Today in 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland.
Today in 1861, the first naval battle of Civil War took place, with Union frigate "Colorado" sinking privateer "Judah" off Pensacola, Florida.
Today in 1899, a real-estate broker named Henry Bliss became the first automobile fatality. He was stepping off a New York City streetcar at Central Park West and 74th Street, when a car driven by Arthur Smith flattened him.
Today in 1948, Republican Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress.
Today in 1970, Gary Muhrcke of the Millrose Athletic Association won the first New York City Marathon in 2-hours, 31-minutes and 38.2 seconds. Only 55 of the 127 runners finished the race. How times have changed. The 2013 New York City Marathon returned the event to its place as New York City’s best day. A record 50,000+ runners finished the race, the most in any marathon ever. The 2017 Marathon again had a record number of finishers: 51,394 (of the 98,247 applicants).
Today in 1971, a four-day inmate rebellion at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York ended as police and guards stormed the prison. In the end, the ordeal and final assault claimed 39, including 29 prisoners and 10 prison guards and employees held hostage since the outset of the ordeal.
Today in 1977, "Soap" debuted on ABC with the first viewer discretion warning. Before the show even aired, religious groups protested, but the network held fast. The show premiered and Billy Crystal became TV's first openly gay character.
Today in 1997,Mother Teresa received the first state funeral accorded a private citizen of India since the death of Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1948. Foreign heads of state and other dignitaries, such as First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton attended the service, which was also broadcast worldwide.
Today in 1998, Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs hit his 61st and 62nd home runs of the season to pass Roger Maris and pull into a tie with Mark McGwire.
Today in 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell named Osama bin Laden as the “prime suspect” in the terror attacks on the United States; limited commercial flights also resumed for the first time in two days.
Today in 2001, Civilian aircraft traffic resumed in the US after the September 11th attacks.
Today in 2017, residents of a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida were rescued after losing their air-conditioning in aftermath of Hurricane Irma. In the end, 11 people perished.
Today in 2017, the International Olympic Committee announced Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028) will host the Summer Olympic games.
Today in 2017, Martin Shkreli's bail was revoked after he was judged a risk to community for posting $5,000 bounty for a strand of Hillary Clinton's hair.