Today in 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with a crew of 90 men aboard the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Soon after, they made history by inadvertently discovering the "New World. "
Today in 1882, Congress passed the first law restricting immigration. Among other things, the “public charge” doctrine decreed that foreigners who could not show the financial ability to support themselves would be denied entry and returned to their starting points at the expense of the ship owners. The exception? Foreigners convicted of political offenses, reflecting the traditional American belief that the United States is a haven for those persecuted by foreign tyrants.
Today in 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed.
Today in 1977, Radio Shack issued a press release introducing theTRS-80 computer, and within weeks, thousands were ordered. The TRS-80, which was developed by Tandy Corp. for less than $150,000, was unveiled at New York's Warwick Hotel. It is widely recognized as the first completely assembled computer and the first affordable computer available at retail. Sold through Radio Shack stores, the $599.95 system featured a black-and-white-monitor, cassette tape storage, 4KB of RAM (expandable to 52K) and a Z80 8-bit 1.77MHz processor.
Today in 1981, air traffic controllers went on strike in defiance of President Reagan's threat to fire them if they did not return to work. The President stuck to his word and two days later, those who didn't return to work were canned.
Today in 1984, Mary Lou Retton took the gold medal for the individual all-around event in women's gymnastics at the summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Today in 1998, a blood sample was taken from President Bill Clinton for DNA testing against stains from the blue dress taken from Monica Lewinsky…and two weeks later, it was publicly revealed that “the stain” was Clinton’s.
Today in 1999, arbitrators ruled the government had to pay the heirs of Dallas dressmaker Abraham Zapruder $16-million for his film, which had captured the assassination of President Kennedy.
Today in 2004, the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopened after being closed since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Today in 2017, Massachusetts resident Michelle Carter was sentenced to 2-1/2 years for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide.