Today in 1812, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a declaration of war against Britain with a vote of 79-49.
Today in 1876, the Transcontinental Express arrived in San Francisco via the First Transcontinental Railroad, just 83-hours and 39-minutes after having left New York City.
Today in 1919, Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing all citizens the right to vote regardless of their gender, and sent it to the states for ratification. It was ratified August 20th, 1920.
Today in 1974, Sally Murphy became the first woman in the U.S. Army to qualify as an aviator. This is the date she graduated from the Rotary Wing Flight School at the Army Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Alabama. After 27 years of service, Murphy retired as a colonel in 1999 and received the U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute Veteran Commendation. In March 2009, she was honored at a ceremony at Fort Myer in Arlington County, Virginia. During the service, she was lauded as a groundbreaker who made progressing through the army easier for the women who followed her.
Today in 1984, for the first time in 32 years, Arnold Palmer failed to make the cut for the U.S. Open golf tournament.
Today in 1984, scientists first cloned the genes of an extinct animal. DNA was extracted from dried muscle tissue found inside the skin of an animal called a quagga, which had died out in 1883. A quagga was closer to the zebra in front and the horse in the rear.
Today in 1986, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to spying for Israel. He is serving a life prison term. Granted Israeli citizenship in 1995, Pollard was released November 2015, in accordance with federal guidelines in place at the time of his sentencing. He has requested to move to Israel, but as of November 2018, has still been denied by the United States.
Today in 1989, Chinese army troops stormed Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush the pro-democracy movement. Hundreds of demonstrators were killed.
Today in 1990, Jack Kevorkian assisted an Oregon woman to commit suicide, beginning a national debate over the right to die. The patient was 54-year-old Janet Adkins, who went to a secluded park north of Detroit to have Dr. Kevorkian’s assistance. After Kevorkian inserted a needle into her arm, Adkins, who suffered from Alzheimer's, flipped a switch that released a lethal flow of drugs. She became the first of 130 people to die with his help.
Today in 1998, Terry Nichols received a life sentence for his role in the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. He remains incarcerated at ADX Florence, a supermax prison in Colorado. He shares a cell block that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef (1993’s World Trade Center bombing) and Ted Kaczynski (aka The Unabomber).
Today in 2000, President Clinton and Russian President Putin ended their summit by conceding differences on missile defense, agreeing to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium and pledging early warning of missile and space launches.
Today in 2018, President Donald Trump tweeted, "I have the absolute right to PARDON myself." Experts say he doesn’t, actually.
Today in 2018, President Bill Clinton said in interview with NBC that he hasn't and doesn't need to apologize to Monica Lewinsky.