Today in 1776, the first naval battle during the American Revolution was fought on Lake Champlain during the Battle of Valcour Island. While the forces under Gen. Benedict Arnold suffered heavy losses, Americans were able to escape south and regroup.
Today in 1881, David Henderson Houston patented the first roll film for cameras.
Today in 1958, the Pioneer 1 lunar probe was launched by the US. The probe did not reach its destination and fell back to Earth and burned up in the atmosphere.
Today in 1968, Apollo 7 was launched by the US. The first manned Apollo mission, this was also the first in which live television broadcasts were received from orbit. Wally Schirra, Don Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham were the astronauts aboard.
Today in 1975, "Saturday Night Live" was broadcast for the first time. George Carlin was the guest host.
Today in 1983, the last hand-cranked telephones in the US went out of service. The 440 telephone customers of Bryant Pond, Maine, were switched to direct-dial service.
Today in 1984, American Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first female astronaut to spacewalk. She was aboard the space shuttle, Challenger.
Today in 1990,the space shuttle, "Discovery," landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California, ending a virtually flawless four-day mission.
Today in 1994, the Colorado Supreme Court declared that the anti-gay rights measure in the state was unconstitutiona
Today in 1995, J. Simpson canceled a TV appearance on NBC’s “Dateline.” The interview was supposed to be a “no holds barred” hour long sit-down – his first since being acquitted for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. In the 11th hour, Simpson’s team pulled the plug.
Today in 2001, the Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection.