide stopped working when a communications satellite, the Galaxy Four, suddenly lost track of Earth.
Today in 1999, the much-anticipated movie prequel "Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace" opened in theaters nationwide. It set records with a five-day gross of $105.7-million and with a $28.5-million opening day. It also became the fastest movie to break the $100-million barrier, in just five days. It also topped the $200-million mark in a record 13 days and $300-million in 20 days.
Today in 1999, Rosie O'Donnell and Tom Selleck got into an uncomfortable – and legendary – verbal exchange over the issue of gun control her show.
Today in 2013, President Barack Obama, in a soaring commencement address on work, sacrifice and opportunity, told graduates of historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta to seize the power of their example as black men graduating from college and use it to improve people’s lives.
Today in 2015, the world witnessed a historic first handshake between Prince Charles and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams at the National University of Ireland in Galway.
Today in 2016, EgyptAir flight MS804 went down over the Mediterranean on route Paris to Cairo. The plane was carrying 66 people on board: 56 passengers, 7 crew members and 3 security personnel. No survivors were found. Both flight recorders have been recovered and to date, it’s believed there was a fire on board…but no further explanation about the reasons behind the crash has been given.
Today in 2017, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose penchant for sexting strangers ended his political career, pleaded guilty in Manhattan to a federal obscenity charge. Tearfully apologizing for communications with a 15-year-old girl, he was sentenced the following September to 21-months…and was released this week.
Today in 2019, billionaire Robert F. Smith announced he’d pay off college loans of nearly 400 students of the graduating class of Morehouse College, Atlanta.
Today in 2020, a study published in "Nature Climate Change" revealed that ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ dropped 17% worldwide in April 2020 when world was in lockdown.
Today in 2020, two dams on Tittabawassee River in central Michigan breached by floodwaters, forcing evacuation of thousands of residents.