President Ford Pardons Former President Richard Nixon On This Date In 1974

Today in 1565, a Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Florida.

Today in 1866, the first recorded birth of sextuplets took place in Chicago, Illinois. The parents were James and Jennie Bushnell: three boys and three girls were born. And while two babies died, the surviving four lived long lives.

Today in 1892, an early version of "The Pledge of Allegiance" appeared in "The Youth's Companion."

Today in 1921, 15-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, DC, won the first Miss America pageant.

Today in 1930, Richard Drew developed Scotch tape.

Today in 1945, New York’s Bess Myerson was crowned Miss America. She was the first Jewish contestant to win the title. Not merely a beauty queen – she became an outspoken anti-war activist.

Today in 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 48 other nations in San Francisco, California.

Today in 1968, 19-year-old Saundra Williams, of Philadelphia, won the first Miss Black America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Today in 1973, Hank Aaron hit his 709th home run.

Today in 1974, President Gerald Ford granted "a full, free and absolute" unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon of all federal crimes he may have committed while in office.

Today in 1993, Vice President Al Gore scored big laughs on "The Late Show with David Letterman" as he read off his own Top Ten List of "The Best Things About Being Vice President."

Today in 1994, at the 11th annual MTV Video Music Awards: Aerosmith were the big winners at the show, which featured newlyweds Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley opening the show.

Today in 1998, Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals broke major league baseball's record for home runs in a single season, hitting number 62 off Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel. Sadly, his achievement was tainted by revelations of steroid use.

Today in 2004, NASA’s unmanned spacecraft, Genesis, crash-landed when its parachute failed to open.

Today in 2015, Pope Francis announced plans to streamline the annulment process within the Catholic Church.

Today in 2016, NASA launched Osiris-Rex probe to retrieve a rock sample from the 500m-wide Bennu asteroid.

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