Today in 1692, the town of Salem, Massachusetts began hanging “witches.”
Today in 1943, after many years of heated debate, Congress finally authorized payroll tax withholding.
Today in 1943, Berlin was declared "Judenrien" (free of Jews).
Today in 1965, Michel Jazy ran the mile in 3-minutes, 53.6 seconds…breaking the record set by Peter Snell.
Today in 1980, actor/comedian Richard Pryor suffered almost fatal burns at his San Fernando Valley, California home when a mixture of "free-base" cocaine exploded. He was hospitalized more than two months.
Today in 1985, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA title by defeating the Boston Celtics. The Lakers had been shut out of a championship series since 1959 when they were based in Minneapolis. The MVP of the winning Lakers was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Today in 1986, General Electric Company bought the RCA Corporation, parent of NBC, for $6.4-billion. At the time, the deal was the largest non-oil acquisition in U.S. history.
Today in 1986, the Rogers Commission released its report on the "Challenger" disaster, criticizing NASA and rocket-builder Morton Thiokol for management problems leading to the explosion that claimed the lives of seven astronauts.
Today in 1993, US officials admitted veterans of the Gulf War were suffering from a mystery illness. Later dubbed “Gulf War Syndrome,” the illness is a chronic multi-symptom disorder with a wide range of acute and chronic symptoms, including fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, rashes and diarrhea. Approximately 250,000 of the 697,000 U.S. veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War are afflicted with it.
Today in 1994, a fire destroyed the Georgia mansion of Atlanta Falcons receiver Andre Rison. His girlfriend, rap singer Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, later admitted causing the blaze after a fight, and was later sentenced to probation.
Today in 1997, the final episode of “Married… with Children” aired on Fox, ending the series’ 11-season run.
Today in 2001, Patrick Roy became the first NHL player to win three Conn Smythe Trophies (and he’s the only one to do so).
Today in 2013, Edward Snowden publicly made his identity known as the leaker of NSA documents.
Today in 2014, Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to appear on the cover of "Time" Magazine.
Today in 2016, President Barack Obama officially endorsed Hillary Clinton as Democratic Presidential nominee. In a video he posted online, Obama added: “Look, I know how hard this job can be. That’s why I know Hillary will be so good at it.”
Today in 2017, tennis player Venus Williams caused a car accident that lead to the death of another passenger in Palm Beach, Florida.
Today in 2019, Ali Stroker became the first actress in a wheelchair to win a Tony award for her role in the musical, "Oklahoma!"