Today in 1692, five more people – Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe and Sarah Wildes – were hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. Ultimately, 20 lost their lives due to the hysteria.
Today in 1799, the famed Rosetta Stone, a tablet with Greek translations of Egyptian hieroglyphs, was found in Egypt. The text appears in form of hieroglyphs (script of the official and religious texts), of Demotic (everyday Egyptian script) and in Greek. The representation of the three mentioned script variants enabled the French scholar Jean Francois Champollion to basically decipher the hieroglyphs in 1822.
Today in 1848, a pioneering women’s rights convention convened in Seneca Falls, New York. Organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, the event likely wouldn’t have happened had the two dedicated abolitionists not been barred from taking the floor at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London.
Today in 1867, Congress passed the third Reconstruction Act over President Andrew Johnson's veto.
Today in 1969, Apollo 11 and its astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins, went into orbit around the moon in preparation of the historical step that took place the following day.
Today in 1980, the Moscow Summer Olympics began, minus dozens of nations that were boycotting the games because of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.
Today in 1985, Christa McAuliffe, a schoolteacher from New Hampshire, was chosen to be the first civilian to ride aboard the space shuttle. Sadly, on January 28th, 1986 she and the rest of the crew of the space shuttle Challenger were killed after an on-board explosion.
Today in 1989, 111 people were killed when United Air Lines Flight 232, a DC-10 which suffered the uncontained failure of its tail engine and the loss of hydraulic systems, crashed while making an emergency landing at Sioux City, Iowa; 185 other people survived.
Today in 1991, Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington accused boxer Mike Tyson of rape. "Iron Mike" would later be convicted of the crime and sentenced to prison.
Today in 1993, President Clinton announced his "Don't ask, Don't tell, Don't pursue" policy for gays in the military. On the same day, Clinton fired FBI director William Sessions.
Today in 2001, Michel Brunet discovered the skull of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, thought to be the oldest known species in the human family tree, in the Djurab Desert, Chad. It lived 6-7 million years ago, about the same time as the last common ancestor to apes and humans.
Today in 2013, President Barack Obama called on the nation to do some soul searching over the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his shooter, George Zimmerman, saying the slain black teenager “could have been me 35 years ago.”
Today in 2017, investigators using DNA identified 16-year-old James Byron Haakenson as a victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy…41 years after his disappearance.
Today in 2017, John McCain’s office revealed the 80-year-old Arizona Republican and former presidential nominee had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, a brain tumor.
Today in 2018, a duck boat sank in Table Rock Lake, Missouri, drowning 17 people – and nine of those were from the same family. Within weeks, a lawsuit seeking $100-million on behalf of two members of the family charging that the company operator new full well that a coming storm meant the boat should never have gone out. As of July 2019, 19 of 33 cases against the boat company have been settled under confidential terms.