Today in 1768, the “Boston Gazette” published "Liberty Song," which has been credited as America's first patriotic song. Written by Founding Father John Dickinson, the sixth verse offers the earliest known publication of the phrase that parallels the motto "united we stand, divided we fall,” a patriotic slogan that has prominently appeared several times throughout American history.
Today in 1853, the Grand Trunk Line was complete as trains began running over the first North American railroad between Portland, Maine and Montreal.
Today in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln asked for 500-thousand military service volunteers.
Today in 1927, Ty Cobb set a major-league baseball record by getting his 4,000th career hit. He hit 4,191 before he retired in 1928.
Today in 1947, President Truman signed the Presidential Succession Act, which placed the speaker of the House and the Senate President pro tempore next in the line of succession after the Vice President.
Today in 1964, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds hit the only grand-slam home run of his career. On this same date in 1990, Rose was sentenced to five months in prison for tax evasion.
Today in 1969, Ted Kennedy’s car went off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. While he escaped, his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne [[ko-PECK-nee]] drowned. The accident went unreported for hours, and some of the details remain a mystery to this day.
Today in 1976, 14-year-old Nadia Comaneci of Romania scored seven perfect scores in women’s gymnastics at the summer Olympics in Montreal.
Today in 1976, Lyme disease – the serious, potentially fatal arthritic condition was named. Contracted from deer tick bites, the disease got its name from the Connecticut town near where the disease was first reported.
Today in 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald's fast food restaurant in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 people before being shot dead by police. It remains the fourth deadliest shooting massacre by a single person in history.
Today in 1986, the world got its first look at the remains of the Titanic as videotapes of the British luxury liner, which sank in 1912, were released by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Today in 1995, opening statements were presented in the trial of Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman charged with drowning her two young sons. She was later convicted and sentence to life in prison.
Today in 1995, the oldest known musical instrument in the world was found in the Indrijca River Valley in Slovenia. The 45,000 year-old relic was a bear bone with four artificial holes along its length.
Today in 2008, one of the world’s largest mobile cranes collapsed at a refinery in southeast Houston, killing four people and injuring seven others.
Today in 2013, the city of Detroit, Michigan filed for bankruptcy to become the largest US municipal bankruptcy in history at $18.5-billion.
Today in 2017, President Donald Trump declared that it was time to “let Obamacare fail” after the latest Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law was blocked in the Senate.
Today in 2018, Hawaii National Guard officials confirmed that lava from Kilauea volcano eruption had destroyed 700 homes and added 700 acres to the Big Island.