Today in 1866, the metric system was authorized for the standardization of weights and measures throughout the U.S. by Congress.
Today in 1917, a Silent Parade of 10,000 African-Americans marched on 5th Avenue\ in NYC to protest against lynching. It was organized by James Weldon Johnson.
Today in 1932, President Herbert Hoover used federal troops to evict the Bonus Army (WWI veterans and their families) from their encampment, four died. Their belongings were burned.
Today in 1943, President Roosevelt announced the end of coffee rationing.
Today in 1945, a U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York's Empire State Building, killing 14 people. The freak accident was caused by heavy fog. In an odd side note, "Elevator girl" Betty Lou Oliver survived falling 75 stories after the crash broke the cables supporting the elevator she was operating. This remains a world record for the longest survived elevator fall.
Today in 1984, the summer Olympics opened in Los Angeles. However, 15 countries participated in a Soviet-led boycott. It was considered a response to the American-led boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games.
Today in 1986, NASA released a transcript of a restored intercom recording from the space shuttle Challenger. In it, America learned that the astronauts aboard were conscious for at least 10-seconds after the explosion – and apparently understood the depth of the launch issues before they met their doom.
Today in 1994, Kenny Rogers – of the Texas Rangers, not the country singer – pitched the 14th perfect game in major league history.
Today in 1995, a jury in Union, South Carolina, rejected the death penalty for Susan Smith, sentencing her instead to life in prison for drowning her two young sons. Smith will be eligible for parole after 2025.
Today in 1998, during a day of official mourning, President Clinton praised two slain police officers - Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson – at the U.S. Capitol as heroes saying their sacrifice "consecrated this house of freedom." The officers had been murdered two days earlier by a former mental patient during a rampage in the Capitol building.
Today in 1998, Bell Atlantic and GTE announced a $52-billion deal that created the second-largest phone company, Verizon.
Today in 1998, Monica Lewinsky received blanket immunity in exchange for providing "full and truthful testimony" to a grand jury investigating President Clinton.
Today in 2002, there was no winner in the 89th Tour de France, as Lance Armstrong was disqualified.
Today in 2016, the earliest evidence of cancer was found in 1.7-million-year-old toe fossil from Swartkrans Cave, South Africa – the findings were published in “South African Journal of Science.”
Today in 2017, the Senate voted 51-49 to reject Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s last-ditch effort to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul with a trimmed-down bill.
Today in 2018, the Carr Fire reached Redding, California, with death toll at five…having burnt 80-thousand acres.
Today in 2018, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the emeritus archbishop of Washington, D.C., following allegations of sexual abuse, including one involving an 11-year-old boy. Later defrocked, McCarrick now stands accused of running a sex ring as well.
Today in 2018, the longest "blood moon" eclipse of the 21st century took place – lasting one-hour, 43-minutes.
On this day in 2061, the 31st perihelion passage of Halley's Comet will be recorded. Mark your calendars!